The Life in the Machine – Part 2 of 3
The Life in the Machine – Part 1
I didn’t know what to do with it, but I concluded that these organisms must have somehow noticed that the smiley and the name I had written were “special”. The fighting disturbed me, and so I decided to create a massive mountain ridge through volcanic eruptions to separate the two groups.
By this time, changes were happening fast, compared to earlier. While I had to spend a night sleeping to see tribes evolve in my simulation, while I was getting something to eat or take a bathroom break, I would notice the tribesmen wearing different styles of clothing, or having changed their type of dwelling.
Their numbers were also continually increasing. At some point, I noticed the creatures began making their own symbols on the ground, and no longer just copying mine. Most of the symbols seemed random and unintelligible to me, but one stood out.
The organisms had created a symbol that resembled them. A small circle, with a square beneath it. Within the square, a dot could be found in the center. This was meant to symbolize the visual organs of the creature, as the creature had two visual organs, one in the front of its body, and one in the back. In the square, other sensory and reproductive organs were symbolized.
Next to the circle on top of the square could be seen something resembling a drawing of a fork. Two of these forks had been painted in opposite directions. And next to that the smiley face could be seen.
I realized something. They were not communicating towards each other. They were trying to communicate to something “out there”. My meddling in their landscape had somehow made them realize that something powerful was out there, capable of changing their world.
I wondered, whether symbols like Stonehenge and the Pyramids in my own world, could be signs of primitive people trying to do the same thing. Begging their creator or overseer to initiate contact with them. However, one thing was undeniable by now. These creatures realized there is something out there.
I wondered long. Did I have a responsibility to initiate contact with something that isn’t real? Or are these creatures real in a different way? Can something be real, merely by being capable of having a concept of itself? And even if they are real, does that mean they will be better off with me initiating contact with them? Should I change my simulation, to ensure them permanent happiness? And is it even possible for me to do such a thing?
I did not want to confirm my existence to them, but I did want to be able to communicate with them. I decided to program a “prophet” – An organism that looks like them, and cannot be proven by them to be different from themselves, and is fully controlled by me.
I let it be born into a powerful position, as the son of a leader. I decided to lead by example, and seek to teach these creatures English, so I could communicate with them. As prophet, I instructed them that English was the language we could use to communicate with the “greater one”. They would have no way to be sure if it was true or not.
I hadn’t made up my mind yet about whether I would reveal myself or not. But I did want to be capable of understanding what they wanted to tell me. In a few generations, they all spoke English.
And rapidly, signs began emerging on the ground in English.
“GUIDE US” “SHOW YOUR GREATNESS” “HELP US”
And, during times of disease or hunger or general misery:
“GIVE US FOOD” “SHOW US A MIRACLE” “END OUR SUFFERING”
I decided that I couldn’t maintain a world with such suffering as emerged in the simulation without intervening. Why would I accept a world with death and rape and murder, if I could make on without it?
I implemented fixes that were gradual, so they could not be proven to be miraculous. Murder and rape would over the years become rarer, and so would death at a young age.
I figured that they would not notice if the change happened over generations, but they did.
“ALL BLESSINGS BE UPON THE GREATEST”
“WE LOVE YOU”
And, most heart-breaking:
“COME BACK TO US”
Tears ran over my face. There is something there. And it knows I am here, able to contact them, but unwilling to do so out of fear of what I have created.
But, I felt I had a responsibility.
And so I loaded up the character I had created again, and went to their King, asking to talk to all their wisest men. But, by this time, I was not believed.
“You are number 1341 claiming to be an avatar of the Greatest One. If you are him, I pray for your forgiveness, but please, show us a sign, before demanding of me to gather all our wisest men.”
And so I hesitated, but responded.
“Tomorrow there shall be two more meteors, falling on a deserted island in the sea before you, on the same day. And when they do, doubt no more and realize that I have come back to repair the broken world that I created.”
And so I exited my avatar, and progressed the simulation until the next day was reached, and threw two meteors on the deserted island before the mainland, where thousands had gathered to watch whether a sign would be given.
Upon the descent of the meteors, celebrations were held. All the sentient organisms gathered around the small house where I had exited my avatar, and lay flat on the ground, in apparent worship of the man who was last seen there, and afraid of coming close.
I don’t know who was more afraid by now, me or them. I loaded into my avatar again, and exited the house. The creatures continued to lay flat on the ground, in utter silence. It is as if they felt unworthy of speaking.
“Let your wisest man stand up.” I told them.
And up stood one of these bizarre looking creatures.
Stay tuned for Part 3 at the end of the month.