I was looking around in a room and saw some people I recognized. There were flyers promoting a project I work on. I asked if a coworker from that project was there, and when I did, he came running by with a bunch more of the flyers and some books.
coworker: "Hi, I'm in a hurry, we're giving talks today."
I was led to a place to sit in rows, while different people went up to the front and just sort of motioned in the air very briefly in different directions. Every "talk" was finished within a matter of a few seconds. During my coworker's talk, some books were flashed open showing structures of expressions I could recognize as the token types, but it was all in a flash. I did catch someone asking if the definitions for the symbols were done with patterns like in grep.
"grep" is a common searching tool in unix.
When my coworker's talk was over, he came and sat by me...we wound up being a bit too close to the point of rubbing against each other. It felt sexual and thought this was awkward, and began to wonder a bit if the beings in dreams could read minds. In response, he seemed to get up and offer his seat to a somewhat larger but attractive woman.
She started to overtly press against me, but a passer-by stopped and noticed a semi-erect bump in her crotch area.
passer by: (pointing) "Hey, membranes. Those matter too, remember?"
As he pointed it out the bump morphed out of existence.
me: "Okay... this is pretty darn weird, but I think I'm starting to understand."
Somewhere people started talking about the phasing out of Earth, and I got lost in the conversation, but interjected.
me: "If the place I know as Earth is so doomed, then why would it matter to send emissaries to bring it new things? What kind of a thing is Earth, is it a game? A virtual reality?"
woman: "It's more what I would call a 'channel'. There's a Food Lion channel now."
Food Lion is a chain of supermarkets.
me: "Like the store? What's the channel about...you become someone who works in the store? Or you watch the store, or run the store? What is 'outside' of these channels?"
woman: "Directly outside of them is the protective ring. And outside of that... well, lots of wild creatures and undiscovered kinds of fish. Hashtags no one has ever heard about, connected all kinds of ways. I'm sure not going out there. By the way, what is this thing you guys are working on, from the presentation? It's a computer system, but is it a messaging system?"
me: "Maybe if the talks people gave here weren't just waving hands in the air for few seconds you'd know! It's a programming language."
woman: "I thought that might be it."
me: "Okay, so who am I really?"
There was now a small boy in front of me.
boy: "No way I'm going to tell you! Not with Gary standing RIGHT there..."
It was some name, I don't remember. Think it was like Gary, though.
The boy pointed, and I saw a man looking down at us intensely from in front of a doorway. I don't remember a lot about him but he had some unusual features, like an eyepatch and gold teeth or something.
me: (frustrated) "Well can't I at least be told WHY I can't be told?"
He moved behind me to whisper into my ear.
boy: "If you get too much information, you might wind up using it to connect a path back to the point where you were when the accident happened. It could potentially cause an ArcLoop... which is really, really bad..."
He might have said Arch-Loop, and I'm more certain about the Arc/Arch than loop as well.
Wondering what the term meant, a bookshelf caught my eye. I went and picked up something that looked like a dictionary. It claimed to be sorted into sections alphabetically, but each section I opened seemed to have no particular order. So finding "Arch"-anything turned out to be a lost cause.
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