Saturday, January 10, 2015



High IQ-Whiz Kid

The Junction

My nickname at the office is David Stockman. David Stockman is a character in a Sci-fi series about America. He’s a whiz kid who works in the administration of Sci-fi Superhero Ronald Reagan. Kind of a compliment, to be called David Stockman; he isn’t a bad guy, and like me, here in the real world, he has a fairly high IQ. I think he’s a historical figure actually. Not sure about Reagan. I think he’s fictional. I’ll have to Google them. Nowadays we associate America primarily with the Google Empire and the Tech Era, but there were some pretty interesting things that happened before that. So I’ll just Google David Stockman and see what comes up. Not that my fate is going to parallel his in any specific sense.

The whole whiz kid thing, I think it’s because these guys in Admin have to have their little joke; some of these guys I work with have been around forever––I mean they’re in their 420’s, and when some punk kid, age 19, gets promoted over their heads, it’s hard for them to take. So now since the Shake Up there have been a lot of power struggles, and they don’t understand––these old guys–– that Gen Y – 1=xb : my generation, isn’t into that; we’re just into doing our jobs and getting to the top on merit. And that’s pretty much where I am, at the top, except that they’ve put me on the Patch for the Universe project because of the thing that went wrong at the Junction, which I guess was to some extent my mistake, only I don’t see how me wasting my valuable time trying to help these two Earth people from the Second Millennium of Metaphysical Happenstance circa the Phoenix Mission to save their marriage is going to benefit the universe, I really don’t.

The Earth people’s problem happened after the David Stockman era; in fact it happened at the beginning of the Pre-tech Democracy Interim, when Google was still just one of many American companies. But this couple, they weren’t part of the Tech Elite; they didn’t belong to the Singularity Vanguard or anything like that. In fact they were kind of Old School: lots of books around the house, he a Professor, she a Blogger. So, Arthur and Lynette. And let’s face it, if things hadn’t gone wrong at the Junction, we wouldn’t be remembering them for much of anything, except I guess the Professor wrote some kick-ass stuff on a pre-Christian poet, and some textbook that is still used up here in the Alpha Syn-Thesis Hypermatrix for learning about Earth Mythology. Lynette’s blog––Pixelated Catholic Pies––that became kind of infamous; I believe there was a court case, because she wanted to review Kid Lit and have free expression sex writing in the same Webmix. Go figure.

So about what went down at the Junction. The Earth people Arthur and Lynette experienced Habituation # 866^668, a palindromic malformation of EroSerpens Genome X32 due to environmental interference in the form of Unbidden Guestes and the passage of time, with secondary episodes reminiscent of those seen in cases of Lustdurmatix Syndrome, which however well it starts out in the first phase of youth (ages 5–55 in women, 6–366 in men) always takes a hit from the relentlessness of the Reptime Cycles, which wear away at the OK Cupid hormones conserved by the Alpha En-Primatur Dash Gloriosa.
In the event, these two humans, Arthur and Lynette, who had taken the mated-for-life vows, who had once been so happy to get sexy together, who had liked getting sexy all night long, who had successfully completed Mating-for-Progeny Level 4, and who went on liking and taking care of one another and respecting and appreciating one another’s Workshare Contrib–––stopped liking one another in the human recreational sex way, and started liking other opposite-sexed humans, leading to moderate disruption of proximate human social scene, increased cross-gender hostility, and anomie. And all of that was of secondary importance and had nothing to do with what went wrong at the Junction.

We call it the Junction and we talk about switching and shunting, but that’s an archaic usage, a metaphor: there have never been any trains up here in Alpha Syn-Thesis Hypermatrix, except in a museum. The Junction is a metaphor for how we operate in the transit: how we move around the ones we want to keep a bit longer for their comfort, and for greater access, and redirect the ones we want to elevate. We’ve had to do a lot of culling on Earth because of the overpopulation in certain demographic groups., specifically people in the same age-range as our problematic couple.

Curiously, the demographic strain on Earth that was beginning to happen in the time of Arthur and Lynette and which culminated in the Overpop––that was around the time when humans started living a bit longer, and in the West there were all these Elders in the sun, too many; and in the East  were Chinese couples in their early hundreds, with only one kid to take care of them, and a very small Householder Cohort to support them; and the 25 and younger people made up half the people in the world. It was partly due to the Overpop that we were culling from past civilizations. In order to keep the gender balance in any given civilization, we culled according to a simple algorithm. We’d go catchment by catchment, and we’d take now the wife, now the husband of an older couple likely looking forward to grandchildren. If Catchment A was wives, Catchment B was husbands, see, so it kept the balance.

So what actually happened at the Junction was this. One of the older Admin guys was a real Joker. In order to help us do the culling and not feel sick about it, he built this model train yard. Tiny trains, tiny signals, tiny men. So now we could make up a little world as we played with this image, and we might gradually forget what lay beneath.

Here’s how it worked. A train was sent down the track where the switches were. If the train went onto one track, the wife died; if the train went onto the other track, the husband died. It was very simple, and it worked. Only one day some machine overheated, and some of the circuits snapped, and in just one place on Earth, there was a glitch, such that my mother grabbed the bullhorn and quickly told everyone to decamp. But too late! There was a cosmic wheeze! Big Oops. Burn the evidence! Cuz they had had a 99th birthday to celebrate there in the office; they had started gambling and drinking, both the men and the women, and someone had brought a sex girl who sang “Hips Don’t Lie,”  and so sang the women who were still in their first century, and they swung their hips and danced. And there was Distraction and a forgetting of Duties. And while the men were gambling and the women were singing “Hips Don’t Lie,” they all forgot the vigil and the men were like soldiers gambling at the foot of the Cross, and the women forgot Good Sense, and they forgot to keep all of the celebrants calm. And they were like children playing a game, and with their new toy, they made both the husband Arthur and the wife Lynette die at once; and that was so contrary to the symmetry of the Posthuman order, that neither of the spouses died completely, but both remained Spirits. And Reality split, and in one half of the bifurcated simulacrum, Arthur lingered as a Spirit in a world in which Lynette was alive and everything else was the same as before; and in the other half of the simulacrum, Arthur was still alive in the same reality, but Lynette was dead –but not completely: for she lingered as a Spirit in this world where Arthur lived now as her widower. And the upshot was: both Spirits got to find out not only what their partner was like when they weren’t there, but what the world would become like when they died.

And how was this partly my fault? And why was my mother shouting at everyone through a bullhorn? Well, it happened on my watch, but the main thing, the reason it happened at all, was because I had a dream about this happening sometime in the future, and I told my dream to this AI that I’d gotten to be friendly with, and because he was programmed to self-improve, and I had negligible weight in his world, whereas his boss/ maker, being a kind of Prospero to his Ariel, had significant weight: he told my dream to his boss, who happened to be this 400 year-old prick, I mean the guy was a nasty piece of work, and when he wasn’t dominating the poor obliging AI, he was thinking of paths to chaos. So he thought it would be funny to really make it happen and he did, but the higher ups said I bore some considerable amount of responsibility for this because it was my dream, and because it was wrong to go confiding to a lower-ranking comrade, especially an AI, since my brain, riven by alienating disorder, was literally jam-packed with great super-hot ideas and company secrets.

And my mom with the bullhorn? That was the AI-creator’s biggest piece of mischief: in making my dream into reality – a split reality – he got it into his head to split off my mother from that zany place she inhabits in the Posthuman re-makes cistern order, and put her in a zanier place here on this befuddled planet. And just to mock me, he had had her dressed in her cheerleader’s uniform wearing tennis shoes and carrying a bullhorn. So; but she was more perceptive than any of the other actors in the scene: she thought she could see that the whole stage set, the whole play was flim flam: for the train yard, my dream, her ordinary life as a person and again, as a Spirit, were improvised at best, at worst, meretricious, riven by falsity and a cowardly lust for power.  

The culling of past civilizations is really, really controversial. If you do it outside of the law and get caught, the penalties can be severe. For some people it means a reprimand and a light tap on the wrist, while others pay the ultimate price for the same deed. And you can never tell which type of infraction it’s going to be.

But in this case the culling was done, now it was mopping up time, and as part of the Patch for the universe project, I had to interview Lynette and Arthur about what had happened and, more crucially perhaps, about their understanding of what had happened. 

And here are some of the notes I took from my interview with Lynette.


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