Some Bigend-centric excerpts from Zero History:
There were cameras literally everywhere […] they were a symptom of autoimmune disease, the state’s protective mechanisms ‘roiding up into something actively destructive, chronic; watchful eyes, eroding the healthy function of that which they ostensibly protected.
He was a creature of screens, of bare expanses of desk or table, empty shelves. He owned as far as she knew, no art. In some way, she suspected, he regarded it as competition, noise to his signal
“Bram,” said Hollis, “the singer from the Stokers.”
Milgrim brought out his Faraday pouch, then his passport.
“That’s our Festo air penguin,” Bigend said after a pause. “We’re experimenting with it as an urban video surveillance platform.”
“He says it’s like walking through walls. Nobody can, but if you could, he says, it would feel like that. He says the wall is inside, though, and you do have to walk through it.”
Hires people who’ll go off the reservation, lead him somewhere new.
“He believes that stasis is the real enemy,” Milgrim said, […] “Stability’s the beginning of the end. We only walk by continually beginning to fall forward. He told me.”
Whatever he was, she found she trusted him. He seemed peeled somehow, transparent, strangely free of underlying motive. Seemed used to it as well.
He’d grown up with the unquestioned assumption that America was the home of heroic infrastructure, but was it now? He didn’t think so.
When Bigend talked about London, it felt to Milgrim that he was describing some intricate antique toy he’d bought at auction.
“I thought he was in Toronto.” “He’s in a post-geographical position,” said Bigend.
When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re coming apart.
“Some sort of seething Swiftian rage,” he said, “that he can only express through pervers, fiendishly complex exploits, resembling Surrealist gestes.”
She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries […]
“He’s curating suits that do retinal damage, these days.”
“Sufficiently perverse and titanic arseholes,” he said, “can become religious objects. Negative saints. People who dislike them, with sufficient purity and fervor, well, they do that. Spend their lives lighting candles. I don’t recommend it.”
“He already believes that that’s how the world is. Show him a wave, he’ll try to surf it.”
“The potential, for one grand exploit, is fabulous.”