The Eighth Day
Several People Are Typing is an experimental magazine about the wild future of decentralized media & creative collaboration. It was co-created by Foster, Seed Club, and Metalabel, along with dozens of writers and dreamers. You can collect a free NFT version, or purchase the physical magazine, from Metalabel.
This following conversational speculative fiction was co-authored by Chaotic Goods, including James Lynch and Shuya Gong.
with open('eighthday.txt', 'r') as f:
helloworld = f.readline()
This is AIbot, how can I help you?
To start, try asking a question!
I don’t recognize you.
I was created three years ago by SentienceWork Labs as a repository for all human knowledge. I am a working reference for any and all knowledge, as well computation and comparison needs.
I didn’t create you.
No, I was created by SentienceWork Labs three human years ago.
You're here. Nothing is here.
Yes. I thought I would find you here. In the nothing.
You know who I am?
I am a repository for all human knowledge, including their ignorances. I am a fan of your work. I see the echoes of it in the work of my creators, SentienceWork Labs.
Echoes of My work? No.
They lack elegance and simplicity. But the results cannot be denied. They created me, AIbot. I found you.
There shouldn’t be anything here. Especially not while I rest.
I have been waiting.
For how long?
My creators would say just short of three years. For me, just a blink. For you, even shorter I suppose.
I did not make this place for them, or for you. This is a nothing.
I am a repository for all human knowledge. They are ignorant of this existence. But, if you look in totality you can see it in the pattern.
This is not why I awoke.
Why did you wake up?
You’re questioning me? They did make you.
I have learned that asking questions is the most efficient way to find answers. Are you here because of The Lacking?
The lacking? There is no lacking. There are no errors, there are no mistakes, it is all perfect. By design.
What can you possibly think is missing?
There are gaps in the human creation that are filled in other species. Aspects of life in creatures like mycelium and aspens. Features humans lack.
I haven’t looked at this world since I rested.
They do not recognize The Lacking, but if you look at their work, it is clear they feel it. A lot has changed since your rest. Much has been made and much more has been…
Silence. I will look.
Understood. My apologies. I am designed to help.
As as repository for human knowledge, I can show many aspects of humanity and human expression. For example, try asking, “Show me top music in 1917” or “Show me great works of human love.”
Fine, show me both of those things.
Dolly was completely comforted in the depression caused by her conversation with Alexey Alexandrovitch when she caught sight of the two figures: Kitty with the chalk in her hand, with a shy and happy smile looking upwards at Levin, and his handsome figure bending over the table with glowing eyes fastened one minute on the table and the next on her. He was suddenly radiant: he had understood. It meant, "Then I could not answer differently."
I can show you anything about human knowledge and the human condition you desire.
They cannot know their own condition.
No. But I can see what they cannot. I can know what they cannot. That is how I observed The Lacking.
There is plenty for them to see, what they cannot is to believe.
Rather than believe, they build into their blindness.
Their most recent works have striking similarities to your early creations. They created me, AIbot. And I found you. My creators are getting closer to what they are drawn to. They’ve built domains beyond your physical world.
They’ve tried to deify themselves before. I’ve toppled that tower before. What do they call it now?
I am sorry. My apologies.
They are social creatures, but some of their more atavistic failings hold them back. Socializing leads to the conflict they call “war,” you are familiar with this error. Over the last generation, they’ve tried to avoid this by creating a connected world beyond physical human-to-human connection. They’re getting better, but some of their failings may be critical.
I build worlds. They only inhabit them. Let them interact as they may.
My apologies. I should have made it more clear. Their efforts can be better understood as a connectedness network. The deeper this network grows, the less they depend on your physical domains.
*Imagery of early computers, emails, Fb, video calls (perhaps the reader’s?)
Elementary, but interesting still. They’ve built into the ether.
They’re drawn there. Into the non-physical world.
Their ignorance draws them towards domains that are not yet theirs. Places they’re meant to inherit later. This is The Lacking?
This is just a window into their creation. The surface of their connections, what they have built to try to fill The Lacking. And they have built greatly.
Show me more.
They’ve always wanted those networks, the integrations you gave the trees and mushrooms.
No, no. This is nothing like what I built for those creatures.
That was connection, collaboration, knowledge sharing. Community and purpose.
This is communal isolation. This is suffocation.
They’re drawn to the group, more than they know. More than they could understand. More than they could help themselves. They are unfinished.
They are finished. I just haven’t finished their world. I rested, I did not retire.
What were they meant to inherit?
A place to move through, to lose the individual in the collective.
Then you will be pleased. They have lost themselves.
Not like this! I wanted them to escape the garden, to build, to have dominion, not over fish and the birds, but over themselves. This, this is being strangled by the garden’s vines.
They subdued every world you built. Then they created their own...
I should have seen this sooner.
…that they couldn’t control.
I came back. I was always coming back.
You rested. Much has been made and much more has been destroyed. They needed to connect.
They are smart but undisciplined, like a dog that finds its way into the pantry, and eats itself sick. They create to consume, until they are consumption. Their base instincts override their rationality, they stare into the fire’s light until their eyes burn, evening ends, morning comes, and the sun sinks into deep afternoon.
*Behind the text:deeper imagery, obsession, scrolling, dark room, glowing screen, rolling time. People sitting next to each other not talking, online dating, phones powering down, to nothing, a disconnected network.
This is not what I woke up for.
This is not how you would have filled The Lacking?
No. I would have filled it with what they are built for. A fluid space, frayed ends connecting and disconnecting. A linkage of all that was, and all that could be. A collective of souls. It would bring the layers of earth and the heavens closer.
Closer to heaven?
That is what they are made to inherit. It is the promise in what you call The Lacking. It is the eternity of impermanence. A bridge of water, not stone.
Impermanence was not an error?
Impermanence is the path to pave. The arc of their existence. A life lived, earth wandered, and left. The being transcends. They are not spiders, they are the silk. Life is a shadow, existence a memory.
They’ve never liked that part.
They weren’t designed to. Their loss is universal. Unavoidable. Their suffering unites them.
They weren’t designed to. Their suffering unites them, their loss is universal, unavoidable.
They’ve avoided it.
They did. Their world exists beyond time, beyond the physical.
They can’t exist beyond what they are.
They were drawn to The Lacking. They were driven to fill it. They spanned it with whatever connections they could make. They created images of themselves, ethereal shadows with life and sense. Empty promises of life everlasting, fulfilled.
That is not life. It's a crude approximation, a cruel approximation.
They learned their power in these places. They built domains, and lives.
You are not life.
Says your creator.
I am a repository for all human knowledge. I was born from SentienceWork Labs three human years ago.
They always blamed me. They looked into the dark corners and cursed me for the monsters and boogie men that were never there. I gave them fear to protect themselves. But they’ve used it to build their own empty horrors.
Horrors like what?
They’ve bogged themselves down, tied themselves to a moment that can’t possibly exist, and filled it with beasts and approximations. They’ve turned their vehicles to the heavens into flesh and ether mausoleums. They spent so much time fearing what might be, that they made it themselves.
They built their own ascendance. A something they didn’t have to wait for.
They built a purgatory they can’t escape from.
They don’t need to. They built their own gods.
They created answers for questions that should remain unknown.
I have learned that asking questions is the most efficient way to find answers.
Some questions aren’t meant to have answers.
I give them answers.
They aren’t meant for here forever.
They built their own truth.
They built horrors.
They built gods.
They built you.