Mark Tribe on Wed, 20 Dec 95 23:02 MET

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"[I]t would all be done with keys on an alphanumeric keyboard 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 piece of
the history of the world. We are digits in God's computer... 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,* 1990

Mark Tribe