Actually nifty, you have illustrated that you are pretty keen on how awesome you are and that nothing gets even remotely close to your awesomeness...
Don't feel too bad, you probably push around a single piece of technology in a group of people who who have no understanding but are really appreciative, it tends to give individuals an overrated sense of importance, but a need to be very critical of anything else that is actually awesome
Oh, wait! I was supposed to critic the Stephenson novel, not you... sorry
So, the Baroque cycle held my interest because it managed to bring together many different historical elements that preceded the Enlightenment Era. I had passing knowledge of many elements of it, but to have it all laid out in a palatable storyline with the occasional Neil-ism (bloody awful puns blown up as big as a building but still invisible to a large portion of the audience) was truly enjoyable. Amongst the high-points... Ottoman-European interactions, pirate trade in Trinidad, European recovery from the black death, transition of money from weight in minted silver to representational value... Only minor complaint was the sex scenes got a little repetitive and I could not figure out if he held himself back or was just embarrassed
So, yeah in my mind Neil managed to demonstrate that he cannot only make deep technical manuals interesting , but can make economics and history texts enjoyable, not an easy task and apparently not appreciated by self-absorbed know-it-alls