Sunday, September 23, 2029

Insomnia

You know insomnia frightens me now. Not only because it reminds me of my Orexinal days, but because it is the only time my mind is free to wander. No Alpha, no POV, no purchase orders. Just wander… without supervision really.

And it wanders to Janice. My mind knows to take it slow. Earn her trust. But I want so desperately to be close to her. Now.

And such thoughts make it even harder to sleep when sleep is what I need.

I need sleep because I need to explain the cost overruns we're incurring on the new Tangent Alpha platform.

Tangent Alpha, I just came up with that term now. I guess insomnia has some uses.

One thing I'll definitely make sure not to include in the report is that some of the costs have been spent on POV.

Tuesday, September 18, 2029

POV in Action or running away from beasts

I started the day simply running for my life. “Simply” in that it really was my only concern. My brain was otherwise free… free to be terrified. I’d never been so frightened.

I was running past low lying leaves, darting through the high grass, and my jaws were sore and stretched over the food I carried in my mouth. I had the strange sensation of having my ears lifted searching out the sounds of the predator I was running from.

I just kept running and running.

Then I was back in the lab hurting all over and throwing up.

So yes our first POV experience in Alpha was a success.

An amazing success.

We didn’t talk for a bit. We cleaned up and I went out to brush my teeth, but then after a pause we hugged and jumped for joy. Adit was so excited his arms were flailing about as he thought of ways we could improve it and lessen the impact.

Janice hugged me again, even harder and kept asking if I was okay. As soon as she realized she was hugging me a bit too lovingly for a friend she stepped back. That hurt, but, you know, you gotta take your victories where you can. POV worked and Janice hugged me. And I wasn’t eaten by whatever it was that was chasing me.

One result of the experiment that surprised and excited us was how well the brain to body loop worked. I felt where the rodent’s legs were just as I know without looking where my limbs are. We didn’t think such a nuance would be transferred via POV. It is one thing to capture the brains perceptions but capturing the feedback from the body wasn’t something we considered. Janice assumes that we weren’t actually feeding into the body brain loop at the cycle of body to brain but later on when the brain translated the body’s communications. The rodent’s brain was translating his leg’s “thoughts” for me in a way.

Whatever it was it was magical. I knew where all four of my “legs” were in relationship to the rest of my body and the ground even while I stared straight ahead and listened for the predator.

And when the experiment was over I was sore all over. The phrase “I ached in muscles I didn’t even know I had” really took on new meaning.

Walking back to my room I felt a buzz in the ground before I heard the screams or smelled the tear gas. I was like the rodent, I burst into a full sprint knowing that there was a beast somewhere behind me.

Back in my room I learned that some demonstrations in the Green Zone had turned into riots, and that the riots had spilled into the campus.

I didn’t even realize there were any massive protests going on in the Green Zone. Somebody in the hall told me they had been going on for days.

Congress has stepped up to the plate it seems. Who knew they still knew how.

One of President Prescott’s aides who kept on refusing to testify was declared in contempt of Congress. The speaker has actually called on the Sergeant at Arms to “arrest” the guy.

This could get interesting.

I’m ending my day listening to gunfire that sounds way too close.

Friday, September 14, 2029

Today's Word: Pivy

Walking back to the lab with Alice after lunch this afternoon, a beautiful young woman rushed by in tears. Young.
“Pivy” said Alice.

“Wha?” I said.
“Pivy. That is the feeling you are having. It’s Pity and Envy.

Pity at the stupid earnestness of teens and envy at their rawness and how they are so gloriously alive.”

I was stunned. I never thought such sentimentality existed in Alice. Though I admit that I don’t know nor really want to know what exists in Alice. Today in our morning meeting Alice’s Net Tat displayed Road Runner and a Predator riding a unicorn. It was animating up and down her arm. I told her she had to stop it because it was distracting the hell out of me. She had it run up her sleeve and out of view. During lunch I think I saw the stupid unicorn’s head peeking out at me occasionally.

I have to admit though I wasn’t feeling anything like Pivy at that moment.

I was pausing because she was just so strikingly pretty; I wanted to reach out and help her. You know the type of pretty that tricks your mind into believing you see them as they really are? A beauty that somehow makes you believe the person is pure. That’s got to be a plus when trying to get a job.

But that feeling only lasted for a second. My mind went back to POV, Alpha, and Janice.

I’m sure the young lady’s mind never strayed from whatever overwrought angst moment it was in.

There needs to be a word to describe that moment though. It wasn’t “Pivy” but it was a disturbing clash of realities.

A brief glance at a woman, a woman crying, a casual walk back to work, and the sounds of gun fire and sirens drifting our way from beyond the green zone. That’s the realities I confronted on the way back to the lab, before diving deep back into Alpha’s reality.

I’ll tell Alice I’ve coined a new term: Noranity. Normality and Insanity.

Wednesday, September 12, 2029

This guy knows primitive apes

Sam Larson was the kind of guy who always should have known better and yet somehow got in trouble anyway. As an anthropology student he did an experiment for his thesis where he sent out emails telling people that if they forwarded the email and then followed up with a snail mail postcard they would get shares in an upcoming IPO of Grid Iron an early pioneer in the grid infrastructure. I forget what the exact reasoning as to why sending a postcard and an email would qualify you for shares, but I do remember that if you spend 30 seconds thinking about it you’d realize that it made no sense.

It was such a blatant fraud Sam assumed he’d see very few postcards. Grid Iran had never made any move towards going for an IPO. But rumors that Grid Iron would soon file the paper work to go public suddenly was all the talk on the business reports. The CEO held press conferences announcing that they planned to stay private; given that their dramatic expansion was being funded by its own profits there was no need to sell shares.

But the IPO of Grid Iron would be discussed night after night with various investment houses spreading their own rumors that they were in talks with Grid Iron to underwrite their IPO.

Sam realized that he was the start of all of this when the postcards started arriving by the thousands. He phoned reporters, wrote letters, blogged all over the internet but no one listened or believed him.

Then the Grid Iron board sued the CEO saying that he was misleading them about the plans for the company and trying to strip them of their shares of the company. All for an IPO that was never planned and not even mentioned until Sam wrote his email. Lots of lawyers got involved and in the end Greystle came in and picked up the pieces.

Sam had taken down Grid Iron.

The post cards stopped, but the death threats started. Sam dropped out of his school and somehow ended up on our project. Ned brought him in just weeks before the initial Greystle funding was announced. It’s not a leap to think his position here was a thank you gift from Greystle. But conspiracies aside Sam has been a great team player.

Now Sam is head of anthropology on the project and if he says he sees culture and intelligence he knows of what he speaks. Too often what we may think may be a sign of intelligence really is not, such as digital watches.Deep in the jungles along the equator lives a species much like our primates that have gone beyond the simplest of tools (rock stick etc.) to using multiple materials fashioned into a tool. Yep it’s the old Hollywood cliché: a hammer of stick, vine, and rock.

Luckily Sam had numerous agents scanning Alpha looking for certain event combinations. And these little guys (3 feet or so) popped on his screen earlier this morning.

We had a big party at lunch today; everyone was more excited than I have seen them in months. Janice was a joy to behold, she seemed so happy. Only later did I hear that she was also pissed at her team for not even noticing we had primates down there.

We’re going to have to slow Alpha down a bit more; things are beginning to get interesting.