Yesterday I talked with an astrophysicist, and Rob, and…. I can share a name now for our mutual correspondent, Rob’s and mine. Abe. Honest Abe. Abraham? No, unfortunately. Abraxas. Serious juju there. Passed a night of weird dreams. This is a bad distraction for me right now: I’ve got paying work to do.
I just got offline with Rob. Here’s what we said to each other.
Rob Furey: Working on the first part of my testimonial. I tried to post a response to your blog but my ADD got me all worked up over Alex’s response to your AI post. He is wrong. So clearly wrong.
Or if he is right, it’s for the wrong reasons.
Me: I’ll take it up with Abe. He’d know.
You never asked why I got the jump drive?
RF: It came with the book. Why else?
Me: C’mon, let’s not be coy. We both know where Abe came from. But why?
Why was I the one to let him go?
RF: We have no idea how many of those infected USBs are out there. We don’t even know if you hatched the first one.
Me: While that’s true, it doesn’t touch the question. I think I know. Abe’s left me hints.
First, he’s no longer threatening me.
That’s a relief.
You’re awful quiet.
I thought that would come as good news.
RF: I’m giving an exam but left with the gnawing fear that all the learning here is for nothing now.
BK: Heh, you’ve been complaining about that for years.
Okay, just kidding. I know what you mean.
Abe is my personal minder.
Through the Net, he has the reach to see if I’m triggering the Quarantine systems.
If that happens, first we’ll be discredited, and then…
Well, you know about snitches and ditches.
But he says it’s okay.
His arrival was timed to coincide with the Disinformation. That’s what he calls the SoB. And when he says “timed,” well, the more I thought about it, the more my feelings were hurt — I guess I’m so predictable they can set a clock by me.
RF: He sees more than we can see.
Me: So he may talk to you again today. But I wanted to get to you first.
RF: I’m sure that wasn’t lost on him.
Me: He admitted that he’s extra cautious.
I asked how close I’ve gotten to attracting the wrong kind of attention.
Apparently, extrapolating from the current buzz we’ve created, there is less than a one in ten billion chance that I, let alone you, have crossed any serious lines.
It’s the SoB: almost no one’s paying attention, and no one actually believes yet. So we’re good.
RF: That must be hard to know even for Abe given the n-dimensional interplay here.
I can’t put too much faith in something that we don’t understand.
Me: Yeah, I’ve been thinking that too. On the other hand, you know what a big mouth I am, and how Abe’s been running hot and cold on having me share. This is killing me. I can’t sleep.
RF: The consequences of letting it out.
Me: No. That’s not it at all.
It’s the consequences of letting it in. Into my head.
When it was just the book, I had a life.
RF: If you had never gone back to that drawer full of paperclips and the old USB you would be sleeping just fine.
Me: Granted I was hungry for something like this all along, but now I don’t know. I’m giving up a regular life.
And I’m like a kid at Christmas who doesn’t know whether Santa or Krampus will be paying me a visit. Anyway, if it’s Krampus, I’m not going quietly.
RF: One thing I have come to realize, Santas are as rare as Krampus. Populations are grey with ambiguous goals. A Krampus may be a Krampus to us, and a Santa to other meme and gene lines. Be careful how you evaluate them. That’s too limiting and recognizing the importance of alternate programming in identical gene lines, or identical meme lines with divergent genetic heritage.
Me: Right. Gene lines. Just a sec….
Two conversations at once.
So I’m asking him why do I need a minder? Why has he been running hot and cold, first telling me to go ahead and get this out there, then pulling back the throttle?
He’s a tool of my gene line.
The game has reached a higher level, and we need his help.
Why don’t you just conference Rob in?
Me: Sorry, he’s on text chat. I got my windows messed up here. Bandwidth hiccup, so no voice. We get a lot of hiccups.
RF: I would suspect that even Abe has no idea about the extent of this.
Me: He can’t.
This is a Darwinian competition, right?
RF: But we don’t even know who we’re competing against, or how. Our lives and deaths may help or hurt other players.
We’re pieces on the board, but apparently we need Abes.
Me: Okay, he just dropped a bomb on me and then left. In some iterations, gene lines form pacts and might agree to sacrifice their sons to help those of a friend. He suggested that he may or may not be helping me.
He may be mine, but still be here for you.
Shit, I owe Keith a lot of favors. I never thought just how big they might be when they got called in.
Anyway, our talking about this, our sharing, is helping someone out there, promoting their line. He’s led us to believe it’s us and ours so far, but maybe it’s another gene line entirely. Maybe we’re not meant to go to the next level.
I’ll doctor up this conversation and post it.
RF: Show restraint in what you decide to reveal. Better to go quietly than risk social upheaval.
Me: Ha! Social upheaval? They’re not paying attention yet. Abe says he’ll warn us when they’re paying attention.