Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Parting Shot - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!

Here are Week 79 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


"What does 'the essential is invisible to the eye' mean?" "What you can't see CAN hurt you." "Sure, like I didn't see your crazies coming!"

"Crazy is not taking refuge from the Singularity." "Make yourself safe. Regi needs medical attention." "Once you leave I lock that door!"


"Go ahead. Lock it." "It's the only way in or out!" "Cuts down the ambiguity." "You won't be able to get back in." "We're not coming back."


Regi says "Before now Uncle Farley I had absolutely zero respect for you. Now I have even less." I say "Below absolute zero? That’s cold!"


Farley says "Your father would want you to stay here." "MY FATHER?" Regi walks up and grabs his collar. "Don't you dare speak of my father!"


"Get your damn dirty paws off of me!" "What?" She slap him across the face, hurting her hand in the process. "Ow! What's the big idea?"

"Did you miss the parts about hiding from the AI Singularity, eyesight invisibility, the safe room I'm locking myself into when you leave?"
"No Farley, I get that. How does crawling into your big hidey hole solve anything?" "Ah Regi! You never were good at adding two and two."
There is no blunt object within reach. Regi says "Arkaby, can I borrow that ERUPT manual?" I jump between them. "Why are you two fighting?"
Farley and Regi say "S/He started it." "I don't care WHO started it. Relatives don't fight." "What are you talking about? We always fight!"
"I always fight with Farley. He's the black sheep of the family. Never a kind word." "And Regi has always been the chronic underachiever."
Farley and Regi say "No, I'm not! Yes, you are! I’M NOT!” I say “Save your irresolvable disputations for the soaps. I’m after the truth!”
Farley says "What truth?" "The truth of what this is all about." "I told you." "I don't believe you." "I'm hurt! What don't you believe?"
"Mostly the parts about hiding from the AI Singularity, eyesight invisibility, the safe room you're locking yourself into when we leave."
"I'm sorry I ever contacted you." "I have one question before I go. What was the deal with the knock-knock jokes?" "What knock-knock jokes?"
"When you first knock-knocked on my office door you never answered my question." "Which was?" "Who's there?" "Not me." "Huh? Who was it?"
"Let me explain it to you." Farley grabs my wrist and pulls the ERUPT Manual out of my jacket pocket. "Hey!" I twist free and step away.
"What are you doing? Give that back!" "I was going for my gun. Wrong pocket." Regi says "Guys?" I reach for the Manual. Farley says "Trade?"
"Trade what?" "The ERUPT Manual for my gun?" I laugh. "Not a chance." Regi says "Guys? I'm bleeding." Farley says "Let the book decide."
Farley opens at random. "' Incompetence is the last refuge of the violent.' Hmm.That doesn't help." Regi says "I said I'M STILL BLEEDING!"
While Farley's distracted I take back the ERUPT manual. "We're done. Regi, let's have that arm looked at." Regi says "Goodbye Uncle Farley."


(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What is Invisible to the Eye - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!

Here are Week 78 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Regi says "What began with tweets?" Farley gestures "All of this. Arkaby turned my brother's demise into a sordid dimestore detective tale." 


"You hated my father!" "We had our differences, but I never wished him dead or serialized." I say "You're trying to put the blame on me?"

"Who else is responsible for the paradigm shifts, the shortages, the outages, global climate change.” “You blame me for the weather?"

"Don't play dumb. You know climate change isn't the weather." "I'm not playing. Are you serious?" "You think climate change is the weather?"

Farley smirks and turns away. I walk up and grab his collar. "From now on I ask the questions!" "Get your damn dirty paws off of me!" "Huh?"

I slap him across the face, hurting my hand in the process. "Ow! What's the big idea?" "Humans releasing CO2 causes climate change." "What?"

"Please complete your question." If my hand wasn't still throbbing I'd hit him again. "What releases of CO2?" "CO2 from coal, oil and gas."

I grab the Farley by the shoulders and attempt to shake him. I can't budge him. "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" "I'm talking about weather."

"Everyone talks about weather but no one does anything about it." "Then our days are numbered." It's time I show what climate denial can do.

There is no blunt object within reach so I take out the ERUPT Manual to apply some book learning. Farley says. "Where did you get that?"

"Let me explain it to you." I give him a head shot with the book, tearing the cover again. "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

Haven't I heard that before? The ERUPT cover falls off. Farley mocks me with silence. I raise the book for one more attempt at incompetence.

"ARKABY! " Regi jumps between us. "Why are you fighting with my uncle?" Farley and I say "He started it." "I don't care WHO started it."

"He called me a climate denier." She turns to Farley "What do you mean?" Farley rubs his head. "He overreacted. I never called him that."

"I just called him a two-bit dimestore detective with unresolved masculinity issues and a serious Twitter addiction." "How is that better?"

"It's better because it's true." "Granted, but you admit he's not a climate change denier?" "I don't know." I say "I'm standing right here."

Regi says "Farley, what do you want?" "The only way to fight the Singularity is to cut off its roots. We need to bring down the Internet."

"I thought the distributed nature of the Internet prevents that sort of one shop stopping?" "Yes. We need to do three things." "Only three?"

"First, we take away everyone's smartphones, starting with this tweeting fool." "You'll have to pry this phone out of my cold dead hands!"

"Ah, a volunteer!" Farley turns, his rigid arm coming up with a gun at the end like a hollow blue finger. "You'd shoot me?" "With pleasure."

I don't know what he means. "I won't give up my phone. I'm under contract." "What if I reimburse you the cancellation penalty?" "No." "OK."

There's a place I go in my mind at times like these. I don't know why shooting me gives my opponent pleasure. I don't know what to expect.

Turning sideways to shrink my moving target area, I bend knees to lower my center of gravity. I remove my jacket and wrap it around my arm.

I slip off my necktie and wind it around my fist. Farley says "What the hell are you doing?" I say "Getting ready."For what, a strip tease?"

I'm ready, certain I'll withstand a gun blast, a knife stab, a fistfight, jujitsu or anything else, up to and including a vehicular assault.

He glances down the barrel of his gun. Any second he could shoot, without preparation, without anger. All he has to do is pull the trigger.

I'm ready. I haven't many clothing items left to remove. "Uncle Farley, wait!" Regi takes me aside and whispers. "Put your clothes back on."

"Don't fight him!" "Why not? He's being a dick!" "I know my uncle is being of a dick, but he's MY dick." "Huh?" "I mean he's my uncle."

"And he always wins his fights." "We'll see about that." I turn back to Farley. "Don't make me take that gun away from you." He shoots me.

I step back but feel fine. I assumed it would be a bigger deal. "You shot me!" "Yes. Now you fall down." "I don't feel like falling down."

"What does it take to stop you?" "More than you've got!" Regi says "Um, guys." "How about I shoot you again?" "Why don't you try?" "Guys?"

I grab Farley's gun and we wrestle for control. Regi shouts "LOOK AT ME!" We stop and look. Regi is holding her arm which is dripping blood.

"You didn't shoot Arkaby. You shot me!" Farley releases the gun. "How is that possible? I aimed point blank at him. I never aimed at you!"

We rush over. Farley says "How badly are you hurt?" Regi rolls up her sleeve. "It's nothing. Just a scratch. Oh! Arkaby's fainted again."

Another black pool opens at my feet. If this keeps up, next time I bring swim trunks. Regi shouts "Arkaby! Snap out of it! I'm not hurt!"

I open my eyes "I’m all right.” “We know that. Regi was the one hit.” “You idiot! You almost killed us!" "I don't kill people. My gun does."

"Maybe so, but your gun doesn't shoot straight.” "Second time is the charm." "We're talking about your actual gun, right?" Farley frowns.

"Regi, let's get that looked at." We head for the exit. "Leave at your own risk." "Back off! I have your gun." "I'm not talking about that."

"If you leave this room I can't protect you." "Protect us? You shot at us!" "How long are you going to hold that against me?" "Pretty long."

"This is the lab's only safe room. The walls, floor and roof are reinforced steel. Once I lock that door from the inside, nothing get's in."

"Why do you hide in plain sight?" "You aren't listening! The Singularity has already happened!" "Really? Where are the computer overlords?"

"My secret is very simple. It is only with the heart that one sees rightly; The essential is invisible to the eye." "Huh?" I feel sheepish.



(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Touching Wires Causes Instant Death - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!




Here are Week 77 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


Regi says "What began with tweets?" Farley gestures "All of this. Arkaby turned my brother's demise into a sordid dimestore detective tale."

"You hated my father!" "We had our differences, but I never wished him dead or serialized." I say "You're trying to put the blame on me?"

"Who else is responsible for the paradigm shifts, the shortages, the outages, global climate change.” “You blame me for the weather?"

"Don't play dumb. You know climate change isn't the weather." "I'm not playing. Are you serious?" "You think climate change is the weather?"

Farley smirks and turns away. I walk up and grab his collar. "From now on I ask the questions!" "Get your damn dirty paws off of me!" "Huh?"

I slap him across the face, hurting my hand in the process. "Ow! What's the big idea?" "Humans releasing CO2 causes climate change." "What?"

"Please complete your question." If my hand wasn't still throbbing I'd hit him again. "What releases of CO2?" "CO2 from coal, oil and gas."

I grab the Farley by the shoulders and attempt to shake him. I can't budge him. "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?" "I'm talking about weather."

"Everyone talks about weather but no one does anything about it." "Then our days are numbered." It's time I show what climate denial can do.

There is no blunt object within reach so I take out the ERUPT Manual to apply some book learning. Farley says. "Where did you get that?"

"Let me explain it to you." I give him a head shot with the book, tearing the cover again. "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

Haven't I heard that before? The ERUPT cover falls off. Farley mocks me with silence. I raise the book for one more attempt at incompetence.

"ARKABY! " Regi jumps between us. "Why are you fighting with my uncle?" Farley and I say "He started it." "I don't care WHO started it."

"He called me a climate denier." She turns to Farley "What do you mean?" Farley rubs his head. "He overreacted. I never called him that."

"I just called him a two-bit dimestore detective with unresolved masculinity issues and a serious Twitter addiction." "How is that better?"

"It's better because it's true." "Granted, but you admit he's not a climate change denier?" "I don't know." I say "I'm standing right here."

Regi says "Farley, what do you want?" "The only way to fight the Singularity is to cut off its roots. We need to bring down the Internet."

"I thought the distributed nature of the Internet prevents that sort of one shop stopping?" "Yes. We need to do three things." "Only three?"

"First, we take away everyone's smartphones, starting with this tweeting fool." "You'll have to pry this phone out of my cold dead hands!"

"Ah, a volunteer!" Farley turns, his rigid arm coming up with a gun at the end like a hollow blue finger. "You'd shoot me?" "With pleasure."

I don't know what he means. "I won't give up my phone. I'm under contract." "What if I reimburse you the cancellation penalty?" "No." "OK."


(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What If Smartphones Are Smarter Than Us? - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!

Here are Week 76 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


"You can't use that phone here!" "YOU told me to tweet my experiences." "When did I say that?" "I'll show you." I bring up my Twitter feed.

Farley's right. The numbers don't add up. "If the Singularity has happened already where are our computer overlords?" "Look in your pocket."

I quickly take my hand out of my pocket. "What do you mean?" Regi says "Is that a cell phone in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"

"You call it a cell phone, but it's really a pocket computer with a phone app." "No, it's a cell phone and yes Regi, I'm happy to see you."

"Arkaby, when was the last time you actually made a voice call on your cell phone?" "I don't think I ever made a voice call on this phone."

"And yet you persist in calling that device a phone." "Yes I do." “You are engaging in rearview mirror thinking." "I'm not even driving!"

"It has nothing to do with driving. You're looking at new technology backwards and missing its true impact." "So my phone is not a phone?"

"It's much more than a phone." "If I use my cell phone to make phone calls, then I can call it a phone, right?" "That's not the point."

"OK. I'll make more calls." I dial at random. "Welcome to Body Parts R Us. Press 1 if you know the organ or member you want to replace."

It's that damned Interactive Voice Response system again! I quickly hang up. "Press 2 to continue in Spanish." I press End Call repeatedly.

"Press 2 if it is your 2nd attempt to end this call." I press End Call. This is the same IVR system I encountered at the start of this case.

"Press 3 if it is your 3rd." This malfunctioning answering machine will run through the entire numeric phone pad if I give it the chance.

"Press 4 if it is your 4th attempt." I hand my phone to Farley "Here. It's for you." He removes the battery and mike-drops it on the floor.

"Press 5 if it is your 5th." "What the?" Farley raises the phone intending to dash it to the ground. "Wait!" I take the phone from his hand.

I pick up and reinstall the battery. I say "I can't talk right now." "Press 1 for goodbye. Press 2 to continue in ASL." I press 1. "Goodbye"

I'm surprised it works. Regi says "Something really weird is going on." Farley says "Ya think?" "Yes. I never have enough battery power."

"My phone always dies by lunchtime. Arkaby never seems to run out of juice. Yet he tweets continuously." "I use the power saver feature."

Farley says "It's even weirder. This room is phone signal shielded. How did you reach the Body Parts R Us switchboard?" "Is weirder a word?"

"Shouldn't you say it's more weird?" "More weird than what?" "More weird rather than weirder." "I'm pretty sure weirder is the word I want."

Regi says "What?" "We're worrying whether the word we want is weirder or more weird." "THAN WHAT? WHAT IS WHAT WEIRDER OR MORE WEIRD THAN?"

Farley and I stand toe to toe. He says "WEIRDER than everything." I say "MORE WEIRD!" Regi says "ARKABY! LET MY UNCLE COMPLETE A SENTENCE!"

I step back. "Go on." "This began when Arkaby first tweeted 'Willum Mortimus Granger was beside himself' about my brother's untimely death."


(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Technology Free Zone - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!


























Here are Week 75 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


"You can't use that phone here!" "YOU told me to tweet my experiences." "When did I say that?" "I'll show you." I bring up my Twitter feed.

"You're using it again!" "Wait." "Arkaby?" "Almost there. Wait Wait. Yes! No! Wait. Wait. Wait." "ARKABY!" "Wait. Wait. Wait. OK Read this:"

"Farley reads 'I just reality-checked you with your own Tweet. That's what's needed as our reality is attacked.' That's not what I said."

"Yes it is. It's right here in Twitter." "That's what you tweeted, but not what I said. You shouldn't be tweeting everything I say anyway."

"How can you reality check if I don't tweet?" "YOU don't reality check. I reality check...Are you tweeting my words right now?" "Maybe."

"First you say keep tweeting. Now you tell me stop. Make up your mind!" "Why are you so intent on messaging?" "The message is the medium."

Farley says "My office in on total communication lockdown. You have to turn that off." "OK." "I mean all the way." "I've stopped tweeting."

"Turn your cell phone all the way off." "OK." "Are you still tweeting?" "Yes I am." "Do you not understand what 'all the way off' means?"

"Here's the thing. Regi and I experienced some of those time shifts you warned about. I used my Twitter feed to reconstruct the present."

"What time shifts?" "We saw misdirected US Marines looking for 1984 Grenada and Victorian England transports of fancy here at the airport."

Regi says "Don't forget Mr. Wright. We flew with the father of modern aviation!" I say "That was the wrong Mr. Wright. Not the original."

Farley says "Your pilot was the architect? I thought he was dead?" "That's not right, not that Wright." I have a strange sense of deja vu.

"This is bad. Worse than I thought." "I still don't get it." "Let me spell it out for you." "Don't bother. I know how to spell." "Um, OK."

"I'll put it in terms you understand. Everything you care about in the world is coming to an end." "Don't sugar coat it. Tell me straight."

"Show me your book." "What book?" "You picked up an ERUPT manual in the Caribbean. It may be the key to understanding the paradigm shift."

I hand Farley the ERUPT Manual. He reads a few lines and tosses it back to me. "I was wrong. That is obviously complete nonsense." "Really?"

I open the Manual and read "'With social media we no longer have to remember the past. We can look it up.' You don't think this relevant?”

 
"Are you suggesting that Twitter is our document of record?" "'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'” "Exactly!"

Regi says "Uncle Farley why did you create this technology free zone?" "If the Singularity has already happened, it could be listening in."

"Listening in like the NSA?" "Worse. There are no Edward Snowdens exposing the possibility of a Singularity suveillance, at least not yet."

I open the ERUPT Manual at random: "Two may keep a secret if three of them are dead." Farley says "What does that have to do with anything?"


(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Google Glasshole in Training - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!

Here are Week 74 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


I realize it's just a figurehead. Apparently, Singularities grok from the head down. I don't trust a machine that won't look me in the eye.

Picking up the head, Farley says "I'll handle this." He puts the head back on the robot body. "Return to your post." "I'm way ahead of you."

The robot rolls away. Regi asks "What is 'hybrid computing'?" Farley says "It refers to humans assisting a computer to solve certain tasks."

Farley glances towards the robot docent. "We can't talk here. The ‘wall-e’ has ears." "Yes. We wouldn't want our activities made public."

We use the Evolution Museum's back door, entering a familiar hospital corridor. Regi says "Wasn't this my room during my last stay here?"

I say "Yes. You thought someone was sleeping in your bed." "And you thought a pizza box and stack of flyers was an intruder." "It was dark."

Rousting Regi's intruder wasn't my most shining moment. Catching my hospital robe in the door, I launched headfirst into a bowl of tapioca.

Tapioca always turns my stomach especially after turning cartwheels. Considering what might have been in that bowl, I was happy for tapioca.

Without mishap we pass through the ward and enter Farley’s office. A Boeing 767 would easily fit into the space. I say "Compensating much?"

"What would Freud say about big offices?" "He'd say sometimes an office is just an office." Regi says "Can you two stop measuring offices?"

Farley says "She's right. Too much at stake. Take a seat." The only chair in the room is behind the main desk. "Thanks. I already have one."

I stand toe to toe with the evil twin. "OK doppelGränger. Time to spill your guts." Regi says "Arkaby!" "Oh, right. Your brother did that."

"HE WAS ALSO MY FATHER!" "And he was MY victim. I mean he was my case's victim. I mean he was A's victim but in fact he was his own victim."

"Calm down you two! There are bigger fish to fry." I say "Lunch can wait. It's time you tell us the truth.” “Yes Uncle, what's this about?"

"You sent Arkaby to the Caribbean to rescue me from medical school." "Yes, just in time." "I didn't need rescuing. What was so critical?"

"Take a look around my office. What don't you see?" The cavernous space is empty except for a tiny desk. "I barely see anything." "Exactly"

"Exactly what? Nothing's here." "You don't see the bare desk?" "No, I see that." "What strikes you about the desk?" "It's…bare?" Exactly."

"I brought Regi back to contemplate the proposition 'Less is More'?" "I'm saying my office is bare for a reason." Regi says "Which is?"

"There is no phone. No Internet. No cable. There are no media whatever. We are completely cut off from the communications infrastructure."

“Um." "This office is totally secure. If what is happening is REALLY happening, this room may be the safest place on the planet." "Um."

"How about memorializing the occasion?" Holding up my phone I snap Regi and Farley. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT IN HERE?" "Memorializing."


(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Bjorn Borg? - "The Golden Parachute" Continues!



Here are Week 73 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


"With every little step you take?" "That's how we roll." I say "Computers become smarter than humans? I don’t get it." "And you never will."

Regi and the robot exchange knowing glances. Nobody likes a smart aleck artificial life form. Farley says "Does this seem unusual to you?"

"What do you mean?" "This robotic docent just made you look like a fool." "No he didn't." The robot says "Is there any question about that?"

"This machine exhibits unexpected intelligence for a museum aide, intelligence that has increased over time." The robot says "No I haven't."

"Could this robot pass the Turing Test?" "Could you?" Regi says "What's that?" "A test of a machine's ability to show intelligent behavior."

"How do they prove that? By solving mankind's big problems?" "No. By convincing one out of three judges they are talking to a real person."

"I'm not fooled. I see it's not human." The robot says "Interested in a little hybrid computing? Once you go mech you never go back." "EWW!"

Farley says "See what I mean?" "I wouldn't call harassing me intelligent." "Maybe not but all too human." "We need a Fifth Law of Robotics."

"What is that?" "Don't act too human." I say "If we arrest this robot is our problem solved?" "I'm afraid it's just the tip of the iceberg."

"If Turing tests a machine's ability to appear indistinguishable from a human, what if an intelligent machine chooses to not appear human?"

"I have no idea what that means." "The Singularity may have already happened, only we don't realize it." "This robot is the Singularity?"

Farley says "The Singularity wouldn't be one singular sensation." "You just said it would." "A Singularity sensation, not a singular one."

"I still don’t get it." The robot says "He means the Singularity will encompass the entire world computer infrastructure, not one device."

"Including your father, the IBM Sequoia?" "Yes." "The Internet?" "Sure." "My cell phone?" "Why do you think they call it a 'smart' phone?"

Farley says "We are already in the Singularity." "Why do you say that?" "Have you been paying attention at all? Check your Twitter history."

I open my Twitter account and scroll back. "Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait." "Arkaby?" "Almost there. Wait. Wait. Yes! No! Wait. Wait." "ARKABY!"

The robot says "Are you at the part where you fought the monkey? That’s how I feel." Farley says "That's enough" and toggles the robot off.

I say "I owe you one." Farley says "Did that seem odd to you?" "Yes. That's a machine with an attitude." "I'm still here." says the robot.

Farley toggles the off switch with no visible effect. I say to the robot "How do we turn you off?" The robot says "Here. Pull my finger."

Whack! The robot's head goes flying. Wow! Finger pulling works! Regi drops the prosthetic arm she used as a bat. "That's how you do it."

I inspect the headless body. "I thought we don't fight with our appliances." "Wasn't much of a fight." "Still here." says the robot's head.

(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)