I thought one of the most interesting bits of Pattern Recognition was the way people's online friendships worked out - what with Parkaboy/Cayce and Judy/Taki eventually hooking up in the real world based on affections that were developed almost exclusively through online chatting. Obviously, this stuff says a lot about how Gibson sees the world of 2002 and the relation of technology in it to human interactions.
Cayce's dealings in cyberspace mostly take the form of posts on a publicly-available bulletin board, though she also engages in email. But the way Cayce uses that bulletin board is fundamentally different from the way Case interacts with others online in Neuromancer. That's because of the nature of the medium. Cayce, like most denizens of the modern web, can't converse face-to-face with her bulletin-board friends: she doesn't video-chat, so she can't sense people's body language, and she doesn't even have much idea who most of the people are outside of their commentary on the footage. Even though people have begun to develop communities and human relationships in cyberspace, these relationships and communities consist mostly of exchanges of text. People's identities are easily obscured, but - in Pattern Recognition â€“ the relationships they form are nonetheless legitimate and meaningful, often more powerful than predominantly in-person relationships. The deep friendship between Cayce and Parkaboy is the most prevalent example, but perhaps the most intriguing such relationship is between Judy and Taki. Originally, Musashi (Darryl) and Parkaboy are just using Judy as an image to weasel information out of Taki, but when she and Taki start actually talking with each other, "She's mesmerized by the extent (she says the heartbreaking purity) of Taki's passion for her" and begins to think "that the love Taki has to offer her is the love she's waited for all her life" despite "the fact that she knews Taki things she's a petite Japanese college girl, and that Darryl is translating for her both ways" (232). Gibson uses the book to comment that people are increasingly text-oriented, and the inability to prejudge people in the textual realm based on their race or appearance allows new kinds of relationships to exist, such as the love between Taki and Judy that subsists â€“ at least, initially â€“ on the basis of emotion and writing.
Furthermore, that relationship seems to ultimately work out despite the problems it faces initially, as one of the final emails applauds "her enthusiasm for the city (and her boyfriend!)" in Tokyo (364-365). In the world of Pattern Recognition, not only is it possible to fall in love with someone just by exchanging emails, and ultimately to meet the person in real life â€“ but those relationships seem better than the relationships characters otherwise end up in â€“ as evidenced by the way Cayce ends up with Parkaboy instead of Damien, who is still muddled in a difficult relationship with the daughter of the man funding his documentary project. The happy resolutions point towards a general optimism about humans' ability to adapt to such a text-based culture.