Microserfs

Today I finished reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland. The book takes place in the early 90s and is written as a journal of the main character Dan. He starts out as a tester in Microsoft and then moves to Silicon Valley when his friend convinced Dan to join his startup.

Microserfs is filled with obvervations of big tech company culture, Silicon Valley culture, the coder-geek lifestyle, and the relationship between humans and computers. I’ve been interested in philosophy and this book touches on a lot of topics that I haven’t come across anywhere before. What is the higher goals of creating technology? Are machines an extention of human beings? Do we allow computers to embody our hopes and fears? Does creating technology make us more or less human?

In computer years, Microserfs was written ages ago (that’s what JPod is for, I suppose), so many of the obversation about computer culture are still relevent and still connected with me. At one point in the book, Dan pointed out that every programmer thinks they are better adjusted than other programmers. Coupland explores these layers of denial that can develop when your give dedicate your whole life to code. Microserfs is ultimately about how technology can change the way individuals understand themselves, interpret their place in the world, and connect with the people around them.