Do you know someone who not only isn’t online, but doesn’t understand what value or relevance the internet could have to their lives? I think we all do – probably an older person. That opinion astonishes me, as I can’t imagine living an unconnected life.

For instance, yesterday I read King Rat by China Miéville for the first time. I think he’s a gorgeous writer, but I haven’t read many of his books – Un Lun Dun and The Scar only so far. King Rat was lovely, with a nice political twist at the end. On the commute in this morning, I mentioned the book, and P. and I had a conversation about the book, Miéville’s left-wing opinions, and socialism. I realised that aside from some vague recollections from school that socialism was “for the workers” or “for the people” or something (hey, I said it was vague!) I didn’t actually know what it was. So I looked it up. According to Wikipedia, Socialism is:

Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended.

Well, there you go. All the reference libraries of the world at our fingertips. This morning I also googled “david lee roth california girls” to settle the question of what familiar voice was featured on that cover on the radio. That kind of information is priceless, I’m telling you!

Anyway, back to China Miéville – if you haven’t read his books, do so because he’s an extremely talented writer. How can you not love someone who once described Tolkien as “the wen on the arse of fantasy literature”?

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