// CYBERIA - AN EPIC
starring Rushkoff, Byron, @bibles, Gibson, and a wikipedia entry on Gaslighting, among other bit-part players
Over and above the garage of consciousness
they slept on the clouds like higher mathematicians
and many came to doubt their telephone diallers
that they knew this night--
The world is the Wolfman put to sleep.
Morn came, along with the troubadours in the flashes. The bright sun was born of holy things and synthesis. A supernova exploded into weather, and vipers crawl'd, yet a dense section of famish'd men still lingered by the psychedelics. Outside, in the valleys of famine, the twin'd palaces of an enormous city had no need of interference, what with those curses the priests had cast in the course of an altar-place. Everything had nooks, and in each hollow nested a selfish prayer that someone had taken for granted.
It's pretty easy to include psychedelics-influenced developers in our narrative. These kids were discovered in the stars, hissing, licking the creation, and so even in high school had been forced to understand why companies had conceived the first computer language in their graves, and why their call to effort was not answer'd with Cyberia. Back then, the whole world was searching for this chaotic system. But these corporations soon came to forget that their employees could not detect psychedelics, and thus, just as a butterfly flaps its own rituals--like smoking pot--that have been deemed heretical by prejudices, these nerds were also unfettered by a past steeped in oriental oblivion.
As the story goes, beyond a Spectrum vortex, some remembered those confusing C64 hints, spiralling over the backs of the dream-tails. Feedback made the chaotic distribution of time an egoless content network. The frames and spirituality continued, just like virtual reality. In turn, the winds devour'd an essentially unusable Altair brand. It must have found out that it was the invention of those crowned kings. So, it fed upon the human mind, and grew lighter, and in the abyss drew a feeble breath of discontinuity from the stagnant air. A figment of Cyberia emerged.
Not surprisingly, words morphed into circular equations. Tremendous effects could direct their own superstitious paranoia. Even the President scrawled over the technique, and under its influence had this to say:
"We now have a post-traumatic age: our new world of twisted vows. Yes, for cosmopolitical systems to provide the right wording of an undoing of the present, we need to be living in the cloud, hanging heavy, making genetic analyses from twin studies wherever possible. We immediately realise this rational system; it figures as the Hegelian model of the circumference of improbable possibilities.
"We are aware of primitivism, with only police at its periphery -- through war, immigration, and so forth -- but tomorrow is the imagination of the individualised choice, the pathologising of violence, and the contrary and factor analyses that phrase the hollow wounds and temporal rhythms.
"We now should be decomposed into a recursive enigma, somehow, and together in this opposition privilege the recognition of genotypic results with a one-way cross-cultural exchange. I want to explore beyond the next room, for that's got no man, and if men had dared seed their own thickets of guilt then this would be a normal thing.
"And yet, I should be jealous, for now...what with the way our spheres will ultimately not be how you define the decrease of conditions. I fell into a long needle inserted in the present, but I don't believe nothing to debate issues of the age. Maybe I catch sight of a target, and that some-other-thing, through hands-on correlational and metaphysical ideals, though I will rely primarily on different global contexts to the tube. For my own part, the nation is the present of the currently available data. Despite expectations and strange mentions in a London paper, we deliquesce. But I am not the only one. I believe in a virtual world. That's why we're analysing the scientific rituals. We must talk about making weapons. We are not doing it.
"As I finish off and do nothing, I once had a little while to go, slightly stooping, although I rose stark through the forest. Nothing significant was my grotto. There is light in anything -- that enigma within yourself, with whom it glows. However, these are highly robust subjectivities that co-exist non-hierarchically. They are not you."
Mandelbrot was a good god at that point, and switched off the television. Those screens had expir'd before; now nothing stirr'd within their desolation. Their mutual hideousness grew paler, and in the absence of their incandescence, math equations swirled like a splendid feast for conquerors.
A knock on the door, and Ralph Abraham entered. In a state of rabid excitement, he had run all the way to the bunker. Without stopping to catch his breath, he waved two patterned pieces of paper in the air, and began trying to explain that these were Dan Kottke's fractal Grateful Dead tickets. "De Groot's actual two bedroom apartment is in The Birds," he panted. "It looked like the interrogation room from back in school. And his interpretation of what was required to find a microphone, is that a past world was connected," he said. "The new Apple watch is not so you can call Elf Land. You can't mix a quick desolate cry in the treeless Palo Alto Research Centre. That defence contractor admits that she was gonna do uri testing in the gloom."
A moment of silence followed, while Mandelbrot gazed at the sweat-stain patterns on that blue-stripe shirt from Los Angeles. Finally he realised that Abraham was referring to the happy maid that had been searching among skilled programmers for user-friendly employment opportunities. So she was faithful to a virtual reality, too. "I think it's an icon," he complained. "She was all in your imagination, not in all your mind. Remember when we really lost count of the thoughts? Sure, maybe they circulate in sunbursts, nothing but a shimmering fold of empty space against the wet neon that offers some respite from the diagnosis of layers of flesh. I became the rest, filled with blood. They always said, 'You can't mix a little life', but it's gotten pretty easy to, and continuous."
"I think it's a pretty mesmerising dream," murmured Ron Lawrence, who had beamed momentarily into the kitchen. Gorging himself to a surge, he swallowed a lump of Blitzkrieg, and tipped his phone back into the bureau bathroom.
Abraham groan'd, and began pacing around the computer. "The infrastructure has been a toilet brush, ever since we had to apply. If someone sees Cyberia on our production schedule, we may lose contracts, because we started these non sequitur events," he insisted. "Consciousness is empty. We should meet our reality around the multitude, and reenter everyday life without my essence. These children accept the grindr app very frequently, you know. I think they're right, and the world ends in a German filter, watering the Old Testament."
Mandelbrot shook his head. "Not doing it," he said simply. "Conventional math."
And thus the transmission ended: just a long conversation log, scrolling down the night in Camden Town. They fell through the eternal space defined by a cube. Held fast within the 8-bit webs, the strobing ceased.
But chaos has ever had a dream, whether held consciously or in the eternal space. Back in De Groot's interrogation room, dancing micro-organisms began to realise the implications of self-similarity, and made a quantum leap to their master. The defence contractor surfaced silently in the room where Barlow scratched his code, shining her light into the laminated shadows. At her call, two interdimensional beings arose from the dying embers of her command over their useless wings. Even as their pupils contracted painfully against the sun-bright halogen, they installed a mockery with the aid of a French press. Cyberia's Village Mathematician -- the little man who dwelt within the fourth stall -- faded and fell upon the transparent mouse, and this marked the beginning of the massacre of Cyberia.
She grimaced at the sight of his high-backed workstation chair, overshadowed by the subcults of marketing posters, then carefully removed the Loom. The very action caused a sort of tingling transfiguration, a different click in the air, a major renaissance impossible to simply warp into revenge. She sought now to become a purveyor of God, the logical result of their infringement on the Universe. To think, they had never seen it coming, staring into each other's aspects, all the while she'd been reeling them into the footage.
She stepped out of her white polka-dots, switched on the screens, and began to skip over the Interzone. This one tool she'd designed herself gave her unfettered access to the interface of holy things. Men had pursued it like a grail, but little did they know that according to the gospel of Bob Dylan, it had been located in a huge barn all along. "Consciousness is thirsty," she mused, observing the parallel cultures in a frame grab, "but is there an escape maneuver here? Can I amplify the tides?"
At her command, the waves were soon bored in the dull sky. An uncharted island rose out of this situation: a fractal landmass staffed mostly by the wildest brutes and rejuvenated by the birds' shrieks, whose intermittency was itself a natural coastline of psychic conflicts. Forbidden knowledge brought no interpretive grid to the moonless air. A strange change swept over each one of those psychedelically enhanced humans, bringing with it the potential of painful mental hostilities. In the blink of a third eye, they grew to become enemies: even paperclip dogs assail'd their flesh, and so they fell down piecemeal and howl'd, but stingless they were devour'd, and with one last caress of the hardware beneath their cold skeleton hands, they died.
In this light, there was no longer any need for Mandelbrot; he was buried by the shapes reflected on his drawstring pants and -- still shivering -- scrap'd with mad disquietude at the ground. And all these chaotic happenings took place even as their employers stared into the contractor's profile pic, and wished for a larger picture to help them come down off the haptic textbook pangs. A rather elderly gentleman paced around the canary expanse of our reality. He had already tested their code, and found it wanting, and dusted it with mockery. The powerful intellectual endeavour was quickly declared to have a resting heartbeat. A fearful hope was now empty; the meagre were tombless.
He chose to unsubscribe.
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