Dotcom Dilemma

When I first began to read Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon one area that I found to be engaging was a conversation between Maine and Vyrva, in chapter four, on page 37–the conversation reads as the following:

Maxine is much too familiar by now, even God forbid intimate, with this cover-your-tracks attitude. Next it morphs from innocent greed into some recognizable form of fraud. She wonders if anybody’s ever run a Beneath model on hashslingrz, just to see how ritually slaughtered the public numbers are. Note to self–find the time. “This DeepArcher, Vyrva, it’s what–a place?”

“It’s a journey. Next time you’re over the boys’ll give you a demo.”

“Good, haven’t seen that Lucas for a while.”

“He hasn’t been around a lot. There’s been, like, issues? He and Justin find any excuse to get into a fight. Whether to even sell the source of the code in the first place. Same old classic dotcom dilemma, be rich forever or make a tarball out of it and post it around for free, and keep their red and make self-esteem as geeks but stay more or less middle income” (Pynchon 37).

The lines from this passage I found to be the most attention grabbing are:

  • “Next it morphs from innocent greed into some recognizable form of fraud.”
  • “She wonders if anybody’s ever run a Beneath model on hashslingrz, just to see how ritually slaughtered the public numbers are.”
  • “Same old classic dotcom dilemma, be rich forever or make a tarball out of it and post it around for free, and keep their red and make self-esteem as geeks but stay more or less middle income.”

What is interesting about this passage was that it was one of the first few times that Maxine asks about DeepArcher, and what it consists of. I find it interesting how Pynchon places this moment in between statements of such imagery (see quotes above). The negative language created an interesting stigma towards the concept of DeepArcher, almost making the reader think, “should I be wiry of this?”

Prior to this, Maxine questions the Beneish model on hashslingrz, by using the phrase “ritually slaughtered.” Initially, I did not know what the Beneish model was, I did some research and discovered that it is, “a mathematical model that uses financial ratios and eight variables to identify whether a company has manipulated its earnings. The variables are constructed from the data in the company’s financial statements and, once calculated, create an M-Score to describe the degree to which the earnings have been manipulated” (investopedia.com). I began to question, was using the term “ritually slaughtered” Pynchon’s way of foreshadowing the state of the Public’s financial wellbeing? What made me wonder this even more was when she referenced the concept of greed to fraud, alluding to the idea that hashslingrz may be encompassed with greedy people.

Finally, I felt as though the character Maxine presented us with a major example of foreshadowing for the book, stating how the rich can either become rich through selling out, or be forever caught in the middle class lifestyle. At this point in the novel I wondered, should we keep an eye out on the characters Lucas and Justin?

Overall I found this section of the text to be heavily filled with foreshadowing thoughts, which ultimately is setting up and thickening the plot line, as well as captivating the readers.

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One Response to Dotcom Dilemma

  1. mightymoss9 says:

    I enjoyed how closely you read into the wording that Pynchon used. Taking Pynchon’s use of “ritually slaughtered” was very insightful. I personally would of read his use of that phrase as a more direct reference to the ritual sacrifices in older ancient cultures such as the Mayan civilization. “Removing the heart” of the numbers could be referencing how dead the presented numbers are.

    Like

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