Hard Code II

"DNA, ASCII, what’s the difference?" Mark Amerika mumbled. He was kind of drunk.

Dirk, his pupils the size of hubcaps, took up the thread: "DNA is just the bar code of the soul. Yeah. Wait, what?"

Scott asked Dirk for his belt, and the used it to tie off. As Scott sought the vein, he intoned: "The Unknown is a tome that contains a compressed version of all human knowledge. The Unknown is less a hypertext novel than a way of compressing data, better than MP3. The Unknown is the output of a fabulous algorithm applied to the extent of the twentieth-century American literature, encoded into compressed English. The miracle of The Unknown is not its immense size. On the contrary, the feat of The Unknown is how small it actually is. All of twentieth-century literature in about 200 megs. If, that is, you have the key to decode it."

William had no comment. He looked up from the mirror and merely grinned. Got coke? He seemed to say.

We were all drunk in Australia and were having so much fun we were sure it was the end of the world. Through my kaleidoscope eyes, I saw everyone pass everyone else a joint at the same time.

And then everything started going hexadecimal on me. all I was seeing were web colors. It was low-res, digital, cosmic, groovy. I could no longer tell the difference between hallucinating and being on-line.


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