Posted: July 27, 2012 in A Dance Through

‘… as if they’d been kept safe in some time-free zone all these years but now,

at the unreadable whim of something in power,

must reenter the clockwork of cause and effect.

Someplace there would be a real axe,

or something just as painful,

Jasonic, blade-to-meat final

It would all be done with keys on alphanumeric keyboards that stood for weightless,

invisible chains of electronic presence or absence.

If patterns of ones and zeros were “like” patterns of human lives and deaths,

if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record

by a long string of ones and zeros,

then what kind of creature would be represented

by a long string of lives and deaths?

It would have to be up one level at least

– an angel, a minor god, something in a UFO.

It would take eight human lives and deaths just to form one character in this being’s name

– its complete dossier might take up a considerable history of the world.

We are digit’s in God’s computer,

She not so much thought as hummed to herself to a sort of standard gospel tune.

And the only thing we’re good for,

to be dead or to be living,

is the only thing He sees.

What we cry, what we contend for,

in our world of toil and blood,

it all lies beneath the notice of the hacker we call God.


~ Thomas Pynchon: ‘Vineland’


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