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"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Pokkecon  
  A device tied into a good will network.  

Tsuyoshi finished transferring the first tape to a new crystal disk. Time for a break. He left his apartment, took the elevator and went out to the comer coffeeshop. He ordered a double iced mocha cappuccino and paid with a chargecard.
His pokkecon rang. Tsuyoshi took it from his belt and answered it. “Get one to go,” the machine told him.
“Okay,” said Tsuyoshi, and hung up. He bought a second coffee, put a lid on it and left the shop.
A man in a business suit was sitting on a park bench near the entrance of Tsuyoshi’s building. The man’s suit was good, but it looked as if he’d slept in it. He was holding his head in his hands and rocking gently back and forth. He was unshaven and his eyes were red-rimmed.
The pokkecon rang again. “The coffee’s for him?” Tsuyoshi said.
“Yes,” said the pokkecon. “He needs it.”
Tsuyoshi walked up to the lost businessman. The man looked up, flinching warily, as if he were about to be kicked. “What is it?” he said.
“Here,” Tsuyoshi said, handing him the cup. “Double iced mocha cappuccino.”
The man opened the cup, and smelled it. He looked up in disbelief. “This is my favorite kind of coffee … Who are you?”
Tsuyoshi lifted his arm and offered a hand signal, his fingers clenched like a cat’s paw. The man showed no recognition of the gesture.
Tsuyoshi shrugged, and smiled. “It doesn’t matter. Sometimes a man really needs a coffee. Now you have a coffee. That’s all.”
“Well…” The man cautiously sipped his cup, and suddenly smiled. “It’s really great. Thanks!”
“You’re welcome.” Tsuyoshi went home.
Technovelgy from Maneki Neko, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Hayakawa's Science Fiction Magazine in 1998
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Maneki Neko
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Maneki Neko
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Pokkecon-related news articles:
  - 'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)

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