Guardians of Liberty: Part 9

9.

Ra710NaL3:

A Digital-Aquifer Manual

N1T3 sat before his computer.

He’d come up with the title in a half-second, but he stared it down for an hour before finally stepping away to do something else. By then the name had taken hold. With it were the mental-images of his creation, its uses.

Brewing since he’d parted with Ket, those images had worked their way into his subconscious. They continually shed viral vectors, forming bits and bytes rapidly giving shape to something grander: data, information, jigsawed bits of scrap-data that formed an image greater than even he could fully comprehend.

He knew Ket well enough; once he saw the Aquifer again, it would be pressed and dressed. Reduced to a pair of computers. One regular screen. One large one. The rest of it would be put to work in the background, interlinked to form the backdrop of her burlesque-like routines: those moments of mingled affluence and ambition when she dazzled for business or pleasure.

She’d never need the manual, of course. She knew how to do custom work herself; knew what she needed to run her “show,” could envision it. Because of her intelligence, she could build it too, but it was N1T3’s brainchild first, and he’d deserved the honors.

Most times, she just drew precise diagrams and paid craftsmen.

That was business, and Ket knew business. She knew time-to-profit ratios, took them to heart. If you weren’t breaking down hours into dollars and cents, you weren’t building, only sustaining. That was perfectly fine for some. Not her.

But the manual wasn’t for her. That was important to remember.

Sure, N1T3 would give it to her. She’d even read it. But it wasn’t for her. It was for all those people that came asking for explanation, to be directed to something specific: something a host like Ket could summarize. A manual.

Then, when pointed to, that manual could be easily and accessibly explained for free. In both plain and advanced language, building on itself therein via net-like structures, interlinking, so as to be understandable. Article-by-article, but also, articles-by-articles. It needed the same redundancy, ease of use and modularity as the servers.

It needed to be a product of its time and nothing else.

To do that, N1T3needed time. Not much, but enough. The safest way to ensure it was lying low, but he remained in need of supplies, and worst, a fugitive. Or at least, Martin Black was. Any and every thing now required more care and attention.

Above all, careful required relying solely on Ket. He’d been okay with everything thus far, didn’t find himself disturbed by the idea, but still didn’t like it. Mostly, because he hated sitting idly. To be told to– by one he viewed as a superior, no less, felt an insult.

He knew then, his fears were his own doing: He didn’t like sitting idly, but Ket would never have presumed superiority. She was, of course, an apex creature who’d found its niche and worked it like none other before, but it wasn’t superiority that drove it. Contrary, in fact. It was her knowing of herself, her kind, so thoroughly she became the arbiter of their nature.

But in her, and a select few others’ minds, she and N1T3 were equals. Peers. He’d simply been absent ‘til now.

Rather than feel shame, as he expected, he relaxed. It was a sign of his slow caution manifesting. He’d learned to take things as they were long ago, but implementing it was another story entirely. It was enough to catch some of the less-obvious Human-character defects: tension, its erosion on logic. That information was important when such ignored-defects could easily get one killed.

It was then that he sat down, not to write, but to plan the writing.

He needed resources. Food and water were covered. As he was well-enough hidden, his attention turned elsewhere: what he needed to live. Even Spartans still required simpler things; toiletries, consumables, things neither luxury nor necessity but that the world ignored and largely covered regardless.

But N1T3 was a fugitive. Or Martin Black was. Someone with his face, anyhow.

Anywhere corp-affiliation ruled was out of the question. Meaning somewhere to get in and out of quickly, where he’d be kept him from recognition. If he stockpiled, he’d be less worried, could focus on sustenance, but bulk-buying could draw unwanted attention.

Even if it required physically mapping the best routes, times, and places to simply buy stuff. He’d put something more-permanent in place.

He settled on a well-known convenience store he’d never entered before: a place he knew, but didn’t know him. The clerks there were Indian, the last of caste-less descendants trying make names for themselves by ferrying families into so-called promised-lands. These days though, no-one gave two shits how things ran, so long as they kept running.

N1T3 sympathized: the programmer’s eternal plight inherent their struggle, fractalized like all things to the whims of time and chaos.It was sheer luck he knew the few, particular places nearby that were that way as well. Whomever couldn’t be paid off, could be knocked off easiest with proper sleight of hand.

He’d hold the latter in reserve, obviously, but it wasn’t off the table. The resources were there. He needed them bad enough. The people involved knew why they could not offer them. Either they were willing to take some cash, lie, or were willing to look the other way while he robbed them. Anyone else was part of the problem, however unfortunately.

All anyone needed these days was an excuse to act. How or what-for mattered not. The few foolish enough to miss the connection between a refusal and later theft would only suit his purposes. Otherwise, they’d understand when they learned their resources were guaranteed, and his emphatically weren’t.

Sure, N1T3 could knock off a clerk without him ever knowing. But wasn’t it easier for him to lie, say it didn’t happen, then go through dealing with corp-sec? None of them owned the shops. Not really. Not anymore. Corporate banks did. They owned the land and deed, did nothing but extort. Why risk exposing one’s own, dirty secrets to help them?

When secrets were otherwise harmless, but enough to bullied or blackmailed over, it was guaranteed they would be. Way N1T3 saw it, he could pay you or they could. At least his didn’t come with strings wrapped around your throat.

Besides, who looked for a fugitive in a public place?

So long as N1T3 remained careful, he could pull it off. It was all about timing. He didn’t have to be idle. What better way to write a manual on an obsession than being forced away to engage it analytically? If its power were truly worthy of obsession, could be repeatedly proved as such by analysis, could it truly be a negative to do so?

Only by repeatedly analyzing it could one be certain, although N1T3 guessed there wasn’t truly an answer. Like many things in the post-digital world, it wasn’t the outcome that mattered. Rather, it was the system producing it, whether it functioned properly.

The penultimate manifestation: Humans would always make mistakes, but are not so bound to learn from them. What better way to find the true worth of anything than to force its confrontation and analysis? To make a social call-check, so robustly invisible, save to that all-seeing-eye of reductionism: Science.

N1T3 could think of no better explanation of the duality of need and desire than that of perfection-vs-its attainability. In the end, what it reduced to was irrelevant without the processes reduced. The reduction, or conclusion was simple; perfection was unattainable.

But the process of understanding why, of learning through experiential knowledge, was the reduced. Reductionists– scientists among them, knew that.

Thing was, reductionists were people like N1T3 and Ket. People eternally in the twilight between youth and the middle-age, vat-grown and incubated via trickled-prosperity. The elder brothers and sisters of N1T3’s generation had gotten it so near-to-right they would come round in time, but could not be the force necessary to change. Thus, it fell to the rest.

Likewise, the vibrance of youth spawned of the times and their effects, were too ingrained in their world to do more than conform. In that, they would do so spectacularly, N1T3 sensed. But it was N1T3, Ket, their ilk– those middle children between the two extremes that would dictate change. The rest would fall-in-line or fall-out completely: from understanding, rather than need or want.

The wrongness of the mentality that datum– information– didn’t matter was unacceptable in a postdigital world. It was an outdated, old set of ideas, predigital and in no way compatible with newly discovered reality. It came from a world of sensationalist tabloids and ailing print subscriptions– places where information went to die.

Now, information was the only thing.

Digitally, people no longer transmitted or received, they idled. Always. Whether it was in the form of text or imagery data, video or audio, all of the above and more, their brains transmitted to their bodies which then reacted according to specification. Their brains re-encoded the reactions into the aforementioned, re-transmitted it, and through the adapters they used to interface, linked to the net.

That was the net. Everything around it. Its interfaces.

Forays had been made into the world of advanced sensory stimulation; VR, pulse-feedback, electro-stims, all to various effects and uses, and for good or ill. Problem was, everything was proprietary, impossible to build alone or innovate easily on.

In simplest terms, closed hardware and software systems could only be developed by its creators. That unfortunate fact stifled any system. Sometimes however, it was necessary, if only for security’s sake. The instances where it was not, were obvious in their intent.

For instance, N1T3 personally knew of several, closed government networks remotely impenetrable. The physical levels of security betweendigital access and its repositories was so daunting that, though possible to overcome, there was no reasonable value to the effort to most.

A foreign agent could infiltrate their facilities themselves, work the systems just as easily. What did governments need people like N1T3 for then? The flip-side was though, who remained most in demand when the agents failed? Hackers. Mercs or loyalist fools, or outright ferals. Didn’t matter which, they were just the vessel through which the code flowed.

That was the double-edge blade forcing the Governments to cede territory– both literal and non, to the corporations: they refused to incorporate hackers. N1T3 knew of at least two, London-local deals signed in the last week by the Met, ceding area-security to local Corp-sec.

Aries and Warhound were at each other’s throats for those contracts. One’s militant overamped machismo against the other’s tech-junkie turned warrior-merc. The smoke of the first volley against the factions hadn’t even cleared yet, and already, they were on each other. If the general public had realized what was really going on, they’d have hardly believed it. It would’ve been confined to the province of man’s collective memory. That place reserved for myths and legends, and little else.

Technology was too powerful to be duped though. N1T3 reminded himself this was war; in times of caution, err on the side of caution. This war then, war if not for technology, through it. Thus, if through it, then for an idea. An idea that also happened to be the culmination of a species’ path from tree-hanger to zero-g orbiter.

Everyone wanted to feel that zero-g now. Better, everyone could. They knew if they’d all just shut up, pull together an agonizingly long moment, they could. Then, they’d never have to worry again. Humanity, in general, would never have to. This would secure their legacy. Their legacy’s legacy: a redundancy fractalized on micro and macro-scales and required for existence to continue. In this case, Human existence: postdigital as it now was.

And eventually, for a collective epitaph that read; despite each individual’s flaws, they gave their all and thrived. And for N1T3, his people– the postdigital ones, that thriving was via the idea that, overall, one could succeed because Humanity saw success as a foundation to herald its next, collective expansion. Its next Golden Age, but secured until the end of lifetimes and beyond, due to its effect.

History might not remember N1T3 or Ket, or any names forever, but it need not either. Knowledge of N1T3 and his ilk might become so commonplace as to become utterly obscure. The electricity in the light: there, but only for those looking deeper.

Meantime, that knowledge itself was redundant, archived due to the enormity of their contribution and its revision to base knoweldge.It didn’t matter who they were. It mattered what they did. The best way to do that, was to make them memorable, elevate them to Paragons. Not by lying about misdeeds, but honoring persistence over adversity in spite of them.

It was within the same, conceptual grounds not as stealing a fish to feed oneself, but as stealing a fishing pole to feed a village. Equal in micro scales, not macro. One was far more effective and worthy than the other.

And morally defensible.

Human society, on the whole, had lost something of that balancing in the trasition between pre-and-post digital. The digital age, such as it was, formed a blur of incessant, blazing, and stupefying revision. Like all things digital, it was bulk information relevant only to a certain subsection of the populous– and only at a certain time. Only target information mattered, and only to those it was relevant to, and only in the moment of relevance.

In a roundabout way, that made all potentially relevant information important. Always. Estimating what would or could be important was pointless, thus collecting as much as possible and safeguarding it became crucial.

That was the truth in the lie the Governments– and eventually Corps– fed to people about the importance of data collection. Difference to reality was– especially to the technologically clairvoyant, it was obvious the data collected wasn’t important to any beyond a specific, predatory subset of vicious entities.

In the end, history didn’t give two shits about where you bought underwear, or jerked off to. So, who did?

The reality was obvious to Martin Black even during adolescence, when he and his generation watched their parents rise for work, each day older and more agonized, less happy and telling themselves it would change. Told to learn from their parent’s mistakes, each thinker traced their lines of unhappiness inevitably to society’s holds, its damage.

N1T3 was one of them.

After decades of meditation on the subject, N1T3’s generation had finally decided there was but one way to avoid the damage of the system; avoid the system entirely. At least until it was fixed. The question was, how to fix it? It took N1T3 years longer than he ever hoped to figure it out, but he did.

In the meantime, his approach made him a fugitive. The only saving grace was that its timing couldn’t have been better. Now he had an excuse to bring it to a grinding halt. He damned well knew he would, too.

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VIN 14- Creator Gods Need Not Exist

Fear only reality. For reality might be a God whom swallows you in smoke.

God, or a creator species, could exist. However, for iteration powerful enough to contain or create the universe, and to envision it, would require a society, system, or species advanced enough to have intended that system for a purpose larger than its constituent parts. That purpose however must not centralize on Humanity.

Until this critical viewpoint is rectified in theologic structure, one cannot convince one’s intellectual equal nor superior of a reality otherwise.

In essence, an atheist cannot begin to accept a God exists, generally, if that God does not allow for contradictory realities between his will and man’s reactions or interpretations of said will. More importantly, to do otherwise is foolish as it misunderstands Humanity’s own need to humanize.

Fallibility is Human, and dehumanizing is not the way to gain a people’s trust nor fraternity.

The problem there, lies in the various systems of power built up around, and infinitely fueled by, the various, current, faith-culture systems. Take the middle-east, for example, their faiths:

Their people are people. People like any others. Strip away that which makes them individuals– land, clothing, status, even skin color– and recognize them as Human beings. Now recognize that Human psychology is not dictated by faiths, Gods, institutions, nor governing bodies. It is dictated by nature and nature alone.

Whether that nature is the result of a God, its creation, or something more or less, does not matter; only the system’s output. That is to say, the system of nature, emplaced or not, and its eventual effect.

The essence of a system– a binary inter-stitching of in/out, on/off, 0/1– is such that it is no more nor less complicated than necessary to function or output. Therefore, the complexity of Human reaction is merely the byproduct of Human referential layers atop one another. Layers of Human psychology and Human experience interlaced and interacting as per Nature’s output.

This does not require a God to occur. It requires only Humans, their nature, and Nature itself. Whether that nature is God-created, remains aforementioned– and obsequious to the Human ego alone.

The problem however, is within a corrupted system. Therein, all layers from corruption up are damaged and must be repaired or recreated. Either through cut and paste methods, or scratch-made efforts. Until such realities are corrected in Human belief-systems, progress cannot be made in improving them.

In context, power-hungry evangelicals and clergy masquerading as bandits, religious zealots, fools, thieves, and bad-actors, is the hitch in a system otherwise finely tuned for a sole function; to inspire hope, faith, and compassion.

This reality manifests via those impostors, alienating followers not only from the outside, but the system itself from any potential growth of belief as a whole. Meanwhile, inspiring misanthropy along the way forms an utterly isolationist system, damaged and dangerous beyond literal belief. Such isolationist mentalities seep into action, thought, hope, faith; thereby rendering the system itself pointless.

In parlance, this means power-hunger, prejudice and the shield of religious zealotry in spite of Societal damage, damages the belief-system itself.

Such systems remain bound by the same rules as any other; including damaged, internal low-level output damaging high-level output by increased degrees. Moreover, the more crucial the defect, the more critical the component and the more dangerous the effect to output.

Gods need not exist for belief systems to be built around them, nor for bad actors to manipulate or harm others through them. Thus, regardless of personal beliefs, Humans must recognize that all Humans suffer when any one is isolated from the rest.

As history shows, there is little that separates people more thoroughly than arguments about whose God has the bigger dick.

VIN 7- Dig it?

We are, each of us, an avatar of something.

We are, each of us, the collective manifestation of our species’ knowledge on something. Or at the very least, one of them. We need only discern which of those somethings we’re good at or drawn to, then allow ourselves to fall into its motions.

If each of us is in our own place, each of us has our own place and is provided for by the system overall.

This is the issue with the current system; it does not have a place for everyone. That much is evidenced by the amount of turbulence, seen as waves of otherwise ill-effect (unemployment, homelessness, social negative attributes) without any seeming point of origin. This is the unfortunate effect of a stressed system; it is erratic, unpredictable, and chaotic.

The structure of a system and its mechanics is such that any one, minute deviation can ripple into extreme turbulence system-wide. As unfortunate as it may seem for a society, these are simple facts, realities:

For a system to have instability it must be unstable. In turn, instability grows exponentially in response to itself. Finally, for an unstable system to be rectified, it must eventually reset, shutdown for repair, or shut down entirely, or it will seize up.

Though inviolable, these truths are not unavoidable.

Until each of us finds our avatar-space, and our system can once again account for them all, it will not stabilize. Because ultimately, all things are cyclical revisions; concentric circles of events emanating minute changes and refinements forward, along the paths of progress and time.

When the whole becomes effected, the system will cycle.

In programming, this a call-check. In writing, a draft-revision. It is the measure twice, cut-once of society. The reboot after the update. The system’s health as a whole is registered in the extremity of its own aberrations, their types, and frequency.

Some, such as power failures; are to be avoided at all costs in a system. Why? Simply to avoid internal, infrastructure damage which can halt or destroy the system entirely– the utter antithesis to any system’s design.

In the case of society, power is a feeling of security made manifest. Confidence in oneself; their mastering of they or their surroundings; this is ultimately what humans seek. Not bigger and better things, but rather, through bigger and better things.

When a society is left insecure, powerless, or feeling as such, the result is much darker and deeper-rooted than Humans as a whole can risk ignoring. Neither as a group, nor individuals. Currently, Human society has an over-abundance of these deep-rooted mind-weed corruptions.

The only path forward then, is to accept that mind-weed corruption will always exist and prune what we needs must. Until then, the world will remain overgrown with corruption.

But it is the weed and we are the gardeners, dig it?