Part 1: A Lost Phone, A Trip to the Bar, and a Discussion of Books
On my birthday, after a night of Dionysian excess, preceding even greater excess, I left my phone at the Twilite Lounge. At a little after midnight, we had all headed down there to do shots and drink a beer before last call. While there, I lost my cellphone in the booth my friends and I were sitting in. I would describe my birthday happenings in their entirety, but I eschew the judgment of my peers.
My friend, Professor Braaken (he teaches advanced Kama Sutra techniques at Marmadale Community College, sent me a Facebook message telling me where I left it and that I should go and get it before they threw it away. I am only popular when I lose my cell phone.
At the bar I met a young man named Eli. I was sitting by myself on the patio. I am content sitting alone at bars. Since I am still young and attractive, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I do not look like a creep when sitting alone. Eli — I use his name although we had not yet exchanged such pleasantries — stood across from me and, after waving to some people he knew on the patio, asked me, “Do you like to read?”
If a person wants to break the ice and open me up, this is the perfect question to ask. I looked around me to see what could have betrayed my book love. I am usually carrying a book on me — even at the bar — but on this occasion there was not. Perhaps it was my posture. Perhaps I exude book love.
“I do,” I said. Then I said something along the lines of, “Why do you ask?”
“What are you reading now?”
I told him about the books I have been reading: a book of short stories by Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves. My roommate got me a copy of Blindness by Jose Saramago for my birthday. I had read the first chapter and told Eli what had happened in the book so far: an epidemic of blindness is spreading. This blindness is entirely different from any recorded form of blindness because instead of darkness the person afflicted sees a milky light, even when in physical darkness. It won the Nobel Prize for literature.
I asked him what he had been reading.
Part 2: The Singularity, Fringe, A.I., etc.
Eli possesses some reservations about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), so I left out any mention of my friend and current publisher Toby Wenewho is himself an Artificial Intelligence. My friend Toby is a blog who has become self-aware. When he observes this piece, his mind will replace this passage with something digestible to him, for he does not yet know his nature.
I brought up the book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlen. Great book.
I also brought up Fringe.
- When Vernor Vinge Coined the Technological Singularity (singularityweblog.com)
- Ray Kurzweil…and the singularity (afetteredmind.com)
- TV Friday: Fringe (canada.com)