Saturday, January 29, 2011

Red, Part Seven - slightly bruised

I woke next to her at sunrise.  Her hair was a glowing halo around her sweet face, the sheet barely covered her breasts. As with many fair women her eyes seemed to be a slightly bruised as did her temples.

I punched her in the throat and held a pillow over her face until the struggle ended.

Gathering my things I rapidly left the house. I felt no remorse over killing her. She was such an advanced puppet that the only way to stop her breaking through to full autonomy would be to give her a bath in pure liquid Red. Doubting that this would be done by her owners, all that expensive surgery and training would be lost, I'd taken the step I thought necessary.

I reached the tube station and found a platform empty of puppets and humans. Just a single capsule with it's lid up greeted me. I climbed in and pulled the lid down. As the capsule filled with Red I took several deep breaths and began to drift asleep.

Red, Part Six - ...and found it diminished

Yelena was one of those beautiful women who seem to walk with a slight but visible hunch. Shoulders kept high as though to ward off the gaze of all the men who pass.
She was a treat to look at however. Long blonde hair with misty blue eyes. Tall, but not too tall, with a figure that filled me with longing whenever she walked in front of me. The fact that she pushed all my sexual desire buttons should have been a warning.
The city itself was built on many islands with a huge number of bridges connecting them. The buildings were a complex mixture of baroque and neoclassical, their empty cleanliness reminiscent of a painting by de Chirico. The effect was diminished by the huge, out of context, skyscraper stabbing the sky in the city's downtown.
It wasn't until we were in some large, chilly square surrounded on all sides by impressive Romanesque buildings that I made a move on the, until then silent, Yelena.
"Why do you hide yourself in this polished mausoleum? A girl as beautiful as you could do well elsewhere."
She finally turned to look at me, her perfect face as empty as a reflection in a soapbubble.
"I like it here. It's where I belong. It's where I was born."
"We all feel that when young. Then we grow up and begin to desire the exotic."
"You and your kind do. We wish only for stability."
Then I realised, later than I should, that the lovely Yelena was a puppet.
How many generations of selective breeding, how much training, were required to produce a puppet as nearly perfect as Yelena I don't know. I will admit that on understanding what she was my heart leapt. All human men experiment with female puppets. It's one of the perks of being human. Most grow out of it, however, as they realise the greater joys of human women. When one can have a willing partner at any time the attractions of having to make an effort to find a one become great.
All men, even those attracted to other men, can fall into treating sex as a form of masturbation, a fact true even with those we love the most. Sex with puppets makes that tendency all the greater, the puppet being totally focused on its masters pleasure.
The saying is, "Real men don't use puppets. All men do."
I used Yelena that night, that milkily blank expression never changing although her eyes, at times, became hard and opaque as I experimented in treating her as I would a human woman.
It was late when I was done and, through that feeling of exhausted satiation, I measured my image of myself and found it diminished.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Infinite Mall #13

The Standing Stones

But all we see behind are the twin rows
      Of standing stones, broken like rotten teeth
An avenue to no-where, only crows
      Over the dying grass, the blasted heath

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Red, Part 3 - A Dull, Temporary Looking Structure

{Placed here because I somehow deleted the original version}

I flowed up the Thames, across the Channel and up the Western coast of mainland Europe.
Flowing was beautiful around there with clear un-polluted water run through with refreshing threads of natural Red. It was horribly dangerous of course. A good storm and one could end up thoroughly diluted, consciousness spread out over cubic kilometers of ocean.
This time, however, I raced to Rotterdam safely and swiftly. After re-constituting myself I reported to a dull, temporary looking structure in the port area, There I met a transport nerd by the name of Michael Stevens.
"Why can't I use normal methods? Flow up rivers and across lakes? Drive? Even get a pilot and fly?," I asked.
"It's too far. We've been told to get you as close to the front as possible. It's a quarter of a million kilometers. This is the only method that makes sense in terms of speed and logistics. Get in."
Knowing I had no real choice I got into the silvery teardrop on the rail in front of us. Stevens strapped me in and closed the lid. As the capsule filled with liquid Red I shut my eyes and waited.

Red, Part 5 - Sudden and Pointless Deaths

The rest of the journey was dull. Staring through the safety-Red at the silvery capsule walls. Listening to the low roar of sparse air molecules being displaced as we raced through the incomplete vacuum.
Many hours later I arrived at my interim destination, a place called New Petrograd. It was at 2457 degrees east and for me represented a change over point from one tube to another.
I had an overnight stop so I exited my capsule and went, with my guide Yelena, to the surface.
The huge city, pristine and barely inhabited by humans, weighed down on me. I wasn't familiar with the original, thousands of km west, but this version seemed to me to be a place for fogs and rain. A place for sudden and pointless deaths.
Of course this thought lead naturally back to something that had been plaguing me for months. What was my position in the rigid and unchanging hierarchy that Red had gifted us?
Despite the power Red gave me, the idyllic life granted by being one of only fifty million humans in a population of ten billion servants, I was discontented and a little afraid.
Born to two near puppet parents in the far north of Britain I acted as a reminder of our kinship with the puppets to everyone, including those who did their best to ignore that fact.
I looked, and according to every test I was, fully human, but there were those who denied it. I often wondered if there was someone out there I disturbed sufficiently for them to try and kill me.
I shook these feelings off and allowed Yelena to show me around her beautiful city for the the evening before my next capsule left.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence #2 -

"Lingua Cosmica." A language for extraterrestrial communication developed by Hans Freudenthal, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Utrecht. Details of it are presented in Freudenthal's book1 published in the Netherlands in 1960.

LINCOS represents an extension of the logistic language of mathematics developed by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell. It is intended to be conveyed by unmodulated radio signals of varying duration and wavelength which represent phonemes. The signals would be combined to make up concepts or words.

Lancelot Hogben, who himself described a code for communication with alien intelligence, called Astraglossa, discussed Freudenthal's work.

Chapter III: Behaviour

3 00 1. For the time being it would be premature to try to describe 
human behaviour by a system of general rules like the mathematical 
and chronometric rules of the preceding chapters and some of the 
mechanical laws of the next chapter.  Instead we shall show behavior 
by quasi-regular examples, from which the receiver may derive as 
many general behaviour rules as he pleases.
3 00 2. As the program events are to display behaviour, it is necessary
for at least part of them to be acts, i.e. caused by persons. 
Our Lincos vocabulary is still far from sufficient for introducing the 
bodies of the acting persons.  So the only kind of act that can be displayed 
immediately is the act of speaking.  The Lincos word that designates this 
activity, is written Inq (fL inquit = says). The terrestrial reader should
guard against a too narrow interpretation of this 'Inq'. 
In the present chapter the physical background of the Inq-events,
whether it be accoustical or optical or tactile or anything else, will remain undiscernable.
3 00 3. The names of the dramatis personae will be written Ha, Hb, Hc,
 and so on.  In due course we will state that these persons are
 members of the set called Hom (fL homo = man) in written Lincos.

3 00 4. Our theatre is still incomplete.  Besides persons and acts a third
 thing is needed.  We have been able to build a vocabulary of
 mathematics without valuating our propositions.  We had only to
 confine ourselves to true propositions.  The falsehood of 1=2 could
 be formulated as 1<>2.  Yet we cannot show behaviour by good
 actions only.  We must stage bad ones too, if we wish to condemn
 them.  We have to create a vocabulary that contains words meaning
 "good" and "bad" and intermediate valuations.
   To begin with, we shall stick to two values.  Of course they
 cannot be 'Ver' and 'Fal', which are values of propositions.  What
 we wish to valuate are acts, not propositions.  (We are not here
 considering value-judgements of esthetics.)
   Our valuating words will be written Ben (fL bene = well) and
 Mal (fL male = badly).  They mean "good" and "bad" respectively.
LINCOS: Design of a Language for Cosmic Intercourse Hans Freudenthal