Harvest of Gems - Four

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Inside a Niche

It was this gee-whiz internet signed HTTP:// and it was looking for killer applications with multiple air guns. The home pages were screaming to know the reason for this school trip. Java phones had a sentimental streak for geeks and the comdex computer showed the URLS where life had once been wild, brawling and pretty free. Nobody was calling for open standards in the bedrooms anymore.

An Exponential Curve

It was cool to zip e-mail across the world in seconds like dew sagging into a tent. The bartender would yell, " MUDS, you flaming scum! " just across the street were the fantasy dopple-gangers lived. Usnet would double every fifty-three years. Biological growth was tooting its horn in little rickety alleys. Upscale and over-educated people were kneeling on the earth floor and coming on-line with woodstoves for the winter.


There was no CEO. There was no there, anywhere for playing guitars to sing along to. It was simply voracious free expression and a nameless bunch of rules for moving data around. Anywhere from my Stockton to my South Dakota.

Through a Modem

And the young man told him about the lights of project X burning out in the frightening fields of Kathmandhu. Jerusalem and Sofia were twanging sadly across the hills. So was Berlin and a tooth-brush. Their resonance was deep and rich. Super-eight movies barked in the cool night air. This was precisely what he always dreamed of doing..

Forget the Copyright

The damn fools stared at hourglass cursors that looked like handsome queer boys on journeys to Hollywood and other purely rugged, exotic kinds of destinations. The beautiful gals with itchy fingertips cooed with exquisite pleasure and this very keen movie star stamina. Lonesome pigs were taking showers on the internet. All of them just shouting " Don Ameche! "

The Fax from Hell

The soldier calculated his numbers on the back of an envelope, there were a few minor accidents at least once a minute. There was no soap, but there was an ocean-load of serious investments on the day of protests. Fat screaming women ran across the boulevards with phone calls, e-mail, and a careless, free


It was nothing, but words, images, and sounds that seemed to be chilling the exchange of data. Everyone was rushing off towards the farthest palm pilot. Ideas got scrambled, faxes were lost, and beyond that was the desert of nothingness strewn with cryptographer keys and abandoned messages saying things were getting S-L-O-W-E-R.

In Just a Few Seconds

Nine thousand modems were making freaky love to this heat death at a party, shoving bits into the wires, running out of human organs and getting cancer. Bushy bayou leaves competed for bandwidth while mooning over their navels. It never seems to finish. In an old dream, jackpots disappeared leaving only this simple signal, " Host contacted: waiting for a reply. "

In just Minutes

The old bulls were prone to glitches and seemed to enjoy landing on old driveways. " Ah, let go, " I said. It was just wires, silicon, and a superb collection of human brains and emotions waiting for the next unemployment check making billions with virtual tubes and coffee stains on the net, putting bricks on the flagman, knowing it was a hype that couldn't last.

How about a Few Hours?

It was bad news for the neo-Luddites always getting sick and tired of the old mobs, the low-techers threw jujitsu sauces at the hot web pages. They flipped over the racy cable modems down in New Orleans. It was a very good trick for cyber-space coverage, its bony face thrusting towards this violent life. Top, down organizations were really pumping and sweating . These were the new rules
of human consensus reality.




--Hi, it's me.

--So what do you think of the letter?

--Well, I think the seed pod's an important message. Sure.


--Yeah, it needs to just be decoded somehow.


--Please, be quiet about this. I think the stakes are pretty high. There's big people involved. You've been tested and found suitable.

--Holy magic. Wow.

--There's always a laughing joker in every deck, but if you get high enough, even that's just....

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