I think this is a science-fiction book that approaches something we could imagine in our lifetime, and then pushes the envelope a little further. Basically people are fused with wireless technology, sort of a hyper-Blackberry type device implanted in your head, for communication and access to the internet 24/7 directly via the brain. This brain-computer interface allows also for memory back-up and transfer to another body, such as a clone of yourself, to achieve immortality in essence. Money as we know it is replaced by “Whuffie,” which is sort of currency of reputation. Society is already moving toward this lifestyle with cellular and wi-fi devices all over the place, and I can completely see somebody embedding them inside their bodies and making them CNS responsive. Immortality via clones I’m not so sure about.
A couple of interesting points from Down and Out:
Cory Doctorow’s site: craphound.com