fiction


That Sentence is Gold
Version: 1.0 alpha

Author: David Saxton Ullery

What? You cannot tell the difference between a sentence and gold?

Sentences are sometimes used as units of mememic exchange. Gold is sometimes used as a standard for monetary exchange.

Gold (Au) is an element with atomic number of 79 (a non-twin prime number!), with a melting point of 1064.18 °C.

Although some groups of sentences may lead to a heated debate, a sentence, has no mass and therefore travels at the speed of C. This is paradoxical, because sentences are known to change their form over time, and only particles with mass can do that (that is why we know neutrinos have mass). Therefore, a sentence has negative mass, travels faster than light and travels back in time. Evidence supports this, because one can find many sentences trapped in books written hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

Like neutrinos, sentences may travel through your head without notice. They both have weak interaction with ordinary matter. Sometimes sentences allegedly interact with gray matter, but evidence for this is purely subjective and anecdotal. Gray matter is extremely rare is not to be confused with dark matter – a completely different matter believed to account for 25% of the mass of the Universe – a very big place. Gray matter is known to distort information, leading to information loss over time.

For more information and other non-related massless sentences, please visit:

https://upgrade01a.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/telepathy-verses-cell-phones/

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Version: 1.5

Author: David Saxton Ullery

Suppose that, after thorough analysis of the human brain, free will for us is really proven to be an illusion with emergent properties closely associated with consciousness and human intelligence. Some time later, we take this knowledge to build a sophisticated, powerful artificial brain machine with scores of billions of high-speed neurons and possibly trillions of self-modifying synaptic-like connections,  which eventually designs an even more sophisticated machine on its own. This new machine calculates how to create free will and so it documents a detailed design of a practical free will machine for us.  Should we go ahead and build the free will machine – or more realistically, should we have the machine(s) build it for us?

Suppose the newly built free will machine could be integrated into our brains such that we would have artificial free will. A logging is recorded every time a true free choice is made that is different than the illusory free choice that we would  have otherwise made. If the machine has complete knowledge of all of its human host’s needs and wants, it seems possible that it would always decide exactly what we would have decided anyway – it would always do precisely what we “want”. A trillion-dollar do-nothing machine! On the other hand, it might occasionally or frequently select a different choice which may very much anger or disturb the host who ironically feels like he is no longer in control. The host may begin to feel like a slave.  The host would want one thing, and his machine would override, resulting in a different decision being made.

If free will is not ruled out, then it is possible that we do not possess it in our own brains, but that it is physically possible to construct a device that would enable it. One of its parts may consist of a type of time machine capable of passing information, in the form of quantum bits, backwards in time through an artificial wormhole. The possible future choice outcome could be analyzed and weighted against the current state. The new future choice could then be taken. The process would recursively repeat until a final decision is made. Effectively we really do go back and change our choice at time “t” (potentially several times). This would satisfy the requirement for free will, since the machine allows for us to make a different choice given the same previous causes.  Not only could we make a different choice, but we would occasionally make a different choice for the exact same event, at the exact same time, for the exact same set of circumstances.

Logically speaking, we already have such a devise… to a degree. We can take our past, learned experiences, combined with logical future outcomes, think about logical outcomes until we come up with a final decision that we act upon. We never actually act upon any but one of the “what if” scenarios, but we can often logically deduce the outcome (if I eat the cake, it will taste great, but I will gain weight; if I jump off the cliff without a hang glider, I will likely die; …). At time “t”, we actually make our choice.  We end up doing what at least a part of our self “wants”, based on a set of resources within our brain. If we are good at predicting outcomes, then we will often make exactly the same choice that we would have, in the science fiction scenario given above.

With the possession of the time machine, we could actually taste or eat an entire piece of chocolate cake and decide that it is well worth it, and finally decide to actually eat the cake as our final choice.  Without the time machine, we may decide to eat the cake, based on the knowledge that the last cake made by the same chef, was really delicious and decide on eating the cake.  We must assume here that the time machine owner may not have her cake and eat it too.  The owner will forget that she tried the cake once the final decision is made.  Otherwise, the owner may conclude that she can both eat the cake and finally not eat the cake, thus gaining the pleasure of the cake eating, and not suffering from the extra fat added on to her body as a result. The machine would work as if it processed future events in its owner’s subconscious – whether it actually did or not – not unlike a medicine that induces short-term amnesia on a patient.

Even the time machine version is deterministic, because the future qubits are still part of the cause of the agent’s final choice, in an automated way. However, that may only be one of the components.  It may be completely deterministic, yet satisfy all of the requirements for free will.  This deterministic machine allows the agent to change her mind and make a different choice.

Now suppose this same free will machine is kept outside of your brain or is rewired such that your illusionary “free will” referenced the free will machine only when called upon.  Perhaps you decide to use it every time you go to play roulette or buy stock.  That machine would no longer be a free will machine – it would be used to figure out what to bet on at the casino or what stock to choose. You would surely end up following the money trail in each and every case.  Even if not used strictly for money, it would no longer effectively be a free will machine, but just another weight to be used by your deterministic decision making resources – your non-free choice.

It seems an agent could have real free will yet perceive it as slavery since his choices would not always behave in ways he “wants”; have the illusion of free will yet perceive it as real, and prefer the latter. Another possibility is that there is no difference between the two. Then, we have yet another possibility that would have free will, but still be determined in an odd sort of way.  Finally, we have the illusion of free will calling upon a free will machine and end up rendering it useless as a free will machine, yet getting wealthy from it as a time machine.

As long as you can do whatever you “want”, why would want the ability to freely “will” a choice?  Since you do not posses a time machine, your best bet is to carefully consider all available options, and choose the one you “want” – hopefully the one that has the most promising outcome. Having free will implies that you may choose something other from that which you “want”.  What you “want” is based on a process of weighted variables created by competing resources within the brain. The choice or determined decision is not always rational or the best option for your future well being, but it is what you “want” at the time. What you should strive for is to learn how to always “want” what is best for you in the long run.  This “want” is determined by a combination of your genetic makeup, and your past experiences.

Most of what you want is determined by subconscious processes that the conscious parts of you never have the privilege of seeing.  Many decisions you make happen too quickly – there is no time conscious part of you to rationalize or think about the choice to make. If you are threatened by a predator, your “fight or flight” instincts kick in.  If you stopped to ponder the outcome and reflect on all possible options, you will likely be eaten.  For decisions that do allow time for thought, for example: “Should we go on vacation next month or not?”, eventually require action or movement in your body parts to make reservations, pick up car keys, drive the car, call a cab or whatever you decide.   Eventually, in your brain, an action potential must cause a chain of neurons to fire in the motor cortex portion your brain, triggering a signal to move down your spine, causing your hand(s), arm(s), and/or legs to move – all of which you have no conscious knowledge or direct control.

Repeatable tests continue to show that this action potential occurs well before you consciously decide that you “want” to do something (see here –  for a start, then here…feel free to search these and other tests).  The thought that initially came to you – the pondering of vacation – initially came into your conscious mind as a result of previous causes in your unconscious resources. Undoubtedly, the fact that the process became conscious has some effect on the overall causal chain, but it is not purposely causal – it is just another set of inputs – or rather it tends to strengthen the already existing variables having to do with the thought processes revolving around the concept of vacationing – a process already set in motion.

It seems that people who are both very happy most of the time, and successful most of the time, within the standards coming from within their own minds, from their family and from their peers; make choices that would most often match up with the choices they would make if they actually did posses the time machine-based free will machine.  The same would hold true for those who do what they want, based on hedonistic, short-term gain, as long as they are good at predicting short-term outcome.  Any person with good predicting abilities will make the same choices most of the time, within the framework of their personality and their personal philosophy of life.  In cases where the free will machine works better than our own choices, it will only be because it is a better predictor, or at least has the potential for being a better predictor, if we assume that the future “trials” do not change the past, present or future.

In the end, possessing a better predictor mechanism, or possessing a mechanism that adds additional weight to any well-informed rational resources within our brains would seem more desirable than possessing true free will.  Having true free will, with no benefit of a decent outcome predictor would tend to cause negative outcomes.  Having a decent outcome predictor does not require free will to take advantage of it – better to leave those processes in the hands of the unconscious resources deep inside a brain that took tens or hundreds of millions of years to evolve to do what it already does very well on its own. Free will, if possible would be a negative mutation unless it is of the time-machine kind – which is oddly deterministic and a very excellent outcome predictor.  However, do you really want to know the outcome of everything you do?  You may likely end up perfectly unhappy and never satisfied with no surprises.

Suppose you had a machine that could be implanted in your brain that would stimulate the pleasure zones in your brain every time you think of it or want it…. oops wrong topic…or is it?

=========== New Stuff to Consider ===========

Enjoy more discussions on Free Will at the following forum:

Free Will II

Another post related to Free will:

Patterns, Design, and Physical Laws

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Jonathan: “Hello, my name is Jonathan, and I am a young-earth atheist.”

Suzy: “What do you mean?”

Jonathan: “I believe the Earth is five point seven thousand years old, but I do not believe in a personal or theistic god or gods. Not any sort of god really.”

Suzy: “What do you mean?”

Jonathan: “In the beginning, the earth formed itself through natural processes that are yet to be completely determined; although scientists have some good ideas about much of it, and much research is being done. Then, the animals all appeared out of the earth, including humans; except the first humans were a tiny-bit ape like in the beginning, for the first century or so. All of this can be explained without any need for an intervening agency.”

Suzy: “Explain more please.”

Jonathan: “The first ape-men, pre-humans migrated from China to Greece, where Plato was born. Plato started a rumor that a man named Homer wrote a book called The Iliad and another called The Odyssey. Those ape-men who stayed put, slowly evolved into Chinese and other Asians. An unknown man from somewhere in China made up stories about an ancient man named Confucius.

The rest is history. For example, Alexander the Great was of course a real man, as were  Julias Cesar, Richard Nixon, and  Jesus.”

Jonathan gazed into Suzy’s eyes and she melted. She did not understand everything Jonathan was explaining to her, but she knew he must be very intelligent – perhaps he was a genius.  After all, he knew so much about Plato and Confucius.

He seemed to know so much about absolutely everything! Besides, she thought to herself, look at those dreamy eyes and big, strong hands! His voice was so pleasant too, she realized and openly smiled at him.

Suzy made love to Jonathan that night. Eventually, Suzy and Jonathan got married and had eleven children together – seven girls, three boys, and an unusual apeish-faced,  hermaphrodite name Abraham Gail was the youngest.

Suzy decided not to bare any more children just shortly after beholding Abegale. Abe-Gale was the nickname that everyone called “it”; except for the youngest brother Josh, who called it Hermy when no one else was around – this always caused Abraham Gail to laugh in a weird high-pitched nervous laugh, followed by a queer looking grin-frown.

Jonathan did not seem to care one way or another about having more children.  He neither loved nor hated any of his children really.  He was always so busy “getting ready” for his classes.  Jonathan taught a history class at the local community college and pretended to always be busy preparing for the next week’s lectures. He would lock himself in his office each evening, but he never would discuss what activities he did there.

Jonathan always owned the very latest high-tech laptop.  The computer’s screen was ultra thin, detachable, with hi-resolution.  The screen was not always utilized away from the office, since it had projection capabilities built into the main unit.  His newest laptop had a small quantum processor built in, along with a grid of  thousands of nanoprocessors that seemed to do that job very well. Without the screen, the device was fairly small, and could be detached and stored inside two vest pockets, if desired. One thin pocket for the power supply and one for the device itself.

He owned the latest true-surround-sound, noise canceling, yet tiny,  and wireless headphones that formed a seal around the outer curve of each ear when worn.    Jonathan had a second and third pair for any “guests” that may come into his office.

Included in his office were the very latest multiple ultra-high-definition cameras that were mounted all over the office room and barely visible to the human eye.  Each camera contained a processor within it and would cancel itself  out from the other cameras, so that they did not appear in any images or videos taken from within the room.  The cameras were tiny.  High-definition, three-dimensional imaging was possible with this arrangement, and Jonathan did occasionally show this off to his family.

No one outside of the family was ever permitted to see Abegale, so Abegale spent a great deal of its time reading books in the dimly-lit basement and surfing the Internet – with good two or three-year-old workstations discarded into the basement by father. Abraham Gail had learned to read adult-level books by age three and enjoyed being by “herself” most of the day (Abraham Gale looked “boyish”, was rather chubby, and yet preferred wearing pink colored, feminine clothing). Abegale especially enjoyed reading and learning all about the sciences of cosmology, biology, chemistry, and nuclear energy.

Abegale loved networking the old dicarded workstations together to create very powerful machines.  After many years, as an early teen, she had networked five of her father’s old machines with eleven others from her sibling and mom’s old machines.  She managed to get free time sharing on hundreds of other machines while they were not in use.

Abegale grew up very quickly to become a great, albeit secretive self-made scientist. Abegale invented a time machine that made use of certain network looping within a cluster of quantum processors and utilizing complex self-modifying software code. Abegale entered the time machine when she turned 17;  going back five point seven thousand years in time. Abegale took cells from each sibling, from skin cells she discovered on her pink poodle skirt that had just been returned from the dry cleaners on the thirteenth, and from several (seventeen) animals before departing. No one ever saw Abegale nor the machine ever again.

In time, even Abraham Gail’s own mother, father, and siblings had mostly forgotten about their youngest sibling. From time-to-time, Josh would whisper a rhyme he had long ago made up about Hermy

Hermy the Gale, looks like a male whale…

….but even that was forgotten by Josh by the time he left home.

Young, eleven-year-old Jacobal Lectomen set the still crude Child’s Toy prototype down and the story abruptly came to a halt. However, Jacobal accidentally started up the music mode (the controls were still not optimally designed for the boy’s young hands).

Suddenly music began playing in his head. Startled by the unexpected, high-decibel event, Jacobal’s heart momentarily raced due to a brief and minor adrenaline rush:

______________________________________________________

D ‘n A Mutations I 12:07

{Opens in a different window or tab so you can listen and continue reading}

______________________________________________________

The exhilarated Jacobal mentalmarked to the toy’s lead engineer Francis:

______________________________________________________

Very impressive intelligent toy for an alpha version, but obviously it needs work! The story is a bit odd for a young child and I can see how some parents may take offense if they misunderstand or take the story out of context. I am not sure they will like it or pick up on the irony. It did make me laugh though! 🙂 Perhaps you can find a way to adjust the levels for the owner’s age?

The devise seems better at music and poetry. Perhaps you can leave out the story-telling with the first release.

I nearly had a heart attack when I set the thing down. Music started playing in my head (presumably it has the standard wireless protocols). It should not play anything until the users makes the request! I do like the fact that it does not require headphones, assuming you have reasonable head gear implants – which everybody over seven has – hmm, except for those kooky Luddite kids of course, and kids whose parents can’t afford this type of toy in the first place.

On the other hand, the music is interesting, but needs a little work in the transitions, it is a little long, and it ends oddly. I appreciate the DNA pun in the title, given that the music is mostly “played” in various D and A scales and that the music gradually changes over time. It never ceases to amaze me that machines can create music, stories and poetry – all from scratch (all be it still a bit too crudely for my taste).

The interface is still not working for me. It would be really cool if your partners could come up with a way to economically improve the interface so that it neatly fits anyone’s hands as soon as they pick it up. I have seen that there are some newer and better techniques for doing just that- I read something about it in the SciNet News site, but I did not get a chance to view the technical details on it.

When do you think you will have these bugs fixed for me to try again? It’s cool being a beta tester. I love this new technology! I want to work with artificial systems like you when I finish up school … if I can ever get myself motivated to study … heehaw

______________________________________________________

Francis responded after a few moments:

______________________________________________________

Great feedback – as always. Please let us know if you have anything else to add. Do you know if you pressed any keys before the music started? I have never seen that happen before.

For your efforts, we will continue to send you more free stuff to play with. Remember not to show anyone these prototypes. Spies are everywhere 😉 Some of our competitors hire kids like you to spy on us…Seems that everybody is doing that these days … take care good buddy…oh, and we deposited your bonus today, for your previous excellent “work”, into the account you sent us.

______________________________________________________

Related post not listed in the menu:

screw-the-authoritarians

______________________________________________________

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The Station

By David Saxton Ullery

for: Upgrade 01A

Note: Some of the text is taken from the story “Upgrade 01A” (inside square brackets) and the rest is meant to expand upon “The Station” in greater detail.  The reader can expect this post to expand over time, including adding links to words within this post that are meant to add additional information.  In fact, virtually every post or page on this site is somehow related directly or indirectly to the central story: “Upgrade 01A”

[Thanks to polar meltdown, the world’s oceans had supplied all of the water needed to make the Station both necessary and possible! Large amounts of water were required for the huge space station’s completion. The station was ideally located for both military and civilian needs, but it still required vast quantities of water to make it livable for most humans. Meanwhile, the space station was largely populated by androids and certain cyborgs. Other cyborgs and humans were for the most part confined to certain areas already protected, but they could venture out to other sectors if they were willing to wear rather heavy coveralls, and a heavy-duty space helmet. Even with all the protection, visits to unprotected areas were limited to a maximum of five hours. Still, the current status was looking pretty good, already 13.31% of the Station was completed with virtually zero cosmic ray bombardment.]

The Station was essentially several loosely integrated space station discs (19) contained within a gigantic nearly spherical protective skin, or outer shell. The outer shell was capable of operating as an independent space station on its own… One huge disc was in the center, spanning nearly the entire diameter of the skin, yet able to function independently of the outer shell, as were the nine progressively smaller discs below and above. Each disc was modular with separate layers or floors, with gaps between each floor, but they were connected …

The entire, nearly spherical station was huge, with a diameter of over 41 kilometers across, so there was still plenty of room for the small population to roam within the completed upper and lower sectors, in spite of the its extremely thick, partially transparent and partially translucent outer walls. The living areas were multi-layered, and multi-floored discs and rotated deep within the protected outer structure, with the successively smaller upper layers moving synchronously with the central layers, providing constant artificial gravity on nearly every disc and every floor within the layer.

The center disc was by far the widest (forty one kilometers), with the outer-most floor being the by far the largest with a very high “ceiling”, just over three kilometers high. It was far from being completed. Huge virtual windows within this level (and others) provided extremely high-resolution views of space from outside, with an appropriate amount of redirected and pleasantly filtered sunlight, which provided an artificial day. A huge “outdoor” park complete with a small lake, and stream was planned for construction at this level, with the project to begin in a little over three years. Some day, hopefully within the next several years, the lake would be full of fish, ducks and paddleboats.

The upper two layers did not rotate with the rest of the station, and in spite of their relatively small size, still provided plenty of room for several zero-gravity laboratories, special manufacturing factories, and even a sizable recreation area where humans could literally fly about. Still another layer was capable of varying rotation speeds and was used to “grow” and self-assemble many useful products – some for export back to Earth.

Very large spaceports were located at the north and south poles of The Station. An opening at both poles could be sealed with a gigantic circular, inward sliding door, but the huge kilometer-wide openings were normally left partially open, leaving plenty of room for military (south pole port), industrial freighter, commercial (north pole port) space craft, and the tiny “pleasure crafts” – like Jacobal’s space bike to come and go.

Huge zero gravity elevators provided transportation of goods, with smaller units for people, and both located at the central, non-rotating hub. Each floor faced outward, toward space, so people’s heads were always facing the center of the disc while they were standing or sitting. In addition to all of the elevators, small, automated vehicles provided highly efficient, zero-gravity transportation between and around the relatively small gaps between each disc, thus providing swift movement between any of the several discs, the non-rotating hub, and access to the outer “skin” of the station. Several large and small elevators connected each successive floor within a single layer.

[Fortunately, wetware had largely solved the bothersome cosmic ray problem, but not completely. The Station still needed several layers of various materials separating layers of water: purified water, saline water, and even natural ocean water (complete with marine life). The materials were the new super ultralight, ultra-strong, meta-metallic nano-hybrid transparent and translucent composites. Each layer was extremely thick and blocked a significant percentage of the harmful cosmic rays, but the water was still required to complete the job as well as to supply the huge space station with drinking water, protein (from fish), fuel production, waste management, and so on.]

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I Was Hoping

By David Saxton Ullery

for: Upgrade 01A, Child’s Toy

I was hoping I could
count upon the
Fractals of our Nature
of our utter honesty between us

Love is beyond us
It lies between us

And it is all around the World
And there for the Universe

It is around us
Love grows between us

It flows among us all!

We can literally build
castles high
above the sky
all about the sky of Earth

I was hoping I could
rely upon the
love that I could
feel for you so magically

So magnificently?

As our Universe started
as but a single point?

We are dodgers in the
heavens
so we
are free
we are joyfully free

All shall be healthy wealthy and wise throughout

Let us go forth together
In freedom and in tolerance

And all march forward healthy wealthy and wise

I was loping on the
fort so long
My breath could only escape
As I feel so much better now

We where coping and should
mount upon the
traffic of our Nature
Of our fondness that’s between us

I was hoping we would
jazz upon the
frequency of time!

Just another frame of mind?

Note: Click on the links in the poem, or simply put your mouse over any link in the poem! For example: loping

You can watch Youtube links from within a “snapshot” and even control the volume. You can listen to the jazz while watching the “loping” and “frame of mind” Youtubes all within their respective snapshots, simply by playing them when the snapshot is highlighted. Have fun!

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↓ Comments ↓

  • Click on the Links in the story!
  • Brocha’s Area
  • Grammar
  • Recursive Humor
  • Self-Referencing Sentences
  • Johns initial mentalmarked sentence is highly self-referencing, but does make sense.
  • “to split” is the infinitive being split
  • “never” is used several times
  • parenthesis are overused
  • lengthly quotations are used
  • the sentence does begin with “but” and end with “and”
  • Just follow the links to understand the rest…
  • The author references himself indirectly at the end
  • John references himself and Jerry in the sentence
  • The use of “had had” appears again (did have = had had and is correct grammer)
  • John and Jerry both had “upgrades” to the area of the brain having to do with the construction of language (follow the links to understand this better)
  • The current year is 2007, the year of the story must be at least 20+20+20 years in the future, since there is an indirect reference of the author who is Mary’s great-great grand father.
  • 17 is considered young for a medical specialist of the type discussed in this time setting. Some of Mary’s colleagues find this fact about Mary bothersome (why?)
  • Apparently the upgrades did not go well. What happened after the problems was resolved?
  • What about memes and what is so important about these upgrades?

Please wait for Part II to resolve some questions. Please leave comments.

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Upgrade 01A; Part I, Version 1.1

Author: David Saxton Ullery

♣Note:  Part II is here♣

Note: Feel free to click on links within the story to gain greater understanding or to be entertained. You may find it convenient to read through the story first, then go back to click on one or more of the many many links. Some links are changed from time-to-time if a “better” or more interesting link is discovered. If you put your mouse over a link, you can often see enough to understand where the link will take you. Simply press the back arrow on your browser to return, or right click on the link to open in a new tab or a new window. Thanks! Please enjoy and leave comments!

Example link: nano-sized machine parts

Chapter 0.0: Upgrade 0000.0001.1010
[Earth Vision]

Jacobal Lectomen was nearly twenty four when he finally began to assert himself in life. He had, in a certain metaphorical sense, come of age so very recently, but that was not what was on his blurry, unfocused mind at this moment. Jacobal could not now remember why his mind was in such a daze, for he was just this instant coming to and could not quite manage to open his eyes no matter how hard he tried to do so.

… Two of the portable machines closest to his head made very tiny clicking noises as they self-adjusted to Jacobal’s subtle movements … one held a scanner over his forehead, then withdrew … then over the top of his head, then over his right temporal lobe and held it in place …

… moments later, the one on his left side made a very slight sound – a soothing whoosh of fresh oxygen, followed by a soft, breathy, organic-metalic “whooot” as a valve closed …

the third machine was silently moving its multiple scanners over the patient’s torso and limbs … a few extremely tiny, barely visible blue lights were blinking at various rates, another was an amber light and not blinking …

It seemed to Jacobal that someone other than he was controlling his thoughts right now. From within his mind’s eye he could clearly visualize the vivid coloring and textures of the still amazing, gigantic artificial mega-structures of his highly-dynamic world … almost as if he were floating … first orbiting earth, and then orbiting The Station upon where Jacobal was often at work when his mind was functioning properly. Jacobal felt a bit like he was riding his space bike, but a tiny part of him knew that did not make any sense, because both the range and speed of his journey were well beyond the range and speed of his bike – not to mention the improbable locale. The feeling was at once very real, yet inconsistent with reality, and there was still this feeling that someone or some thing was gently tugging on the strings of his mind. Somehow, this not-in-control feeling was oddly pleasurable to him, on the other hand it made a part of him feel just a bit anxious.

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

… the machine closest to Jacobals head, on his right, used one of it’s many semi-organic-like appendages to insert what appeared to be a microscopically thin wire, about 5 millimeters long, into Jacobal’s right ear canal. Like a tiny pin worm, the “wire” device autonomously scurried off inside Jacobal’s ear and disappeared – only to wistfully reappear three seconds later, just above and to the left of his right ear, in about the center of his temple, but only a small tip (almost two millimeters long) of the wire-like device stuck out – it would not be visible to the naked human eye, were such an eye present, but the medical robot machine sensed it and the appendage withdrew back inside the medical device, as if the machine was satisfied that its last little task was a complete success …

…It was a success, for the other end of the device was firmly and completely attached to the artificial grid work subnet that lined Jacobal’s temporal bone at the appropriate connection – along side so many other devise connetions of various sizes, shapes; forming a myriad of … a virtual cornucopia of functionality …

While perceiving the earth vision, it appeared to him as if the planet earth was undergoing massive changes on its surface. Although his vision was somewhat exaggerated, this much was consistent with what Jacobal knew to be true in the real world. He knew there were many huge structures on earth that were rapidly being assembled. With each substructure pattern, from within yet another substructure, virtually self-assembling themselves; nearly 97% automated, with the latest nanobots, millibots, microbots, and androids doing the construction under the supervision of cyborgs and just a few humans. In truth though, very little actual supervision, human or otherwise, was required.

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

A large number of the millibots where in fact a kind of cyborg, a genetically engineered hybrid of domesticated ants (robants). Each robant type had specialized functions, similar to natural ants, except they moved around chemicals, installed various nano-sized machine parts, attended nanobots, cleaned up and recycled debris rather than carrying food, cutting up leaves, tending aphids, protecting the ant hill, and so on. The robants and other bots usually managed quite well on their own (just like an ordinary colony of ants), with only very rare non-self-correcting glitches that required the high-level cyborg or human intervention or investigation (only because this artificial system had not evolved for millions of years like the natural ant colonies had).

Only a handful of androids were normally deployed at job sites, mostly for the purpose of human contact with third party vendors, when required. People just were not available in most instances. Many people simply felt more comfortable interfacing with machines that at least looked and acted human, so the added expense of having them around was deemed worthwhile.

After the completion of the automated portion of a substructure, artists, engineers, carpenters, and other facilitators would swiftly move in to add the final human touch, but even they would utilize much modern technology:

Doing the heavy lifting, assisting with sawing and lathing the fine woods, and even the forming of statues to the artist often last-minute specifications. Often technology was incorporated in to the art work, but more classical techniques were still very much employed and appreciated.

Just a few decades ago, even Jacobal would have been thought of as a cyborg, as were about 83% of The Station’s population, but the term cyborg, like so many terms often do, seemed to constantly adjust and readjust to the times. Jacobal was a full-fledged human being! At least he and most others considered him so. He merely had many more artificial implants than did the average Earth-bound human inhabitant. Some implants were necessary for one’s long-term survival in the variable environments that were present on The Station itself, as well as on board the scores of relatively puny space stations that were orbiting much closer to the earth, and the relatively dangerous outposts that were much further away.

Jacobal had the ability to enhance (or indeed even reduce), at will any of his five natural senses and his twenty nine artificial senses including, among many others, an enhanced sense of time, space, and motion.

Under ordinary circumstances, among his many other artificial talents, Jacobal had the ability to sense exactly when and where he was. He was, in fact, precisely on floor 23U (U = underground), room 2713A (alone), bed 3 (facing east, perfectly level), at the Evergreen Bio-Medouse clinic, in New Los Angeles, now: May 2, 2137 11:31:31.793 AM, at rest, in a blue walled room (23.7 degrees C, at about one atmosphere [0.997 atm]), with soft white floors and ceiling, attended only by a few biomonitors. In his current condition, with his eyes closed shut, his hearing still nearly shut down; and with the majority of his artificial senses still either shut down, in standby, or in idol mode, he could of course not sense much of this now.

Jacobal’s feeling that he was riding on his space bike now began to grow much stronger, and he had to fight this feeling by reminding himself thusly:

  1. He could sense from deep within his mind ( his mind was still more than a bit blurry and fuzzy), that he was in fact both on his back and not in relative motion, although he still could be anywhere (Earth, The Station, a large-class cruiser ship, or just about anywhere).

  2. It is not realistic to suppose that his space bike could

(a) travel so fast through space

(b) travel so far from the Station. His bike was docked on the Station, and could never get as far as the earth, and no space bike could ever take off from the earth,…

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

… Jacobal was beginning to remember now, and slowly regaining control of his thoughts. He was back on earth for his four-day weekend! He was back at Evergreen! … but then … No … He was definitely riding his space bike! Jacobal’s mind was vacillating.

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

It was so nice these days that most employees worked three-by-seven weeks. Many companies, like Jacobal’s current and recent employer, were allowing their workers to take Fridays and Mondays off every week, and most of the time there was no need for him to commute anywhere to do his work. In fact, most of his work tasks did not require him to physically be anywhere in particular; except that he did need to be on The Station for some of his special duties, and he felt more alive and productive when he could see the actual outcome or results of his work directly – with his own two natural eyes. Jacobal normally did not travel to Earth all that often, it took time, and the round trip was not cheap, but this weekend was special.

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

Suddenly, Jacobal’s mind went off on a rather steep tangent from his current space touring thoughts. Jacobal was beginning to remember once again what was really going on, or at least what was most likely going on. He was being adjusted once again. Jacobal “needed” an upgrade on a couple of his integrated devices located in and around his brain. One of his “needed” upgrades would be akin to his ancestors of a century prior believing they “needed” to replace their ultra-thin televisions with the new Paintvision that had finally allowed for ultra-high resolution televisions that were as thin as paint (hence the clever marketing name for the devise) – an early technouse of nanotechnology.

However, his other upgrade was a different matter entirely. Jacobal believed it would prove to be very useful for his new job. It would greatly facilitate his reasoning skills in new insightful ways. Jacobal was proud to be the first human with this new technological breakthrough. He did indeed enjoy possessing bleeding edge wetware technology a great deal.

[technouse – refers to technology ordinarily associated with devices and gadgets designed for use outside of the body; whereas medouse refers to internalized medical usage. Jacobal was sometimes annoyed by this new speak, but he was slowly getting used to it – an indication that the faddish terminology would surely be changing again soon, Jacobal thought… ].

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

Chapter 0.1: Upgrade 0000.0001.1010
[Strange Dream Wakeup Call]

Jacobal, still laying down on his back, was somehow grateful (to whom or what?) that he was not only alive and well, but that he was witnessing the greatest advances, since The Great Tipping Point, for the technologies and sciences that had been occurring over the last two decades or so. It was a good time to be alive, he thought. Jacobal could remember well his seventh birthday, when he and his friend Jenny had received their first medouse sensors together (now long since upgraded twice – It was very common to have basic mentalmark nanoneural transceiver sensor implants on one’s seventh birthday, after the early child’s brain development with a friend or classmate having the same or similar birthday, so one could try it out with the trusted friend…).

His mind went on drifting and reminiscing…

It was the Great Tipping Point that led very quickly to allow for the building of very large structures using self-assembling nano-engineering techniques. It was estimated by some that the new technology advances had accelerated to a staggering pace of more than four orders of magnitude in just over a decade and a half. The new machines could now build structures at more than ten thousand times the speed of their predecessors of just seventeen years ago! In addition, because of similar accelerations in the advances of biotechnology, and the newer medouse devices, there were very few truly stupid people left on the planet. Yes, there were still the Luddite-Primitivists, and the Exodites (accepted external technouse technology but rejected the internal, medouse devices.), but they mostly lived in small isolated pockets and were relatively harmless to the rest of mankind, Jacobal reasoned (as did most of Jacobal’s associates and rather elitist friends).

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click …

Just as Jacobal was nearly positive that he would soon completely awaken, open his eyes, and get on with his weekend on Earth, he instead strangely delivered himself into his own weird dream algorithm morph:

1) have the dream

2) repeat as often as possible

3) rest for a bit, or go to work, or both.

4) “‘Twas Bothness that Prevails”, said he that hast shiniest remarks!

5) Wow! What a rush! Talk about water flowing and mountains rising! Holly shit man!

… whoosh … … loading files … patient’s upgrade 0000.0001.1010 complete …

… whoosh … fwhoooooot … click … shwish …

Jacobal woke up! His mind very quickly discarded the meaningless dream. Yes, he was definitely at Evergreen! Feeling unusually refreshed, he opened his eyes and his ears and slowly sat up with a big smile on his face. Noticing the sudden alertness and movements of the human, the biomonitors cleanly and efficiently unhooked themselves from patient Lectomen’s head, arms, chest, and legs, then gracefully backed away in seemingly perfect unison, leaving a single tiny disposable, portable monitor attached to the right side of his head – just above his ear.

Still feeling just a tiny bit groggy, Jacobal got out of the bed, walked out of the room, and exited Evergreen. No need to see the Doctor (there were of course no longer any human receptionists anywhere. Naturally, everything having to do with his visit was automatically logged, recorded, billed, and paid).

The Grand Opening of the New Los Angeles Center for the Modern Arts, Western III would commence in just five hours from now. Jacobal most definitely did not want to miss this! Nearly his entire weekend had been taken up by the two upgrade procedures at Evergreen, and yearned for something fun before it was time to check in at the port for his return flight to The Station.

It was Jacobal’s team that had been largely responsible for many of the highly-technical substructures that were integrated throughout the Western III, and he was very proud of the achievement. There were a considerable number of new innovations that he and his team had either come up with or had incorporated into their models and made improvements on. The structures self-assembled faster and with less glitches than any previous undertaking. The technologies were largely state-of-the-art, yet they managed to keep costs within budget.

At the opening ceremony, VIP guests would likely notice him and appreciate his attendance. Jacobal was not famous, but word was spreading among the very wealthy.

In addition, Jacobal was friends with one of, among a trio of the musicians that were to perform toward the end of the celebration. He was looking forward to listening to their new interpretations of Goldberg Variations: numbers two, three, five, seven, eleven, thirteen, seventeen, nineteen, 23, 29, and ending on something completely new (yet still within the Bach tradition, or so Jacobal was assured by his good friend). The composer was calling it Variations on 31!

Jacobal met up with his musician friend, Laura Lagerly after the performance.

Laura (glancing at Jacobal’s head, just above the ear):

Jacobal! So glad you can make it! … I see you had your upgrade. How was it?

Jacobal (glancing at Laura’s beautiful eyes and cute, petite breasts):

Your concert was magnificent! Much more pleasant than laying down on that nasty bed for nearly two days! And the dreams… more bizarre than usual, I must say. But I am glad for it.

Variations on 31 was … very interesting.

Laura chuckled, while taking a bite of a carrot stick.

What? You didn’t like it?

Jacobal:

Of course, I loved it! I meant it was interesting in a good way. Anyway, you know that new stuff grows on me… over time. I especially loved your work on Variatio 19! I felt like dancing with … well, with you.

Laura (slightly blushing as she notices her reflection in Jacobal’s eyes)

Thank you so much. I am glad you could attend. I miss you so much! What’s it like up there anyway?

Jacobal:

Well, you know, always busy. Not much time for social life lately with my new job….

…he glanced over to his left then back at Laura. Laura looked so lovely tonight! And her cello performance! Jacobal had never heard Goldberg performed live before, and never any way other than solo keyboard – piano, or harpsichord. He had really enjoyed himself tonight… at least he now had all the music and Laura to remember this evening.

Just then, a VIP noticed Jacobal and called him over for a chat. Laura was clearly hungry and wanting something more substantial to eat and of course drink (don’t all musicians? – Jacobal always thought as much). They politely exchanged goodbyes and parted company. Jacobal wished they had more time together and he did not have to talk shop with this man.

Chapter 0.2: Upgrade 0000.0001.1010

[Hyper Programs Analyst – Bot AI]

…These hyper-programs map networks with computers with bots and humans and all of mankind’s machines…

Synthetic DNA computers control synthetic RNA …, another fascinating tangential field to Jacobal’s; but it was only one of hundreds upon hundreds of which he was only partially familiar with.

Anyway, the thing is, is that Jacobal had completed his few days off on earth, and was returning back to the terminal to board on a freighter flight. Jacobal Lectomen and Morris Hampton would be the only human passengers. The gigantic freighter was already loaded up and carrying huge quantities of water – taken from the “extra” water in the ocean that began to accumulate in the mid twenty first and continued into the early twenty second centuries, due to global warming.

…Thanks to polar meltdown, the world’s oceans had supplied all of the water needed to make the Station both necessary and possible! Large amounts of water were required for the huge space station’s completion. The station was ideally located for both military and civilian needs, but it still required vast quantities of water to make it livable for most humans. Meanwhile, the space station was largely populated by androids and certain cyborgs. Other cyborgs and humans were for the most part confined to certain areas already protected, but they could venture out to other sectors if they were willing to wear rather heavy coveralls, and a heavy duty space helmet. Even with all the protection, visits to unprotected areas were limited to a maximum of five hours. Still, the current status was looking pretty good, already 13.31% of the Station was completed with virtually zero cosmic ray bombardment.

Fortunately, wetware had largely solved the bothersome cosmic ray problem, but not completely. The Station still needed several layers of various materials separating layers of water: purified water, saline water, and even natural ocean water (complete with marine life). The materials were the new super ultralight, ultra-strong, meta-metallic nano-hybrid transparent and translucent composites. Each layer was extremely thick and blocked a significant percentage of the harmful cosmic rays, but the water was still required to complete the job as well as to supply the huge space station with drinking water, protein (from fish), fuel production, waste management, and so on…

Jacobal’s job was a kind of programmer-architect; utilizing nanobots all the way up to macrobots “objects”, creating physical systems as the final output of the hyper-compiler.

Still, within this field, the basic low-level primitives existed and were utilized: “assignment”, “if”,”loop”, …, “object”, …, “pattern composite group“, … “hyperbolic knot biadjacency matrix“, and so on up the latter; but also integrated with actual physical objects in the the real world, such that the robots would build the final output – a designed project.

Projects were integrated and assembled with the help of standardized project-system templates. Bots of all sizes were linked together in fast moving dynamic network structures following each hyper-instruction set; looking somewhat like a series of odd-sized dominoes lined up into highly-intricate, often fractal-like patterns., quickly being knocked down and reset into a brand new pattern within a pattern within a pattern. These patterns extended down to the microscopic level all the way up to the completed macroscopic objects, then systems, then networks of systems, linked all together with a neural-synaptic-like complexity.

In some sense, humans could be considered devices, thought Jacobal.

Of course, Jacobal did not “do it all”. His staff consisted of a mixture of machines, humans, and cyborgs. If androids and cyborgs counted, then Jacobal had a team of 243 – including twenty-nine humans, seventeen androids, and 197 cyborgs.

Yes, Jacobal’s latest upgrade will enhance his work performance greatly!

Jacobal knows he will have bizarre dreams again for the next two or three nights, but with his last couple of upgrades his “side effect” dreams were actually quite enjoyable and he was confident that this time would be no different. In any event, the small inconvenience will be well worth it, he speculated.

Chapter 0.3: Upgrade 0000.0001.1010

[Unprotected Cargo]

Time to return to The Station; therefore Lectomen boards the tiny passenger cabin of the huge old Freighter FRT.STN03. Hampton was already seated and had strapped himself in place. Jacobal Lectomen seldom tires on these trips, even less so now with so many interesting new work assignments in his head, or so he reasoned. He sat down next to Hampton in seat three, not noticing the containers holding three pairs of protective coveralls and three helmets stashed in a small bin just behind seat one. Neither Hampton nor Lectomen were used to flying these older-class freighters, and, as was typical for private freighters, safety instructions were no where to be seen.

“Various phases of man kind have realized how magical the Universe appears.”, said Morris Hampton to Lectomen.

Jacobal giddily replied in a fake old-British accent, “’tis but ’tis not, please kind sir give me some more; or whatever.” He then promptly fell asleep once more. Jacobal slept very well indeed!

Morris tittered, then sighed. Morris never seemed to grow weary of their seemingly nonsensical inside joke. He loved it, because he knew that Jacobal was so annoyed by it. He remembered Jacobal’s oft repeated remarks:

Every damn time I go through with another upgrade … you have to drag that old incident up …

… and Morris knew that lately, Jacobal was merely pretending to enjoy the joke …

Jacobal’s dream mind began visualizing a stunningly beautiful fractal-like geometry, almost organic in appearance, sprouting branches and sub-branches like a rapidly growing highly intricate semi-artificial, glimmering alien plant with thousands of neuro-synaptic-like leaves constantly forming, then disappearing, then reappearing at the tips. Almost as if synchronized with the growth of the glowing tips of the fractal branches, with a FugueCounterpoint-like quality, he mentally began to rhythmically oratorize an odd, long forgotten mentalmark memory trail: Nothingness and its relationship to the Universe almost verbatim.

Just then, a cosmic ray whizzed through the freighter’s limited shielding and into Jacobal’s head, nearly striking one of his new upgrade implants (UG.01A) , partially damaging an extremely tiny cluster of neurons nearby, causing one of the neurons to form a very unusual new synaptic connection to the new technology.

An interesting fact is that UG.01A represents a new, huge leap forward in medouse technology. It is the world’s first upgrade with an internalized quantum computer. It is designed specifically for controlled, deeply recursive, and highly complex “what if scenario” problem solving.

Unbeknownst to Jacobal, the newly formed synaptic connection, combined with the tiny energy flux from the near miss of UG.01A, caused UG.01A to alter the states of three of its mere 2048 qbits in a seemingly random way. The electrons in several nearby atoms located in Jacobal’s gray matter jumped wildly from one state to another as they absorbed the remaining quantum packets from the ray.

A fraction of a second later, Morris noticed Lectomen’s left hand and left cheek just under his left eye twitch slightly, but he paid little attention to the matter, although he did involuntarily and unconsciously smile a quick nervous smile.

Morris turned his head away from Jacobal and began thinking about the infamous John and Jerry Incident of long ago for reasons he did not quite understand. The thought seemed so totally unrelated to his long journey back to The Station, his current projects and plans, his past weekend, his close relationships, but still it made him a feel slightly uncomfortable, and he wondered why the thought had just now entered his mind. Morris moved around in his seat in an attempt make himself relax, but he could not seem to find the ideal position.

He became restless.

“Damn Cargo Freighter! If, only I had a flexchair!”, Morris muttered with discontent under his breath, wishing he had someone to talk to…

“humph”, Jacobal’s once colorful and vivid fractal vision first splintered, and then slowly faded away into near nothingness as his sleep deepened. His peaceful and entangled mind finally settled down into quiet, comfortable rest …

Momentarily, Morris Hampton received a high-priority mentalmark with the heading: “Urgent!”, just as he was picking up and contemplating playing with an old, yet sophisticated child’s toy. The rectangular, palm-sized toy was very thin, with very slick blue metallic trim, and with nicely designed, very attractive, nearly transparent touch and voice-activated controls – all integrated on the bottom-edge surface of the toy’s ultra-high resolution display (resolution at about that of the human retina). The toy had apparently been lying there on the floor, just under Jacobal’s seat for quite a few years now. It of course was not covered in dust, but he could tell the technology was nearly a decade old just by looking at it. He surmised that the toy had been there since the freighter’s maiden voyage nearly eight years prior. As he picked up the toy, the toy’s shape shifted a bit to fit perfectly into the curvature of his palm, and turned itself on.

As Morris read the content of the short, simple, but encrypted and highly classified note, he sat up sharply, and dropped the toy into his lap. The toy became flat once again and turned itself off.

The General!“, he thought.

Morris wiggled around more in his seat, in a futile attempt to make himself comfortable and relaxed. He felt a lump swelling up in his throat, and swallowed. A single warm tear began to run down his cheek, but it stopped just under his left eye. He wiped it with his left hand. His hand and his cheek twitched ever so slightly.

Morris reviewed the note for the details after line three:

__________________________________________________

URGENT!

The General is seriously ill.

Suspect SD.0111 Assemblers in the heart, but could be natural.

Remember: only face-to-face is binding.

JL must first join the 13

Convince JL to investigate the 13, the 7, and the 47

Ask JL about: UG.0000.0001.1010 dream 3 @ t23.439-t29.761

___________________________________________________

“Wow!” was the only remaining thought on Morris Hampton’s mind for several long moments.

Morris looked over again at Jacobal and saw that he was still sleeping. He decided that he had better let him continue to sleep given that he had no clue as to whether or not Jacobal was somehow gaining important information though a dream! Morris wondered about so much:

What the hell could a dream have to do with anything? How would anyone from The Three know about it, and why did they not mention that The Three should be investigated?

Morris picked up the Child’s toy. The toy turned itself on as it formed nicely into his palm once again. Morris read the text on the display:

__________________________________________________

It has been 11 minutes since I was last picked up,

and 1237 days since I was last asked to do anything for you.

Please tell me what you want me to do…

Compose Music?

Write a Poem?

Help you to Compose Music?

Help you to Write a Poem?

Would you like to do something completely different today?

It has been quite a long time since you played with me!

__________________________________________________

Morris chuckled to himself as he touched “Write a Poem?”. Morris quietly spoke, so as not to disturb Jacobal:

Please make the poem about hope.

He waited for forty one seconds as the child’s toy thought and worked on its poem. The device displayed the poem I Was Hoping. Morris read the poem, gently touched the word loping with his left index finger, and watched the horse and rider. Morris smiled as he watched and contemplated the multi-layered meanings behind this unusual hyperpoem. One by one, he touched the other hyperlinked words on the screen – each word seemed to add new meaning and provoke new thoughts within Morris Hampton’s ever puzzling mind. Morris hopingly thought:

Hmmm, I too must be but a strange looping entwinement of patterns within an entwinement of countably infinite fractals. With Jacobal’s help

… perhaps there is …

Hope!

Morris waited for another hour and Jacobal had not yet awoken. He touched the Child’s toy once again, but this time he selected: Compose Music?

Please make for me a very simple piano jazz solo

This time he enabled communication between his tiny ear-brain translation implants and the device, waited for 73 seconds as the child’s toy thought and worked on its music. The device displayed the title of the piano solo: Improvisation In C Major For Piano, so he touched the title and it began to play, seemingly directly into his head…

Jacobal continued having his strange dreams for hours and hours, ever since shortly after they had emerged from the 31 minute ride in the accelerator rail tube and the last hydrogen plasma strobe bursts that followed, but Morris did not dare bother him. Too much at stake to be impatient, he thought.

Having successfully served its only function, the tiny monitoring device next to Jacobal’s ear had slowly disolved away like a scab. The nano-wire worm-like attachment promptly withdrew from Jacobol’s skin, connected itself to another spot on the temporal bone network, and self-reconfigured itself into a redundant relay, adding additional fault tolerance to Jacobal’s skullular network …

…to be continued… (if I receive some feedback either positive or negative…maybe it is starting out too slow?????????????????????????????).

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