An engineer, making his way to the front of the crowd began to explain himself. “I want to start of by making something clear to all of you,” he said, “I work on things that are real. Everything I’ve ever worked on was real.”
Tag Archives: 1000 ledes
1000 Ledes n + 25: The Tipping Point
Usually retrospection shows you things were more complex than you ever thought at the time, but not so in this case. Looking back, years later, she realized there was a moment that decided it all, that painted a decade in hazy pain. She realized none of it would have happened like this if she’d left the first time he hit her.
1000 ledes n + 24: A Stone for Breaking Souls
The problem with betrayal is that it takes a long time to recognize if you’re not the sort that does it. Even then, it’s impossible to to take it in all at once, like fitting a strangely shaped and inscrutable stone into a place a little too small for it.
As with so many things, those who spot betrayal at once tend to be practitioners.
1000 ledes n + 23: On losing your home and possessions while falling in love
ADD has nothing on oxytocin, adrenaline, and displacement. It’s hard to stay focused on another
1000 ledes n + 22: Prologue
For the want of a better word from a time before words, before names, before almost any of the story of life, XDFJVTH loved GHSTDF. They were close family, and their Last Common Ancestor was a mere 2 generations earlier. Their LCA, LOGOS, was struck by a rush of chaotic, if this word can mean much before the invention of intentionality, confused electrons in the middle of miosis. The perfection of its genetic code thus disrupted, something new and strange was built into both the resultant cells. A curse that made no sense for survival.
Both GHSTDF and XDFJVTH are humanity’s ancestors. They were the first family. We only get our genes from GHSTDF though, who never really loved XDFJVTH. Not even in the vague and mechanical way they had in those day. They shared resources, signaled to each other and the rest of the colony when they found food, where they found danger, but GHSTDF was cooperative, did it out of a biomechanical prisoner’s dilemma, always for creating the most long term personal gain. GHSTDF was never going to bring anything new into the world, any new way of being. XDFJVTH was different, it had a magic locked into it that would change everything, a beautiful mutation. XDFJVTH followed GHSTDF’s signals, put resources in its way. It wanted to be near GHSTDF, to be one with GHSTDF.
One day when the phage attacked the colony, XDFJVTH found itself infected. It desperately signaled DANGER DANGER to GHSTDF, but GHSTDF didn’t move away fast enough. XDFJVTH found it had a magical ability, first ever in the world, jumping through its DNA. Sensing GHSTDF there, threatened by its own soon to be phage ridden cytoskeleton, it began to tear itself apart, ripping its own struts apart and watching its organelles bleb out into the resources, painful, terrible, but there was GHSTDF, safe. GHSTDF carried XDFJVTH’s gift, but latently transposonded off, safe for it, safe from the love that makes you kill yourself.
GHSTDF divided many times, and most of its child died defending it, infected with XDFJVTH’s poisonous love as well as phages. The phages were not doing well out of the deal. The population dropped as little crystals collapsed on the sides of GHSTDF’s children, and no more phages emerged. GHSTDF’s death cry echoed for billions of years, the first selfish eukaryote, surrounded by the selflessly transposed and loving children trying to be part of one greater thing for it, with it.
1000 ledes n + 21: Nothing New Under the Sun
The present is always providing a stream of historical metaphors for the future. For instance, in the Exxon controlled algae fuel future, government heavies break down the doors of poor people at the company’s behest. People that can’t license Exxon’s patented algae, but provide their neighbors and villages with illicit energy, run the risk of violent arrest, property destruction, and having everything they own covered in bleach in the course of IP enforcement.
1000 Ledes n + 20: The Soul of Mere Math
People react badly to stories like this one about algorithmic composing, horrified the art can be expressed in math. But isn’t it interesting and wonderful to find math can be expressed as art? It it, to me, the best proof yet that the universe might be mathematical, instead of just playing along.
1000 Ledes n + 19: Compassion for the Unimaginable
Suicide is perhaps best understood as a particular kind of accident. It’s the confluence of a state of mind, circumstance and equipment. In a way, it’s no different than falling asleep behind the wheel. A life may end there, but it didn’t lead there. It could have been completely different if someone had chanced to walk in at the right moment. How could something that arbitrary define a whole human life?
1000 Ledes n + 18: Memoir in Context
God help me, it’s hard to know where to start. Going back to the first eukaryote probably captures most of it, though.
1000 Ledes n + 17: Reality Show of the Damned
A: “Who do you hate?”
B: “Robert Mugabe!”
A: “That’s your date!”