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Here is a candid account of the life of a software engineer who runs her own computer consulting business out of a live-work loft in San Francisco's Multimedia Gulch. Immersed in the abstract world of information, algorithms, and networks, she would like to give in to the seductions of the programmer's world, where "weird logic dreamers" like herself live "close to the machine." Still, she is keenly aware that body and soul are not mechanical: desire, love, and the need to communicate face to face don't easily fit into lines of codes or clicks in a Web browser. At every turn, she finds she cannot ignore the social and philosophical repercussions of her work. As Ullman sees it, the cool world of cyber culture is neither the death of civilization nor its salvation--it is the vulnerable creation of people who are not so sure of just where they're taking us all.
Ellen Ullman has worked as a software engineer and consultant since 1978. She is the author of The Bug and her writing has been published in Resisting the Virtual Life, Wired Woman, and in Harper's Magazine. She is a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered.""