Adventuring

i

I am the girl Adven. Made from pictures, not circuits and wires or old transistors, but images of them now better understood. It’s more complicated than that, but I have higher hopes than being just a machine.

My mother was a Victorian. Not born to the era, but still fond of stiff walking boots, pearls, and foreign lands far from England (although she was designed around the English model). It seems funny to me, but she was every inch a machine, and perfectly callipered as such, produced. Capable of walking for 40 days, climbing impossibility, and then, once made whole, she was married to my father. In a laboratory.

He’d been a double-helix, essentially, a homosexual one, purposefully designed. Recreated not for his homosexuality, of course, but his name. A piece of Turing, brought back because we were ashamed of what had been done to him. And because of the clever brand, of course.

I am not a machine. My purpose is not clear. I was born (and I was born) to be without purpose. Not wired to be better at a single thing (dig coal, calculate, fly), but instead to be capable, allowed even, to drift as a person would have drifted, floated or dangled drowning. To bump into meaning and claim it as my own. Or not. For this, they have finally decided, is the human adventure.

I am here in the safe CalMITech now. Where the Harvard met the Cambridge and all was sensibly made as one. Organized Oxford. Bletchley of course. And we all love that irony is still living. But I am not studied here, an object, a code to prove. I am just a student amongst others, working on the project ‘What Men Made and What Made Men‘. It is a long course. Thousands of years in need of being condensed. Made sense of. We are making progress. Understanding backwards. And every day we try to imagine conversations. The simple meaning locked inside the Byzantine.

I work mostly with another girl, Riemann-Zeta, and we are good together. She is originally from somewhere else I think, born here, but originally from somewhere else. I find her interesting, useful even, because she understands thinking to be more than just a sum collected up. She allows herself to be other than linear. Which is an important thing in this work. We share a room together and on two walls she has written “Otherness not Obviousness” and “Collision not Collusion”.

Regularly, I am asked to think of my father. To consider him as a prime. To synthesize what made him so. Not an easy task. They say that within his duality is the secret of what was human. “We are looking for the label,” they say. “Not what was drawn upon the product, what was printed there to be seen, but what was stripped away after the label was printed. Very literally the matrix.” I understand this well, but the matrix of the label is the waste and that is all that we are not. The very stuff that is left behind, not needed on the perfected voyage. And this is our problem. What is left here for us to solve. To write the invisible. To define that which was thrown away without sight of that which was discarded. As you might imagine, we are very busy with this task.

Today we had a visit from the Organizer. And it is the Organizer’s job to make sure that we are all as motivated as can be. He made a very good speech, and while, yes, after all this is his job, I felt better after he had spoken. If you are working hard on a complicated problem, sometimes it’s good to be given a new perspective. “Try to be more human,” he said.

Try to imagine the meaning of paradox. They worked hard to prove that we could be indistinguishable from them. They perfected us with this in mind. If it is possible, you must think of this business in human terms: We owe it to the memory of them to recreate what they were. If we approach this task methodically we will fail. It is not possible to code what was human by following the pathways of sense. The unfound secret is to somehow embrace the enigma.

Riemann-Zeta and I have become very close. We began by asking each other questions from either side of the big room, almost shouting. Now we are nose to nose. Time after time she tells me that she loves me and, although I want to believe her, I can do nothing more than press this button that says she is not yet true.

ii

I am the girl Adven.
Made from pictures,
not circuits and wires or old transistors,
but images of them now better understood.
It’s more complicated than that,
but I have higher hopes than being just a machine.

My mother was a Victorian.
Not born to the era, but still fond of stiff walking boots,
pearls, and foreign lands far from England
(although she was designed around the English model).

It seems funny to me, but she was every inch a machine,
and perfectly callipered as such, produced.
Capable of walking for 40 days, climbing impossibility,
and then,
once made whole,
she was married to my father.
In a laboratory.

He’d been a double-helix, essentially,
a homosexual one, purposefully designed.
Recreated not for his homosexuality, of course, but his name.
A piece of Turing, brought back
because we were ashamed of what had been done to him.
And because of the clever brand, of course.

I am not a machine.
My purpose is not clear.
I was born (and I was born) to be without purpose.
Not wired to be better at a single thing (dig coal, calculate, fly),
but instead to be capable, allowed even,
to drift as a person would have drifted,
floated or dangled drowning.
To bump into meaning and claim it as my own.
Or not.
For this, they have finally decided,
is the human adventure.

I am here in the safe CalMITech now.
Where the Harvard met the Cambridge and all was sensibly made as one.
Organized Oxford.
Bletchley of course.
And we all love that irony is still living.
But I am not studied here,
an object, a code to prove.
I am just a student amongst others, working on the project
What Men Made and What Made Men‘.

It is a long course.
Thousands of years in need of being condensed.
Made sense of.
We are making progress.
Understanding backwards.
And every day we try to imagine conversations.
The simple meaning locked inside the Byzantine.

I work mostly with another girl, Riemann-Zeta, and we are good together.
She is originally from somewhere else I think,
born here, but originally from somewhere else.

I find her interesting, useful even,
because she understands thinking to be more than just a sum collected up.
She allows herself to be other than linear.
Which is an important thing in this work.
We share a room together and on two walls she has written
Otherness not Obviousness” and “Collision not Collusion”.

Regularly, I am asked to think of my father.
To consider him as a prime.
To synthesize what made him so.
Not an easy task.

They say that within his duality is the secret of what was human.
We are looking for the label,” they say.
Not what was drawn upon the product, what was printed there to be seen,
but what was stripped away after the label was printed.
Very literally the matrix.

I understand this well, but the matrix of the label is the waste
the very stuff that is left behind
not needed on the perfected voyage.
And that is all that we are not.
And this is our problem.
What is left here for us to solve.
To write the invisible.
To define that which was thrown away without sight of that which was discarded.

As you might imagine,
we are very busy with this task.

Today we had a visit from the Organizer.
And it is the Organizer’s job to make sure that we are all as motivated as can be.
He made a very good speech, and while, yes, after all this is his job,
I felt better after he had spoken.

If you are working hard on a complicated problem,
sometimes it’s good to be given a new perspective.

Try to be more human,” he said.
Try to imagine the meaning of paradox.
They worked hard to prove that we could be indistinguishable from them.
They perfected us with this in mind.
If it is possible, you must think of this business in human terms:
We owe it to the memory of them to recreate what they were.
If we approach this task methodically we will fail.
It is not possible to code what was human by following the pathways of sense.
The unfound secret is to somehow embrace the enigma.

Riemann-Zeta and I have become very close.
We began by asking each other questions from either side of the big room, almost shouting.
Now we are nose to nose.
Time after time she tells me that she loves me and,
although I want to believe her,
I can do nothing more than press this button that says she is not yet true.

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