From White Noise:
I went to the automated teller machine to check my balance. I inserted my card, entered my secret code, tapped out my request. The figure on the screen roughly corresponded to my independent estimate, feebly arrived at after long searches through documents, tormented arithmetic. Waves of relief and gratitude flowed over me. The system had blessed my life. I felt its support and approval. The system hardware, the mainframe sitting in a locked room in some distant city. What a pleasing interaction. I sensed something of deep personal value, but not money, not that at all, had been authenticated and confirmed. A deranged person was escorted from the bank by two armed guards. The system was invisible, which made it all the more impressive, all the more disquieting to deal with. But we were in accord, at least for now. The networks, the circuits, the streams, the harmonies.
In her veil and habit she was basically a face, or a face and scrubbed hands. Here in cyberspace she has shed all that steam-ironed fabric. She is not naked exactly but she is openâ€”exposed to every connection you can make on the world wide web.
There is no space or time out here, or in here, or wherever she is. There are only connections. Everything is connected. All human knowledge is gathered and linked, hyperlinked, this site leading to that, this fact referenced to that, a keystroke, a mouse-click, a passwordâ€”world without end, amen.
But she is in cyberspace, not heaven, and she feels the grip of systems. This is why she is so uneasy. There is a presence here, a thing implied, something vast and bright. She senses the paranoia of the web, the net. There’s the perennial threat of virus of course. Sister knows all about contaminations and the protective measures they require. This is differentâ€”it’s a glow, a lustrous rushing force that seems to flow from a billion net nodes.
When you decide on a whim to visit the H-bomb home page, she begins to understand. Everything in your computer, the plastic, silicon and mylar, every logical operation and processing function, the memory, the hardware, the software, the ones and zeroes, the triads inside the pixels that form the on-screen imageâ€”it all culminates here.