Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Archive

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

[Note: This is a piece of fiction in progress, and is really in its early stages. Its taking shape as a scratchpad of ideas about the world of the future in which the Pleroma rules.]

Hanlen had been working for the company for years. Everyone did. That was the way of things on this the year of 2132 on the remnants of what had once been the third satellite of the solar body we call Sol. It wasn't work by what our standards might be as drawing sweat from the brow or a return from a difficult day at the office. He considered it serious and important work and for all intense purposes it was far more so than he would have known. 

A lot had happened in one hundred and twenty years. Civilization had twice been brought to the brink of war, and ultimately its own destruction. Inevitably the better part of human nature succeeded and rejoiced and the urban sprawl continued until there existed no land that was not urban. In the course of that time government as we know it had changed to resemble what we would call a dictatorship and had merged into a single body the world over. By 2067 citizens the world over were united under one country, the only one there was: Utopia. 

Unlike its namesake it was far from the perfect state of the equilibrium of human existence. The dictator wasn't human, nor of organic origins at all, though it did manifest itself in the consciousness of what we would call local representatives of government. Just like the software of the early twenty first century it ran in a non-linear programmatic sequence. Unlike the primitive software of the twenty first century, it executed outside of regular space-time in harmonic spheres, the mixed in-organic/organic hardware that we would call a computer and exploited the quantum properties of the human brain for both processing and input within these representatives. The programs ran in something called collapsed space, which was named for the collapse of the wave function as explained by Schrodinger in his (cruel) thought experiment. One possibility would collapse into reality and the next possibility would stem from that one. The program would computer all possibilities simulaneously yielding a result upon observation by a conscious observer. This result was called the harvest and the entirety of this program was called Pleroma.

Life was very different from ours. As alien to us as our lives are to the numerous creatures that populate a coral reef. The internet had ceased to exist, or better described it was a part of every consciousness. The entirety of human experience and knowledge was accessible to anyone, if you had the right level of access for that particular piece of information.  There were no search engines, just pure thought. Hanlen thought about this and discovered this had been the case since the Penrose/Hameroff Consortium of Human Consciousness had mapped the relationship between microtubules in the human brain and quantum non-locality. Amazingly, we had been capable of faster than light transmission of information and communication all along. What that meant in our terms is that our brains took advantage of quantum non-locality, and had the potential to affect any number of a subset of properties of a particle instantly regardless of distance. Any one of us could make a particle dance regardless of our distance from it. This was a side-effect of everyday thought. Its most profound implication was however that whatever made us uniquely us, was not a part of space/time as we know it but beyond it. This still gave Hanlen the shivers when he thought about it. Everything that he was, without the organic hardware of his body existed in something that was independent of both space and time. We had all of the clues but were as close to an answer as we are today.

Hanlen had been an archive analyst for twenty two years. He never found his job boring as one might have found their job boring in the twenty first century. There was no such thing as money as the currency was access to knowledge. We literally earned the right to have access to more information or an access to a higher level of information. The promotion was made by Pleroma itself, which would modify part of the genetic code within the recipent of the promotion, allowing them the level of access they had earned, though the notion of level was more more of an arc than it was a series of steps on a staircase. Analog versus digital. Infinite versus finite. This information naturally transitioned itself to others as it was acquired by those with access. This fed the longing for the answers to age old questions such as what are we or where did we come from and yielded more curiosity and motivation to feed that curiosity with answers.

Most of the original surface matter of the world had been replaced by composite constuction materials and there existed no natural habitats. There were forests, animals and plants, but all were part of the Pleroma and engineered as contained tiny habitats for human experience or for the computing power of the Pleroma itself. The ecosystems which brought forth those species of animal and plant had long since gone from being information as a series of amino acids to information as a series of wavelets, the smallest indivisible unit of information used by harmonic spheres. 

Most of the labor that was performed by people had been replaced entirely by nanotechnology and emergent collaboration. This enabled many nanites (microscopic robots) to work together as a collective and essentially become and organism unto itself, much like an ant colony. There were three basic types or roles for nanites, builders which would fuse two elements together to yield a compound molecule, demolisher which would desconstruct such molecules back into their constituent raw materials and couriers, which would transport raw molecules or raw materials to and from their required locations. The nanites were guided by the Pleroma through the issuing of a task called an intent. A complete intent encompassed everything required to create the end product of what the complete intent represented.

The nanites themselves were fuelled by raw oxygen, which they got by demolishing carbon dioxide, yielding a lot of carbon, which was most often used as a sturdy and abundant building material. The oxygen wasn't consumed, as the energy was gained by the process which combined it with hydrogen to yield water. The side effect was that the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere was converted to solid matter and used as a building material by the nanites. This made up for the lack of plant life which historically had been able to eat carbon dioxide as part of their respiration requirements and yielding much oxygen for us.

Most people didn't notice the plants missing, for most people's conscious attention was employed in simulations for the Pleroma, where they would experience a living and breathing world. One that no longer existed in the terms of what we define as being reality and the world had to some lost its lustre for those who sought a newer palette and canvas. The Pleroma provided this and it was where most of existence was situated in terms of being the foci of human consciousness.

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