I’ve been dipping into Neal Stephenson’s book Snow Crash for some time now, off and on. It’s a cyberpunk dystopia in the near future when government has been replaced by corporations, from the Feds to the Mafia and independent nations or territories from individuals to “franchulates” or franchised consulates. Snow Crash is the name of a new computer virus or drug or…. I’ve reached Page 222 and the story is finally beginning to make sense. My interest has been sustained by Stephenson’s inventive ideas and amusing touches: the good-guy protagonist is named Hiro Protagonist.