[ot][crazy][draft] Fractured

Karl gmkarl at gmail.com
Sat Aug 14 17:47:48 PDT 2021

On Sat, Aug 14, 2021, 7:15 PM Karl <gmkarl at gmail.com> wrote:

> Bobby jacks into the digital mindwaves.  It's breakfast.
> They used to have nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar for breakfast.
> That was decades ago.
> They flip their tongue a little to experience the doses of nicotine,
> alcohol, caffeine, and sugar they expect and resumed their work designing a
> new form of interplanetary travel based on propulsion systems that
> redesigned themselves for nearby resources.
> They had a potted plant in their window with a magical spirit.  The
> magical spirit of their potted plant watched them as they sat at their
> breakfast table with their muscles twitching, darting their eyes and
> fingers around the empty space in front of them as they engaged an
> augmented reality.
> The magical spirit of the potted plant didn't just watch them.  She was
> also watching the birds wake up and celebrate the morning outdoors, the
> magical spirits of the wind and rain race their fronts of pressure and
> humidity, a number of communities of insects, bacteria, and fungus she was
> in symbiosis with, and also Bobby's pet dog, Hypercookie, who was playing
> with a robot in the other room.

Bobby looked around their environment as they worked, but didn't see the
room they were sitting in.  They were surrounded in spaceship design paths
that were shoved to the side, videomails they didn't want to watch yet, and
portals that led to friends they had in other countries.  Their potted
plant was there, as a fantasy plant-creature with flowers that glowed like
lights, but the fantasy creature wasn't anything like the real plant.

Hypercookie was on the mindwaves, too, via interaction with their robot
toy.  Hypercookie's toy was even able to produce english phrases, which
purportedly were what Hypercookie would say to Bobby if Hypercookie knew
how to speak english themselves.  It seemed to work out well enough.  Bobby
had gotten some of the things Hypercookie did to produce simple software.
The training was ongoing.

The plant had their own mindwaves.  Whatever the plant wanted, the birds
outside and fungus inside would do immediately.  The plant wanted to talk
with other plants in other apartments, and changed the curl of its leaves
just a tiny bit to express that its robot was watering it.

The birds noticed the change in curl indicating a change in weather.  They
had learned not to plan on it, because it was from inside the apartment,
but they were so used to responding to it that they changed their feeding
and resting patterns just a little bit anyway.  Other birds came in and
left, responding to the crowds and gaps.

Bobby was debugging a problem with generating new propulsion designs that
had made some frustrating issues the day before.  Some environments were
producing radically wrong engine designs, and it seemed like this would
only change if each one was specifically added to the training set.  These
situations were always exciting once there was time to get into them.
Bobby dove into the model and started probing the different incentive
patterns in its parts.

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