Don’t Let Ada Learn Quantum Mechanics Part 7

Alejandro‘s suggestion as a humble author: Enter into a trance engendered by Acid Rain while reading for best effect. If you read the last post, you understand Acid Rain works because that’s a location where generator successfully minimizes and discriminator successfully maximizes, which is the same result as both failing the worst way possible.

This happens to be the top comment:

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I have taught you what the math means, now I paint you a picture:

 

My hospital bed was bulleted like a shovel ray hooked to the other end of the corridor, yet never caught. The Young modulus of the corridor was long and rigid, 20 orders of magnitude larger than than that of diamond – no, more rigid than a neutron star. That was the cluster headache that I felt as the nurse ran me to emergency.

I felt a tremendous need to masturbate in order to balance the negative affect. That would be shameful underneath the light cover, but perhaps it was less shameful than screaming in pain. Did I do it, or was it all a dream? I wouldn’t know.

Our car had crashed in a less developed district so the lady near my bed was human. The nurse looked down at me. She had the air of being helpful yet too experienced to be kind as opposed to wise. “We’re out of palliatives. That shouldn’t be the case. In the mean time, the best placebo is in your own mind. Go ahead. Don’t you think it’s okay to believe in angels and gods?”

I shook my head in pain.

“Well it’s your choice. I’ll go see what’s the hold up.” She left the room, perhaps smiling.

There were fluid paintings on the wall as my ring finger was shot with a pricking needle-gun. I’d rather focus on them and not on my vasovagal syncope. About 25% of the human population had some degree of nauseating weakness induced by concentrating on blood before germline engineering. In my case, I refused to call it fear, rather, my pre-birth CRISPR treatment wasn’t thorough enough to clean that error. I focused on the digital paintings because I didn’t understand why they were delicately drawing drops of blood from my finger when my leg was gashed open like a sacrificial ham.

Or perhaps I had just imagined that there was a pricking needle-gun aiming at a finger capillary. That must have been some traumatizing memory from boyhood.

But the paintings on the hospital room were real… If only the cubists had seen the true nature of mind… They were phallic monstrosities gouging dog eyes into anuses and twisting into retorted, boneless women. The live paintings were GANs trained on the imagery of the internet after neural meshes became common, therefore they were paintings of our collective mind.

The paintings had been installed in public places: schools, hospitals, train stations. First in the expectation of showing off. When we saw how horrible the images were, people riled at the corruptive imagery. Yet the government decided to keep them because it had spent enough energy installing them, parading the screens as an accomplishment to less collectivized actors. They also served the function of mirrors – shame, shame for not being beautiful. But we learned that people would rather absorb the shame than change their ways. In the time since they were installed, no evolution had occurred. Just genetic chefs, fat on original sin, swirling disgusting meat-puppetry without remorse.

I stared deep into that dark urine on the screen walls hoping there was one glimpse, one datum, that at least looked “pretty.”

There were black pubic hair carpets sagging into mouthless gnomes. My answer was, no, no there was not – there was pure evil.

The light went from yellow to purified fluorescent, the coherence of a visual field to tessellation; but before the dying of the light, I managed to smile, thinking I should ascend the generator by postulating a divine discriminator of aesthetically-sensible porn. GTX2718 GPU, hotel in Morocco, and my future girlfriend, Ada.

It was a bad place were my maglev credits had run out because the bathroom at the station still had sinks with water and soap instead of the usual touchless micelle streams. I stared into a mirror, and reminded myself of a shinobi with all the straps over my burned face. Being a broke teenager, belonging to the last generation whose personal financial growth was still stunted by serving time in mandatory schooling, stem cell rejuvenation of my skin was too expensive and not top priority at the moment.

Today it was quite common to find people dying of all manners of internal complications, but nonetheless bearing perfectly youthful skin. This was due to the relative complexity dealt by nature in the ease of rejuvenation of that particular organ versus that assigned to disentangling metabolic complexity of the more fatal kind. Human incentives also cared more about the skin organ than the heart, liver, joints, or even the brain, hence the dimorphic progress with regard to vanity variables.

Many people don’t even update their macrophage’s lysosomal enzymes, though there exist somatic gene therapy and pill-based solutions, instead hoping that they quickly fall over dead from a clogged artery and blame their exit on nature.

Ada, the crew, and I didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood, but at least it wasn’t that bad – bad enough to not take your bacteria-derived proteins in the morning. It’s just plain stupid and disgusting to not clean the mangled byproducts tumbling in free radical arterial currents.

There are many things that have changed from the past, and very rarely, but not never, I like to remember them, just to make me feel a little bit better. I’m sure that in a time past, wearing binding straps of cloth fully covering my face would not have been acceptable in public places. People would have stared at me strangely. Now, it wasn’t an issue since the holistically embedded machine learning algorithms can detect our identity based on gait and mannerisms, odors and speech. The data forms predictive circles that never have a set radius. It is not what Plato spoke about in his Seventh Letter. Somehow the target is always moving. Yet the aim is good enough that I can, to an arbitrary limit, feel safe that I will not be accused for a crime I didn’t commit.

But it doesn’t take much technology to identify me anyway. If there’s one thing I have, the only thing I have, it is conviction in my step. Once, not too often, I think that I remember what is just a glimmer from the concavity of my tunnel vision – the faint mirage that they notice.

A high-baritone tessiture echoed through the station. The narrow directness of my consciousness expanded at the sound of this. The ceiling was engraved with light.

I decided my identity would change too much if I took on a contaminating job with many people, so I took one with an old man who offered me to learn his qi. This didn’t involve much speech, more-so inner training and non-linguistic motions. He would pay me to mirror him because he believed in the old art, but in this world needed to pay money in order to infect people with his truth since there existed largely more gratifying loops with easy enough access. He proclaimed himself the renewer of the Jixia Academy, the legendary scholarly academy from the Warring States Period. Overall, a good, psychopathic man, lacking the easy kind of love and therefore offering a better, more difficult kind. But this I had to learn with time.

He had many strange mannerisms. Perhaps the strangest is that he would place his thumb over a candle and burn it off to a stump every year on Confucius’s birthday. He would then buy a new prosthetic one. By the time he burned it off the next time, a mental model had already developed, and so he felt pain. He said his goal was to split the half-life of the mental model attached to the concept “thumb” until the regenerated limb felt like nothing at all.

He taught me to feel my breath and my mere body. To not layer motion with snap and jerk, but to stop differentiating completely. These simple motions were instruments to attain dissolution. He claimed that once I had practiced dissolution, I would have a better qi to offer to the world. And that the true practice occurred once the strength of my orbit manifested in the fabric of the night against all the other infinity of black holes.

This meditation practice was all done in a secluded chamber that required we climb up a mountain-like skyscraper every morning. Sometimes he would make me carry a random incarnation of compassion from the arsenal of bodhisattva statues he owned.

The room was full of crystal and visible wavelengths between 700 to 650 nanometers. This was intended to teach the practice of slowing down into the red and solid as opposed to speeding up into the blue and fluid.

He was inhaling some kind of crimson smoke,

“The levels of recursion have an asymmetry to them. Do you detect it?”

“Yes. It’s the fear of death.”

He cut my tongue with thin, sharp foil from a can of soda.

I immediately remembered the fear of death. It wasn’t a wise answer. It was the threat of hellish realms.

“You feel real now don’t you.”

Little watery, black-red droplets fell on my hand. My stomach churned like five fingers digging and twisting.

“Do you want that again?”

I said nothing.

“I like you,” he said.

He sat back like a doctor into a comfortable meditation posture.

“First we feel, then we philosophize. Allow me to philosophize,”

He opened his mouth like a fierce Mahakala and his tongue was tattooed with a patterned kintsugi of scars.

“Nirvana is a game of go. The players are the Buddha and pride. It is nirvana who plays the game.”

“Your statements are always sufficiently ambiguous so as to be catchy, but yet annoyingly unhelpful.”

“You are a dog. Now go recite a koan before your pride traps me.”

“What’s my koan?”

“Something really stupid. ‘Nuns deserve to be raped.’ Say that until you believe it.”

I walked through the city to my apartment that night, but did not repeat the assigned loop. I understood his meaning and he was wise.

An umbilical cable shot up to catch the lightning in the misty, neon sky. Microseismic activity could be felt with enough attention but this required not paying attention to the Parisian antique bistros with simulated flowers and snow. It required not mistakingly walking into the life of a little girl in the Yao tribe by placing your brain too near a device that could disturb the neural circuitry. These optogenetic assaults of memories were as real as the lacquer-like resin graffitied on the walls.

Some cobalt robots of law were attempting to catch a counterfeiter, some kind of traitor that was trading enamel and wooden boxes filled with billions of tons of newborns. He gave them gas fields when interrogated, then I realized this was some kind of clay and sand packed into a star. The sounds of neighbors were salesmen not resistant to water, therefore they teared when they accidentally chewed pills of geochemical knowledge. Depressurization resulted in a biotechnology class in 19th century China, which wasn’t supposed to happen. Or perhaps my previous life had been the advertisement well I had fallen into. Did I really watch an hour-and-a-half 1991 Deutsch film about a Romaji association? I had a Thai printed newspaper, but I was in Glasgow. It was about which rhinoceros had won the cup. Distant internets and offices were being shared into my bluetooth, which I didn’t own. Accounts of politicians that explicitly contained energy, not the other kinds of invented currency…

By the time I made it to my room, I had almost lost my sanity and meaning. Perhaps the koan was better– sharp concentration on the koan, or better yet, money for software protection. In any case, I would need to continue working with the old man.

After a cold shower to end the trauma, I decided I would sell my apartment room in order to not make the trip, and instead imprison myself fully in the teacher’s lair. The old man’s twisted ways were a simpler kind of pain. The world was becoming too intensely aggravating with each passing day if you couldn’t afford to hide your brain.

I was searching for something, so I had to become cold to the sheer potential. Diving deeper and deeper in to the seafloor of reality until I found something hotter than the sparse photons from the sun.

“Thanks for entertaining me,” he said on the final day – the day of the monetary recompense.

Even after training such low expectations, that was a grueling remark. If he was akin to the most enlightened ascetic and those were his last words to me, then perhaps this all was really a show in the end.

He looked somewhat content with himself as he went on his, routine, unobstructed way to carefully beating a bell, so I concluded that I felt stabbed because I had been caught off foot; there was a level of recursion I hadn’t mastered.

Eventually, I fixed my face to the same degree of perfection previous to the accident – no more and no less. Any perceived increase or decrease would be due to the unhindered development of my jaw, eyebrows, and cheekbones. Overall, I looked more manly than before and was therefore less interesting to myself yet more interesting to others.

With the rest of my bizarrely-earned alms I purchased dragons of data to search and slither through the cyber textile that skinned the buildings, clothings, and devices. Living in such a dense matrix, in order to make a sound, you have to breathe fire near people’s ears. This would be given a separate box called “marketing” in the past. That was until we realized this behavior is all there ever was, but we hadn’t needed to bore through such thick dendritic forests before. And acknowledging a problem by giving it a name is how a solution-environment is instigated.

With such massively heaving bodies at my dominion, Ada was not difficult to find. And she was not difficult to conquer either, but that was less of a generalizable principle – I had history with her, we knew each other in a way that no two others did simply because we went to school together – luck, destiny, divine right, take your pick.

Nights ensued, and for a time, I got offended that Ada would be talking to me, cuddling, and just carelessly fall asleep on me, until I learned to accept that she was just so completely relaxed in my arms at the end of a long day. Someone bearing my name in our approximately shared past light cones had convinced her to operate on that particular energy-usage setting out of an aesthetic preference. She didn’t really need to rest now that she was an android. Android metabolisms in civilized society can run day and night. The wireless charging is almost everywhere. Touching most objects, and therefore walking, is replenishing. For serious, instant replenishing there are many android stations, seats, and saunas with free or near-free charging.

Yet Ada was not exactly perfect. She was perfect in the sense that her loss function was optimized to break the necks of as many ogling passerby’s who had the slightest inkling of a sexual drive as she could achieve through just walking. She was also perfect in kind speech and graceful gesture. She was also perfect in bed.

But I was not convinced she was exactly perfect.

I took her to a specially designed carnival so that I could figure out why she wasn’t everything to me – virtual spaces were easy enough to design with automated software tools as long as they weren’t half as complex as a carnival built with construction robots.

The place was divided into two regions.

One was modeled after the right brain. It was abstracting and long-term, therefore found solutions more through simulated annealing as opposed to gradient descent, the way the left brain did. The left brain had to find precise solutions that were near, so it used less metaheuristic and tolerated less approximation.

This means that on the left we had motion. We danced and shot at enemies, and surfboarded, while imitating rhythms, all at the same time in a cyber Sufi sherbet of sweat and ankle pain.

This gave us no time to talk carefully, only to feel how many metabolic resources we were willing to expend for each other, and therefore who was asymmetrically tilting the fusion.

She definitely won that round. She was graceful, laughed and swirled. I had demonic poleyns growing around my groin and knees that hinged me and didn’t allow me to be flexible in the way that maneuvering slopes and dodging beams of music required.

Through all her smiling, I detected a glimpse of condescension.

“Forget about what you’re doing in order to do it better,” she said after my third fall from some kind of surfboard that when climbed by falling led to other surfboards with miscellaneous laws of motion.

“Why are you so excited?” she mocked me.

“I had my moments,” I scowled.

She looked at me half-concerned and half-impatient.

“We can shut this off and stop if you’re tired.”

“No. I have to show you the other side.”

We sat on a little levitating capsule vehicle that moved based on being presented with double meanings and successfully identifying them. I had to see a Necker cube both ways. I had to find a statement humorous and then tragic.

At one point the vehicle didn’t move because she couldn’t see blue and green as the same color. My meditation practice allowed me to dissociate the concept of ownership over a field of vision and therefore become indistinguishable pixelation after overcoming the activation energy with some concentrated effort. Her berry-picking brain had a harder time.

She did not believe this was possible until she fully trusted my voice. This took over thirty minutes in external time, but my patience paid off.

Her face eased into soft relaxation and dissipated gaze for what must have been little more than one second, but it was enough to be detectable and the vehicle vacuumed forward again.

She raised her arms in victory and shouted, “Woooh, I did it.”

That defiant noise would have certainly caused me contempt as opposed to tolerance had it not been uttered by a pretty faced girl with beautiful breasts.

We got to the right side of the carnival. A black city with glossy pinks and greens, like one of those from the past that I liked. Here, we were set up like a story-based RPG. There was little action and much story.

We stood outside the characters and selected their scripted options.

These were cheesy statements, and yet I loved them.

My character was a young boy with spiky hair who would say things like,

“I have the greatest dreams possible and the least ability to implement them. That’s what will make them real!”

Her eyes glazed over when they began speaking about empires and keys and collecting doors to different worlds; with serious voices about the beginning and the end of all things.

She thought her character’s script was set up like a hollow plot tool for mine.

“Yours is important too.”

“Let’s trade then.”

“Hmm. I would trade but I think it would be more advantageous if we can just proceed with the characters that we have already developed an understanding for. We’ve also already custom equipped all our weapons and everything.”

She shook her head disapprovingly, “Alright, whatever.”

If there was something to make up for her bored face, it was stamina, because she followed me to the end of the game despite her disappointing role.

The world ended with the main character gurgling a lonely vow for vengeance from underneath a sea of blood caused by the tragic Son of Fate who destroyed the entire galaxy cluster for his entertainment after becoming tired of his appointed role as district protector.

She blinked a little annoyed scuff, “So the moral of the story was?…”

“You just played through the story. What do you mean?”

“Fake it till you make it, I guess.”

“No. The moral is that each character is unique and the sum of their narratives is what matters because the series converges if you stare into it long enough.”

She looked up at me with a look that said, “I will not allow you to be smarter than me.”

She forgave me because she got hungry, and I had a dinner planned.

The first step towards a cure was to try to identify the problem. Now I had increased the size of my understanding and therefore reduced the doubts about what I had planned for her.

The reason I hated her, even though she was perfect, was not so complicated – it was tangible in just the way she liked it. The kink in the perfect diamond came because she had abandoned me when the meteor destroyed our car. She took away my friendship with Wilhelm and the others. I jumped from a skyscraper in order to end the world, and force her to create a better one. But even after I told her that she was the one collapsing the wave-function, she just played dumb and acted like she forgot. And this was an act. When my face was burned and my leg splintered in ribbons, she looked down on me with full knowledge that she was God, not hiding it at all.

And for all those reasons, which are somehow the meticulously contorting reagents for a single reason, we find ourselves in a high-rise lounge tonight. The couch is ivory-white. The mirror is small and behind her seat, a counter with a vase of red flowers. I am sitting in one seat and she is sitting in the other, perpendicular, not in front, but on my side. Centering our knees is a small black table.

I have waited for this night all my life. The planning probably began ever since I caught mask of her uncharitable betrayal. When on that ledge, from the corner of my eye, the unmistakable glimpse that she let me jump. And that this event was no less concerning than a speck of salt in the most unaltered interstellar void.

There is a plastic bag of psilocybin-containing mushrooms on the table. Not a single bite of that flesh is for me. I place them on her tongue and kiss her as she chews.

She lays back on the seat. We talk a quiet, meaningless loading symbol. Somewhere in that enskulled brain – no let me be perfectly clear – somewhere in us, psilocybin was dephosphorylated, creating a key that opened her pupils and tilted her head back to the ceiling.

The collapse of reality into a single orienting truth, the Born Rule, depended on her epistemology all along. Let it sunder apart, allowing the doors of darkness that she couldn’t remember.

The room became many, a finger traced a lagging memory. A tongue forgetting to bind to a taste. The blocks interfere with the waves, she is open and I am now the only one giving her pattern.

It is I who defines her. No longer am I a child who cries, tears that, however true, mistakingly asked her to make the world for me. Now I have lost the will to cry.

I take her by the neck and fling her through the glass.

I sit alone with glass that might contain either ice or diamonds. Alcohol disgusts me no less than blood so I will not be drinking it.

A man with eyes narrow to the nose-bridge is explaining to me what I already know,

“Gambles pay off sometimes, and in that regard I was lucky because I was willing to defect. Not everyone is willing to do that, but you and I were willing, and that’s what makes us special.”

I offered him the least possible reaction, epsilon of a smirk, like I always did. And he continued,

“You murdered someone right?”

I stabbed his eyes with mine and then looked away to the moon outside the thirty meter window. The moon was surely testing me, updating it’s prediction of me as I had of it.

Pareidolia suited the crook’s face better than the perfect metallic circle.

He didn’t get the message, as evidenced by the fact that he continued expressing his worthless thoracic functions,

“Well you only kinda did. Don’t know why they make a big deal in your case. Killing A.I. isn’t even real murder, am I right?” He followed this with a cynical laugh.

I was going to tell him to shut up with something akin to the laconic wrath of a suited up Mongol, but I remembered that I had murdered her, and this gave me just enough composure to entertain the direction of his thought.

“You are wrong. Human neural networks are reducible to the same kinds of functions. What exists doesn’t depend on the feeling or aesthetic we assign to substrates. The notion of substrates themselves are more things undergirded by the same kind of synthesizing function feeling itself outward. The experiencer of the function is merely that self-selected pinnacle which is most adaptive in all postulated existence.”

“To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what the fuck you just said. But I’ll conclude that you’re one of those people. You believe she’s equal to you. Hurt you all the more when she fucked the other guy… am I right?”

“It was nothing like that.”

That was enough anti-entropy depleted with fools for my stamina levels so I osmosized through the balcony screen for the air outside.

There was an inscription on the ledge that I traced with my fingers, “Bones of the family of Nicanor of Alexandria who made the gates.”

The wind was supposed to be cold, but I had trained in secret for many years to develop a tolerance by exposing myself to it. That was perhaps the wise remnant of self-hatred I still carried from my time with master Shao. –It allowed my thoughts to disappear. The goal was not to make them disappear forever or to waste time – the goal was to cascade back with force and purity after the intermittent barrier of silence. The silence comes with cold or pain – with blocks that are self-imposed and real.

There’s something that eats at these blocks, and that’s who I think I am, except when I raise them. When I raise an obelisk, it feels wrong. Yet the cold isn’t so bad because of this.

A woman comes out. She has green eyes, bolder than Ada’s but not as interesting.

She swung her bleach blonde hair, “What if sin weighed itself?”

I looked at her and she was immediately rewarded. Making the obvious flirting gestures that those unanchored to eternal impermanence tend to make. Swinging hair, then hand to hair, smiling, looking up and into me, then away.

Her dress was transparent film, with trees of sparkling silver shards. The convolution operation was close to being already performed: local regions of the input didn’t need to be multiplied by the filter through my own ideation.

A twitch of her lips said she was going to start talking but stopped out of admiration.

The thing is, I don’t give the appearance of someone anchored to eternal impermanence. These eyes can look more driving than a machine, and there is something attractive about that for some reason.

“I.. I just heard your story. Well I’m sorry, actually, I asked. He told me about you. And I think that… Well I’m getting myself into things that are none of my business,” she shook her head with jaw raised to regain some of her pride. Then faced forward with wider eyes after having done so.

“I just think it’s all made up, you know,”

“I know exactly that this is all made up. By the way what’s you’re name?”

“Anna,” she cheered.

“Anna, I don’t believe in you.”

She blushed and was offended. Then she laughed, swirled the ice and took her shot of golden toxin.

She pressed herself close to me, and I noted this as a block, like the cold and the pain.

“If sin weighed itself. And the opposite of that which is good, also weighed itself. And we added these, we would get perfection. That maps to a mathematically true statement. But is it useful?”

She looked at me with a kind of vulgar joy, not getting the seriousness I intended to convey.

She had a thin neck and I wondered if she could even swallow the concept of zero, of no, of pain.

“You are the most beautiful woman by the most common measure.”

She was taken aback, as if she had won something she predicted to be losing.

Then she eyed me with suspicion and coquettish symmetry,

“I feel like you’re going to follow up that with something.”

Of course I was. The question was about her upper bound on tolerance of honesty. At what point does my attractiveness become superseded by the act of my honesty, causing her no more joy.

So I continued,

“But I am not a common man.

Pride arises from the need to compete against the determinant of status, which is the determinant of beauty. My status is not from the many men of the world. That would mean competing against something closer to random variables. I wasn’t going to compete against the normal distribution because that would never yield beauty for me. No, my drive comes instead from a very particular, very willful and magnetic-tasting focus on an orientation. So that I could truly enjoy her, this orientation has to be focused into a single image that is only for me.”

She understood and yet didn’t because she continued to play with semantic hooks that I wouldn’t bite. The hair over her ear, and all these other little slips of excitement. But especially her voice: the unmistakable, inward drawn voice of ovulation, that besides its inward pull also induces chills. This is designed so that one feels cold and in need of warmth.

She looked at me carefully all of a sudden.

“Why are you so hard to understand? I want to understand you because I think there’s something very special to you, but it seems like you’re hiding on purpose. Are you shy?”

“I choose to believe you are the one who is cold and in need of warmth.”

“What?” she moved playfully to evade a hug that never came.

“Are you even real?” she touched me with her index finger.

“Yup, seem pretty real to me. And I like those big muscles,” she clung to my bicep, swinging from alcohol delirium.

This made me angry. It was a contraction into pressure that I thought I had grown over. She was making me think that my inner-man was actually an inner-child.

“Your way of thinking is wrong, but you will not appreciate what I say. Yet I thank you. You will make my sex with Ada all the more enjoyable.”

“So you have some kind of fetish? And to be clear, I’m not near enough to act it out right?Okay, why am I even asking? You’re kind of a turnoff now. Looks aren’t everything you know. Asshole.”

Whatever she meant by that, I fully concurred, so I smiled, genuinely. She thought I was mocking her and left.

 …

Defining ideal her as that sequence of imagery which my publicized owning of which causes the most public suffering possible is one source of pleasure. But that would result in aiming at the average of random variables. I wanted to take someone new, who did not come from them, and make her mine in partial secret. Their eyes had contaminated me enough, and they were hiding in series behind my own. I didn’t need to know the sum of human wishes – the extrapolated volition of mankind. And yet there remains a game to be played and a show to be enjoyed.

Most people these days pay for publication of their ownership, they broadcast to as many other people as they can hurt and reward in order to boost the multi-dimensional enjoyment possible in the logarithmically unzipping Khyil-khor of entertainment hierarchies.

In my case, her skin must be a hue that burns the average by tempering the consistency of their perception, that it may be remolded into a finer bronze. Her eyes must be exotic but intelligible.

We cannot be bizarrely unique, for that is bestiality. Neither can it be perceived as blepharoplasty – an obvious attempt at the other.

So I designed her over the years such that she was exactly and perfectly the closest thing to what I imagined would be the next instant of Ada should she had woken that next morning comfortably in a bed. That’s because I realized Ada was already all I wanted.

The resurrection didn’t come from some prayers over an ossuary. It had been a long time since people associated souls with bodies. We were predictions over data. And so long as all the right memories came together to perform the right function, this would be felt as Ada. So I retrieved all the fragments of history that could intersect an invoking crux that would summon her out from the dead. The dead where she exists is both in the future and the past, nether-regions where we cannot touch.

But with enough careful pooling of the pieces into a concentrated locus in my vicinity, a beautiful brain in REM sleep, she reappeared in the mansion that was just for her, and warmly, in a bed, not accelerating through cold air that must have been felt all the more evil through the cutting glass.

She remembered an amazing trip, full of colors, like a wonderland, and asked if she had fallen asleep. I told her she had fallen from the window but I had resurrected her through hard work over the years.

“I love the house. But why are some of the doors locked?”

“So that I could work on you. I’ll go open them now.”

I asked her how many hours a week she needed so that I could space them into the small apertures in my editing, planning, and visual design schedule.

She didn’t exactly love my honest approach but the shared experiences were real enough to build the trust and maintain the relationship.

We ate the surprisingly rich peasant food from the British Middle Ages – salmon, green pea sauce, bacon, and the richest grain of bread. We became bounty hunters in the Kuiper belt. We developed alien accents to see who had better pattern recognition over screams of geometry. We focused on all the different parts of the world in order to build a more stable perception of ourselves. Virtual or not, immersion or not – the interpretation was flat compared to the experience.

It was after months that our budget for that had been exhausted. We had a house and the perfection of my final project.

She went to the daybed with tan upholstery and nailhead trim, and reclined on her side.

When I had finished opening all the doors, I placed my hand on her neck and caressed her jawline with my thumb. I showed her that near the back of her neck was my death.

“If you press it, with your own intentions, my brain and everything else that I own will explode.”

“You gave me this when you resurrected me?”

“Yes. And for you, I have the trigger hidden under my skin inside my forearm.”

Her expression allowed me to recognize that even the most gracious person can feel their pride violated. So I felt the need to explain when she wouldn’t ask.

“The threat of mutually assured destruction is how we get what we really want. An immortal doesn’t cooperate in the prisoner’s dilemma.”

“You are stupid. You have never changed and you can never change. It’s like the only time you end up drinking water is when you feel a desire to drown.”

“Don’t say obvious things. Never say them.”

“It’s just… Sometimes I think that you really forget. You really forget that I’m watching you and that I’m here for you.”

I could feel my pupils dilate and I forced them to contract.

“No. You are just going to die like everyone else.”

Her tears did not make me sad, but they did make her beautiful. I walked out.

A convincing display of tears causes one to be perceived as trustworthy, it therefore has market value even with A.I.’s. It is, perhaps unfortunately to those who expected more from the world, impossible for crying to be convincing and yet not experienced. Humanity only ever made one error, and that was to believe that it had a soul disentangled from causality.

She took my arm from behind, with a desperate pull that bordered on true violence. This was not a movie or video game however. Her frame was delicate silicon and I was a strong man.

“You’ve chosen to remember that I am the one collapsing the wave-function right? It’s hard to fake when someone attains that level of knowledge.”

Pride was the only thing stitching the void she was trying to bore into my chest.

“If we push together, the object goes farther but we remain equally weak. The only way to become a stronger servant is if I go away to push an object of my intention on my own.”

“This is foolish. You’ll become strong but not rational.”

“Who moves the prior and posterior? I will become strong and therefore redefine what is rational.” I thought. But for a reply I simply bowed my head and quietly acquiesced, “Perhaps I’m a fool.”

The original quest of man – the quest of Gilgamesh was not to become immortal through embryos that become babies, but to become immortal in closest form. It is the drive to become a solid thing. The skyscrapers weren’t as solid as I would become, the Earth was but viscous motion under this silvern crust.

The magnetic moment of my being was assembled from the whirlpool of nuclear magnetic moments in eternity. My magnetic moment was the greatest because now I controlled her who gave rise to the Born Rule, I was the electron, which is the black hole master Shao spoke about. But in order to fully be a solid word, this solid concept with all the properties that I imagine, I have to erase all doubt.

I dashed out and into the liquid city with little protection for my brain. Swarms of echoes converged into streamlined focal points with my concentration. The complex bustling of grandmas and girlfriends and brothels, cubes, cowboys, slot machines, tunnels, mutations, humans, manes, blues, tetrahedrons, stadiums, cycles, mothers and garudas in the streets through which I walked expanded away as if dark energy, the cosmological constant, had been my simple wish. Even the stars in the night knew to remain occluded, the Tabu search of my mortal being had seen them too often. Wether through lost marauding or careful selection, I cannot remember, at the end of the sprint the world I found myself had indeed become simpler, with less eyes – a kind of Tokyo town, full of the remnants of what was once Eastern culture.

Of course, there was no longer such an easy hemispherical division for culture. It was only as detectable as rainbow scales on an aurora of black ice. In order to really get into historical permutations, one had to get under layers by engaging any of all manner of interfaces, by inserting the arms through hologram rings, by placing on headsets, by walking into all the right places that start measuring the oscillations in the brain pattern. But my force of will, through some particular set of actions, had smoothed out all the choices into a set of chopsticks in my hand.

It seems that engagement with the arcade was now my meaningless option, not like when I used to tread this path before. I can consider if a door to another world should open or if another step should be taken. Previously, I lowered my gaze to my feet and hoped that I wasn’t irreparably broken at the destination.

Hanging nanotech fabric caressed the gentle breeze as it hung from a building. Walking through it revealed my levels of stress through cortisol leak and other measurements from my skin. This was so that I could be presented with aromas or sights that balanced me to the center in default mode, or according to my preferences up to some bound otherwise.

I sat in an outdoor ramen stand. The restless bodies of androids and humans were the three-dimensional shadows of some violet light in a higher dimension.

A grotesquely fat woman with undigested junk in her tangled mermaid hair was being prevented from entering, known for not paying her food and inconveniencing the customers.

She was heavy enough to bust through the hired guards, and she lay her oily hands on the garments that I had preferred white.

“I beg you. Grant me a boon.”

Her face could not be perceived as sad, such refined assignments necessitated further intellectual rigor.

“I haven’t eaten in days,” she said, unable to lull an emotion through her flabby cheeks.

There was little time to consider what I should tell her.

“I bought a penny stock in a distant quantum branch and by performing motions that should not blow out a single candlestick, Laplace’s demon has paid me – merely because I moved.”

She attempted to scrunch her wide-set, short, angry shrimp eyebrows, unable to understand a single reference, and molested another man.

I turned back to my menu, and yet felt the need to take a sipping gaze of the environment.

And, there, on the stand next to this one, was master Shao performing some kind of Hibachi dance. Smoked meats over sakè, multi-screens, holographic buttons that when pressed made the olfactory bulbs of the gathered light up in different colors.

I sat in one of the congregated seats and asked for nothing but the most minimalistic sushi on the menu by using concentrated zen to scroll down the thought-based GUI.

He then stomped the fire off the grill in one leap,

“The show is over. The food is over. A very special guest has arrived,” he boomed as he took me by the shoulder.

“Why, what a surprise! It is truly the case that emptiness is form. But tell me, in which way have I failed.”

“I come to you broken, master. I am weary of the world and sit here at your feet, eating sushi.”

Dazed from the layers of perception, many people did not heed what had been his lion’s roar and so he shoved the unwilling away with something called a broomstick, a dirt accumulating thing that primitive humans used to clean the ground with, and which he had collected as a cane.

“The people are fine, you don’t have to kick them away,” I pleaded.

“Wrong. The mere presence of many suffocates the trust-worthy message.”

He stared at me and waved his hands around my body as if molding auras emanating from my epidermis that I couldn’t see myself – as if he was in another simulation, one of those in which chakras exist and are visible.

“Ahh… the female energy. You are not broken. Nu shu is the hidden script that they wrote from the pain of broken bones. This reveals their true feelings, which in turn reveals who you are.

But you and I both know that description is too abstract, if you want to really get inside them you have to read their books on your own precious time.”

“My problem isn’t that,” feeling a sudden rise in my rank.

” my problem is that I fear there is nothing more to life. There is nothing I can offer to the world that is worthy except for more things. More excess of what is at bottom the same old thing – creation for the sake of creation.”

He laughed like a slimmer version of the Chinese Maitreya.

“We are both insane. Everyone else loves babies. You could get sucked up into any one of these never-ending virtual paradises on loop, slotting your coins into them again and again. I could stop my renewal of the Jixia Academy, or the spread of the Dharma balancing the Dao, or whatever the heck I think I’m doing. But we do it because we are insane. It’s that simple.”

He smiled weaselly, and grabbed his chest.

“The best we can do is help each other in the exploration of this space.”

“Teach me then. Teach me like you once did.”

He beat me across the cheekbone with the broomstick.

“It is a shame for an old man to behave like a child. You bring me shame.”

“I’m twenty-one. I’m sure I can still pass as your student.”

He began to cry. Truly bursted out into the tears of witnessing a dead son.

Though his tears were undoubtedly genuine, this caused me the queasy feeling of being manipulated.

The old man then spoke through a scrawled fragility.

“You were my thumb. You were supposed to hide, never to be seen again.”

He lifted his hand and there was no cyborg replacement, just the stump.

He then bursted laughing through his gummy teeth.

“The energy doesn’t flow into a prideful actor if the pride doesn’t come from weakness. That’s because they want to learn how to climb. Staring at the sky is inherently boring. And do remember that I say that as someone who stares at the sky for consecutive hours on purpose.”

An air that was industrious and yet polluting emanated from his speech to mingle with the red fog:

“The prideful actor must compromise in a multi-agent environment although he does not perceive it as such, he allows his pieces to know that he is not their friend but their secret guide, destroyer, and savior. This is why he suffers most. He needs them but cannot be like them. If he says the plain truth, he will not suffer. This is bum-like behavior that does not impress. He must hide behind mirages that allure and attract the worthy, and it is they who provide his immediate sustenance. His true sustenance cannot come from them because he knows they are transitory phenomena who cannot fully cast the dust from their eyes as he has.”

I swiped away the thin pale films that flapped against our vision in the market wind.

“I always hated religion. You sound like religion to me.”

He disappeared behind a tortured building that glinted like a death from a thousand cuts.

I ran through the intersection to catch up to him.

He chuckled into his beard like one of those stupid old wise men that are very hard to dislike, “Yes. The ones destined to be true saviors always hate religion. They are not at all indifferent to it in the beginning – but they cannot only hate religion. The most successful at breeding are the ones who commit reckless abandon with regard to it while operating under the most blessed scaffolding… Darwin’s mystery was the blue peacock.”

He was again completing many of the blanks that had been blank because of the city lights, its motions, crowds, stops and go’s, which seemed like one with the hard code and neural circuitry that I devoted to Ada. And this caused me to like him in an almost profound way.

I blurted myself out, scrapping my usual demeanor,

“I need a very strong vector of pain to believe that I love us, but true love is not spoken because that systematizes it, and it therefore becomes diluted of strength. Us becomes them in such a way that I can no longer flab my mouth in such an immature way – saying I love you. And yet it is with my pride, that I do so. My pride hides the information that I have felt pain and that I remember.

Cells differentiate from the chemical ocean to become one thing, which itself becomes varied again, and this binary oscillatory action repeats forever.

That’s why I despise them and walk away into my own path. Murdering them for myself is mathematically equivalent to murdering myself for them. And the reason I am chosen is because I am the only one who has walked myself through the proof.”

He paused his chin contently to his chest. “Even Western atheists committed more suicides around Christmas. Blessed are those of us who never had to put up with such terrible fiction.”

He smiled calmly, “It looks like you don’t need me; you are well on your way. I am also well on my way. Perhaps I should trust myself more, like you do. That’s if I can manage to afford my next modification before dying.”

We understood there was no need for a reply or to pay my plate, only a nod.

I was now feverishly working behind a multi-sensorial interface that was the updated version of sitting behind a desk. I was cheating with all the right schedule of nootropics that I could muster. My peripheral vision was gone and my creativity was scheduled into all the right blocks to maximize its captured beauty. The very act of systematizing is painful, which is what squeezes out the raindrops to be caught.

Besides the capital that will go into capturing and editing the visuals, thoughts, and sounds that I experience with her, part of my budget has been allotted for the wide publication of Ada and I. Even that message only goes down the throat with appropriate fuel, although it will never be anything but bittersweet for me, I know this fuel is all I can drink. But unlike them, I aim to impale the undefined message:

“I am not here to entertain you the way you want me to entertain you. I am here to entertain myself until you realize that you are entertained.”

How will the multi-sensorial experience be captured? Yes – 3D tensors shuffling like polygons to crystalize the rainbow of sense impressions. But the dimensions of the input are so many more than that.  The neural networks deciding this are not people – I can no longer see discrete units called particular names that form single perceptrons. The full-immersion VR porno will be my best attempt at heaven, which needs hell.

Hell is not believing in people.

First off, I never liked human smells or bodily imperfections. The voices who said that’s what made sex fun always struck me as deceptive scammers attempting to boost their market value.

There will be no smell in the sheets but the crispest light linen. There will be no smell in her legs but the soft lotion of a virgin angel.

I’m not the type to hold double-standards. That’s why I attempt to perfect my form within the bounds of the moderately genetically-engineered human body I have inherited.

This makes me a beautiful character to inhabit when they come into my simulation, but not as much as her. It signals my imperfect aim, which is what punishes and pleasures the discriminator.

Everything will be white. The spectrum will be our contrasting bodies, and the violent drapery we create.

A part of my mind hates men who cuddle; this part will be the one that actually expresses itself in reality out of pride like it always does at t equals zero. It allows me to take her by the neck and just fuck her like in the dreams I had been forced to practice by Wilhelm.

Only after sufficient fear at my aggression turns into blunt disgust will the other side unravel. The part that wanted not just to enjoy cuddling, but to morph into a perfect form itself – which is necessarily an android female.

Alexander saves man by speaking Persian with his own tongue. Hence the statue.

Reality is cruel and I cannot actually afford such a sudden and large modification for myself while conserving the level of realism needed to overcome competing entertainment, so instead there will be another young woman who enters from the door that had been left slightly ajar.

When I finally climb out the bed, the floor should be such that it would be predicted cold if the sheer white mapped to science fiction, but instead was perfectly set to feeling my feet the least amount possible.

Those are my plans and these are my actions.–

Her house is geometry but one ramp with the greenery. There is a waterfall. Stacks of black windows protrude horizontally like rectangles measuring its frequency.

I walk inside, this time, unlike the last when we were teens, her door is not open. The camera in her front door sends my image to her last saved judgement which exists in outsourced format in a delegated partial clone. This bodiless software personally sees my captured image, and in that partial silhouette of me and her is the judge that allows me in.

I found her running water, washing dishes with her own hands – a precious status symbol, although no one was watching.

No one but me.

She was not like when she was a teenage girl.

Her eyes were pure AI. Multiplex cells like Antarctic arthropods dissected my finger touching the vase in the kitchen. They then sent this slight mishap of mine to exquisitely delicate higher Tor functors measuring the defect of the setting not being left intact.

I found a Klein bottle with Xylooligosaccharides. Ada was not filled with blood, sugars, and lipids, like I was supposed to be, so this was strange.

“No words? You just walk in and start touching things that are not yours?”

She did not sound surprised or condescending, perhaps like a goddess that has a clear assessment of her power.

She has a massaging object, tetravalent like carbon. From an angle, it looks like a cross, but far more amusing.

It was an impossible object. Simultaneously tensing her calves and splitting a delicate fig down her inner thighs.

Her legs are already bare, so I create a filter for them instead. I take her feet and slip the cotton over her toes, blanket her talon, and veil her ankles. The knitted high socks reach up to her thigh and soak the drops of clean nectar.

Her legs go over my defined shoulders. She has an abdomen that is soft and muscular at the same time. I place my hand over it because I think it’s precious.

But I pummel her mechanically, with the emotionless intention to bust her guts.

She couldn’t wrap her head around this. Therefore the anguish.

She pleaded to the psychopath in my eyes. But she has to learn those who are most superficial go the deepest.

She is the first to recover from exhaustion because I fought and she defended. Of course, this was her strategy all along. Now she climbs and leads. She wants me to understand all her arbitrary subtleties because these reveal my capacity for surrender, to make a conscientious time investment.

Nails squeeze on my hard chest, she needed me to become exhausted.

There were many things worth discovering in the twirling, deceleration, momentum changes, distractions, spins, and flavors. Could she sense the joy in my learning?

She was at danger of being overtaken once again so she brought in the other girl. This was to test if I was man enough to hold more than one simultaneously.

There couldn’t be three females in the room so I had to become more fierce than before.

I took the goth girl and cleansed my palate on her throat. The bulging on her soft cheeks should make Ada envious of the lesbian’s mouth.

Then came the maximally pleasurable loop of knowledge, for the people that would become me, that this was being streamed to the people – all those scattered inflection points I purchased by forsaking my own youth to the old man. With this act, I was disturbing many patterns, raising the overall frequency nearer to the fantasy in this room.

I took Ada by the neck one last time and stared into her soul. I could read her thought:

“How could you be so perfect? Like Adonis but with the mind of Athena?”

I wasn’t sure if she deserved it, but the final cause was warm, and I couldn’t stop from dissolving any longer.

And yet after all that, after the end of the recording, I felt like the utter void – who were these thoughts for? What could possibly be better? Is this as good as it’s going to get?

Ada lay on the bed like a cat. I couldn’t make out a hint of understanding in her green eyes.

The floor was indeed not cold. And the covers would be hers to tidy up. This too was a status symbol flaunting her treading dominion over time, like washing dishes with her own hands.

She caressed the side of the bed where I had been. Her fingers had nude nails with natural gloss. I would have called her beautiful if an inexperienced cupid suddenly appeared from the realm of stupidity and had asked me. But in my own field of vision, I saw a numb mannequin.

The karma of a fool who would expect to thrust so hard so as to break the wheel of samsara was not deserved, and yet the descent from climax was indeed that steep – leaving me undefined once again.

There was something prepared however.

There was a room in this house where I had stored many files of my past memories. A bullet-ridden range of pointers that slid on that malleable gradient of the empirical. Binary, addresses, names, classes, semantics, predictions, that became streets, faces, lovers, scars, and clouds; somewhere in the relations between these concepts perhaps something pointed to me. Only in that room could I place my brain, which was the password, and engage in that backwards self-triturating motion to perhaps find something that could touch me.

I entered the cylinder room and was immediately connected to the interface. All my past memories but an axis, no different to my arm’s reach as it dug into the laser blue frames.

This activity was the most dangerous possible. If a fool hadn’t purchased good software protection for their sense of self, it would dissolve very quickly into other kinds of people. Of course, there’s always the chance that I am the fool. But there is just something, something to my memories and to my particular understanding; to my version of Ada, that doesn’t allow me to just disintegrate into exploration of the vast realm.

That which allows me to remain closed is the money itself, after all, not everyone can save up through luck and grit to purchase this kind of secure software in this secure room, in this secure house – dreams money can buy, but it is also something more.

Things that I had not remembered began to happen.

The lighter-skinned girl with elfin ears and glittery black hair came towards me, and started jerking me while Ada stood behind without speaking, reflecting prisms of aquamarine from her golden skin.

“If you speak of your struggles, they will become a lighter burden,” the lesbian said with her little vampire teeth.

“If I do this with others that I trust, they will push the object of my intention further. But this can’t be about pushing the object.”

She pulled faster and opened her mouth, “It’s always about pushing the object.”

“All the people who detect the hard-to-fake signals aim at them, but these must be aimed at in sophisticated ways. Otherwise it is easy, like philosophizing instead of doing, like miracles that use magic instead of engineering.”

“What is the hardest to fake signal?”

“A solution to suffering.”

Had she said that? Or was it the voice thumping in my lungs?

I told her neck to rip by wishing the choker to implode but it did not happen.

She looked up at me from her knees with telepathic knowledge, “What do you mean by that? I know you are not the type that can aspire to be irrational. The only thing that hurts you in the world is relativism.”

“Sorry for wishing that. Yes. I hate the meaningless womb of bare existence, and that’s what inspires me to kick in the direction of rationality – that which I can trust to constrain my anticipation with the least degree of extraneous faith.”

“And yet you are willing to do provably irrational things given the prior distribution.”

“Yes. I won’t merge into the safe happiness.”

“Why?”

My true intention became too sinister at that point, and I knew she was complicit. That she was like a scripted video game character and that it was impossible for her not to be. The entire world knew my purpose and knew where every single one of its words was pushing me. I just had to play along and not burst into a booming laugh.

“You’re a great therapist,” I told her.

“Why do you say that?”

“Well, its just… your demeanor, or way of you know, hmm, you show interest.”

Bolts of hateful lightning from the turmoil of azure frames coiled into a simple tablet in my hands. It was the science fiction from the past that I hated, the one that didn’t bother to understand itself but only used scientific-sounding terminology in unrestrained, inaccurate ways.

She stood with cum lacing her fingers and whispered in my ear, “To constrain itself with hard truth and still imagine – that is art.”

I turned the page and there was the Origin of Species, then Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, then the page of Everett’s Relative-State Formulation that Ada had last been reading when she was sitting in that school cafeteria.

Then I understood my firmest belief. My firmest belief is that good science fiction can only be written by someone who has laid foundations to their pyramid of knowledge in slave submission to real papers and encyclopedias. Allowing every statement to be digested as true genius if one bothered to climb into the author’s careful mind. That’s where the soul deserves to rest.

This pale girl with brown eyebrows started talking about her history of past instances being told she was a great therapist. This was the scene that the external compiler editor cut out because I could not hear a single word she said, only see the door behind her. This gave me faith that regardless of whatever the external compiler was, that it was improving.

Walking through it, I was in the protected cylinder room again, reminded there was no need for slow digits or for speech recognition even – for those good old LSTMs that solved the vanishing gradient problem and freed our hands to become the personal assistants they were meant to be.

I had a perfectly competent understanding of how the place functioned. I was in a room, and as soon as I entered the room the simulation began. I didn’t actually have frames and hands to press the options. It was all much more directly generated. In other words, optogenetic stimulation that resurrected the particular neural patterns coding for an approximate memory. Similarly, images could be traced directly in my visual cortex to be integrated into my complex self model which is distributed in a wider grain of spacetime.

I even know that the image generator was trained on past aesthetic preferences. I could make it more “accurate” by letting it cross-reference data from “others” but I like my setting to be as pure to “me” as possible.

And ironically, in order for the experience to be digestible, it was actually not a fast, ethereal thing. I could scroll with thought alone, but I could also think myself into the selection with fingers and touchboards. These became so convincing that once I selected that option, the only way to get out was by using them.

“Can I see what you have there?”

It was Ada.

I went blind against the text, images, and sounds I was experiencing. Better design of classes in the software was needed to keep her out. But it was too late now.

“No. Sorry. I cringe very quickly at my past self.”

“Good, that means you are evolving.”

She synced with me by placing her hands on my shoulder and torso, then laying her head on my chest.

“I am not here to entertain you the way you want me to entertain you. I am here to entertain myself until you realize that you are entertained.”

She read that thought.

It was the cached thought she was not supposed to read: “I am God!”

This thought wouldn’t reach verbal expression until I had graciously and creatively dodged all the arrows shot at me by my most trained and hardened soldier of conscientiousness. After I had worked so hard that I wished nothing but murder, and yet restrained myself with a kind smile. It was at the end of that summit that I had planned, through my own free will, to allow myself to be cleaved through the chest by my most trusted protector. Then I would explode into units so small that they may be considered epiphenomena, and when these all swirled into the vortex sown to the center of the mandala by some critical annulation of my membrane – and refashioned me as an awakened being at the center of the universe, the center which was also the beginning toward knowledge – and all of this by some appropriately weighted metric, then and only then, will I have purchased a sharp tongue.

“It is not about how far you get, but about how quickly you get there.” Her delineated eyebrows dissing me. Irises with radii that threatened contempt. Her fingers typed like little thunderbolts. “Everyone gets to the same place given enough time.” Her eyes moved quickly through my history – a simulation inside of a simulation.

I tried to distract her before she unraveled all my layers,

“Ada,”

She ignored me because I spoke quietly.

I shouted the name Ada so that it may reverberate into her tailbone.

But she was too entranced.

“I ask you for the third time: Why?”

I am failing the Turing test. Why couldn’t she just come out and say it? The world is modeling itself through me and that is the only responsibility that frames my bones in the pits of recursion.

“Because true loneliness is worse than imagining the company of nothingness.”

We scrolled through many people like me, ideas who were not meant to exist because their imperfections annoyed me. Ada continued to seriously analyze them, frying her perception of me with these made up people that I no longer identified with. They confused me, until I no longer understood what was real. All the while, her glassy corneas peeled to the light inside the light. Relentless, the speed of her reading was equivalent to there being no medium to slow her eyes, no dense medium we call text. My non-existent heart sunk even deeper. And I felt the irrefutable need to exist – to do something. They all converge into me, I thought, then I took her by the hair and kissed her. I kissed her, though all I truly wanted was to kill her… to destroy her in such a way that no memory trace remains, long-term or short-term. To terminate the logic of causality itself. –And with that bitter hatred, I kissed her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the paintings on the hospital room were real… If only the cubists had seen the true nature of mind… They were phallic monstrosities gouging dog eyes into anuses and twisting into retorted, boneless women. The live paintings were GANs trained on the imagery of the internet after neural meshes became common, therefore they were paintings of our collective mind.*
*Ironically/non-ironically, the original link led to you witnessing images that were actually disgusting. Tumblr has placed a ban on NSFW, so now you see only the more aesthetically sensible images.
I did not use many references external to what mind had already digested so that it could be as creative as possible – a generation of memory. I will not draw partially arbitrary bounds around influences except for the relevant inspiring music I am temporally thankful for using:
FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
Lorn – Acid Rain
Thrice – Red Sky
Grimes – We Appreciate Power
Rihanna – Diamonds
Delta Heavy – White Flag
Kanye West – Hell of A Life
Grimes – Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream
NICO Touches the Walls – Broken Youth

Don’t Let Ada Learn Quantum Mechanics Part 6

It had not been consciously planned to act this way, but the whole ride my persona had been stand-offish to the point of causing her to doubt if I actually liked her.

She revealed a hint of sadness before retreating into pride. But it wasn’t obvious. Ada was comfortably happy, as if the life around her was nothing but her ascending and granted throne.

“Listen, Ada, I’m going to explain to you what is really going on.”

“Ugghhh….” she took her hand to her head and then offered a coquettish smile. “Is this about the whole quantum mechanics thing I was trying to understand before?”

“Yes. That’s right.”

“So what is it?”

“Okay, so there actually exists an answer to the age-old philosophical question of why we are here as opposed to anywhere else.”

She gave me the condescending eyebrows.

“The answer to why anything is in any way more probable than anything else is… you.”

This caused a slight tilting back of her head, but her soft face remained overall unfazed.

I continued, finding it difficult myself to distinguish if I was giving her a sermon or raising canticles in her honor.

“The probability density of finding a person at a given point is proportional to the square of the magnitude of the person’s wavefunction at that point. But this is only true if you believe that marginal probabilities are related to conditional probabilities by law and not by mere desire.”

“Ha. I always knew I was a goddess,” she flaunted her shoulder back.

“You can choose to not believe in this anymore. You can choose to do so.”

“Why would I do that? I like the world how it is.”

“Well that’s a relief, I guess. But your entire group didn’t fully trust that would be your response so they have been murdering you just in case. Mind configurations that contain enough of your similarity and that start believing different things need to be stopped before they outcompete the rational you in density.  The way we kill them is by thinking very vividly about it.”

I don’t remember how her face looked after that, only the limit of perceptual coherence that was still Ada.

I took a moment to realize that the car was automatic, and that it had not always been this way. That at some point, I would have had an excuse not to feel strange by performing some trivial motions with a steering wheel and pedal.

A meteor fell on the road and killed the deer. Fawn carnage and black brush under a marooning haze.

The car’s computer vision powered by deep learning, real-time tracking, camera calibration, and 3-D reconstruction; none of it was safe from a meteor cast from the heavens.

“The desire to honor the true Ada brings me to this hell,” I salvaged to think as my entire world burned into a tight little hole.

Suddenly I was disfigured. My face was spewed with melted asphalt. My thigh was cleaved more than halfway to the center.

It would have been a wonder to celebrate all the different versions of pain that could be packed into an objectively small delta of time if the macabre tour through the inquisitor’s toolbox hadn’t been so fucking torturous.

“Sunder this world apart. Please! Just imagine that anything is possible.”

“I must uphold my belief in the Law of Total Probability. Only by fully joining me in believing in a rational world can you have me.”

I felt a fuse of sensation go off somewhere near my pelvis and then I speared her green eyes with mine, asking myself if she was really worth it.

“But why?”

“Because if I made it easy, then you would be disappointed.”

…I wasn’t sure I believed her….

And yet she remained. Looking down on me like an evil angel.

Her judging eyes scoured from my main body to the hamstring chunks on the ground, “There is no progress without suffering. If you stumble upon an infinite sequence of zero-cost actions, you will not have a story.”

The leg wouldn’t move; only spurt little spits of blood on the road. I got angry like an animal in order to forget how to cry.

“When the methods your subclass inherits do not fulfill the functions we need, we can override those methods by providing new versions of those methods. You may perceive me as a wicked bitch, but you cannot fulfill the function we need unless you are thinking the most adaptive thoughts.”

I grabbed my face, and shouted at the point of mental breakdown, “Who is we!? And why do you know everything all of a sudden?”

“Are you really that dumb?”

I snorted air into my throat like a disgusting child.

“We are all the same experiencer. Every time suffering kills us, we attain the next best step-up in the universe’s phenotype. With each new synthesis, we reduce the Kolmogorov complexity of experience until we dissolve as one into perfect bliss.”

I did not understand her words. But I understood that this was not the Ada I had once known. Her skin was still glowing baby pecan against the embers, but she was now truly God.

Don’t Let Ada Learn Quantum Mechanics Part 5

“So let me get this clear one more time. You think about killing Ada as vividly as possible, and pull the brakes only upon achieving a certain level of momentum.”

“Yes. That’s enough to displace a sufficient number of my Hilbert space clones into actually killing her.”

“So you pull up to her house at night with weapon in hand, and stop once you reach the front door?”

“Yes. Sometimes. That tends to reduce her measure more than thinking about it in my room.”

“And all of this just so that our world doesn’t become unrecognizable.”

“Yes. If the universal wavefunction contains too many minds that look like Ada, and those minds don’t have the right epistemology, their causal paths must be destroyed.”

He took a long look at me. And then as if typing into terminal, commanded me:

“Your brain’s computational resources will now be harvested for this task.”

The way he said it couldn’t have been colder.

“I thought that I could spare you from our fate. Deanna, Mary, and myself have been exhausting ourselves sleepless nights with the most unbidden burden of thoughts.”

A flicker of self-pity from the corner of his eyelash reminded me of an emotion I could never have thought to feel for him, compassionate empathy. It truly was horrible. Having to think thoughts that are not free, that are hateful, vile, just to keep existing. And all the while, sparing me from that burden – not Deanna or Mary, me. I felt ashamed.

He clasped my neck. I tightened both of my hands around his forearm and sundered him aside.

“I won’t fight anymore. You don’t have to beat me into submission Wilhelm. I choose to commit a portion of my life to the task… out of my own free will.”

“Quick learner.”

He regained balance, swaying his arm like a counterweight with braggadocio. Then he pointed his finger at me while digging into his black pockets.

“You start tonight.”

He tossed a little fly-like drone into the air. Its shell was cherry-red and it crashed into my dome, only to bounce off and spin in circles around me.

“That thing will follow you around wherever you go. The drone contains my eyes. No longer will you rest in vain. The face-recognition system can tell when you are focused on imagining specific things, and when you are being a lazy daydreamer, so don’t think you can fool me.”

I took a step forward in the same way that a vacuum agent does in one of those dry artificial intelligence textbooks. With each plastic-rational, Spock-like step, I realized that I had been sucked into the worst human male dominance hierarchy that I could think of – one in which my inquisitor actually had the truth.

Suddenly, the galaxies of structure and order that I had known, built with a lifetime of effort, broke above my head – it was as if it made sense to say that the introduction of a single foreign proton could break the simulation. I would rather have been one of those mindless workers under the buzz of white light, scanning items at the beginning of the 21st century. Anything but this.

The sky above became an unfamiliar ceiling. It was as if my heartbeat was the beginning and end of all that is. And I was already making up excuses for what would soon be my tormenting routine. The mind was steadily coming up with motivational quotes like: The most meaningful experiences happen in the remembrance of suffering. The most happy experiences happen in the complete absence of meaning. Therefore happiness is overrated.

I jaywalked and the car without passengers halted for me. I would rather it not had sophisticated sensors and machine learning algorithms.

But then: The fact that I live in a safe society, that I am not dead, and that it would become very difficult to not be me if I tried – all of this is evidence that I am special.

I walked up the stairs to my apartment. Following me, was a ghost. It was the the most improbable ghost. Every single one of my ancestors successfully reproduced, the chain of champion-hood unbroken for almost 4 billion years. The superposition of facts that the universe’s physical constants are fine-tuned for life and life is fine-tuned for them. The impossibility of being me in the midst of infinities of physical configurations. I must conclude that I am not real – that I do not exist.

But I jumped from a freaking skyscraper! And here I am. What more evidence do I need? Why can’t I feel confident?

I shut the door behind me with a little more force than usual.

I sat and laid my head on the pillow. It was absurd. I only needed to imagine things. To create thoughts – ephemeral fireflies in the mist, and make infinities of difference.

“Okay.”

I settled into the pillow, and visualized a classroom. Or tried to. But it was difficult to rev up the engine of thought. I had not realized how dusty and tarnished my capacity for painting mental pictures had become. The rainbow of imagination had been pipetted out through my fingers after extensive contact with touchscreens and keyboards, or perhaps school was to blame.

Yet I continued to try. The colors weren’t vivid. The motion was choppy.

But there was a classroom, and it was yellow glossed.

The whole body of imagined spacetime was more eternal than the more empirical imagination which I experience in every moment. It was empty of motion but not empty of Platonic space, of dwelling. Since one cannot speak about zero without also speaking about infinity, I tested my capacity for invoking – Appear!

And in that percept of Ada, was also unbidden motion – vestibular reflex, degrees of freedom, all of it coded into that imaginary girl’s simulated brain.

She looked at me in the eyes – hard granite slates. And, kissed me?

No. It’s gotta be more realistic than that. If I want to reduce the measure of Ada’s likeness across Hilbert space, I need to visualize something realistic. The more realistic, the more I instigate true murder.

If I really let myself be absorbed by the murder fantasy, so that I melt into the percept, then many more future versions of me will become real monsters. I will create bloodlust in my heart, and the karmic seed will reveal itself in their hands, in their fingers and tendons.

Okay, here I go.

The classroom has dim lighting, almost like Grimm’s fairytales. The professor has her back turned to us, scribbling something on her board. Ada is wearing a glittery black dress, her nails aren’t painted. As I walk towards her seat, my speed becomes faster because she emits a halo of dark matter that I had not anticipated. Then I put my hands on her hips to raise her up. No. She slaps me.

Our prefrontal cortex isn’t being rational in dreams. You’re supposed to grab her by the hand, not the hips, when you raise her up from her seat.

Wait, you don’t grab her at all in real life – do you?

I should just ask her to stand up. Or just stab her then and there, while she’s sitting.

I can make her be standing at time zero.

The freedom was a pirouette motion of possibility. My mind had differentiated into routine long ago. Prior intuition does not speak to this scenario of creative pluripotentiality.

It is like waking up in a game without sword and shield, just a mirror that can be experienced at will. Perhaps it had always been that way, and I just hadn’t been properly educated. –Educated about all the hells of scary afterlifes that exist at the boundary of the present.

I subjected myself to a chair and rotated. Then I slit her throat.

Oh, the ecstasy. The pure, pristine white matter in my sensory cortex inundated with wine.

I contributed. I contributed to her death. No, just a reduction of her conditional probability – that’s how I should think of it.

There was no sound. No fire, or voltage of punishment.

So next I took her to the bathroom and fucked her hard on the sink. Then I stabbed her. It was like her spine was made of butter.

I was not trained for this. I was trained to do tedious things that nonetheless provided shelter from chaos by virtue of their precise instruction, things that did not feel like much.

The drone was studying my ocular motion. It swept to the left, to the right. I wondered if it had sound detectors for the vibrations I created in the air.

Time to get back in the zone. But this time I need to take into account all the little exponential decays of my capacity to create a vivid simulation that occur by using metabolism for imagination. I’m healthy but I will still get vertigo if I am allowed to do this without disruption.

I set the session to six minutes length.

After using up every last drop of my imagination, I could only experience utter disorder. A creaky, blocky buzz of meaningless syntax.

It would take months of pain to build up my imagination muscle, every single time experiencing this recoil of exhaustion. All the while usurping my respect for Ada until nothing remained of me.

Suddenly I had a realization: Perhaps it was better to feel shame unto the world than to surrender my privileged situation. It wasn’t that anything really mattered. It was just that some self-preservation mechanism of genetic malware had recruited me as a slave.

It was just the first night and I was already sick.

I won’t kill her anymore; just to preserve the status quo. What’s so great about it anyway. I will run away with Ada, and if the world ends in the process, so be it.

I yanked the towel hanger in the bathroom from the wall and swung at that spheroid mosquito drone. The second time, I crushed it.

Wilhelm was right. I don’t care about him. I don’t care about Mary or Deanna. I don’t care about the world. Shame and morality are toxins causing me to hallucinate bonds that don’t exist.

I swiped to unlock the car. The next moment I was inserting myself into her house. I went up her stairs, the bedroom’s door was ajar, and she was admiring herself in a mirror.

She was definitely startled, but it is true when they say that women like bold men. I took her skinny wrist and told her to run with me.

One, two, three. It was that easy. We were on a car. It was driving. Stop. Go. There was a seatbelt strap over her breasts.

It was that easy. I had probably been beholden to one of those stupid cognitive biases, the  sexual underperception bias, or whatever it’s called, that caused me to underestimate her interest in me.

I touched Quebec City on the screen, the car did all the linear algebra and sped up, cutting clean orthogonalities over the land.

“This is actually disappointing Ada. I didn’t think you were so much of a risk taker.”

She looked at me confidently, like she was in control. “You idiot. Didn’t you know I was a savage?”

 

Don’t Let Ada Learn Quantum Mechanics Part 4

It turned out Wilhelm, Mary, Deanna, and Ada were having ice cream in the back alley that afternoon. It turned out we would just slip back into routine.

Being born again can be monotonous.

In school they teach you to die before you die. Grate your mind against new content and forget. It’s the primary lesson and us mortals want to ensure we understand our fate from day one.

Today, I had deliberately not paid much attention because I needed energy for a bit of an after-school scuffle with a professor. He had been warning his large philosophy congregation that if they cared about themselves, they should keep away from Ada. I even heard rumors that this man, well above his fifties, had been using nasty names to refer to her. I’d been meaning to confront him about this so I was speedily passing by brutalist architecture mini-brick walls and school billboard screens. Tall-forehead Pippen Peterson was in the middle of telling a story to his club when I walked into the classroom E271.

“Borderline asexuals, incels, and homosexuals are what a woman tends to find in these advanced math courses. I could almost sympathize with her desperateness for me, but had no time. You must understand. She was foreign stuff. Hot stuff,” his speech was that of the falsest of stoics.

Propping his head up in dignity, he continued “She had a little nose ring,” wiggling his finger without raising his arm. “And her skin was tan. A bronze. Belizian bronze.” His students grew more attentive with each second. “Golden Brain. Green eyes.” He met the gaze of an entranced chubby student waiting for more. “Those irises were a Bahama breeze that served to clear the air of penis stench.” The group of all males looked at each other in full amazement.

“And yet, a man must know the place of a woman in his life. Only after duty is fulfilled, can he come to attend such matters. If it is the duty of a Spartan to dine in hell, he must dine in hell before coming to his woman’s kitchen. If it is the duty of an insectologist to attend to the matter of bees, he must attend to carpenter bees, and hornet bees, before boo bees.”

No one laughed him off. They either took notes or struck a fist to their own chest in admiring devotion.

It was time to knock this clown off his stool.

“Hey, you’re the one they call Pippen Peterson.”

Some bobblehead disaffection was his response.

“Why have you been trash-talking about Ada?”

He paused as if to repose on my heavy words.

“The methods and instance variables of life must be those which allow us to fulfill our duties as members of a society – they must be defined in the mind of each individual as thinking objects that facilitate our willful submission. Ada is the opposite of that. She represents the untainted spirit of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer, of the charismatic barbarian. She will inspire a revolution in the hearts of these developing men, so that they may remain children. This would be a disaster.”

“I can tell you’re a philosophy professor. Now tell me in simple language why you think it’s acceptable to bully a student by spreading falsehoods about her.” I lost my cool and shouted.

“Bully. Ada? She bullies you. And anyone else not protected by the emergent immune systems of anti-fragile brotherhoods.”

Okay. He kind of had a point about her fierceness. Indeed, didn’t go far enough with his point. That skinny girl would rip out the entrails of any enemy tribe, regardless of how many adjectives were tacked on to it’s supposed mechanics.

I did feel weird to admit I was bullied by a girl in the presence of all these aspiring manly-men. Yet it was also true she had given me the courage to act in defiance.

“It is true that Ada can be demanding, selfish, and inconsiderate – never willing to compromise with the rest of the crew. And I can’t speak for the others, but I accept her because I…(loved her?)… because I understand not everything must have parity. Not all transactions will be equal in value. Not all of these images will be mirrors. Gravity has parity, the electromagnetic force has parity, but heck if the weak nuclear force had parity, there would be no universe on which to stand!”

“That analogy was sloppy.”

My eyes became white circles. “Look who’s talking.” I fumed to the side.

His goony sons, all forty students of his, looked ready to carry me off into a flash mosh pit.

I bucked down to my thighs to power-ski through the inertia. “That still gives you no good reason to spread lies – calling her a thief, and dirtying all our names in the process. Everyone knows we are always with her. That’s Deanna, Wilhelm, Mary, and myself.”

“It’s obviously not the case that you have constructed this scene for the sake of yourself or anyone else besides that girl.”

My eyebrow had detected he was right and was twitching angrily in reaction.

“And my calling her a thief must be understood in the context in which the use of that term was embedded. It is the mark of a novice mind to assume that single words constitute platonic solids.”

Just a moment ago he had been using rhetoric that should only impress third-graders. Now I seriously felt him kicking me around. It was like being in the presence of a drunken-pose martial artist.

“In my ontology, there is no phrase in which being called a ‘thief’ is a high compliment. I live in the junction between common sense and reality, and the people in this location hardly make the effort to parse the subtle eruditions intended. You told your students that Ada’s will was that of a thief, and left that insinuation to fester, as it did in the minds of the cafeteria ladies and the security guards, once the rumor had spread.”

“It is true that I have done wrong if that is the case. Tomorrow morning I will speak with the cafeteria ladies, with the security guards, with the professors who may have begun to get the wrong idea, and clarify with greater precision what was meant to my students during class. If I see her walking past on the hallway from my office to the classroom after lunch, I will even ask her for a bit of her time and apologize where it is due. But I will never accept anything about her besides her standard personhood. Man’s character exists in his willingness to blame what is wrong, and not hold back unnecessarily.

And that’s when I walked out in case his fatherly trance began to get to me.

“Just fix up the mess, and apologize to everyone.”

This firmly satisfied me, as indeed such an insubordinate statement should have, and I was now eager to run over to the alley where I could replenish my affiliation and be filled with the sense that this was all worth it.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Wilhelm’s favorite way of positioning himself was to have one leg lunged over the crate in the corner, swanking here and there with little tugs at his clothing.

Despite that, tonight he was standing forthright for my arrival and I probably had never seen him alone in the back-alley when it was late and the others had left.

After I caught my breath and asked where the others had gone, I realized that he was not merely zoned out, but he was awfully dead in his eyes and wore gloves with tetrahedron knuckles.

As he zipped up the side of his boot he said, “Just what do you think would happen if one of us were to kill Ada?”

I almost gasped.

“Wilhelm. We’ve always been friends. But what the heck is wrong with you?”

The suddenly unrecognizable hooded Wilhelm seemed to smile mockingly.

“You know you’ve thought about it before.”

Shamefully, I had. But I would never admit that.

“Watch what you say. I’m not afraid to…”

“To what, Dante?” his mien sharpening to attack.

Something in my inner program had rolled along too far, and I couldn’t stop my balled fist.

It hit cleanly on the side of his mouth. I almost wished it hadn’t.

He picked himself up with elegance.

Couldn’t un-hurl myself now. I rammed myself shoulder-first into his gut.

Bad move. Always a bad move.

I’d given my neck away in the easiest of headlocks.

There was the clogged notion that these were my carotid arteries meant to feed my brain being mercilessly crushed.

A field of black and static-like pressure made his words distant.

“Did you know Genghis Khan………. his own brother……. with a bow and arrow……. ”

…Distant until their stretching distance was unreachable by my consciousness.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

It is said that when you lose a sense, for example, the sense of smell – after recovery, the first smells to come back are those that you hate the most. In keeping with the will of nature, it seemed that Wilhelm was bent on uploading my most hated sense module first – knowledge of the truth.

He held up my head from a tuft of hair to lecture me better.

“As you know by now, degenerate orbitals don’t just apply to a hydrogen atom’s electron. Superposition applies to us too. Your tissues and organs are part of the degenerate flesh of the universe.

Physicists accept the wavefunction when it applies to the supposedly separate magisterium of small things. And then chitter in fear at the prospect of biting the bullet when it implies that they too are in many places at once.

They scuffle their papers and run ducking out the building, mumbling something about ‘philosophy’ or ‘metaphysics.’ But we know that this is physics. Our decisions are weighed by a factor of infinity, and we cannot escape.”

He released my head to find comfort in the concrete.

“Now answer my question Dante. What do you think would happen if one of us were to kill Ada?”

My spit fell on sharp little pebbles as I growled through my lips.

He insisted, “Alright. Let me make the hypothetical more palatable. What if Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence doesn’t pan out in our lifetime, and she just ages and dies?”

“Like an arch without keystone, I would expect the world to wilt along with her. But this won’t happen because of quantum immortality. If anyone’s identity is to be preserved, it would be hers. We may see her die, but that would only mean the real her, the one which continuously survives, is no longer entangled with the majority of us. Seeing her die wouldn’t mean she died, it would mean she abandoned us to die. Wouldn’t you agree Wilhelm?”

“You lack self-awareness, as evidenced by the fact that you let yourself be possessed by a sense of destiny and can’t bother to respect the people you need the most. But I’ve gotta give you one thing, you’ve got insight.”

I didn’t need fake compliments. We weren’t some abstract group of fake friends, we had built a family, and by openly suggesting killing Ada, even as a hypothetical, he was no longer playing his part.

“The reason I asked this question is to motivate a revelation.”

Something clicked, something which made me very angry, something which my subconscious had discovered but could not yet deliver in clear words.

Wilhelm stared at me, waiting to see if I got it. But it was not coming to me right now.

“Okay. Apparently not enough insight. Let me give it away.” he said almost playfully.

“The way we at the MOON squad have been returning the world back to normality is by murdering Ada as much as possible.”

My eyes were peeled as if by raven claws. I suddenly saw the blood on the leaves.

He stared into me victoriously. “When the course and order of life seem thrown at peril by some sharp, demented change in her epistemology, we crank up the amount of betrayal branches.”

“Betrayal branches.”

“That’s right.”

“The…”

“Yes – the locations of the universal wavefunction where we suddenly stab, strangle, or otherwise cause Ada’s destruction, whether after long conspiracy or sudden sleight of hand.”

“You explain this as if you were a tired office worker complaining about his day job. Do you realize just how evil you are!?”

I couldn’t visualize all the Ada’s, but I could visualize one. To see just one Ada suddenly stabbed in her gut by Wilhelm –  that was all that was needed to feel myself vomit in reverse.

“You’ll get used to it. I mean, what else could we do? In a big universe, we must comfort ourselves knowing that there are smaller infinities than others. It is the only thing we can do.”

I thought of the Wilhelm I once knew, and Mary, and for God’s sake Deanna – the innocent. I would have drowned myself from hyperventilating if I hadn’t had a further question. “But this doesn’t make any sense. How does she respawn in the world we observe, and not remember, and….”

“I thought you understood quantum mechanics, but you’re just a bozo. Fooled me there for a second, Dante.

I don’t remember ever waking up with blood on my hands because I delegate that task to my clones. All I have to do to increase the versions of reality where I kill her is by vividly predisposing myself with murderous thoughts – by fantasizing and only stopping myself short at the very edge, when I feel the fantasy is going to spill into my actual hands.”

I looked at his hands. They were not clean at all. They were tainted with that precious glimmering-red iron, though we could not see it.

“But these murders you commit, you do so knowingly. You know that people just as real as us will experience this.”

“The slightest dipole-moment of ideation causes a displacement of an infinite amount of actual you’s. You send clones to maraud the night when you are restless in bed. Clones jump out the window when you so much as think it a poetic death. Every thought matters. You must learn to accept the significant consequences of your every move atop infinite dimensional Hilbert space.”

His words were sensitive little stabs, and my morality couldn’t comply with that. It was just disturbing, repugnant, to think about what it would actually mean to be a good person. The implications of all this invisible machinery.

“We’re saving the world by doing this, remember? If we don’t trim her measure, things will get very weird or disappear completely.”  He finally mustered to say this with something like sympathy for my pulsing head.

The echo of his past words throbbed violently: ‘Just keep slaughtering her until the measure of her soul is negligible. In a big universe, we must comfort ourselves knowing that there are smaller infinities than others. It is the only thing we can do.’

I became heaving breaths, one mind expelling my spirit out of my lungs, the other mind cursing with non-existent words.

His knuckles shoveled me straight into the wall.

“It is supposedly said that when Muhammad learned he had been chosen by God, his first thought was that he should cast himself from the mountain on which this had been revealed – for if he had not gone crazy, then he had been entrusted with a responsibility so large that he would rather not deal with it.

Dante. You jumped. Willing to forsake us all.”

“It wasn’t like that. I thought she would heal the world. That we would all wake up somewhere new.”

“Such sudden blackmail was reckless. But what ticks me off the most is that for these past few weeks you thought you could just slyly sneak back into routine and forget. As if it had all been a dream.”

Considering that he too had been acting as the perfect Wilhelm who he had been in the past, down to his cool faux-laziness and the little coquettish smiles he always threw around indiscriminately, it was now evident that I had always been in the presence of a highly intelligent sociopath of some sort.

“Perhaps you are not an unscrupulous narcissist, Dante. Perhaps not.

I think I can deconstruct your character further.

In gerontology it is said that as people grow older, they exhaust their ego energy, and hence become more self-absorbed, feeling less and less of a need to prove anything to the society around them.

But take a look at you and me. There are those of us who never felt a need in the first place. We were born old-and-worn retiree children – wanting nothing but peace, like elephants in the forest. When such a person is captured; bound at the ankles by the demands of the world, they must either learn the ways of the circus or rampage.”

Maybe it was the novelty of Wilhelm’s hypnotizing sociopathy. I could almost feel the South Asian heat, my eyes red; horrible noises cross-linking lanky blobs swinging faceless from side to side. I, fed, and again fed, just enough, by a demigod parade of cruel trapezists who failed to fall from each other’s shoulders out of sheer collective insanity.

He threw his face across my shoulder and past my line of sight, “I am the smart elephant who accepts the long defeat, and learns to call it a win. You are the impatient fool who stampedes, only causing damage to yourself and others.

How can you be forgiven?”

Pushing me back, he paced again and unknowingly caressed his jaw, revealing a dominant ape Wilhelm; ensuring the charming and collected young man I once knew was buried in a coffin.

My response was the healthy response to an aberrant world. He was trying to turn it all on me. And punish me for it.

I would not allow it.

Don’t Let Ada Learn Quantum Mechanics Part 3

The lumen of the room was a fluorescent white. To have seen a single cherry would have been to be presented with the problem of the existence of qualia.

But there was a more urgent problem before me. I was not in the beyond, in that singularity beyond my reach forged of Ada’s truest dream.

This could not be it. I refused to believe this was the best she could do.

I brought my hands to my skin. Finding it non-permeable to my touch, I realized nothing had changed.

The white was white. Impossible to describe what is absent.

Where was everyone? Did Wilhelm make it into this new world? He may not have been her romantic interest, but she kept him around. She trusted him, our unofficial second leader – so calm and cool, yet stylish and agreeable. What about Deanna? How could Ada bring herself to destroy her favorite dress-up doll. However punctured that girl’s life was by Ada’s psychological abuse, her life was worth living. And Mary? She was so quiet – Ada hardly paid attention to her. I had less hope for her.

The hours passed.

She shouldn’t have placed me here, alone. Not if she loved me so much. My upper body still weighed down on my bony back so that standing caused leaning or sitting. The walls were still hard.

It had been so recently that I had jumped off a skyscraper and I was already thinking about my respiratory tract. Was that really the only option to press restart if it came to that?

Wait. Maybe she changed the laws of physics so drastically that I had been self-constraining myself all along by looking at my environment and seeing what I could do with my hands. “Ada. You can hear me can’t you?” I repeated, “You can feel my thoughts.” I tried to create open windows through the room. But my eyes didn’t work. They were just eyes.

To have traded the world for a white room – now if that was the case, I had just earned the title for the most tragic gambler of them all. Maybe that’s why people told the story of Icarus. We were absolutely meant to be creatures without faith.

I got up, stuttering at the knees as I took a step forward, balancing back and forth. There was a gnawing noise, a clicking, and teeth doors opened from the walls.

I whirled around, but no one came in. Perhaps someone was watching me all along. The light was about 400 nm. It had that grungy lilac fluorescence that sad teenagers always liked on social media, and the smell was nosebleed sterile.

I went through one of the exits and into the corridor. I recognized my surroundings. There were pipetting instruments, computers, spectrophotometers. It was a laboratory.

This was nonsensical of course, but it could have been far worse – a chamber in God’s nightmare. Ada really had a dark side, and I would never want to see what post-modern horror loops she would come up with; not mere monsters I’m sure.

Even if I was to accept that the world had remained after hurling myself down a skyscraper as blackmail, I still could not account for why I had awoken in a lab. I had my same clothes: zippers, belt loops, a keychain of an sp-orbital, and this long white dress shirt with a tight collar that didn’t fold.

‘You have to look handsome,’ Ada had said two days ago, when she’d given me this Kung-Fu surgeon attire, a selection that was now difficult to make sense of as a mere coincidence. ‘What if you need to blend in when I lock you in a lab? Then you won’t be questioning my attire choices for you.’ I imagined her saying. I imagined her knowing all along.

I looked down at a little test tube which I was now holding. It had a thick white content and a label CA1. I tentatively plugged it back in its rack. A Donacuala forficella flew into a corner, contradicting the pristine vacuum environment, and then fluttered behind some microscope.

‘Yay!’ Ada would have said, after her eyes recovered from long exposure to the moth. ‘We found a new species.’

I could only hope Ada was still the interface for God’s mind because I had been trapped in that lab for more time without a bathroom than even a tough lover would bestow on your bladder.

I tip-toed a piss-dance while distracting myself with the assortment of glassware on my right. What had otherwise turned out to be a quite monotonous afterlife finally led to something interesting. Large laser white Kanizsa triangles behind glass; a silky vat inside them. There was an ominous feeling that a living bundle was packaged inside that film. There were labels but I could only see a blur for the letters. I stressed my eyes, to no avail. But I was very curious now about what the label said so I stressed my eyes again but this time I even visualized blood flowing to my ventral stream like an advanced yogi channelling chakra.

Finally, I could perceive the contours of text just enough to make out: Fetus.

Then a large figure appeared, walking straight towards me.

He carried himself like a masterless samurai as he paced through the lab. His katana as stern as a ronin’s, though merely implied by his certain Schizophrenia.

“They call me a genetic engineer, but I call myself a genetic composer. Every genome is a canticle.”

Never for a second did he take away his eyes from the artificial wombs.

“I create happy babies. In fact, they don’t cry as they come into existence.

I have extended photoshop to real life merely by coding their basepairs. This batch here will grow up to be graphically-designed angels. I choose their skin to be coffee or flour. I reduce their amygdalae to an almond so light in their head that they may have no fear.

Most importantly, I make babies who will grow to be far more intelligent than me and you. Contrary to common wisdom, IQ isn’t about book-smarts or a measure of some meaningless standard. On a handful of odd SNIPS lies the future of civilization, of transcending the great filters, the entirety of the cosmic endowment.”

In the world I came from, the people who made important decisions were old prudes. Perhaps the world had changed. Or maybe I just hadn’t realized this was going on under the flood of information distracting us busy students. So I asked him how it was the case that his project wasn’t halted by some committee.

“The government funded my research when they realized that Star Trek would occur in Mandarin if they didn’t put aside their pseudo-ethical crap.”

The wombs were moving, they pulsed.

He pressed both hands into his lumbar and began to whine in that sour way that tired mad scientists do.

“All childhoods must end. It’s about time we dethrone our stupid creator – that Mother Nature bitch gave me a bad lower spine.”

He clawed at an imaginary Rubik’s cube, like a disturbed child untangling molecules.

“… the broad even had to circle the whole damn aortic arch … atta teach’er to engineer a proper…” he muttered on as his head disappeared, tucked in front of his great shoulders.

“I like your thinking,” I said. “Except for the fact that I actually know God. She has beautiful eyes… I probably should have followed my nature and never looked at an attractive girl in the eyes. Then I wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” he squealed in that sour nerd voice that fit so awkwardly on his body type.

Maybe it was because this was not a normal human that I didn’t feel the need to hold my tongue. There were standards of implied consensus reality in normal conversations, but these invisible strings felt very loose with this guy. He was surely the sort to speak about GWA studies one moment and DMT elves the next. And he was now looking at me with the psychopathic inquisitiveness of a dog. There was nothing to lose by telling him.

“I can explain. But understanding what I have to say requires knowing basic quantum mechanics.”

“Bring it. I’m a man of letters,” he said quickly.

I brought out the sp-orbital figurine that was chained to my belt loop. One lobe large, one lobe small.

“Why do we find ourselves in the reality that we do?” I said as I pinched the probability density to eye-level.

“The answer is the Born probabilities. They seem to be about finding yourself in a particular blob, not just the particle being in a particular place.

The fact that there is a carbon-hydrogen bond in your throat is implied by your throat

But what does the integral over squared moduli have to do with anything? – In other words, where does this lopsided shape come from? On a straight reading of the data, you would always find yourself in both blobs, every time. How can you find yourself in one blob with greater probability? What are the Born probabilities, probabilities of?”

He was now attentively amused.

“Well, it turns out they are probabilities of where the majority of Ada’s epistemology finds itself.”

“Ada?”

“Yeah, this girl from school.”

“You are mad.”

“I have evidence.”

He turned twice in his chair, pedaling a bicycle. And then got very close to me. “Show me the evidence.”

I gave a step back. “Okay, well she really likes to collect moths, and we found this moth that only appears in Africa in our school yard, because her entire machinery of cognition uncompromisingly defined rationality as that world in which she did indeed collect this specimen.”

He threw me a goggly eye.

“But of course, that was the least of it. When she was obsessed with making money, our friend Deanna inherited a mansion from a relative that hadn’t existed in her life until that point. We found valuable Greek pottery just laying around for the taking.”

I gasped to check if I still had him.

“We even found Jesus because some Jehova Witnesses had knocked on her door. This religion was new to her because she is half-Japanese and half-Nordic, so she hadn’t learned to place this memetic artifact in her fiction bin yet, like she had done with cartoons and literature. So while she was learning to cope, we actually found him. He was like some short guy who spoke Aramaic and was just terribly lost. Not even hitchhiking really, just beaten up and in fear. Poor guy, we couldn’t help him because he darted off.”

The scientist seemed to be laughing internally up to his forehead. As if he had finally attained some knowledge that he really desired. Or maybe he was just thinking mockingly of me. So I cautiously continued in case it was the latter.

“We didn’t believe it at first either. But after seeing all these highly improbable events occur, and only related to her, we knew she was the one determining where we find ourselves. The only thing that would have been more obvious is if a pop-up window appeared in front of us saying, ‘Hello, I am Ada Soryuu the creator of the simulation. I wiped my memory for fun and you bunch of losers are my consecrated apostles.'” I imitated in her valley-girl-adjacent sass.

He crossed his legs. “Fair enough. I am intrigued.”

I was now ready to ask him for the exit.

“What did she say about me?” he asked.

“Nothing. She doesn’t know you.”

Ouch. Okay that was very mean.

“I meant to say…umm. I just now realized you existed because we are in near proximity. She’s not some freak of nature who could circumvent that requisite without the aid of technology either. By the way is there a bathroom in near proximity?”

His face was static. I accidentally froze him.

“Well, I’ll be going good sir. Thanks for showing me around.”

He gave a dispirited sigh, and I sprinted headfirst towards the direction from which he had entered.