Aric's Second Paper Draft

In William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, Gibson has created a multitude of characters, each one with a specific personality, but with the characters in the background consisting of different shades of generic. Gibson’s main character Cayce is the fashion equivalent of referee, dressing in black she chooses what will be the new thing or the new winner in the global merchandising scene. Through Cayce, Gibson is able to show how increasing global life has gotten, its effects on life daily activities, and how a person is able to keep identity in an anonymous online culture.
The moment for Cayce that the world had “gone in such a different direction”, was also the moment in which she realized that change was possible. She did not know what would occur that day, but the expectation that she would meet with the fashion designer, and then go home. Cayce seems to insinuate that globalization is behind the terrorist threat, almost assuming that without globalization life would be able to be expected, but the downside with this thought is the fact that she was in NYC because her job had put her in contact with a European fashion designer. Her life would have been different without globalization, she would not have had the job of judging new fashion trends, and the fact that the terrorist attacked happened is more of an effect of misunderstanding globalization then globalization itself.
Globalization is classically defined as the growing interaction between societies of the world. This increased interaction allows for some standardization of goods across the world. For example Coke is produce across the world, in nearly every country, but does not take away from the society’s culture because it is flavored to the desires of that specific society. Coke in the US does not taste like Coke in London nor does it taste like Coke in Moscow. This difference shows how even as the world becomes more homogeneous, culture does not get replaced, but instead evolves, turns into something more efficient. One would not argue against introducing a society to running water, toilets, and showers even if it wasn’t part of their culture, because eventually it will become a part of their society, and more so it would make their society better without destroying their culture.
Gibson introduces different types of clothing into this book, each with different connotations to Cayce. Cayce is able to justify her Rickson’s beauty by acknowledging its creation as a mix between form and function, an artistic touch on a purely functional object, in Cayce’s mind as being original. This is in stark contrast to her perception of Tommy Hilfiger, who she sees as complete copy of a copy of something that might have been useful at one point other than its look. Cayce draws this difference between both one being an object of creation, where the other is an object of another person’s work. The one downside I see in this is the fact that it takes away from the fact that Tommy still sells in the United States. The idea that something is not acceptable, to Cayce’s phobia at least, is best determined by if it will sell or not, not whether it is original or not. The problem with originality of logos and fashion is the fact that it does not necessarily say anything about the person underneath the clothes. If Cayce were to be given straight Prada to wear, she would not change as a person, her ideas and morals would still be the same. Giving value to art and fashion is in the eye of the beholder, and that is why nothing changes because of externalities, a jerk is still a jerk no matter how dressed up he is whether they wear clothes like Cayce, Bigend, or Dorotea. Cayce near the end of the book has a conversation with Peter trying to figure out each other is really who they say they are. The only way Cayce is able to tell Peter is really Parkaboy is questioning him on his online personality and discussions from the footage. I think it is at this point where Cayce loses her phobia of certain fashions. She is able to tell his identity from an increasingly homegeneous world by his ideas, which means to Cayce that no matter how much an item is similacar of similacar, the personality of individuals will still be able to exist, because we all think differently and value things differently even if we do not dress differently. If she did not come to accept this idea, she would struggle with the idea of a private school where all of the students wear the same thing, generic in every physical sense but are still all unique.
The detective theme of this novel is in expose on pattern recognition. By creating the story line through drawing comparisons in events, Gibson is able to show how things are becoming more and more connectied. The fact that Voytek is a recipient of money from Cayce who got it from a Russian mob boss, just shows how these connections play a role in choosing the next move. We cannot stand unaffected by today’s society because even if one individual tries to not let their decisions be the outcome of some kind of global event, a person that interacts with that individual would have been affected by some kind of global aspect, meaning that through connection to that person they are still connected to this global society.
As the world as Cayce sees it is one in where the further we move along this globalization, the further things get from being unique. In a sense this is why Cayce has been drawn to the footage, it represents a part of the global society that is untouched by marketing, that moves on its own. Initially the idea of the footage being discovered and explained would take away from its mystery and meaning. As Cayce discovers the origin of the footage, it becomes more meaningful. The footage being spread across the world even through mass replaying of the footage would be ok, because the meaning is still there. This meaning is created by the author, but it has a different meaning to anyone who views it, meaning that original meaning does not take away from its future value to someone else.

Peer Review: (Nate)
Aric's minimal errors helps the paper flow tremendously. He uses very good grammar and vocabulary with allows the reader to engage in the reading quite easily. Evidence wise, there are not many quotes from the book that I can see. This may be a problem due to the fact that the paper needs at least one quote in each paragraph. For example, there are many quotes that can assist him when speaking about globalization. Overall the argument he presents is very strong. I especially like when he speaks of originality in logos.

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