I was in a room talking to two nerdy-seeming guys in front of comptuers. One was thin, and the other had a dark curly beard and was a bit overweight. One of them held a thick magazine, with tons of equations. I motioned to him to let me see it, and he did. So I flipped through it. There were pages devoted to energy systems and others talking about software libraries.
thin guy: "How in the heck do you think you can read that without an assistant?"
me: "Uh... I don't know... I mean, are you talking about help with the content or that I'm in a fuzzy dream state? Do you have access to AI?"
fat guy: "Hm, yes. But mostly we're just kissing them right now."
I'm not sure what that meant, but perhaps that the level of intelligence of AI was not much better than the likes of Virtual Valerie:
...interesting fact I found out after hunting down that picture. "if you reject Valerie's invitation and click on the "No" or "Huh?" buttons, your computer will reboot." Said the developer: "The forced reboots were my method of punishing the player for 'trespasses.' I tried to imagine how Valerie might slap the player's face, and a reboot was the closest approximation I could come up with."
me: "Please explain the mechanism by which we are now speaking, if you understand it."
thin guy: "No. For one reason, your whole deal is the 'murky water'--the call and lure of the unknown void. You're getting what you wanted."
me: "Well if I ever said I wanted to be a lunatic on a prehistoric planet that's spiraling out of control politically and culturally, I take it back!"
beard guy: "What is this 'other thing' you want to do so badly?"
me: "Beyond making a scientific breakthrough? Well I'd just like to have more time and tools for my projects. I want to be able to organize things. I would enjoy it more if I wasn't blocked by constraints, like if I could go to the store and just buy a bunch of things for a project and then recycle them all at the end of the day after I'd made a music video or something."
The thin guy laughed and walked over to a console, which was showing a highly pixelated game that looked a bit like Habbo Hotel:
thin guy: "Here you are! Go wild!"
me: (rolling eyes) "Look, clearly I mean to say I'd like these features but without pixelation. Just generally the phenomenology of Earth."
beard guy: "Well engineering THAT is going to take you one hell of a long time."
me: "Again, please. Tell me some of what you know that I don't know."
thin guy: "I've already explained that I won't. Moreover, because of you, it's me who is catching hell. I'm $50,000 in debt."
me: "Um, is Earth currency worth anything? I'll trade you. I just need information."
thin guy: (to beard guy) "What are Earth accounts going for?"
I followed them out of the room, as they went into a place that somehow was very much like my grandmother's kitchen as the environment destabilized.
thin guy: "Anyway, the money's not the point. The point is you've created an inconvenience for me that shouldn't have happened in the first place."
me: "This is not fair! I don't know who you are, or what you're talking about. So how can you possibly put responsibility on me for something I have lived a whole lifetime knowing NOTHING about? If I'm someone you think you know, then it's only a small aspect; why is what they do or what they did my fault?"
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