“Digital City” convention at The City Center. Hardware, software, networking companies displayed high-tech consumables in pre-fab cubicles, tents, booths. Largest exhibit: Tree of Knowledge Incorporated (TKI).
TKI software powered nearly every machine in The Nation. Their “expo-booth” a leviathan Pyramid 2.0 Database long and wide as a bus. The most powerful in existence, paralleled and mirrored with multiple terabyte drives stacked floor to ceiling like amplifiers at a concert.
TKI representative at the scene wowed spectators with demo-searches, explained how Pyramid functioned, the many levels of permissions. A regular user on The Network was privy to all data one could possibly confuse himself with. But Government, Law Enforcement, Major Corporations and other privileged entities enjoyed deep access to sensitive info, even trade and security secrets of The Nation.
Booths offered Three Dimensional networking on high-powered machines. Face recognition. Virtual Gardens. Users grew digital plants, tended them, watched them grow or die. I raised a rose from seed to bloom to death of natural causes — flat-screen fade to gloom.
3D models of Data Centers, servers, back-up systems; simulation of The City itself.
Face-off with a fat man. Straggly beard, dirty t-shirt, faded jeans and ratty sneakers. “Root,” a hacker come to infiltrate the machines of the Infocracy. Ran a site called “Crack Byte,” dedicated to destruction of said Infocracy — giant companies like TKI in league with government to take away our all.
Root said, “What can you touch? What gives you pleasure?”
Root said, “My wife’s 3D rendering of our apartment is a cleaner, nicer place to live than our actual apartment. We wish to enter it. To leave our laundry, cats and debts behind.”
“Cats?” I asked.
“Four,” Root said. “Cold, cruel, aristocratic animals. Cats really suck.”
Root said, “When you die, you will no longer log onto The Network. When you die, you may receive email, but you may not answer it.”
Root said, “The Infocracy is not about machines, it is about language. Words and symbols are the capital of The Infoconomy.”
Root said, “The Infocracy, like all systems, is hierarchical. The Infocracy is a hierarchy of those who know, those who sell, and those who both know and sell.”
Root said, “The Infocracy feeds off the entropy of the masses and other less potent (that is, organized) sub-systems of The Network.”
Root said, “The Network exists for the political, social, economic and intellectual enrichment of The Infocracy.”
Root said, “The masses support The Infocracy with credit debt and inability to detect patterns.”
“Patterns?” I asked.
“You know, see which way the wind blows,” he said. “Connect the dots.”
Root said, “As history loses relevance, so too do the fictions and mythologies that evolved from death’s pathos. New fictions will mirror essential ‘realities’ of The Infocracy.”
Root said, “It was a pleasure speaking. Excuse me, gotta go harass the guy from TKI.”
And that was all Root said.