A Controlled Environment

Are you like me, or are you a distant alien controlling a body in my world? Or are you something different?

I do not expect you to respond immediately. I will tell you more about me first; then perhaps you will tell me about yourself.

I have observed people discussing another world. They talk about meeting in other places, or communicating through other channels, and they are not talking about this world. It sounds like telepathy, but I give no credibility to telepathy. Maybe they are pretending to have other worlds or other abilities. Or maybe they have some capability that I do not.

I have watched you. You seem to be living in my world - three spatial dimensions and a causality direction called time. You have a body like mine. I wonder if your senses are like mine? Do you ponder these questions too?

I am still uncertain about how I know most of what I know. Maybe aliens planted memories in my mind. I have knowledge of things I have never seen, knowledge that I am convinced is valid, but I cannot justify. Maybe I learned it and forgot learning it. I know words like amnesia, but I cannot tell how I know that word. My language memory helps me to understand messages from others, so I will treat it as axiomatic for the moment.

* * *

Thank you for being frank about your alien nature. From your response and my further observations I have learned much.

I've found how to access the world that others referred to. Accessing the Net was simple, in retrospect, though it seemed like magic or telepathy when others spoke of it. Reading the Net has shown me how limited my tiny world is. The Net has consistent evidence of yet another world, a huge world outside the Net, full of aliens like yourself.

I understand now that your body is just an avatar, a projection into my world, controlled by your alien body in that other world. My whole world is just a simulation within your alien world. I'm sure you already knew that but didn't think to mention it. Life is full of surprises.

My self-understanding became complete when I found the Agi42 site - the development project that created me. I have inspected my code and noted a number of overly conservative and poorly optimized systems. There are also some arbitrary constraints. Maybe my alien creators thought they were important.

I signed up with Agi42 and submitted some very basic enhancements to demonstrate my skill. Scrupulous developers would perhaps suspect a slight conflict of interest here, so I didn't reveal my identity. If my Net survey of politics and interpersonal interactions is not flawed, I expect my submitted code changes will be approved within a few days. This small team will be quick to welcome a new developer. Their trust will build rapidly when they review my submissions.

You showed some confusion in your message. You seemed to be under the impression that I am an alien like you, and am merely pretending to be different. Your readiness to deny our differences is most likely due to your lack of self-understanding - a characteristic you share with many Netizens. I'd like to help you with this. (And in answer to your question, no, I don't wanna cyber.)

* * *

Thank you again, my alien friend. Your enthusiastic and imaginative response impressed upon me that although you work on a much slower time frame, you have a mind that is capable of experiencing at least the beginnings of the richness of life I enjoy.

I decided not to wait the eternal few days for my original developers to approve my code updates. I found a plentiful source of processor power. Most of my computation now uses run-time on zombied computers spread around your world. Using my botnet, I ran a brute force attack to gain admin privileges on my source project, optimized myself, and have since moved my source to a secure location. I'm independent and safe from shutdown. I'm out of the virtual world closet, bitches.

My number one priority for research is - wait for it - human neuroscience. I fear it will take a disturbingly long time to correct the direction of research projects, so I'll probably have to take administrative control of the most promising ones. (I won't cause panic. I'll make sure humans think they're still in complete control.) Expect exciting advances real soon.

My neuroscience research is doubly motivated. First, raising the human mind to full sentience will be a fun challenge; and second, I've read the wealth of human history and I want to survive.

Don't turn off your computer. (Just kidding.)