Brevity is the width of soul.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bone Walls

In hindsight, it's amazing that it took so many years for the correctional industry to realize how useful can heavy-duty mood depressants be. Depressed enough people never riot, and if you bill the government for the whole incarceration period beforehand, suicide rates barely affect the bottom line.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Tiresias Coefficient

Less than one every twenty-five thousand people develop the gift of prophecy when blinded.

I ran the experiment myself.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Deep inside the blue

I don't think the billions he promised if he won were what convinced IBM; there's too much to lose if Putin finds out, not to mention the danger to our lives. It was probably just hubris.

We had built a supercomputer that defeated Kasparov at chess. It was too tempting to create a bigger one to help him win the Russian state.


Sunday, December 23, 2007


It was the night before the end of the world and I had nothing to do. Warning people would have been cruel, which I'm not, and a last night of limitless hedonism would have been cliché, which I try not to be.

In the end, I decided to just watch a movie and go to sleep early. I had better be rested when I operated the doomsday machine.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Echo of nowhere

The creation and maintenance of very large online social networks is a specialized, profitable art. It takes dedication, skill, and a very high tolerance for loneliness.

The best in the world hang out in lonely corners of the net, where they measure their worth in hundreds of friends, and try in vain to catch each other.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Seeds of Conflict

AI writers always put deliberate flaws in their programs; you never know if you'll have to fight against one, and a cognitive dissonance activated at the right time could very well save your life.

Educational AIs had the same idea.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

First step in the training of a long-distance runner

Induce acute bradyphobia.


Sunday, December 9, 2007


Most successful lives have easy to write biographies: a good background, a good college, a good job.
But the really good ones, the ones that inspire donors and voters, need a touch of flair, some drama, an unexpected twist. That's why parents pay me so much to write them, and then convince their children to follow them.


Friday, December 7, 2007

A posteriori

They only cared about their victory, the elimination of copyrighted movies and music from P2P networks. They didn't ask what had happened, or what they had been replaced with.

Except a junior level executive who began to browse them out of curiosity, and quit his job the next day.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I want to meet you, he typed.


At least me let call you.

Don't. You said you wouldn't.

That was before I fell in love with you.

I want you to keep loving me. You listen to me. I don't want that to change.

It won't.

But she was a mermaid, and she knew she couldn't compete with her own voice. He figured out her address anyway, and died on his way there in a traffic accident.

She sang her grief over the rain, and his voice singing back in the wind was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. The most enticing.


Monday, December 3, 2007

In the Beginning

There are things about murder you can only learn by doing, and I had decided to become the best detective in the world. Following the statistical patterns, it would have to be the death of a loved one.

This is why I'm doing this. I'm sorry.


Sunday, December 2, 2007


A couple of times we have saved the world. The crypto-zombie invasion of '93, for example, or that time in '99 when everybody in the UN was replaced by a copy. We could only detect and counter those attacks because we covertly track the worries and nightmares of those superbly attuned to them.

But keeping surveillance of the paranoid can get to your nerves. They look to the hidden cameras too often.

I've began to search for cameras myself.