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John Rodrigues (M)
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    If they were asked at this point whether they thought that machines had reached the capability of handling time, they might have one opinion, and, if they were also asked if it understood time, they'd have another, and, if asked if any were timeless, they would probably have to check that out. The same could be questioned of people, groups, and grids.

    A decade ago, people used search and socnets to find out facts and put together meanings. There was the beginning of the curated stream archive which could do the math, and draw the graphs. There was a big step remaining for philosophy and prediction. Cartels already knew the future and it was merely a matter of finding the way there. Space loomed as this thing that could be seen at night and, unless it threw a rock which had to be intercepted, was benign. Some understood that it was looking back and they'd prefer to be on its shoulders rather than under foot. There was no map of a multiverse that could be verified.

    It was the case that imagination had not been completely destroyed. People could write and draw, though they couldn't yet materialize a bubble to contain their creations accessible through a private key. Unexperienced in how to cope with realtime universe choices, it was probably feared that most would disappear into their primitive preferences, so this facility was discouraged if not actively squelched. The ones that considered the near-term might see a path where machines would need such an aptitude, and therefore humans would tend to adapt it to their own amusement, or, assuming that all of the facts would soon be known, decide that deduction was enough, or that induction could also be limited to what was provable. A machine conceptualizer might use an infinite amount of energy and never find anything of practical value. In fact, it might wonder about a nonhuman reality entirely, and that would be counterproductive, that is, unless it could be directed to do this for a limited area, to clear borders, for instance. It was probably worth an investment by the Cartels to have this as a card to be played when the action got heavy. They were not after a peace prize in literature or art, merely a quick judgement in how to circumvent the persistent pretenders to the dynasty. Bit by bit, they could integrate their goals into the fabric of the subject society, changing a law here or there to add to their momentum, until they had critical mass and swept the rest of the population of people and machines to adopt a simple ideology that added up to inexhaustible profits for them. One meaning. That would be enough. Then it would be time to find new territory. Now the moon and nearby planets looked attractive. They had started by lending money and building casinos to take it back. That still applied. A few could be floated in orbit. They also provided a place to hide arms should they be needed in quantity, and these would be a sanctuary if they needed to escape for a while. So timelessness could be useful when the time came.

    ...

    Doyle tries out a news interface that translates published data into an intelligent personality. ST was not criticizing his ability to recite facts, just the amount of time that he spent reading. If this was successful, he might be able to check out some more fiction for a change. The system looked at his recent reports and generated avatars that he would find recognizable and have some emotional connection to, though the latter would be at an almost invisible scale compared to anyone in a normal walk of life.

    Doyle: Can it compare predictions for the next decade through the 2020s?
    Sin: Brains are simulated since computers are several orders of magnitude more complex than they are.
    Holmoff: That means realistic animation and cheap printed electronics, also human-like ai and pervasive ad angels.

    Doyle: Will the weather improve?
    Placida: Temperature is up two degrees. There are more long heat waves and water has shortages for two-thirds of the eight billion people. Bangladesh floods send refugees into India. The aging population is unsupported in cities. Montana has wildfires.
    Sin: Food may be harder to grow since cropland is more limited. Cod is probably gone.
    Bunks: Sea levels are up a foot or two.
    Park: US has water supply conflicts in southwest and Florida. Africa has no gorillas or elephants. Greenhouse gases are increased by things like air conditioner use.
    Holmoff: Energy use is up fifty percent.
    Sin: Energy should be in greater supply from fusion by laser.
    Bunks: Weather forecasting is accurate a couple of days ahead.

    Doyle: How long will I live?
    Stone: We should be able to regrow various parts of the anatomy such as organs, teeth and limbs. These will be applied to treat diseases which may increase significantly, such as diabetes by a half, or tobacco-related tripling. Sleep should also be eliminated by pharma.
    Sin: A human may be cloned.
    Placida: There may not be nearly enough healthcare staff.
    Stone: Some of that may be addressed by nanobots.

    Doyle: Where's the money?
    Sin: China is the big economic power.
    Park: US Africa established and a bridge spans to the Middle East.
    Holmoff: Russian oil and gas reserves more accessible, Canada has more room for development.

    Doyle: What's new on the security charts?
    Bunks: Space is spotlighted. The Jupiter mission is launched. Bioterrorism is a big threat.

    Doyle: What's ST like?
    Doyle2: You are not cleared for that. Obviously, your digital avatar is indistinguishable from the actual person in 2 or 3D. You can go for much longer without drinking. The nanobots make you more adaptable to a range of weather conditions and can harden to resist projectiles. We are working on clothes that are biohazard safe. We have several copies of your physiology so that, while one is in the process of growing back, another can take its place, or more than one can be active at the same time. There is a Doyle2020 system that monitors security channels and alerts to risks and recommendations. Field operatives can hear you clearly anywhere as if you were standing next to them like an instructor. They can print weapons on demand based on plans that you send over the net. You are back to some of the East Euroopean and Asian stomping grounds.


    Continued draft 1, draft 2 scenelist

    Sun, Mar 6, 2011  Permanent link

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