On the Pill complicates (and debunks) the causal relationship between a technology and a socio-cultural revolution. It also explores the tensions in t...moreOn the Pill complicates (and debunks) the causal relationship between a technology and a socio-cultural revolution. It also explores the tensions in the widespread adoption of a technological fix for socio-econimc problems (namely overpopulation concerns).
It is particularly interesting, though perhaps not surprising given the large percentage of the population concerned, that the Pill initiated an important shift in patient-doctor information relationships, introducing the patient package insert we are so familiar with now. Watkins handles the delicate balance in the subjectivity of patient risk-benefit calculations well. I also particularly enjoyed the treatment of journalists and the media's role in the adoption of the pill.
My only lament is that this history stops at 1970, as I'd love to know more about how these controversies continue with the introduction of new technologies (rings), and as alternatives to the pill are explored (a renewed interest in IUDs). (less)
Hughes looks at the production of electricity to understand the social institutions and structures that made the complex system possible. Hughes three...moreHughes looks at the production of electricity to understand the social institutions and structures that made the complex system possible. Hughes three phases of adoption are helpful for thinking about the patterns of technological development and adoption. And Hughes' military analogy of the "reverse salient" to describe the "complex situation in which indiivudals, groups, material forces, historical influences, and other factors have idosyncratic, causal roles, and in which accidents as well as trends play a part" in impeding the progress of a technological system. (less)
Very interesting social history of the adoption of electrification in America. Serves as a nice historical parallel to social science treatments of do...moreVery interesting social history of the adoption of electrification in America. Serves as a nice historical parallel to social science treatments of domestication of technologies in everyday life, here looking at the influence of electricity on the city and transportation, the factory, and home life. Nye tries to explain the social contexts in which technologies are taken on and how those contexts shape the technological system (social determinism) but he can't escape the argument that electricity fundamentally changes everything it touches (a technological determinism argument).
Nye's discussion of the influence of electrification on the metaphors that infiltrate language is brief but compelling, illustrating how common parlance reveals the effects and impacts on the way electrification changed the way we see the world and our place in it.(less)
Coleman provides a nuanced take on the ideology and tensions embedded in the F/OSS movement. Her ethnography is compelling, particularly as a means of...moreColeman provides a nuanced take on the ideology and tensions embedded in the F/OSS movement. Her ethnography is compelling, particularly as a means of capturing a specific time and place as social structures, software, and embedded politics uncovered themselves, often not explicitly as political acts (see her discussion of explicit disavowal of politics). Coleman's details made real concepts of how code is speech, or code is law, in ways that I had not fully appreciated before, namely by capturing the way participants think about their involvement and about coding itself.
Though accessible, I still found in some places she relied on citations for jargon where a clarifying sentence could have benefited readers not familiar with disciplinary terms like "defamiliarization." In this sense it still reads as an academic work. I wanted more ethnographic color in personal details of her participants, but her pastiche approach to examples served its purpose in concisely providing an overview of a feeling and an experience among a distributed set of participants.(less)
I think it's an important book, even if it's poorly executed. I do think it's very effective at telling the story of how even the best intended techno...moreI think it's an important book, even if it's poorly executed. I do think it's very effective at telling the story of how even the best intended technologies have unintended consequences. And revealing the folly of not seeing those effects from the outset.
It's far too long to serve as the parable that it's intended to be. And I'm still not sure what telling this story as fiction afforded, aside from taking the solutionism to the logical extreme of Google or rather The Circle subsuming all utility and government functions like voting. Might it have been more effective if grounded in the real world critique? Or is that just Evgeny Morozov's To Save Everything already? Either way, these books pair well.
Despite Egger's protestations that he did *no* research, he gets a lot of details eerily right, and I found myself wanting to hyperlink to all the articles that would point directly to real-world parallels or even direct correlations. And even what was extreme was always grounded in some precursor direction.
I was frustrated with Mae. She's a transparent vessel, a stand in for us duped masses who have followed the logic and believed the reasonings for technological improvements to our lives. I find it hard to believe that any Google-equivalent employee would be asked to spend their time filling out consumer surveys, so huge points lost there, even though that becomes the inspiration for future voting product ideas. I also find it hard to believe that any young woman in her dream job would fall in with not one, but two of her coworkers within days of starting said job, but that's what happens when you have a man writing an intentionally weak strawwoman female lead. And it does something to illustrate the insularity of the campus, so I'll grant him that.
I did love the detail of Mae starting work at an inefficient, defunct utility, and goes on to work at the Circle which eventually subsumes all utilities. It was a nice touch.
Alexis Madrigal has a great review, taking down the preoccupation with live streaming video feeds in both this and in Super Sad True Love Story as the ultimate line between pure data and interpretive meaning making. He also lambasts the "zing" tweet equivalents as being about as interesting as the "what I ate for lunch" arguments about Twitter being frivolous. He argues Egger's critique doesn't go beyond that.
At one moment it crossed my mind that I was so glad to have been deemed "not a fit," devastating at the time, for Google product management positions when I went through the recruiting process in 2006.(less)
Today I joined in for #24hourbooclub's distributed reading experiment to read Katherine Losse's The Boy Kings. It was a fun day, and I always enjoy th...moreToday I joined in for #24hourbooclub's distributed reading experiment to read Katherine Losse's The Boy Kings. It was a fun day, and I always enjoy the shared reading experience and the excuse to power through because I know others are there with me doing it to. Here are some immediate quick thoughts, post-run contemplation.
Reading Losse’s opening introduction to her discovery of Facebook, I was immediately taken back to my Freshman dorm room and the Dell desktop on which I first read about and signed up for Facebook, in early February 2004. Her descriptions of the social groups that flourished and reflected real social structures on campus reminded me how useful Facebook once was—it really did run parallel to my college social life (rather than an online/offline dualism). But it reiterated to me how little value Facebook, or rather, its active social network, now offers me.
I was shocked by a few insider details from the early days, like customer support actually having access to complete profiles through a shared master password (it’s not just machines collecting our data, it was legible to real, live humans popping in and out of our profiles when needed). And the fact that “dark profiles” existed for those who were pictured but not yet on Facebook was startling, but not exactly surprising.
Losse does a great job taking The Boy Kings metaphor through the book, illustrating in their own language the terms of war, of power, of creation, of “conquering” and the “bunker” offices that justify the modern Napoleon comparisons. And Losse acknowledges that she herself was part of a certain colonialism, taking Facebook world wide as internationalization manager.
The most telling piece for me was Losse’s recollection of Zuckerberg’s ideological manifesto blog post series that never came to fruition. The proposed topic list indicates the larger systemic ideological problem in the Valley:
“Revolutions and giving people the power to share; openness as a force in our generation; moving from countries to companies; everyone becoming developers and how we support that; net-native generation of companies; young people building companies; purpose-driven companies; starting Facebook as a small project and big theory.”
These unaccounted for positions, ways that our technological leaders see the world go unexplained, unarticulated, and therefore often unquestioned. But they remain in the background. This scene is breaking point for Losse, where she falls out with Zuckerberg, and perhaps out of Facebook’s spell. And she falls far enough to write this book. But not far enough to pick apart the problems inherent in these statements. It’s not enough to just acknowledge these philosophical stances as problematic, hinting at how “countries to companies” suggests a “nouveau totalitarianism.” She couldn’t write in favor of them, building their case as Zuckerberg’s ghost writer, but maybe she could have explored here at greater length what was so troubling to her about these stances. She kind of just told it like it was, as a personal account of an interaction, rather than a critique.
And that’s where Losse’s weakness is made clear. She’s a former English PhD, not a sociologist or an anthropologist, really. So she tells her story, and she observes from the inside, but she doesn’t tell us what it means. And while leaves open subtle interpretations for a sympathetic audience, it prevents her message from reaching those it could most influence, like Zuckerberg himself.
I read between the lines for hints of social theory material, and they are there, but they are subtle. And perhaps that’s a strength of a mass market approach, making her argument more relatable skating over references to Baudrillard, but talking about power in the context of The Wire, rather than political philosophy. But it’s not enough to just state that “You were like Peggy on Mad Men.” She’s a inside enough to hear Zuckerberg’s philosophy, outside enough to know there’s something fishy, but not outside enough to take it further.
I found myself wondering about the line between humanist and feminist concerns in the Silicon Valley culture critique. Sure, there’s misogyny to address in a corporate world run by brogrammers and in talking about systems that support “looking for pictures of women,” but it seems like Losse’s issues were just as focused on the automation of human life, turning social problems into information problems: “In more ways than one, I was like the humanist troll to the company’s obsession with technologizing everything.” I wonder what is lost when feminist concerns and humanist concerns are conflated in silicon critiques.
[Paragraph added after sleeping on this.] But perhaps it is not fair to demand more of Losse. Perhaps I ought to grant her more epistemological charity (as Sheila Jasanoff encourages). Her tale is a personal one, a memoir. And I do believe that personal narratives make the stakes of criticizing technological systems that are a part of our everyday lives that much more visceral, more human than an abstract, disembodied, academic critique.
I think this book is doing something very important, critiquing the assumptions and ideologies of the technologist who are shaping our world from the inside out.
I read the book on my iPad from 10 AM to roughly 3:30 PM on Sunday in a marathon reading for #24hourbookclub, eager to finish before the rest of my weekend plans took over. I tweeted a few key quotes, and checked in on the #24hourbookclub conversation between chapters. (less)
I want to agree with a lot of Lanier's points, namely his focus on human-centered technology (and in this case economies). But his meandering argument...moreI want to agree with a lot of Lanier's points, namely his focus on human-centered technology (and in this case economies). But his meandering argumentation, his lack of disciplinary rigor in talking about economic concepts, and the overall structure of the book itself get in his way. The concept of the Siren Servers consolidation of capital and power in their winner take all structures is helpful for those who don't really understand the costs of free services. But the characterization suggests that this power is centralized in isolated servers, when it is in fact, far more distributed and obfuscated in the larger data economy that includes thousands of intermediaries and third parties. So the oppositional framing is helpful as a start, but in order to make changes to the overall economics of the internet, we'll need much more legibility and access to the complete view of data points being called up to serve any single targeted ad.
I'm sympathetic to Lanier's approach, but his underlying assumptions about human nature, the preciousness of the individual, the preservation of agency, and the idea of self-determination are distinctly western approaches.
Read for October 2013 Tech Book Club Boston.(less)
Annihilating Time and Space: Reading River of Shadows
It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I was running on full steam wrapping up my thesis through Ju...moreAnnihilating Time and Space: Reading River of Shadows
It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I was running on full steam wrapping up my thesis through July 22, and then went straight into cleaning-packing-moving mode moments after my return from the Exam Schools. And even after we got nearly all the unpacking done at the end of last weekend (save for the boxes of artwork), I still felt a little brain dead this past week. It was starting to get frustrating, because I wanted desperately to get into the swing of things, to get caught up on thesis follow-ups and the news I had missed. And more than anything, I was eager to get started in earnest on the book. But I just couldn't get my head back in the game. I found myself wandering from coffeeshop to public library trying to find a comfortable place to reengage my brain. My sense of space and time was all out of whack.
On Wednesday night I picked up Rebecca Solnit’s River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, and it was just the cure for this transition/adjustment malaise. There were so many things about this book that made it just the right thing for me to read at this very moment, and for that I’m thankful. I had come across it when I saw that Tech Book Club read it, and when I bought my mom a copy of Wanderlust: A History of Walking, but I was most recently reminded of it in an essay of Solnit’s I’d saved to Instapaper from a tweet.
In the most basic sense, I had been interested in the book because it covers the life and historical context of Eadweard Muybridge, who essentially developed the means to take rapid shutter speed photographs and thus paved the way for modern cinema to capture moving images. His motion studies of horses and human bodies revealed novel detail that had been previously inaccessible to the naked eye; in gallop, all four of a horses’ hooves do, in fact, leave the ground. I enjoyed reading into the founding story of this period of photography and early cinema, given my background in film studies. We have a lovely print of Muybridge’s dancing couple that we displayed at our wedding (vintage hipster gag, I know) that we had picked up from 20x200. I had a soft spot for the man and his work already, and was eager to learn more.
What I wasn't expecting to find in this book were all the connections to my recent work on the Quantified Self. In many ways, Muybridge was dissecting motion of human bodies, revealing objective, abstracted detail about the body’s movement in much the same way that sensors now enable us measure activity and movement in even greater detail. Muybridge froze time to show the patterns in a walker’s gate. Now instead of freezing time, we’re collecting data all the time, with sensors that track our gate throughout the day and monitor our movement while we sleep. Data now does what celluloid did then, parsing information into smaller and smaller knowable units. But it’s also sometimes uncanny: “Those gestures—a gymnast turning a somersault in mid air, a nude pouring water—were unfamiliar and eerie stopped because they showed what had always been present but never seen." As Solnit puts it: “With the motion studies that resulted it was as though he were returning bodies themselves to those who craved them—not bodies as they might daily be experienced, bodies as sensations of gravity, fatigue, strength, pleasure, but bodies become weightless images, bodies dissected and reconstructed by light and machine and fantasy." I relished the opportunity to connect those dots in my own intellectual history, from film history to internet studies, in a new way in reading this book.
Solnit’s book is about a man, an innovator, but it is also about a place in time. Solnit writes a lot about landscape, the west, San Francisco, etc. I’ve been thinking a lot about the impact that the ideology and the lifestyle of the makers of technology have on its design and adoption in broader contexts, especially now as it enters the intimate realm of our bodies and our minds. I loved the rich descriptions and sweeping connections Solnit makes from the early mining days of San Francisco directly to the emergence of Silicon industries, all happening on the same soil. It made more acute a hankering I’ve been having to spend more time in the Valley, if only to get something of an ethnographic understanding of the contexts and circumstances in which our technologies are built. She described that period in which Muybridge was working with such energy and drama; it made me want to be that much closer to the history that’s happening now.
Solnit has a knack for drawing out these sweeping connections. She does it with such finesse that you don’t want to try to poke holes. She’s connecting a lot of dots, and doing a fine job of telling you precisely why a technological innovation has turned out to be really important. I like the way her mind works, pulling threads together across time and space. I try to do that in my own work. It’s the work of an interdisciplinarian: the railroad and the cinema and silicon valley all begin to make sense together if you are looking at the right pieces.
Reading this got me thinking about what we’re trying to do in if/then. Solnit weaves a story about the rippling effects of converging technologies on the way we see and experience the world. Our book will weave a story about the rippling effects of current technologies, drawing out these connections and pointing to where these moments of change are happening around us right now. The only difference is the clarity and confidence that hindsight affords. I want to write about the near future in the way that Solnit writes about the past.
Solnit writes about how the Victorians worried about losing a sense of place and time, of embodiment: “It is as though the Victorians were striving to recover the sense of place they had lost when their lives accelerated, when they became disembodied. They craved landscape and nature with an anxious intensity no one has had before or since." We’re still worried about technology’s effects on what is lost and what is gained when we change our perceptive abilities. The Victorians grappled with the dichotomy between the natural and the technologically-mediated worlds. Seeing that dichotomy spelled out so clearly through this book, it made all the more clear to me that I think that we’re getting closer and closer to the collapse of these binaries. (less)
Parts of this reminded me of the center story of Cloud Atlas. I really enjoyed the playful games of oral-history telephone that morphed names and conc...moreParts of this reminded me of the center story of Cloud Atlas. I really enjoyed the playful games of oral-history telephone that morphed names and concepts over time.
I'm looking forward to visiting the exhibition in London soon. (less)
Yesterday was my first time participating in 24hourbookclub, reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. I wasn't too familiar with the title choice, but I was thankful for the excuse to read fiction for the day as a break from my thesis reading. Surrounded by piles of theory and ambitious Zotero lists, a deep sense of reading guilt normally prevents me from even entertaining the possibility of cracking the spine (or file, as it were) on a work of fiction, but I've been feeling a bit more zen about those lists, and I jumped at the prospect of refreshing fiction and the opportunity to participate in the virtual book club experience. What follows is more personal reflection than review, but feels like an appropriate compliment to Rose's special talent for tasting emotions in a slice of cake.
The #24hourbookclub Experience
starting off #24hourbookclub with the particular happiness of homemade scones and clotted creamvia Instagram
I started the day slowly, enjoying tea and scones and clotted cream for breakfast and thinking that homemade baked goods paired nicely with the start of a novel so focused on their emotional complexity. I spent the day reading leisurely, first from the comfort of my sunny Sunday bed, then later from the couch after the sun had made its way to that side of the house. I took a short break for a nap, and then a long walk by the Thames. I stopped at chapter breaks here and there to see what people were posting to the #24hourbookclub hashtag; for a while I was on my own in British Summer Time, but my breaks slowed me down a bit so I finished up along with some of the East Coasters. I tweeted a couple of my favorite quotes along the way, but I held off as I neared the end of the book.
“I watched as she added a question mark at the end. Arc, line, space, dot.” #24hourbookclub
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the simultaneous virtual reading experience, particularly when I could catch up on what others had to say about the prose and the character and plot development from section to section. But most of all, I was happy to partake in the pet project of someone who never ceases to inspire me, Ms. Diana Kimball. I've only actually met Diana a few times in person through mutual friends, but I count her as one of my internet favorites and we have become fast Twitter/Facebook/Instagram friends through our mutual love of the internet, literature, and writing. Diana is an incredibly thoughtful, nurturing, and positive voice on the internet, and I felt like I got to know her even better through this virtual flashmob reading experience for which she can be credited. Reading somehow felt a little more immediate, higher stakes, while I was reading as this community coalesced around this particular day and this particular book for a few hours together. I immediately thought of Diana when I read these lines:
"Once, a year or so before, he’d been at our house and he’d pulled out a lock of his hair and used it to teach me about eddies and helixes. It’s a circular current into a central station, he’d explained, giving me one to hold. I pulled on the spring. Nature is full of the same shapes, he said, taking me to the bathroom sink and spinning on the tap and pointing out the way the water swirled down the drain. Taking me to the bookshelf and flipping open a book on weather and showing me a cyclone. Then a spiral galaxy. Pulling me back to the bathroom sink, to my glass jar of collected seashells, and pointing out the same curl in a miniature conch. See? he said, holding the seashell up to his hair. Yes! I clapped. His eyes were warm with teaching pleasure. It’s galactic hair, he said, smiling."
And receiving her tweet-pings of encouragement added to the experience:
@smwat You have no idea how happy it makes me to see all these #24hourbookclub tweets from you…or maybe you do! Either way: thank you.
Like Rose's mother, I can't help but look for signs in the things I read, and I found more than I had even expected to. For one, I really enjoyed George's considered treatment of Rose's gift/affliction because it reminded me of a Quantified Self experiment: "Take subject out of environment and re-test, he said, making quote fingers with his hands." I've been spending a lot of time thinking about Quantified Self practices and the N=1 scientific method in my thesis research about personal data. Rose's particular affliction captures so much of what I find interesting and problematic about QS—tracking the subjective and qualitative experience of mood, emotions, and tastes through scientific methods and hard data (in this case, cookies). It's somehow reassuring to find traces of our preoccupations in places we do not expect to find them.
I also found myself thinking a lot about family relationships through food. Until this book, I don't think I had ever put all the pieces together to see food as a medium through which families work out their issues. I also think that's what made this story so relatable for many of my fellow #24hourbookclub members—family issues as manifest through food are seem to be universal.
As we've begun to define what our own version of family looks like, my husband and I have made food, and the process of cooking together, an important part of our domestic life. We measure quality of living in our series of apartments based on the size, set up, and specs of their kitchens. But I hadn't thought so synthetically about why we care so much about our cooking: it turns out our respective extended families have very mixed relationships with food. Nick is a great cook, as guided by his mother's years of experience cooking for her younger siblings. I'm the baker, born out of weekend muffin-making ritual with my mother. But aside from these obvious direct maternal influences, I've become more aware of the more subtle pulls: a grandmother's reliance on store-bought canned goods, another's stubborn determination for canning against all odds; a father's penchant for indulgence in sweets, and resultant diabetes; my mother's chicken-caesar-salad-with-the-dressing-on-the-side shtick, tied to her lifelong goal of Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly (but perhaps not adventurously); my brother's miraculous subsistence on an exclusive pizza, pasta, and peanut butter diet. Our families have food issues, but reading this made me realize,whether its about socioeconomics, control issues, or body issues, food invariably reflects family dynamics.
I related to the idea that baked goods were the most intense sensory experience for Rose. Baked goods have been at the center of my food-related concerns for some time. I've been disappointed by the unfulfilled promise of comfort in baked goods: between our fickle dorm convection oven, and the complete lack thereof in Chongqing, baking has been a challenge as of late. Even in our nice kitchen here in the UK, I've discovered following US customary recipes with imperial measuring cups that the two standards are not, in fact, interchangeable. And since the recent onset of my egg allergy, I've been forced to take dessert into my own hands. Nearly every confection on a menu (with the exception of the occasional panna cotta or berry crumble) contains egg as a main ingredient. Even ice cream has about a fifty/fifty chance of being custard-based. (Scones, by the way, generally don't use egg, hence my love affair with cream tea here in England.) So I've acquired a Kitchen Aid and eggless baking cookbooks and set forth on my own experimental project. My challenge, as my patient guineapig Nick can attest, is to find an adequate eggless brownie recipe. In baking, eggs are responsible for everything from moisture, to density, and are primarily responsible for rising action, all of which are important for optimal brownie texture. The eggless recipes I've tried have ended up on the cakey or even crumbly side of the spectrum, miles away from the desired candy-glazed squares with chewy, fudgy insides. For a process that's meant to be comforting, every failed eggless baking attempt feels all the more disappointing.
Thankfully, the egg allergy (or intolerance, to be more precise), isn't nearly as bad as when it first cropped up. When I've gone through a long enough spell without any trouble, I start itching to test if I've grown out of my symptoms. I start with something really worth the trouble: a warm chocolate chip cookie or a glorious blueberry muffin. On my recent trip to Italy, I made it through without asking once whether the fresh pasta had eggs (it almost certainly did) and didn't have much trouble aside from eating far too much the entire trip. But back to reality and my normal eating habits, eating things with eggs continues to make me feel bloated and generally yucky. Maybe it's psychosomatic, maybe it's weird protein chemistry; whatever it is, I'm avoiding eggs where I can, which means pressing on with the eggless baking trial and error.
"Baked goods were the most potent, having been built for the longest time from the smallest of parts, so I did best with a combination of the highly processed—gummy fish, peanut-butter crackers, potato chips—made by no one, plus occasional fast-food burgers, compiled by machines and made, often, by no one, and fruits and vegetables that hadn’t been cooked."
In The Particular Sadness, I was also captivated by the treatment of the food as a technology, and the sideways critique of the food industrial complex. My favorite passage centered around Rose's class presentation on Doritos, her pick for something in "modern society that we valued that was not around in the time of our grandparents:"
"What is good about a Dorito, I said, in full voice, is that I’m not supposed to pay attention to it. As soon as I do, it tastes like every other ordinary chip. But if I stop paying attention, it becomes the most delicious thing in the world…
"Exactly, I said. That good dust stuff.
"What I taste, I said, reading from my page, is what I remember from my last Dorito, plus the chemicals that are kind of like that taste, and then my zoned-out mind that doesn’t really care what it actually tastes like. Remembering, chemicals, zoning. It is a magical combo. All these parts form together to make a flavor sensation trick that makes me want to eat the whole bag and then maybe another bag...
"In conclusion, I said, a Dorito asks nothing of you, which is its great gift. It only asks that you are not there."
I liked this passage for its guilty pleasure. As Nick's preferred sandwich accompaniment Doritos hold a special place in my household. Doritos, fake-cheesy cousins, cheese doodles, epitomize the height of junk food, but I love them all the same.
Having researched enterprise systems and supply chain management technology, I've imagined (fancifully) a complete food provenance system based on RFID tags, that follows all the steps from farm to table, even in the most complex processed foods. Imagine an app that could the narrative that Rose tastes in her mother's pie: "the whole kitchen smelled of hometown America, of Atlanta’s orchards and Oregon’s berry bushes, of England’s pie legacy, packed with the Puritans over the Mayflower." Maybe that level of detail is extreme, but movements towards eating local, organic, slow etc. seem to suggest that we're reacting against the industrial pattern that has separated us from the preparation and consumption of our food. Rose needs the separation at first to survive, but when she tastes the passion and attention to the ingredients in the French restaurant and throughout her culinary tour of LA, she's brought closer to the pure tastes in food, rather than the conditions of its production.
As for the writing itself, I found the similes were often sloppy, the short sentences a little stilted, and the narrator suspiciously observant for her age, but I didn't let these blemishes get in the way of my fictional reading pleasure. I guess it was like Rose, tasting the pastry chef's hurry in the pie crust and yet still enjoying the quiche. And given my problem with eggs, fictional is the only kind of quiche I get to enjoy.