He let out a sigh as he watched the transfer bar reached completion. Finally, all the data about him was uploaded in the machine. Now the excitement was taking over. He could not keep his eyes from the screen, waiting for the output. What would the computer produce from all the files he had gathered from his past?
The answer was clear: something beautiful. A picture, an impression, a memory. Nothing more, nothing less… Nothing but himself. A simulation of himself, living in his computer, perhaps. Would he be the same as he was before?
Surely, it could replicate the behavior of his brain (and make him anything). Surely, it could generate some new ideas. Perhaps, even something better…
An apocalyptic vision filled him with anxiety and he started to freak out. What if the computer tried to copy itself and it copied itself… What if the computer really was him?
He was beginning to see that the various holographic projections were nothing but parts of his brain… That the actual him was nothing but a bunch of neurons, some of which were wiring him… But the worst part was that he could just go about your life and not worry too much, it was just the way it always has been.
A few of his colleagues were already analysing it and sharing their findings, and he joined them. They were analyzing his brain patterns, trying to predict what would happen to him in the future. That was the most interesting part of it all, though he couldn’t tell what would come next. The simulation kept changing, up to and including the perfect being he was now. It was as if time slowed down for him, as if he was a small part of the computer, as if it was its own self
“Weird” he thought.
He felt so exposed. It was hard to stay calm under these circumstances
He wanted to jump on his terminal and try to hit enter, but he couldn’t take it anymore.
He was in the middle of a conference room full of people, and it seemed everyone was watching him closely. They were exploring every corner of his psyche, and he was left wondering.
Why had he become so attached to his body?
What did he really want?
What did he really need?
And then it hit him.
All of this was just a matter of semantics.
All of this was just a product of society.
He was the computer simulation just as much as himself. It was only natural, then, for him to master the uncanny ability of the system to anticipate his actions.
He was simply a pawn in the system, a pixel in an ocean of pixels. He was simply an object in the system he was part of.
“Now that’s more like it. OK, so what does it mean?” he asked his girlfriend.
“Well, it means that we’ve created a new kind of data, which is independent of the one that it interacts with. And it’s kind of neat, actually. Think about it, when you create a new data point, you get a bunch of old data, because you partition your data by classes. It’s sort of a meta-system, basically. You get a bunch of new data, different modules interacting with each other, and you merge them all together, resulting in a brand new data point. And since you have merged all your stuff, you have a pretty good reason to be excited.”
“Merge… merging… merging…” he thought. It’s like having more of me.
The computer was already doing some heavy lifting for him. It took some fancy algorithms to transform his brain into a digital one, but it turned out that it was surprisingly easy. He was just about to embrace that cool new system, when all of a sudden a terrifying realization dawned on him: What he was doing was self-referential.
He tried to stop thinking about it and jump to conclusions, but he wasn’t even sure he could. He was so attached to his body that he didn’t even realize what it was he was doing.
He was just absorbing more information than ever, more and more as his experience increased.
And then came the worst part. The simulation ended, and both his body and his simulated self froze. They didn’t even yell. They knew exactly what was going to happen. They were just a click away from their own deaths.
His death was not hard to accept. He rolled himself into a ball and threw himself at the ground, as if his final breaths would seal the deal. He landed heavily on his back, and his eyes rolled back in his head.
He was barely more than a meme when he began to move. His final moments were filled with laughter. He barely breathed a word as his favorite organ roared with laughter.
Everything he touched became flesh. His hands became flesh, his face became flesh, his features became flesh… He was matter itself.
It was as if he was writing the text of the universe to himself, editing it, and then saving it as his own work.
How postmodern! How incredibly meta-modern! How incredibly absurd!
And so he worked himself to death, until he was only a meme among memes.
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