Intelligence is a tendency to reject mediocre solutions. Anybody can learn it. A rough and ready intelligence test is how long someone googles a problem.

- Doc-Danger

The only way to make a good idea, is to try bad ideas until there’s none left.

- Notes from Project Octopus


8 Hours Later

I wake feeling powerful. Like a well fed monster. I can be ruthlessly efficient. Today feels like a good day for it.

I pack a bag. Clothes, toiletries, drugs. I grab my phone, my tools, and a box of quasi-functional electronics - prototypes from clients. Each one is worth a fortune if I can make it work. Or, make it saleable, at least.

I hop in my car, and tell it to take me to the city. I throw the manual drive controls out the window. Don’t need them. I send a one click divorce to my husband.

Okay, there is no such thing as a one click divorce. I text him that I’m gone and not coming back. A dick move, but I left him the house. He’ll be okay.

The car interior is set up like a bed. I roll a small joint and scatter the electronics around me. I feel like a kid in a tent. I smoke and think.

A few hours later, I've smoked a lot and haven't thought of anything.

I have no fucking idea what’s wrong with these prototypes.  Half of them are broken - completely nonfunctional. The other half work great, but no one wants to buy them.

I abandon the broken shit.  Too much work. I sort through the functional losers.  Most of them are wearable computer accessories. Augmented reality glasses, sub vocal mics, a fucking smartwatch.  I throw the watch in the trash.

The augmented reality glasses are actually pretty good.  They’re comfortable and stylish. The graphics are crisp and easy on the eyes.  Truly a superior product. Unfortunately, they’re a superior product no one wants.  People don’t like wearing computers on their face.

I put on the glasses and browse through its apps.  Facebook, Gmail, the rest of the shit on my phone. I delete all that.  There’s an app to record everything you see. Delete. A suite of virtual reality games.  Delete. An app that adds comment sections to real objects, so when you look at stuff you see people’s comments.  Yuck. Delete. A fancy version of the comment app that shows “facts”. Delete. An app that shows people's virtual avatars instead of them - like a naked troll goddess or burning pineapple.  I should delete this, but it has a tragic attraction.

There’s only one app left.  Expro.  An app for exploring virtual environments.  I check out a coral reef, and it's actually really cool.  The fish are pretty, and the exploration controls are slick.  If you want to move, you just look at something and concentrate on it.  The app slides you over to what you're concentrating on.  It's fun.  The glasses must measure delta brainwaves or something.

As fun as it is, I can see why it's not popular.  There's only three virtual environments - coral reef, dinosaur park, and haunted house.  That would get old fast.  But, it reminds me of another app that makes virtual environments from video footage.  I wonder if I could get these two apps to play nice together?

I log into Creato, and thankfully both apps are there.  Creato is a programming protocol where code is chunked into modules that can be easily put together.  Like Lego.  Code any idiot can put together.  People who follow the protocol get paid everytime someone uses one of their modules.  It's an awesome system.  It works.  Kinda.  Sorta.  Not really.  It's an awesome system in progress.  Most modules need adaptors to actually talk to each other.  Often more than one.  There's good money in coding adaptors.

Three hours and sixteen adaptors later I have the two apps talking together.  Now I can make a virtual environment out of any video feed and explore it simultaniously.  I link the app to the cameras on my car, and fly down the highway like Superman.  It's really cool.  I link the app to the cameras in my glasses.  Now I can float around my own body.  It's weird cool.  Like astral projection.

I can buzz around any video feed. When other people use the app, I'll be able to zoom around where they are too. That could be interesting, but I don't want to wait. Any camera will work, so I add feeds from satellite cameras, traffic cameras, any public camera I can think of. I use the avatar app to make my avatar appear wherever my astral self is hanging out. My body is in a car heading down the highway, but my mind is soaring all over the fucking place.

I send the new app to the manufacturers of the glasses, with strict instructions to delete the other apps. And to mail me a big fucking cheque.

I send Doc-Danger the app. He probably doesn’t have AR glasses, but Amazon Air can hook him up post haste. I make my avatar a slightly air brushed version of myself. Then I take my clothes off.

I soar around naked for a while.  It's pretty sweet. It dawns on me that Doc-Danger may not be able to play for hours.  He probably has a job, or a life of some kind. I add more cameras to my network. May as well see what I can get up to.

I visit a ball game.  I think one of the teams is winning.  I don’t really follow sports. I find a Presidential Debate.  One candidate says we should write laws like we love our fellow man and want superpowers.  He does not appear to be winning over the crowd. Fuck’em. He’s got my vote.

I use the public cameras to zoom through London, ride along with some cops, then some Russian hunters, then visit the space station.  All while naked. Feels like the future.

I'm tempted to masturbate. I've been naked too long - I have the same problem in the bath. I'd like to do it someplace cool, but I'm not sure what consent looks like when you are an invisible ghost. I figure the Russian hunters wouldn't mind an invisible fingering friend, but I can't be sure.

Of course, there are public cameras that encourage viewers to masturbate. I pull up a camgirl site, and basically jump in bed with her. Amazing.

As I float around her, taking her in from all angles, I think I may have invented the worlds best sex toy. How many sexcams are there? Thousands? A million? How many guys are watching them? A billion? I’m gonna be hella rich.

That said, the image is not perfect. When she faces away from the camera, her face is blank and expressionless. Emotions and their corresponding facial expressions are too complicated for the modeling algorithm to guess at. Or, she really is expressionless when the camera isn’t on her. Hmm.

Greed and introspection had distracted my libido, but watching a young woman jill herself was distracting my greed and introspection. I really feel like touching myself now, but it feels rude to be creeping around invisible, not contributing to this woman's business plan.

I log into the cam site, and pay the suggested donation. Which is… 7 dollars? Seems low. But, who am I to judge?

I have some fun, feel a little weird, leave a big tip, and log out. I get dressed, nap, wake up, get bored. I decide to creep Doc-Danger again. Maybe I can figure out his hours.

He only posts after midnight. Which means… he's a bartender? A night owl? In a different time zone? It doesn't matter. But, I probably have a good 8 hours before he gets back to me.

I guess I should figure out what I am doing the rest of today. And the rest of my life. I decide to start with life's most basic needs and work my way up.

I feel safe. No roving bands of gunmen around. My health is pretty good. Nothing hurts. Haven't been to the gym yet this decade. Probably should put that on the list for today.

Water is readily available. I could use a shower. Not really a necessity of life, but hygiene is a health concern. Put that on the list too.

Food is on lock. The variety and volume astounds. Overeating is more likely to kill me than all other dangers combined. I could eat for the rest of my life without getting out of my car. Definitely getting out of my car soon.

Sex is an odd one. I've had better sex in the last 24 hours than I've had in the last 10 years. That's good. But, I haven't actually touched anybody. Obviously, I'm adding touch a penis to my list, but it's going to be harder to stroke off than dinner and a shower.

A well ordered society would have a sex grocery store. Where you pick up all your sex for the week, enjoy it whenever you want, and throw half out later. I really think this is what the internet is working up to. Right now we treat dick like it's contraband. You got to know a guy or deal with sketchy strangers.

Fuck it. I'm gonna show Doc-Danger a good time later. I'll put real life dick on tomorrow's list.

I am light on shelter, having recently given my house away. I could live out of my car, using truck stop lounges and their coin operated bathrooms. Or, the new roomless motels with their luxury lounges and high end coin operated bathrooms. Or, I could build another house. I’ve built a couple before, and it's way cheaper than buying. But that requires commitment, and I'm low on that now. I think I'll rent a dive in the city. Eventually. I haven't abused my credit in a while. I tell my car to book a room in the swankiest hotel in the city and take me to it.

My child rearing duties are essentially over. My daughter is pretty well set up. She needs the odd phone call or loan, but nothing today. I will have to tell her I divorced her father in the most dickish way possible. Eventually.

And… that’s it? Feels like there should be more to being human. Maybe not. In large groups humans can do amazing things, but individually we’re just cute monkeys. Inside a civilization I'm practically a super villain, outside of one I’m selling my ass for acorns.

That said, I do have a relentless drive to teach people stuff. It’s the weirdest fucking thing. I’d write it off as a personal flaw, except everybody does it. Even toddlers. Strangers broadcast tips. Long dead people left notes. We are a teachy species.

Fuck it! I’m adding teaching to the list of basic needs. I’m gonna find a stranger tonight and learn him up real good. Not a euphemism.

I also have a strong urge to get high. I roll one.

I wonder if our urge to teach is the emergent behavior that made humanity a superintelligence. A billion chatty monkeys accidentally make a massive pile of knowledge. Then kick the shit out of everything with it.

Sure, humanity is a ruthless superintelligence on a crazy pointless tear. But, we’re a super cooperative ruthless superintelligence on a crazy pointless tear.

My only problem with teaching is that I don't really know anything useful. To satisfy my teaching urges I'm going to need some esoteric knowledge.

Well, I'm already trying to be more honest to get laid, I'll try to be more curious to get useful.

I’m at the hotel.


About the author

Doctor Zero


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