“And I hunt ‘cool,’ although I don’t like to describe it that way. Manufacturers use me to keep track of street fashion.” Magda’s eyebrows go up. “And you like my hats?” “I really like your hats, Magda. I’d wear them, if I wore hats.” Magda nods, excited now. “But the ‘cool’ part—and I don’t know why that archaic usage has stuck, by the way—isn’t an inherent quality. It’s like a tree falling, in the forest.” “It cannot hear,” declares Voytek, solemnly. “What I mean is, no customers, no cool. It’s about a group behavior pattern around a particular class of object. What I do is pattern recognition. I try to recognize a pattern before anyone else does.” “And then?” “I point a commodifier at it.” “And?” “It gets productized. Turned into units. Marketed.”

Édouard Urcades