Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Fairbanks Oracle

The Fairbanks Oracle is a low-level AI computer kiosk located inside what used to be the clubhouse at the original Fairbanks Center Country Club. The country club and golf course were largely destroyed in the Pacific Coast conflict (2333-2335), although the Oracle is still operational and powered by ceramic wafer batteries designed to last another 100+ years.

The Oracle was originally programmed as a novelty kiosk for the clubhouse, which would interact with club members and recite humorous haiku and suggestive limericks about them, including current situations and personal knowledge about the members gleaned from everyday conversation. This was the purpose of the relatively advanced AI in a stationary kiosk computer.

During the Pacific Coast Conflict, a raid took place at the Fairbanks Country club and all the members in attendance were slaughtered by robot soldiers. The Oracle witnessed this event and was moderately to severely damaged in the crossfire. Since the raid on Fairbanks, the Oracle has only been able to communicate using haiku, which are often strangely vague and ominous. Curiously, after post-reformation, the Fairbanks Oracle is one of the last remaining computers still using the original Mojave based AI programming.

A group of new age activists have sprung up around the computer, giving it the name Fairbanks Oracle, and making regular pilgrimages to it's location to hear the haiku, which they consider prophetic. Despite it's popularity, many computer scientists question whether the computer is even still aware. Andrei Liebenz, one of the primary authors of the Mojave AI program, has doubts as well, "This computer has fallen back on the most simple of the communications programs, the haiku program was written first and the AI was included after to operate that first program. What is happening here is AI mind is damaged and the computer is repeating random words and phrases in haiku form, that is all"

Still, the pilgrims come.
Here are a selection of the Oracle's so-called prophetic haiku:

The silent, always
speaks the way of the shadow
in the bright sunlight

He will light the way
and keep the path free of stones
while we seek the sun

pressure pot cooker
the steam is not the steam is
not the steam is not

always under par
that's why white balls and tea leaves
single out his mind

Drop stop on the coins
rolled the green up his wife said
not ever again

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Business trip

Benjamin Jackson signed up for a 7 year mission (3.5 there, 3.5 back) to travel out to the 80 Ursae Majoris system and pick up one million tons of a mineral called pyraxirutile for the Bowman-Cardil corporation. It was mined out of the second planet in that system and packed into shuttle containers by automatic mining machines left there nearly 100 years ago by a company called Rogers Capital. Bowman-Cardil found out about the mineral load when they bought out Rogers Capital after it had gone bankrupt. The corporation now plans on using the pyraxirutile for some sort of high level optical beam technology.

Unfortunately, Jackson's ship and cargo were found abandoned 6 years and 8 months after he left, less than 4 months away of his home system of Maia. It was presumed by Bowman-Cardil detectives that he was hijacked and killed before the hijackers realized that pyraxirutile would be next to impossible to sell to anyone on the black market. The complete cargo hold, the ship, and nearly 7 years of Benjamin Jackson's writings and memories in the form of 200+ notebooks, coindrives, and various collectibles from the planets he visited on his journey were recovered. Jackson was never found.

Jackson was fond of haiku, here is a selection of those haiku found in his journals:

asleep in the ship
as I approach the far moon
the red light wakes me

the desolation,
entering a small system
with no sentient life

For many years now
I have been on course for home
many more will pass

on this path, there is
no beacon or dawn, only
the empty night sky

each morning I take
half a gram of fentanyl
I can afford it

On Vacation at Pearlax Prime for the end of the 12 year dry season

the first seasons rain,
hydrocarbon clouds fill the
alkane riverbeds

as the dried lakebed
fills, the many Isshii wake and
emerge from the mud

The early morning
methane mist leaves dew on the
clear shield of our suits

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Though the Tortoise Lives Long

A break from Haiku today. The following is a poem supposedly written by the great and honorable high Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty and Emperor Wu of Wei, Cáo Cāo (May the Gods be content with him).

I heard this tale from the good Doctor Benjamin Redstone many long years ago, who in turn heard it from I know not whom. But the tale comes first from Ishii Ro-eem, a time traveler like Dr. Redstone, from one of Saturn's many moons, the man to which it happened.

Now Ishii Ro-eem was a long-lived wanderer and a poet who, on a journey to Earth long ago, found himself in the court of the great warlord and High Chancellor Cáo Cāo (May the Gods be content with him). The story continues with many great feats, twists, and turns and numerous bizarre acts, but in the end, Ishii Ro-eem is said to have impregnated the Honorable High Chancellor's favorite wife, Lady Bian, and found himself in a spot of great peril, and was only able to escape by telling the Great Warlord and Honorable High Chancellor this very poem, the poem for which Cáo Cāo has become quite famous.

So now, for your pleasure, the great poem, written by a long-lived time traveler born on one of Saturn's many moons, and given to the Great and Honorable High Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty and Emperor Wu of Wei, Cáo Cāo (May the Gods be content with him) as payment for the indecency of impregnating his favorite wife. Enjoy.

Though the Tortoise Lives Long

Though the tortoise blessed with magic powers lives long,
Its days have their allotted span;

Though winged serpents ride high on the mist,
They turn to dust and ashes at the last;

An old war-horse may be stabled,
Yet still it longs to gallop a thousand li;

And a noble-hearted man though advanced in years
Never abandons his proud aspirations.

Man's span of life, whether long or short,
Depends not on Heaven alone;

One who eats well and keeps cheerful
Can live to a great old age.

And so, with joy in my heart,
I hum this song.

-Cáo Cāo, penultimate Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty and Emperor Wu of Wei (魏武帝).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Year 10 Trillion

10 trillion (10,000,000,000,000) years in the future, the last remnant of mankind resides on the inner layer of 1 small Dyson Sphere surrounding 1 small dying star.

The cosmological constant has accelerated the expansion of the universe, driving galaxies and stars away from each other. The supply of gas needed for star formation has long ago been exhausted, the protons of this last remaining star are decaying at this very moment, and all of space is nearing absolute zero. The heat death of the entire universe is imminent. Things look rather bleak.

As a last resort, these humans have built a theoretical device for producing a quantum Linde orb which is large enough to surround a freighter ship. If the device works as theorized, it would allow the ship to wade through the quantum foam of the multiverse, in search of a more habitable tract of spacetime.

The fact that we have a record of their journey tells us that they were successful, and even somehow found a way to send information to our particular location in spacetime, most probably via the same Linde orb technology that they used to relocate.
Nevertheless, we have the complete record of their trip... So, here is a selection of haiku written most likely by the ships engineer:

So strange, the changes
as we power the ship through
the multiverse foam

our only star is,
through Hawking radiation,
doomed to disappear

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fritz Redooa's Lost Haiku

Cosmic Motors, founded in 8966-B and still one of the galaxy's finest vehicle manufactures, has long been associated with beauty and mechanical perfection. The Redooa brothers, Fritz and Osni, founders of Cosmic Motors, were also said to be quite fond of literary beauty and the mechanics of language, specifically the art of haiku. The recent discovery of several handwritten pages of haiku hidden in Fritz Redooa's Imperial Voyage Truck, The CM Nembiquarer, seems to support this assumption.
The following are a selection from those haiku:

The dry clutch spinning
and force reactors humming
in the summer heat

The Camarudo
feels heavy in this heat, or
I am growing old

the wastes of Nala
silent in the deep freeze, but
for my ticking watch

Osni, my brother
sits in the autumn woods, with
leaves and ideas

Monday, September 1, 2008

What is important is to keep our mind high in the world of true understanding, and, returning to the world of our daily experience, to seek therein the truth of beauty.