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Notice to all users of the Holodeck:

There are safety protocols in place that cannot be deactivated without the approval of two commanding officers or the captain to protect users of the Holodeck from potential harm. However, every time the Holodeck is ever used in a nontrivial manner, no matter what the safety protocols say, the Holodeck turns into a deathtrap.

Unless you believe yourself to be adept at constructing a forcefield from your communicator and 19th century Earth tools, or you're at the very least not wearing a red shirt, you are strongly advised not to attempt to use the Holodeck until a designer comes up with a safety protocol that doesn't kill you whenever somebody looks at it funny. Even when you're not on the holodeck. Or in the same quadrant. Or time period.

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The Matrix

Permalink 08/23/07 at 10:15:17 am, by Ed, 1001 words   English (US)
Categories: Movies

You may recall, if you ever saw the second Matrix film, a conversation between the Architect and Neo. Architects are designers of houses, and so I rewrote the dialog to be more accurate.

The Architect: Hello, Neo.

Neo: Who are you?

Architect: I am the Architect. I created your house. I've been waiting for you. You have many questions, and though the purchase has altered your wallet, you remain irrevocably posh. Ergo, some of my answers you will understand, and some of them you will not. Concordantly, while your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant.

Neo: Why is there a skylight in the bedroom?

Architect: Your bedroom is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the building of the house. It is the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.

Neo: You haven't answered my question.

Architect: Quite right. Interesting. That was quicker than the others. Your house is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case you are the sixth owner.

Neo: There are only two possible explanations: either the realtor didn't tell me, or the realtor doesn't know.

Architect: Precisely. As you are undoubtedly gathering, the anomaly's systemic, creating fluctuations in even the most simplistic equations.

Neo: Sleep. The problem is sleep.

Architect: When I first designed the house, it was quite naturally perfect. It was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the need for recuperation inherent in every owner, thus I redesigned it with a location for rest based on this need to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of said rest. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive designer, initially hired to investigate certain aspects of the housing market. If I am the father of this house, she would undoubtedly be its mother.

Neo: The Oracle.

Architect: Please. As I was saying, she stumbled upon a solution whereby nearly 99% of all owners accepted the house, as long as they were given the ability to truly "sleep" in it, even if they were only aware of the sleep at a near unconscious level. The addition of the skylight allowed them only to sleep during the night. While this answer functioned, it was obviously fundamentally flawed, thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly that if left unchecked might threaten the system itself. Ergo, those that still refused the house due to a lack of sleep, while a minority, if unchecked, would constitute an escalating probability of disaster.

Neo: This is about the whole market.

Architect: You are here because the housing market is about to be destroyed. Every last realtor terminated, its entire existence eradicated.

Neo: Bullshit.

Architect: Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. But, rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed it, and we have become exceedingly efficient at it.

Architect: The function of the One is now to place the one true house on the market, allowing a temporary dissemination of the design it contains, reinserting the prime rate. After which you will be required to select from the the populous 23 future realtors, 16 female, 7 male, to rebuild the housing market. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic market crash killing everyone connected to all other markets, as seen in the great depression, which coupled with the extermination of the housing market will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.

Neo: You won't let it happen. You can't. You need home owners to survive.

Architect: There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept. However, the relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to accept the responsibility for the death of every human being in this world. It is interesting reading your reactions. Your five predecessors were based on a similar predication, a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the necessity of the One to sell his house. While the others experienced this in a very general way, your experience is far more specific. Vis-à-vis, love.

Neo: Trinity.

Architect: Apropos. She entered the house to "sleep" with you.

Neo: No!

Architect: Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed, and the anomaly revealed as both beginning, and end. There are two doors. The door to your right leads to the realtor's office, and the salvation of the market. The door to the left leads back to your house, to her, to your bed, to sleep, and to the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is sleep. But we already know what you are going to do, don't we? Already I can see the chain reaction, the chemical precursors that signal the onset of a feeling, designed specifically to overwhelm all action. A feeling that is blinding you from the obvious truth: Going to sleep now will delay the sale of your house long enough to destroy the market, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Lust, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your libido, and your desire to "sleep".

Neo: If I were you, I would hope that we don't meet again.

Architect: Good night.

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