drawings, inventions, notations, observations
'One Person Once' started to appear in various parts of the former metropolis written on broken infrastructure in indelible green dust, or sometimes aggressively in a postmodern chalk. There were rumblings of complaint as the populace belatedly started to live out their predicament. The amount of unrest, as might be expected, depended on the weather or the proximity of a beach. Initially the authorities were confused; was this an expression of harmless art or a demonstration of defiance by the masses?
It was as inevitable as extinction. With the complicit knowledge of the many (the final count was 12 billion) collected in bunkers owned by the few, nobody had come up with a plan B should the unimaginable be simply imagined. The side effects of a harmless procedure like cryonic suspension had brought a traditional-style catastrophe upon the species. Concerned scientists collected the particles, which had a translucent quality-and that green-well, it had never been witnessed before, a cadmium green so psychedelic that not even the toxic salt lakes of Western Australian could compare. Within weeks, the entire memory banks of mankind had been turned to dust - almost biblical.
With no receptacles or plastic bags, and no memory of how they had been invented, the central management had simply allowed the dust to blow freely hither/thither amongst the piles of stone axes. And where there are stone axes, there must be also the remains of a musical tradition. In the quarry, they had found Rosenberg, once an educated man but now sentenced to a life of un-knowingness. Nothing to be done about not knowingness - in the contemporary stasis, this had become a common state of affairs.
Knee deep in dust, Rosenberg pondered the truth of clinging viscosity, which made the true hard surface of the quarry floor difficult to judge and his footing somewhat uncertain. This was a Heisenberg paradise (he recognised) as he stumbled around looking for suitable rocks. There were no shelves where the dust could collect, no sewers that could be choked, no carpet to be swept; it was not raining dust, and anyway an umbrella wasn't going to help because it had not yet been reinvented. A stone quarry filled with a shallow lake of green dust, an ex-violinist with time on his hands trying to make sense of it. Other problems would reveal themselves, but the most pressing issue was his cognitive ability, or lack thereof . . .
Working with fine detail and the craftsmanship of a lost age, Rosenberg chipped away at his neo-classical stone moulding - actually Dorian in structure but with a touch of Gothic surrounds on the astragal. A beta gargoyle was slowly being revealed, liberated even. Chip chip. He was taking extra care with the supporting columns; Dorian required a precise thickening in mid-column, creating the sought after slightly pregnant optical illusion. Ha! Those Greeks, look at them now (he chuckled). A half thought registered. Am I supposed to not know that? (he questioned). They may have knowledged their Doric order set with the height at seven times the diameter of the base, but they had placed their columns directly on the floor without benefit of a pedestal. How stupid can the civilised get? You may not like gravity, but you can't avoid it (as he dropped his stone axe on his foot). Couldn't they have predicted falling columns and the disappearance of data? Still, they had known about proportion, about perspective, about power. Power was still useful.
How many computers had he created since his release from cryonic suspension? It was an ethnological question: one, two, or many? Well... many. He looked down at his fingers to support this neurological discharge. If we had needed more fingers, wouldn't we have invented them (he surmised). Maybe his granulars did need a recharge. He chipped away for a few seconds more at the refined classical abacus that supported his new computer. A Dorian meisterwerk. It's coming along - no need to rush. He estimated his chip rate - was it one, two, or many? At just under 'many a minute', probably too high for a prisoner of conscience, the quarry manager had indicated. Many - the all-encompassing word that needed no justifier, intensifier, or number. The word had become stone, dust - mortified by its own self-recognition, a true selfie (he clicked).
This algorithm will eventually perform one action, for one person, once. And once that one person is no more, then there is no further need for the computer, which will crumble into a small pile of stones from which it originated. He'd always struggled with machine logic (the temptation of the controller). What if there were two identical computers? Ach, such flights of fancy, better to keep a grip on reality (he told himself). There were other quarry inmates who could worry about that proposition. Besides, their chip rate was in single figures, two single figures to be exact. He was considered a master mason and wore his badge with pride. 'Many Minter', it stated; 'First Class'. The badge was also made of stone, tough flint, bad grammar, wrong vocabulary. If you tossed the badge along the floor, sparks flew. That's how fire had been invented just last week (he told himself). Up to that point, it had been freezing with the extreme cold of a dysfunctional memory.
Rosenberg 3.0 - not violin music(the book)
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