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Ping Pong Ball Questions and Answers

Date: 4-Jul-2006/20:40+3:00

Tags: , , , ,

Characters: girl, me, being

I was showering and a girl I know was in the same bathroom. She kept poking in behind the curtain.
girl: "Oh, I forgot someone else I knew was in here."
There was a mirror in the shower, and I noticed I had a ton of hair.
me: "Okay, I just shaved my head, so this is...a dream. I should have known anyway, given the somewhat neurotic bathroom theme! It's question time."
girl: "What kind of questions?"
me: "Existential questions, I suppose."
She led me down the hall to a desk where a strange-looking being was seated behind a computer. He had a bunch of ping-pong balls.
being: "Have you been here before?"
me: "No. But then again, I guess I don't have a great memory of this kind of thing. I might have been here and forgotten."
being: "If you want to continue the questioning, then you will have to retrieve these balls as I throw them."
Retrieving the balls was a distraction, but I did it.
me: "I'm interested in knowing how this reality is connected to my waking life."
being: "Well, people like you are extremely rare. Sometimes we can send YouTube movies to other worlds, but getting certain shows on can require taking a planet's entire legal system and all their lawyers out and putting new ones in."
Note I think that is a bad capture of what he was intending, but his point was about the delicate network of dependencies and that although one might exist at a seeming higher plane of power and control...the tools are not such that one can make sudden random changes that the infrastructure does not support.
me: "That sounds a lot like the kinds of problems you face in bootstrapping software. So I appreciate the difficulty. But this room doesn't have anything particularly high-tech or incredible...if you can reload planets then why isn't this office more impressive? Why can't you shoot beams of light out of your hand, or something?"
He held out his hand and a yellow block of color started bouncing between it and the floor.
me: "That's pretty cool, will that work for me too?"
I held my hand out and a similar yellow block started bouncing.
me: "I'd rather that instead of bouncing at an even rate that it would get faster each time it hit the ground."
Despite explaining what I wanted out loud, it didn't react--it just kept bouncing at the initial rate.
me: "What's the programming infrastructure for this? You must have a way to implement the semantics."
being: "That's a great point! You've actually said something very important here...not many good questions that give ME questions..."
Note I am not sure if that was sarcasm or not.
He began scribbling on a pad and left out the hallway. I tried to follow him, but realized he was going too fast...so I turned around to examine the room I'd been in. When I did turn around, an arm grabbed at me and I reflexively bit it--taking a huge chunk of flesh out it which I spat out.
me: "I'm very sorry, that wasn't very friendly. I feel terrible about it."
The woman I had bit seemed not to mind that much, and her arm healed quickly as I watched.
me: "See, in dreams, a lot of times I get attacked from behind or the side by people who pinch me until I wake up."
When I said that, she initiated that precise annoying reach-around pinch hold. She said nothing, and I decided I'd try not fighting...but just see how long I could hold out and peacefully request disengagement.
me: "What's with you people? What do you call this? Why are you doing it? Please stop."
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The accounts written here are as true as I can manage. While the words are my own, they are not independent creative works of fiction —in any intentional way. Thus I do not consider the material to be protected by anything, other than that you'd have to be crazy to want to try and use it for genuine purposes (much less disingenuous ones!) But who's to say?