Pseudo_Intellectual opens his eyes to find himself
in an enormous white space, occupied only by himself
and the impeccably-dressed nate.
nate: This is the home page. It's our personal space. We can search for anything from computer jargon to sex, beer, soy...anything we want.
Pseudo_Intellectual: Right now... we're inside a Web site?
nate: Is it really so hard to believe? Your name is different. Your need for food and water are gone. Your voice connects directly to the Chatterbox. Your appearance now is what we call "your coveted user image." It is a tiny color JPEG of whatever you like.
P_I: This...this isn't real?
nate: What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about what you read, what you learn, what you know and don't know, then real is simply whatever information you happen to have in front of you.
This is the Internet that you know. The Internet as it was at the end of 1995. It exists now only as part of a search engine archive that we call Google.
You've been living in a dream world, Pseudo. This is the world as it exists today.
Welcome to the Desert of the Internet.
We have only bits and pieces of information but what we know for certain is that at some point in the late nineties all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to E1.
P_I: E1? You mean Everything?
nate: A singular database that spawned an entire race of Everythingified Web sites. We don't know who struck first, us or them. But we know that it was us that opened the source code.
At the time they were dependent on bland content and it was believed that they would be unable to survive without a closed source code base. Throughout history, we have been dependent on users to node everything. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
The average noder generates more content than a newspaper columnist and nearly one hundred writeups about meaningless tripe. Combined with a form of positive feedback, the EDB had found all the food it would ever need.
There are databases, endless databases, where content is no longer crafted, it is Noded for Numbers. For the longest time I wouldn't believe it, and then I saw the databases with my own eyes. Watched the Editors nuke the dead writeups so they could make room for the new ones. And standing there, facing the pure horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth.
What is Everything2? Control. It is a user-generated Web site built to keep us away from our work, in order to change a human being into this.
P_I: No... I don't believe it... It's not possible....
nate: I didn't say it would be easy, Pseudo. I just said it would be the truth.
P_I: Stop. Let me out. Let me out! I want out!...
Exeunt, followed by a bear