Live Simulation

Remember when you had to bring two things to the table to enjoy Facebook? You had to be online and you had to be alive? Remember the excitement when the engineers overcame both barriers? Well, it hasn’t all been positive, has it?

I, whatever that term means these days, am thinking about these things as my car expertly flies in formation in thick traffic. Looks like everybody wants to be home for Thanksgiving and like nobody knows where home is.

I, that term again, have had a lot of homes in these 300 years. You probably have too. Shall we merge our cars and see where we end up?

That was easy. No sooner dead than done. Sorry, said. Where is this that we are arriving?

You haven’t been here before either? Lots of dudes in white robes. Thought this might be heaven until I noticed their pointy hats.

That was easy. Getting away simply a question of backspacing and two timing. Our motion sickness is only simulation – you can turn it off.

You like it on? Okay. Nostalgia for morning sickness is an extreme case of empty nest syndrome. Had a lot of children did you?

They are in here with us? Oh yeah, I see them now. You’re right, there are a lot of them. Several of them seem to be me. Oh look, one of them is you.

The engineers still have some tweaks they need to attend to.

A Morning (well, every morning) for Oldest Bishop Living

What is fun about the imaginary book Autonomous Rifle is that it, being imaginary, does not exist. This frees it from having rhyme or reason, narrative arc, timeline coherence, and raison d’être.
So the following scene, which also does not exist, stands and fails on its own:

‘Oh my god, I remembered my name for a minute!’
‘I don’t think so. No, can’t be that. Maybe it will come back to me.’
OBL, Oldest Bishop Living, addressed his dresser. It was his favourite possession, or companion, or may he was its, he thought.
OBL’s dresser had been with him throughout his living memory, and was still with him. He, OBL, remembered, because the dresser told him each morning at reveille, that he, the dresser, sometimes it, was automorphous.
‘Automorphous, what’s that mean?’ OBL asked each morning anew, shaving and dressing while the dresser long-windedly furnished him with the same answer.
‘I was already isomorphous,’ it began, ‘when an accident at BURL twisted neutrinos. The accident won awards and honours for Green Googly’s department, but side effects on furniture within twenty kilometres of BURL wrenched and traumatised my…’
Here, every morning, OBL interrupted to ask, ‘What’s Green Googly?’ causing the dresser to divert into reminding the Oldest Living Bishop that Green Googly was not a thing but the name of a person, a person’s title to be precise. The title of the head of the BURL department of no-objectives BRAIN initiatives, held currently, the dresser continued each morning, by a chap called Grau Anguish.
This information invariably sprouted memories in OBL’s massive stores of accrued impressions, and they, the sprouts, surfaced as commentary on long-ago cricket matches. Eventually they would wither. OBL would ask ‘Automorphous, what’s that mean?’
‘…Wrenched and traumatised,’ the dresser resumed.
‘Wrenched and traumatised?’
‘Twist and shout!’
OBL tired himself with a short shuffle, dried shaving cream dancing with motes as he sang. He, and the motes, subsided. Shaving cream shavings drifted out the open window.
The dresser continued, ‘…Twisted my molecules’ one-to-one correspondence between set elements from being such that the result of an operation on elements of one set corresponds to the result of the analogous operation on their images in the other set…’
“Twist and shout?’
Here, every morning, the dresser cut to the short version. ‘Twist and shunt, more like it. The twisted neutrinos changed me from isomorphous to automorphous, meaning I can self-morph. Shift shape. Within limits of remaining a dresser.’
‘Why didn’t you say so?’
‘I just did.’
OBL liked this part. He always liked this part. He said, ‘Show me.’
The dresser changed from its reveille form, a lowboy, ‘To escape any bonfire of vanities, I say wolfishly,’ it laughed. Ignoring OBL’s nonresponse it morphed into a full-dresser touring motorcycle with panniers.
OBL clapped his hands. He did this every morning.
‘Shall I continue. Be, perhaps, a window dresser, a grinding dresser?’
‘This will do,’ OBL said. He mounted and rode his dresser to the breakfast halls.

To Bee or Not to Bee*

Some writers have the gift of being crystal-clear communicators. Others muddle their own waters to the point of incompressibility [SHURLY ‘INCOMPREHENSIBILITY’, ED.] Imagine how they could be helped if Artificial Intelligence automatically supplied their texts with quips gathered from the Internet:

Hamlet* had a lot on his conscience* He knew that he should have practised more diplomacy* in his audience with his creator* He spoke now only to himself and worried he was becoming a bore* He wondered would he achieve a place in Camelot* His family, those still enjoying good health*, told him that even for an actor* he was neurotic* but he rejected that, positive* that his verbal* skills would guarantee him a place in history, not as a fanatic* but as the supreme egoist*

* bee: A fly dressed in a fur coat.
* hamlet: A little pig
* conscience: That part of the psyche which dissolves in alcohol.
* diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggy” until you can find a rock.
* creator: A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh. –H. L. Mencken
* bore: A person who talks when you wish him to listen. –Ambrose Bierce
* Camelot: A place where used dromedaries are sold.
* health: The slowest possible rate of dying.
* actor: A man who tries to be everything but himself.
* neurotic: Self-taut person.
* positive: Mistaken at the top of one’s voice.
* verbal: Able to whine in words.
*fanatic: One who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. –Winston Churchill
*egotist: A man who’s always me-deep in conversation.

The LoTPoS Saves Earth, Again

The Lords of This Part of Space, the LoTPoS, decided it was past high time to intervene on Earth before its humans ruined it.
‘Irrevocably,’ said the Clerk of Fate.
‘Forever,’ added the Recorder of Quantum.
‘Right,’ said the Keeper of Debits. ‘I have a plan.’
The other Lords listened. Nothing else had worked and something very different and quick was needed.
‘We will arrange,’ the KoD continued, ‘for proper clothing. It will change the way humans see their leaders. Change their views of who they follow and the world will become a better place. Maybe even survive.’
‘Subtle,’ said the CoF.
‘Details?’ enquired the RoQ.
The KoD waved and holograms of all Earth’s human leaders appeared. ‘By “arrange” I mean of course “make happen”. Humans recognise their firemen and their judges by the costumes those persons wear. They associate their leaders with a certain way of dressing. Their leaders dress like rich, powerful, well-groomed, well-coiffed models of efficiency and success. We are going to change that.’
The RoQ was getting antsy. ‘How?’
‘The RoQ means what will we get them to wear instead,’ said the CoF.
‘Like this,’ said the KoD. The holograms of all the current world leaders blurred. When they came back into focus their suits, hats, ties and jewels had all been replaced.
‘I like it!’ said the CoF.
‘Might work,’ agreed the RoF.
‘It’s the only way leaders, and candidates for leadership jobs, will be able to dress,’ said the KoD.
The assembled LoTPoS looked at the holograms. All the leaders stood barefooted and bareheaded. They wore identical grey short-sleeved sweatshirts and identical grey drawstring shorts.
The assembled LoTPoS laughed, and said, ‘Let it be done.’