so i'm reading system of the world, the last book in neal stephenson's "baroque cycle." in it, daniel waterhouse keeps being REALLY close to inventing the computer. which is part of the charm of his books- the coincidental anachronism. but now, by the time we're on the 3rd book, it is clear to me what should happen. daniel SHOULD invent the computer, & stephenson's next trilogy should be steam-punk. i mean, who would see that coming, & how awesome would it be? pretty awesome.