Spook Country

…how these heresies would get started, often spontaneously generating around some medieval equivalent of your more outspoken homeless mumbler. Organized religion, he saw, back in the day, had been purely a signal-to-noise proposition, at once the medium and he message, a one-channel universe. For Europe, that channel was Christian, and broadcasting from Rome, but nothing could broadcast faster than a man could travel on horseback. There was a hierarchy in place, and a highly organized methodology of top-down signal dissemination, but the time lag enforced by tech-lack imposed a near-disastrous ratio, the noise of heresy constantly threatening to overwhelm the signal.

–William Gibson, 2007

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