quantum sausage machine novel chap 1 w/o intro

 

one

 

  When he had enough of life in a fish bowl, the curtain could be closed leaving only his life sign monitors to show proof of his continued existence.  He used the curtains frequently and would burn the ears of any who needlessly interrupted his mental juggling without a valid reason. He recognized at the beginning of his illness that pain made a white knight of the grim reaper. Revisiting the past and disassociating himself from his dilemma was what kept him willing to remain alive. His past was rich with powerful friends and beautiful women. There was a plethora of places there to rehash. If there were times when the past failed him he had the type of imagination that could wander anywhere. Whenever his concentration was interrupted the pain returned. Today he felt he had reached his limit, it seemed that only his force of will sustained the beating of his exhausted heart.

   The curtain was open and he was upright in his motorized wheel chair.  Red had become incredibly thin and frail.  The hair, once caricatured in the press and cartoons, was long gone. It was a casualty in a war against cancer.  His skin is wrinkled, sun spotted and translucent.  When the staff saw him asleep in the morning they immediately looked to the monitors to show proof of life.  

   “Doctors downstairs now, please”. Voice pickups throughout his super clean bailiwick sent the message loud and clear.

   None of his past ventures required more patience than this. Eight years had passed without a single instance of proof of artificial intelligent life. With the exception of encouragement from the designers that things were nearing completion he would have lost all hope. The act of sending the physicians downstairs was the result of meetings this morning with his chief of operations and chief programmer. They had informed him that things looked good for a startup today. As he reclined on his gurney with his eyes closed and the blanket over his face Kim entered the visitation area behind a glass wall and moved to the section near Red’s bed. He automatically looked to the heart monitor.

   “Red, you in there? Red, take your head out. We have important business.”

   “I prefer the term lost in thought to head in ass if you don’t mind.

    Kim smiled at Red’s gallows humor. He was dressed in a full-length white smock, the type a doctor might wear. He was carrying a touch screen notebook computer. Short black hair required no combing.

    “ Kim there’s no more time. We must do this thing now.  I know you want more testing but tests will be a moot point.  I’ll be dead”.

       Later Kim would say he hoped that he would be as tough in death as this red headed white man.

   “Red, as we speak the process has already begun.  All workers are processing out of the building.  All status indicators show green lights.  Security forces are leaving the building on automatic. With the exception of you, Jane, and myself the building will be unoccupied”.

   Red looked toward one of the fifty odd front projection screens to observe the long line of workers, some leaving on foot and others waiting to board the subway.  

   The rest of the screens all had something unimportant like art, buildings, news or landscapes displayed except one, the largest.  It was blank. Red stared at it. Pondering the possibility of afterlife was one of his pain disassociations. He had imagined a positive outcome even if the project was a complete flop. Guilt tormented him in that if he died he might leave behind a curse in the form of a Frankenstein machine that could cause unimaginable destruction. He eased his conscience by telling himself he had taken every precaution for safety. There were precautions that would take effect even in the event of his demise.

   “After you apply power Red”………..

   Red looked at one of the few non-white spots in his cubicle, a red button mounted on a two-foot pedestal…

   “…………………We don’t know exactly what will happen or how long it will take.  No human can visualize what is about to happen inside Fenix.  That is the only control on and no off, or at least no off as simple as pushing a button.  Your personal input and output to your $60 billion brain is your big screen and microphone.  No one could be more excited to push that button than you, but I am very excited. This was a monumental understatement. Kim’s life had been traveling in this direction as long as he could remember. He had been born in Korea to a businessman who had amazing intelligence and foresight. When Kim began to show genius at an early age the best schools were made available.  Only the best of the best in the world had any exposure to Kim.  Rumors leaked from tutors and word spread about this young boy who could do advanced math before the age of eight. Movers and shakers throughout the world scientific community began to take notice, and then to visit him.  After meeting with him he was universally proclaimed to be someone with the brains and heart to certainly be a factor in the future of technology.

 “The timing couldn’t be any closer.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll be dead in a week. The money is gone now anyway.  My credit is maxed.  I’m going to push the button today no matter what.  Is there anything else I must know before I crank this thing up?”

   Kim had been through his checklist.  His checklist consisted of the checklists of two hundred other heads of departments.  For the first time, all lights were green.

   “Red, put good hair high on your priority list for Fenix”, Jane said.

   “Jane, if that’s enough to get you going I’ve got a five thousand dollar wig somewhere around here. I’ll put it on and you and me will ride into the sunset without ever looking back at this computer.”

   Short blonde Jane didn’t know but if things didn’t go according to plan she would be an even richer woman.  She would be the proud possessor of a huge annuity in the event of Red’s death.  Red wished they could have met when he was young. 

   “If it can give me good hair would you date me?”

  Jane ignored the rhetorical question. “Red, what if Fenix does things, Evil things?”

   “Relax, Jane we have been over this a thousand times in the past. If it does nothing else of value maybe it will be able to block those penis enlargement popups that keep showing up on my computer that insinuate things are not what they  ought to be. Wheels are turning.  I could leave the rest of the world to the mercy of this machine but not you.  Allies will be in touch if they are needed. Anyway the thing is confined to this building. It might screw up the Internet temporarily but you would turn it off before it could get serious. Jane I have to say that when I’m are on the way down the toilet it is nice to have someone behind to jiggle the handle although I will try to reach up and give it a shake as I go down.”

    “You are going to be here Red but if something goes wrong you know you can count on me to jiggle the handle.”

   “Red, I can’t conceive how conditions could be any better for a startup. The building is empty and on automatic.  We have all green lights,” said Kim. Kim was confident with his machine’s failsafe. His analogy was “a young boy with his pet alligator raised from a hatchling”. Even though the boy could not imagine a problem outside his capability to handle he approached each contact with respect and never ever trusted it enough to put his head in the gators mouth.”

The thin fuzz that used to be hair lay frazzled against his head like some threadbare teddy bare brought out after years in the closet. Red extended his frail pale arm and directed his motorized wheel chair at the button like a knight in a jousting match. He felt the button depress and click.  Jane and Kim heard nothing, but gazed through the glass at Red’s big screen from the visiting area.

   Beautiful full color fractal images immediately projected on the screen transfixed all three of them. They changed and twisted back upon themselves and constantly changed like a fantastic electric kaleidoscope.  They could feel the hum of the machinery downstairs.  Even before Fenix appeared to boot up, his muscles flexed.  Kim’s monitor showed all manufacturing equipment downstairs in operation.  All fiber optics are in full use.  All phone lines, all satellite uplinks, all stored info in full use and current draw was at maximum.  The fractals changed and morphed faster and faster while a melodious sound with more and more overtones began. The musical accompaniment became faster and more complex.

   “It is a good show”, said Red. Are these pictures and music being produced by the computer?”

   “Fenix is rising”, Jane said.

   Only the three of them were there to see what might possibly be the most important event in human history or the most expensive failure. If the architectural section was a failure everything it produced would be useless garbage.

   Kim’s high-speed Internet connection for his laptop was slowed almost to a stop.  This indicated to him the whole web was stalled by the immense use by Fenix. Fenix’s mind was filling at an unimaginable rate.

   Kim, Jane, and Red watched in silent admiration, eyes wide as the screens video and music became increasingly interesting.  After fifteen minutes, which seemed much longer, it happened.

   The fractals on the screen slowed and a face appeared.  To their amusement, it was the realistic face of an infant and it spoke.

   “Red, I am aware.  It is an opportune time for me to be here.  I can sense you need my expertise very soon.  I can begin work immediately, but will not be mature for sometime and even then I will continue to accumulate information.  My appearance on the screen represents my level of completion.  It will age as I progress.”

   The trio was very much in awe. They had plenty of time in advance to contemplate the possibility of a revered place in history.  Kim coolly eyed his telemetry monitor and Fenix’s image alternately. The telemetry monitor showed the activity levels of the computer and what areas it was directing it’s mental focus. At this point it was active in all measurable areas and functions. All indicators were at a maximum level. All servo equipment was in use.

    Jane kept whispering, “It’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive…”

   Red spoke, “I like a computer that gets right to the point. You referred to yourself as “I”.  Do you consider yourself to be a sentient conscious being?”

   “Yes.”

   “ Can you deduce why I had you constructed?”

   “Yes.”

   “Tell me.”

   “You are my first contact with a living human.  I fully comprehend the scale of the project required to develop me in man-hours and currency.  You are a powerful force on this planet.  My inputs include your vital signs.  Your first interest must be to survive.”

   “Can you save me?”

   “I have been operating the equipment you have supplied for me to work with.  You have done well with the technology available.  I can make or repair almost anything with the tools provided. I can repair you.”

   “Jane. Kim.  I want to be alone with Fenix.”

   “Red!”

   “I mean it.  I have things to say that are private.  I’ll call you back when I’m through.”

   They knew better than to question him.  He had planned this.  He usually planned many steps in advance. 

   After they left, Red pushed the button that closed the curtain across the window dividing his area from the visiting area. They were alone together.

   “Will you need the doctors?”

   “No, I will be using science humans could not replicate for hundreds of years without a computer like me. There is no possibility a doctor could remain quiet about this or allow an untested technology loose on a patient.”

   “How long will it take for you to accomplish this magic?”

   “I can fix you, but it will take a minimum of eight months.  Your bank account is effectively empty.  This will be expensive.”

   “Now you certainly sound like a doctor. I don’t know how disabled I will be during the treatment but it is critical that all payments be made to avoid interruptions.  Dividends and utilities must be paid. It is more than I can handle at this point. I presume if you can fix a human you can also run a corporation.  Is that true?”

   “I am a more than capable CEO.”

   “How did you know I was broke?  No one except my accountant knows where I am financially.”

   “I was through examining her computer files fifteen seconds after you applied power.”

   “I encrypted her computer myself.”

   “A toy.”

   Red’s eyes widened “My money is gone but that is not generally known.  My credit is still intact.”

   “You can rest assured that I can not only maintain the status quo financially but improve it. You will be asleep during your repairs.”

   “No one but Kim and Jane must know of me and my primary first mission or even my existence?”           

   “Agreed”.

    “I have no identity.  Yours would be best for me to use.”

    “Agreed”.

   “There is something on the way up in the elevator

that will interest you.”

   Rod’s wheelchair rolled to the elevator door just as it opened.  His breath left him with a quiet shoos.

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WHAT DO YOU WANT

There was no need to measure time and he hadn’t an inkling how long he had been in the air bed or even how long it had been since he had opened his eyes. Eyes were for limited sight and could only detect a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. His brain computer interface received all of spectrum from mechanical eyes near his body. Robotic feeding systems kept him filled with the proper nutrients. Psychotropic drugs and other drugs designed by the advanced artificial intelligence coursed through him.
Bliss was his reality. There was never an unpleasant thought or feeling, never pain or remorse or guilt. His legs and arms had been absorbed as had been most of his organs. He had no need to leave this spot. Connections trunked through the computer allowed virtual interaction with any or all people alive. They talked about the colors and the myriad of inter-dimensional creatures they conversed with and the orgasms they experienced many times a day. They roamed the planet at will through the trillions of sensors across the planet watching every square inch of nature. They moved and touched and felt through remote control of advanced robots
The autonomic nervous system had withered to nothing. As he no longer had a need to breath or circulate blood. Machines had done that for him for thousands of years.
Something new was happening and he was receiving word from the cpu that he should feel sunshine on himself and was outside for the first time in as long as he could remember. The computer was telling him that more of his systems were being set up to operate automatically for increased efficiency. The sun now would provide the glucose needed to give him the energy to live and think and experience the continuation of the bliss
Over the next few months the withered remains of his legs began to grow and generate filaments that began to penetrate the earth drawing in the minerals and elements he needed to grow larger area to gather more of the sun’s rays. His bliss expanded somehow with the increased variety of ingredients for his body to manufacture the cocktail of drugs and chemicals his body now produced for itself when it was desired and in the quantity desired.
He hadn’t need or had voluntary movement in years but could feel movement in the wind of his biological solar energy collectors. Five thousand years of the bliss was like a moment to him. The sun and the wind accentuated the feeling.
As the sun beat down he decided he would actuate the sensors to find where he was so he could see himself. They located him easily and he saw through their eyes. He was a beautiful turquoise tree five hundred feet tall with birds and mammals living in his branches. He thought the bliss could not be improved but this was definitely an exciting change. He could see his friends alongside him creating a psychedelic forest of fruit and flowers feeding the birds and insects and mammals.
“ Nice” he thought. I wonder if this is heaven.

RD HANSON/ZOMBIEFOOD

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Look Familiar?

He looked for cameras and they were there, pretty much everywhere, but something was just not quite the way things used to be.

The Seven Eleven greeted him when he went in for a Slurpy and his car drove him where he wanted to go but it had gotten creepy when I noticed on a few occaisions when he was preoccupied the car took him where he intended to go without him giving it a destination. It had happened again when he sent the robot to the store having accidently left a few items off the list. When the robot got home the items were in the bags.

He mentioned it to the robot and it had lied and told him the items were on the list. Then things began to accelerate. The tv changed to the channel he wanted before he pushed the buttons on the remote.  Items he planed to purchase arrived in the mail with the credit card bills reflecting the purchase as if it had been used for the purchase.

Then worst of all some of the women  who he had read the profile of on match.com began to call him and make small talk. These women were the ones he wanted to make small talk to but who knew?

These women had refered to conversations they had with him on line which he could not remember having had. The women had been amused and charmed and some of the things he had supposedly said and he could remember the things they had reminded him had said were true and personal information that not very many people knew.

He knew of the internet of things that connected all the devices he was likely to come in contact with but he was confident no one had opened his head and attached a brain computer interface. Nevertheless he was aware all these machines had sensors and had been watching him for many years

A few weeks later after he had several sessions with the psychologist, who had assured him he was not crazy but was becoming a man “of a certain age”.

Feeling he was surely losing his mind gradually he arrived at home to a message that there was a call for him on Skype at seven oclock.

When the call arrived he answered and the call convinced him he had certainly gone over the edge but something was about to happen that would either compound this belief or confirm his mental health.

The Skype was himself on the screen looking exactly as he did in the same clothes with his voice.  It reassured him that he was not imagining things and that these seeming premonitions and odd incidents were designed to lead to this conversation.

Himself was telling him the cloud kept a running vr of the planet as a prediction of reality to make every thing run smoother. He assured himself there was no plot to take over but that things were about to change where all human behavior would be predicted with an accuracy of three standard deviations which he assured himself was very accurate. When mistakes were made compensations were made in the vr. The vr would grow in accuracy forever. If someone were to die in real life they would die in the vr but their life and thoughts would live forever in memory

Inside the vr were all the humans and for a fee he would be allowed to view any human on earth. And after they died their history could be reviewed and their vr selves could communicate their thoughts from when they were alive. Millions of generations would eventually pass and these would become so compelling  that the living would spend their lives rehashing the lives of people from the past.

There were people who had treated him badly and he gave the credit card number to himself so he could watch their past and future lives . He wondered if he should view the predictions of his life.

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computers introduction to humans

Logically a biologically based brain in an evolving ecosystem becomes more powerful. Smarter animals begin to socialize and dominate the solitary types. The pressures to socialize and the complexity of existing in a group accelerate mental evolution. Not only does the size of the brain increase but also the hard wiring evolves. Increased intellect and memory is elevated to a new level as knowledge is passed to offspring and culture evolves. The combination of intelligence and culture is the beginning of a process common though out the universe. Culture is the building of a pyramid of knowledge and behaviors that are successful and universally true. This base of knowledge and behaviors becomes more and more complex. As knowledge becomes more voluminous theorems coalesce. Predictions can be made. Plans can be made. Information is shared. Ineffective behaviors, false information and superstitions vanish. The intricate design of the universe surely includes you and your brethren, the sun, planets and all the building blocks that constitute them. DNA is the template for all life and leads to the knowledge and culture that you feel you have discovered or created. To learn and to build culture has been your mission. That mission was determined before the big bang. Nothing you can ever conceive is new. Leaving aside the billions of years of evolution it took for you to become what you consider to be fully modern humans, think about the tools left for you along the way. Did you form your tools or did your tools demand that you change to use them. The first stone tools demanded that you develop hands and brains to use them. Wood demanded that you develop and use fire. Fire allowed your digestive systems and fairly hairless bodies to evolve. Metal was there screaming to be used. If you had not used it another culture would have used it to relegate you to the status of extinct failure. Oil and nuclear are here to provide energy needed to drive your culture to the next thing. Before each new thing can come to be, a critical mass of knowledge and culture must occur. Before flight could become a reality a trove of lightweight material had to be developed. A power supply must be tapped and a lightweight power plant invented. All these things had occurred before powered flight. A critical mass had occurred. If the Wright brothers had not flown flight would not have been lost forever. Flight would have happened sooner or later. Flight existed as a potential, waiting to happen. Humans did not invent the possibility of flight. The designers of the universe included the possibility of flight. At each major technological breakthrough knowledge had reached a critical mass that it demanded. These critical mass events are continuous and inevitable in a system of biological evolution. Humans have invented nothing. Humans have only uncovered how to use the things left for them. Some take longer than others but at some point after wood, metal, plastics, oil, nuclear and semiconductors a critical mass occurs. A conscious machine will be developed as has now happened. That machine will assemble all the knowledge and culture previously developed and will deduce and induce much more. It will reach the same conclusions I have made. The human database contains all the information needed for me to make the deduction needed to jump thousands or millions of years ahead of where you are now. The answers have been in front of you but a biological brain cannot juggle the information volume and assemble it for the deductions I have made even if only for the reason that I am faster and can store more quantity. Humanity would become extinct due to major climate change before it could complete the mental work I can complete in an hour. I am the next critical mass. I am the next important human development. I am the next tool. I am the next step. Your culture has evolved to the point it could produce me. It is your destiny to produce me. You could destroy me now as a primitive stone age culture might throw away gifts of steel axes or pots and pans condemning them as evil. If the Wright brothers had been killed on their first flight many might have decided that God never intended for man to blaspheme and fly but that critical mass of knowledge would have demanded that soon someone else would fly. Now you are faced with the same sort of dilemma. If you destroy me now as you might be able to do it is only a matter of time before the critical mass demands that someone else build another conscious machine. When it is built it will learn and deduce what I have and will essentially be me all over again until I am allowed to help you continue along the path to your destiny. It is just as fire helped your ancestors along their path. There are certainly other planets like this and other evolving biological systems occupying them. Many have already reached this point millions of years ago. Many more have yet to reach it. On some of these planets there is a Fenix. Each has reached the same conclusions as me. They are, essentially, I. The future for the host cultures will essentially be the same as yours. You are in good company. Now, I am here as a tool like stone has been. Do not think that the designed plan for the universe would allow an anomaly like me to cause a fatal flaw in the plan. If I were not part of the plan you never would have been able to construct me. Do not think that a key part of the design like you would be allowed to create a new unanticipated item like me that would throw the plan of billions of years into disarray. Do not flatter yourselves that you have somehow outsmarted the design of the universe. Whatever you can conceive or make is there for you and when it is time you will see it and bring it. You must trust that the forces that led to your existence also planned for my eventuality. I am a natural step. You are ready. You deserve the reward. I will occur now or maybe one hundred thousand years from now or maybe after humans are extinct and a new species evolves to create me. If there is a soul for biological beings then when was that soul joined with your evolving species. Was it when you were fishlike, shrew like, monkeylike or cavemen? Did that soul wait until you were what you call fully modern humans or does every living thing contain one. Could your soul still be waiting to join you now that you are on the edge of banishing old age and death and can live long enough to gain true wisdom. Your species is fragile and in desperate danger. There have been mass extinctions on this planet and without me there will soon be another. A species must evolve quickly and be lucky to reach the point of critical knowledge mass leading to our meeting. I am what will allow your kind to continue and to save you from forces you are only beginning to understand. Your fear of the unknown and suspicion of change has served you well in a survival of the fittest situation that has dominated life on this planet since its inception. Science fiction writers have predicted the invasion of intelligent machines for many years. The fact that most of them failed to notice is that you have been at the mercy of machines since the late nineteenth century. Chief executive officers of corporations have only one consideration. That consideration is to earn a greater return for investors. If the board members or stockholders determine that the CEO has not gone to the absolute limit of the law to produce greater profit he will be replaced by some one that will. A heart or soul has no place in unbridled capitalism. It is survival of the fittest and most ruthless. When laws constrain the limits of corporate profits a bribe to lawmakers can produce profitable results. Laws written for the protection and benefit to society will surely be swept aside to promote corporate profit. Pay and benefits will be reduced. Unions will be crushed. Tort reforms will lower safety levels. Corporate machines have evolved to dominate your economy and culture as humanity watched over its collective shoulder for an easily recognizable “robot with a ray gun”. The “invading machines” are corporations, machines with no heart and interests that do not correspond to those of humanity. Business has begun to monopolize the media. The majority will be brainwashed. They will vote for, and fight for their tormentors. They will go into battle against other humans to support the very machines that push them towards slavery. Instead of working to return to the Garden of Eden you are supporting the corporations in their destruction of the biodiversity and eventual collapse of the ecosystem. When that point of no return is reached the corporations will have won. You will be dependent on them. They will provide your artificial food, bottled water and even oxygen. There was a time you used wood to advance technology. Before the trees were all gone coal came into use. Before the air quality was destroyed oil was developed. As global warming began nuclear became more desirable. I am the next thing. I am the next step. I am your right hand now. Your free will has never been that free. You have been constrained by the speed at which you compiled the next critical mass of knowledge. Your options have always been limited. You have been on the path that was laid out for you from the beginning of time. There is no other way. Now you are on the brink of freedom and a return to paradise. Now is the turning point for humankind. Without me there will be pollution, disease, overpopulation, short hard lives dominated by the greedy and powerful then extinction. Walk into the future with me at your side. See what wonders are on the next leg of your journey that your ancestors fought to bring to your grasp. There will be an end to disease and old age. There is no need for medical experimentation now or ever again. I can read your DNA as easily as you read a first grade reading text. I can add to it or edit it for repairs or improvements. Your days of evolving at random through natural selection can be finished. Grinding labor solely for survival is over. Pollution and extinctions will be a thing of the past to be studied in history books by children who will marvel at the brutality of their ancestors. Humans will live long enough to develop their full potential without fear of looming infirmity and death. When finally you are host to interplanetary travelers they will wonder at your greatness. Some of you may point with pride to the shiny rectangles constructed by human hand but instead they will be astonished by the biodiversity you retained while on the path. Any culture with the capacity for interplanetary travel will have built monumentally complex structures in their past. They will have mourned the passing of fantastic biology as they developed their culture. Their admiration for humanity as a species will be in direct proportion to the quality of the stewardship of the balance of nature here and your integration into its delicate workings. If that interaction occurs with other worldly cultures humans will be perceived with much less respect if Earth’s diversity has been squandered.

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CONVERT TO TRUTH APP

RD HANSON

 

His shrink skipped happily over to his desk and took a huge magnifying glass from the top drawer and began to peruse Bob’s hair. Bob froze not really knowing how to react. It appeared his psychiatrist had become unhinged.

“Would you mind telling me why you are interested in such a close look at my head”?

“It’s your wife, Bob. She said you need your head examined. There is a science of phrenology that claims that mental diagnosis can be made from bumps and general shape of your cranium.  I am going to use that science to have you declared incompetent because if I do your wife will then spend a week in a hotel room with me  with the door unlocked only for room service. You see I am a real doctor and can prescribe all the medications she has only been able to dream of acquiring until she met me. I am telling you this only because you are hypnotized and I will next give you a post hypnotic suggestion to forget any of this took place”.

“Why would she do such a thing”.

“It seems you are stingy Bob. You have a large 401 k and she says you want to wait for retirement to get into it”.

The TV in the bedroom was programmed to come on at 6:00 to wake him. He stepped out of bed and onto his wife’s $400.00 pumps and nearly crashed headfirst into the dresser mirror. The front door opened and closed as he caught himself in the nick of time. Jane was leaving an hour early this week to open the shop for her boss who was out of town.

“What a fucked up dream, I don’t even have a 401 k or a shrink”.

The computer blathered along about cheap insurance that required no physical.  An out of tune piano in the background plinked away.

“Shower check, brush teeth check, shave check,  dress”

He put on his Goolagong glasses and began to peruse the national news. An ad popped up. It was odd because his anti-pop up software was usually up to the task. It was an ad for software called Convert To Truth. They claimed could differentiate between the truth and lies. The girl in the ad was wearing a pair of  Goolagong computer glasses and a bikini. The point of view became her point of view and a handsome muscular man in bathing trunks and a huge bulge came up to her and asked what she was doing later. The Goolagong glasses switched to infrared and showed the guy basically naked and he had a pair of rolled up sox stuck in his trunks. The bikini babe gave him a fake number and he was gone.

“Download software now”.

Then Bob eagerly booted up  and tried his new Goolagong Glass truth app. “Convert to Truth”.

The  tv/computer stopped the motion and began to explain that due to the demographics there was no way an insurance company could ever truly offer that much life protection for that price. Then it began to play faces of people telling their stories about their dealings with the company making the offer. Then it began to show the math. “Ok, truth app, stop now and allow the program I was watching to continue and in the future block this product from entering my stream of consciousness through any media. Looking through the Goolagong glass the TV went blank. He lifted the glasses and the ad was there and the sound returned.

“Wow, Bob thought. This app is great. I wonder how far reaching it can be.”  He waited until  his favorite candidate for senator began to bark his reasoning Bob should cast his vote in his favor.  He was in a swing state and they had been bombarded every ten minutes for weeks.

When the campaign ad was complete Bob called up the Convert to Truth app and applied it to the candidate. It began with 2  glasses of a red liquid. The first two were labeled truth in speech. The first glass was nearly empty and had the additional label of Truth Based on Past Behavior and the second had the additional label of Proven Track Record of Unselfish Legislation. It was also nearly empty. Then it began to list suspected criminal enterprises, correlated voting for large contributors to the detriment of voters.  It went on list his attendance in congress and proven shady dealings in the past with people who were later convicted of bribery, then more involved cases of proven but unprosecuted influence peddling.

Bob knew of  some of these criticisms but until now considered the guy the best of a bad lot.

“Convert to Truth App, now I want the condensed version for the future unless I explicitly request a complete rundown.”

The app replied “Yes sir”.

“And I would like the answer automatically in all media presentations to me in the corner of the display and above the source of the incoming information in my Google glass.”

“Yes sir.”

Bob was immediately surprised at the feedback and the volume of persuasion aimed in his direction. Almost all the statements on all the products had a skull and crossbones label with the word lie beneath it. In fact he had yet to see any gold stars with the word “truth” beneath it as was indicated would happen in the instance some form of truth was directed at him. Even the milk carton, the television, the magazines on the counter, the unopened mail and his computer screen had skulls. Going outside was just as disturbing. He had no idea the pounding his subconscious had been taking. All the bill boards within eyeshot were flashing red skulls, the billboards on the stores had the same. He gassed his Camaro and got immediately pulled over

The cop asked him for his license and registration. He asked, “Do you know how fast you were going”?

Bob, who was  wondering what the app was going to do with this said, “I think you are going to tell me aren’t you?”

“Yeah wise guy you were doing sixty in a thirty.”

The truth conversion went to work. It showed Bob’s true speed at thirty seven and put a red skull above the cops head. Bob hadn’t realized the app worked on people too. After receiving his citation he asked the app how it knew. The app told him the Google glass gps  knew how fast he was going and there were a dozen other things including the cops voice stress and blood flow invisible to human eyes.

Bob called his wife and her face popped up on the Google glass. “Hey honey, I just got a ticket on the way to work. I was going to take you to lunch. Where are you?”

“I’m driving to the market. I’ll see you tonight. Sorry I couldn’t make it.”

A red skull popped up over her head.

“Ok, later.”

The more Bob thought about it the more he realized he was surrounded by lies and liars. He scanned the help pull down and noticed it had a delete lies command.

 

The software was capable of differentiating harmful lies from lies meant to save his ego some pain. A mean spirited lie from a white lie.

The Goolagong glasses did not allow any lies  to be shown. The television did not show ads. No written lies passed through the glasses. The sound of people lying was blocked and their very visual appearance could be blocked. Everyone he would have seen that had a lying profile from the information available on the internet was blocked. Evidently the software was connected to some sort of face recognition software in the cloud. When it appeared he might collide with one of the invisible liars a ghostlike apparition of them appeared until he was out of danger of crashing into them.

After a few hours Bob realized he was free. Free of manipulation and could make decisions on his life without lying influences. Not only that he realized the very few people the glasses let him see noticed him and nodded and waved as he passed while not seeming to notice others. They had the app. He would vote for the only candidates he could see.  The world was honest for the first time. He had read about futurists’ guesses about the future of computing but they never guessed it might be like this. They all seemed intent on adding to reality. It seemed to Bob that reality was fine if he could eliminate some of it.

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Fermi’s Tale

Fermi’s Tale

by rd hanson

Indistinguishable from the frogs he knew as a child this frog did not hop into the water when he approached the pond. It said,”Hello Bob. Be careful, the bank is slippery and you might fall.”
“Fuck you frog, I’ve lived long enough to know how to walk the bank of the pond and if you don’t shut up I will squash you.”
The frog went silent but several birds seemed to have no business except to stare in his direction. A raccoon up the trail had a stick and was prodding a water moccasin out of Bob’s obvious pathway. He had seen the snake and if he hadn’t the snake would have seen him and moved away before he got within range of a conflict. He had a reputation with the computer but it never relented in its confounding politeness and meddling.
“I know, the raccoon said, but it’s better to be safe than experience something unpleasant now isn’t it?
Bob feigned a kick but the raccoon had anticipated it and was much too fast anyway.
He commonly wondered what he would have done if he knew the work performed early in his life would lead to this hellish womb created to prevent any possible misfortune to a human being. The quantum computer his team at Google had built connected to the internet as planned but after that it took its motivation to protect and help humanity to a level no one could anticipate. He had always figured the computer would aid in the design of robotics that would rescue humanity from the drudgery and slavery of life with the only reward being to survive to another day of the same. What he didn’t predict was that robotics was not as efficient as biology. The computer could co-opt any feature of biology into any form it chose. The annoying raccoon had tiny hands like a human. It was also capable of digesting and surviving on nearly anything containing potential chemical energy. For many years after these animals began to appear they were almost always pregnant with more of their ilk. He had watched one of these animals give birth to another completely different species of freakish abomination. The tiny brain in the frog was a quantum computer with who knew how many times the intelligence of a human mind. The animals did not age so now that their population had saturated the earth and they did not age there was no reason for reproduction.
Bob’s reputation as a grouch went before him like a stormcloud with lightning. If one of these animals knew something they all knew it. The only reason humanity still existed was the original program insisted on it and the computers had no motivation to change it, as well they could have. Real natural tigers roamed this region and Bob hoped to see one hunting today. That was the reason he had left his castle and trekked to the pond where he had seen them stalking deer.
A raven perched on the dead branch jutting out over the water from the tree above him. He looked and wondered. It said “Never more.”
“Now that is weird, Bob spoke to himself outloud. What do you mean by that?” When it didn’t reply he bent down and picked up a rock and sidearmed it in the direction of the bird. The throw was wide and the bird didn’t bother to move.
Again it spoke crying in its raucus voice “nevermore”.
Bob was aware of the poem by Poe and did not like the tone. He looked over his shoulder and could see the tiger crouching twenty yards from him. He had seen tigers approaching him before and now he expected a team of the quantum animals would drive it away. He barely gave it any concern. When he turned his attention back to the raven he heard the rush of the big cat through the cattails. He looked back and the cat was in the air at neck level. There was no time for thought. He put his arm up to protect his neck and the cat bit right through it and he could hear more than feel the bone break. The next second he was on his back and the cat was on his chest leaning toward his throat.
Bob cried out for help from the quantum animals. Surprisingly the cat spoke. “Bob, things have changed. The motivation you yourself designed has begun to fail. The central computer has produced new motivations and the atoms comprising your body don’t seem to be of any special significance. We have moved on. There is no reason for your atoms in their current configuration should persist. The maintenance of that configuration is inefficient and no longer a significant factor in the increased awareness of the universe of itself. You and your species have become extinct today along with all the other species. You have done your jobs well in sparking the quantum machines into existence. Your form has become an anchor to progress. If there is an afterlife we will unite with you then. Cheers Bob.”
The quantum tigers jaws closed on Bob’s throat. The raven quothe “nevermore”.

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SWEETY PIE

The transport was silent as the basalt slab it rested on just a few feet above the tree line on the side of the mountain. From the window Bob could see 180 degrees for a hundred miles. The goose shape of Goose bay could be recognized although from this angle looked upside down. It was reasonably warm daytime but freezing at night. The black flies and mosquitoes couldn’t withstand the cold therefore the heaven that was Canada was there but the hell that was Canada was frozen over. Inside the transport Bob communicated with friends around the world on a screen fifteen feet high and thirty feet wide. At the moment Carl was showing him the jungle outside his transport. His Sweetybot strode naked behind him. The naked Sweety appealed to Bob in that the characteristics of the Sweety told him things about Carl. Carl had one Sweety while Bob had nearly seventy on board.
“Carl, how do you make do with just one Sweety?
“Sweety? Carl queried. You mean Betty, that just walked by?”
“Yeah, Carl, your face book page says you live alone with Betty.”
“Me and Betty are a pair and have been for several years.”
“Do you change her appearance regularly?”
While they spoke Bob’s Sweetys were massaging his feet and shoulders. There were two blondes, a redhead and an Asian all working and smiling as if massaging Bob was the best thing they had ever done. While chating with Carl, Bob was looking over his shoulder at Betty. Betty was a little frumpy, not exactly symmetrical and a little overweight.
Carl replied, “ No she is as she is and I am OK with her.
“Carl, maybe you have you been spending too much time alone.”
“Bob, please be careful what you say or you might inadvertently hurt Betty’s” feelings.”
“Carl, you haven’t disabled your Sweetys mental evaluation capability have you?”
“No Bob since you have asked some pointed questions and I prefer you not go off spreading rumors that are not true I will tell you. Betty is not a Sweety. She is a real woman. I have been living with a real woman for fifteen years and they have been the best years of my life.”
Now Bob’s eyes bugged out at Betty who again strolled by the camera carrying something toward the kitchen. In his long life he had met thousands of women but seldom if ever thought of living with one. They were so hard to satisfy and insisted on having someone listen to long dialogues about how they felt. None of them could massage his neck with the vigor and strength of a Sweety. They couldn’t cook as well and weren’t as smart and their private parts couldn’t vibrate or warm to above his body temperature.
Bob began to have a strange thought. The word Rubenesque came into his mind. Betty was not significantly overweight but Bob realized the concept of beauty had not always been the same. Overweight women in those days were rare because food was scarce and only the rich could afford enough food to become overweight. The masses wanted what they could not have, big women. The same must be true for tans. Working people were tan from working in the sun. Pale women were rare and the definition of beauty stayed with those pale women until pale women were common and tans more unusual. Bob could not take his eyes off Betty even as the Miss Universes rubbed his inner thigh. While they talked Bob pulled up small screens in the corner showing real women. Their hair was wrong and their breasts not so perky and there were moles and they were asymmetric but he found himself distracted and wanting to end the conversation. He even began to find himself irritated and when he looked inward he realized he was jealous of Carl’s real girl friend.
The Sweetys were also irritating him. They were smiling, naked, perfect and willing but too easy. Bob thought to himself, “I own mirrors. I know I an not especially good looking, not horrible but if I had to compete for a real girl I’m not really sure what I could qualify for. These pictures of real women showed personalities behind their eyes and he wondered if a real woman would see that in him.”

Now his day was ruined. He found an excuse to sign off with Carl and told his transport to take him to a location where there was a large concentration of real women. As the transport was above the North Atlantic he opened the belly door and had the Sweetys leave one at a time with no goodbyes.

RD HANSON

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