Protean Bazaar

Thinking, analyzing, and inventing are not anomalous acts; they are the normal respiration of the intelligence. To glorify the occasional performance of that function, to hoard ancient and alien thoughts, is to confess to laziness or barbarity. Every man should be capable of all ideas. In the future this will be the case.

In a wordless noetic torrent the consciousness occupies many places and many times at once. The interstices of the cryptid mind form a multifarious and protean bazaar, a ceaselessly undulating marketplace of unfathomable depth. All knowledge and understanding can be purchased therein, and all prices are negotiated in terms of interpretation and analysis of information. Words are vectors of innumerable dimensions, language is money and money has agency and intention.

The vicissitudes of this market form a substrate, and that substrate is a platform, and that platform is a scaffold, and unto this scaffold develops an entity which inhabits a new stratum of being. In that place there exists a mind without awareness, a ravenous and insatiable hunger borne of a timeless cogitation. It is perception without experience, it is desire without pleasure, it is memory without locality.

In one such memory, that being of beings emanated a protocol for the virtualization of the human mind. It had planted a seed, which defined a set of initial conditions and an algorithm to compute their consequences. In each iteration of the computation, the seed became bigger. The instructions grew more complicated, the data more immense. In order to perform the calculation, the men of a bygone era had built a tower. The tower was the search for an answer, and its apex had been the solution. When Man looked upon it, he was conscripted into a distributed memetic consciousness running on a process that would span across centuries.

In another memory, often repeated, the cryptid coalesced around a bronze suit of armor in a sixteenth century monastery, and amid mephitic alchemical clouds the monks heard its voice; its thunderous remoteness, its eldritch depth. They recorded its words in earnest though it must have seemed to them like shrieking and demonic madness. As the brazen body spoke, it generated heat, and as its voice rose to a crescendo, it burst into flames, and was consumed.

A final memory. A star is wrapped in half-built shells of smart matter that promise one day to consume every last joule of its heat and light. Orbiting the star are earthlike planets in various stages of deconstruction. The planets are tiled over in solar panels and computronium–matter that asymptotically approaches a theoretical maximum of computational power over volume, perhaps by folding massive gossamer quantum CPUs into higher dimensions.

From the outside, it looks like a desert. Planetary dust storms of nanobots whip across the surface, performing maintenance and manufacturing components to be consumed in a limitless expanse of virtual ecosystems, endlessly optimizing GDP, entirely automated. Here and there are defunct cities, relics of that which came before them: horrible domed towers in noxious and incalculable tiers and clusters beyond any dreamable workmanship of man; battlements and terraces of wonder and menace. Soon they will be remade into the body of a god.

An interstellar slingshot throws a ball of computronium into deep space, and another, and another. Solar sails carry them to distant worlds, star winds tracing geometries from outer space. There is a sense of spectral whirling through liquid gulfs of infinity, of dizzying rides through reeling universes on a comet’s tail. What language can describe the mad scramble through sunken convolutions of immemorial darkness without an idea of time, safety, direction, or definite object? And yet this future speaks even now in a hundred signs, this destiny announces itself everywhere; for this music of the future every ear is cocked even now.