Pipes II: Exile of Tebow
It was dusk when Tebow found he had erred. He and the roommates agreed it was he who must go. At some point, things had been done in the wrong order. He had begun by modeling the individual as an extrapolating stateful functor operating on an n-dimensional experiential field when perhaps he should have started by modeling society as an interpolating stateless operating function of a time-varying random variable. In any case, Tebow had been weighed in the balances and was found wanting, and a punishment of death in exile was found suitable for the crime. His first-principles approach wasn’t first-principles enough—he may have found the root cause but he didn’t find the root cause of the root cause, and what use is that!
In the home state, Tebow began by tilling the earth.
TO BE CONTINUED
Harp Seal Pup
The abalone has been eaten and the hunger satiated! Tim sees a Baby Harp Seal Pup.
Tim Tebow and the Abalone
One day Tim Tebow wakes up on a long beach. The beach is long and stretches as far as the eye can see! Tebow begins to walk. On one side the solarized waves crash in their rhythms upon the sand. Tebow walks until he is hungry. Then, he walks into the water. The water is cold at first, but timing his approach into the waves he feels his sense gradually acclimatize to the colder temperature. Plunging his head beneath the water, he opens his eyes and finds that the water stings and is clouded with sand. All other means exhausted, he taps the tiny and robust D3PTH diving computer located above his right ear. This is some dense hardware built by the densest engineers in the world! The device emits an audible tone which bounces back from the seafloor, and his ears being full of water can more acutely sense the vibrations in the dense medium. There exists an irregularity! He estimates it to be 16 meters beneath the surface.
when I’m buried they’ll place my body in an EMC shield can, a metal sarcophagus to keep the electromagnetic radiation from leaking out. The can will consist of two tightly-fitting pieces of stamped aluminum cut and bent to specification by a Taiwanese contract manufacturer, who will provide a STEP file in advance so that the part’s form, fit, and function can be verified, with full-wave EM simulations run over a wide frequency range. My body will be packed on both sides by thick sheets of thermal interface material (TIM) for efficient thermal management, maximizing the rate at which heat can be exchanged with the surrounding earth. Following TIM application the lid will be affixed and soldered shut, since at high frequencies even small apertures can radiate significantly. the TIM’s gonna have an imprint of my face like the muhfuggin shroud of Turin when they dig it up.
Monday in the 4HL. Big boss man wants me to find the root cause of unit-to-unit variation in radiated power on our board. At least it’s an oscillator—easier to pinpoint the source when you’re dealing with a single frequency. I’m running trials in the RF anechoic chamber and thinking about getting trapped inside; there’s no handle I could turn to let myself out, only pyramidal absorbers pointing inwards. Within a sealed acoustic anechoic chamber, one will experience progressively intense hallucinations as the degree of silence far exceeds what most are accustomed to. The absence of stimuli becomes unbearable they say—or perhaps something that normally lies hidden beneath the noise floor emerges. Within the RF anechoic chamber, in near-complete isolation from the electromagnetic waves that dictate much of reality without, my experience of time could diverge similarly, madness taking firm hold while outsiders remain none the wiser…
Boss is back and he wants to sink the chip with blue TIM. The blue TIM would also be an RF-absorbing TIM so it would attenuate the [REDACTED]-MHz clock. I like the blue TIM, and I tell him that. I’m not shy.
-I like the blue TIM, I tell Boss. -Also do you know where serial number 0 ended up. He looks at me weird. I like the blue TIM because it reminds me of the chip getting sealed in a sarcophagus and leaving a print on the TIM like the Shroud of Turin. Also of a man named Tim who was an ice man like that ice man they found in the Alps, and before dying Tim turned blue because of the cold.
2×10¹¹ seconds ago, Tim’s out traversing talus slopes buried under the snow. Talus buried under the snow that’s treacherous as all get out, and makes a man mighty liable to turn his ankle or something ghastly like that. Picture this—late Chalcolithic and he’s got copper tools in his bag. Knapsack full of items, each having a weight and a value. Arrowheads of chert. Stone pickaxe. 20 hours until he turns blue from the cold. 20 isn’t divisible by 12—important. Remember that.
Tim exhibits a deeply weathered face, melancholy blue eyes peering from asymmetrical sockets, and a lean and stringy fizeek. He subsists mostly on ibex meat and berries, but also indulges in gra*n. He’s clothed in pelts stitched together with flaxen cord. He’s not wearing it now, but in his possession there is a woven garment acquired through a series of trades involving an adjacent settlement. Shades of wool have been interleaved across the garment’s surface to present a subtle striation, which gives delight to all who lay eyes upon it. Man craves a variety of forms, even in such an era when he has not yet known their absence.
Around his neck Tim wears a copper pendant the size of a dime. Its surface roughness is high, but one can still observe the specularity that makes it a prized possession. High electron mobility contributes to high electrical conductivity, which in turn gives rise to reflectivity: the incident electromagnetic wave encounters a short boundary condition, causing superposition of an (inverted) reflected wave. Countless electrons in the conduction band like Abraham’s seed dance to the rhythm of the time-varying E-field. Tim’s beard is long and his hair is long, and individual strands of hair oscillate in the frigid gust. His nose is crooked. His arms are proportionally long. His feet, though well-formed, are calloused, and housed in moccasins of red deer fur.
Most salient to the modern man would be the ease with which Tim inhabits his human form. Here is no impedance mismatch between soul and body, no grotesque moment of toroidal self-realization. The man has never even seen a diagram of the ear! He has experienced a semblance of music and a semblance of war, and it is that experience of bloodshed to which we now direct our attention.
One summer day years prior, we find him sitting in the shade of a linden tree scraping a hide with a flat edge of sharpened bone. Here is the settlement to which Tim belongs, situated in the lower-elevation deciduous forests more hospitable to life but perhaps less suitable for hunting ibex due to the denser tree cover. Fresh meat and skins spoil quickly in the warmth of summer, so he must act quickly to divide and dry a deer carcass following a successful hunt. As he scrapes with the bloody bone a hoarse cry sounds behind him. Already as Tim turns the first man of the village has fallen some 60 meters away with skull fractured by adze and blood spreading through hair. Having observed the presence of women in this settlement, the raiding tribe now comes to capture.
I had a game idea once. Mulled over it for a few years. It would be a computer and iPhone game, and I came up with a name for it—Conflict Royale. It would be like Fortnite and Call of Duty but also with elements of Pokemon Go and League of Legends. Completely open-world like Minecraft, but with award-winning photorealistic graphics instead of looking blocky. There would be millions of puzzles and treasures to obtain and you could level up your character through all sorts of achievements and quests. The concept was crystal clear in my mind, and I even typed up a document with the history and design of the game world. Problem was I never found someone to code the durn thing. Anyway real conflict ain’t nothing like Conflict Royale, and our beloved protagonist Tim was about to find that out.
Tim’s feet hurl up dust from the grass-bare clearing as he sprints and shouts alarm. Rushing from wooden round sheds, equipped with small-headed axes or spears, men rush towards the charging enemy. near Tim’s door lies the sack from which he grabs a copper axe. One of the enemy men has targeted him and now dashes forward between those already exchanging blows. The stone mace he wields is formidable but comparatively heavy. Approaching, he swings the mace across in an arc but Tim steps backwards and barely evades its reach. Immediately, as the enemy has yet to recover from the momentum of his weapon, Tim begins the downward stroke of his axe. Action potentials race down axons as the nervous system pulses in perfect sync playing the second oldest rhythm game in existence. The enemy launches to the left but the axe still scores a blow on the shoulder, cutting through leather and tearing the skin. The axe cuts through the skin causing moderate pain, and cuts into the fat. The axe tears the fat and cuts into the muscle, cutting the fascicles and severing blood vessels from which blood begins to leak.
The enemy leaps backwards in pain but without hesitation begins to raise his mace in anticipation of another blow. Rushing forward Tim grabs the arm to arrest its movement. The wooden shaft strikes his shoulder, bruising the skin and bruising the fat. Tim thumps the man’s face with the axe handle, bruising the cheekbone, tearing the skin, and knocking loose a bicuspid. The enemy releases his mace with one hand and strikes Tim in the face with his fist, bruising the skin, bruising the fat, and breaking the nose. The enemy breaks free. Tim steps backwards and raises the axe to deflect the enemy’s mace. The mace handle collides with the axe handle and slides downwards, and the mace head strikes Tim’s wrist tearing the skin and bruising the fat. Tim swings sideways, and the axe head strikes the enemy’s torso. The axe cuts through leather, tears the skin, and tears the fat. It cuts through the fat, cuts through the muscle, and tears the guts.
That night as Tim lies by the fire he recounts how the axe head came loose from the handle when he dealt the killing blow to the enemy’s skull. The axe head had been made by pouring copper molten from ore into a clay mold, forming a hole the handle could later be inserted through and then lashed into place. The tolerance of the press fit being inexact, repeated impacts stretched and loosened the lashing. Eventually the final impact caused the head to separate completely, and by golly the heads of the invaders were also separated completely and displayed as trophies along with the hands which were punched through the middle and hung across a line.
apt fighters they were, yet not the aptest—for as Tim now crosses the solitary waste, in the wary recesses of his mind swim memories of a foe he never knew, one which his ancestors had last confronted some 40 kyrs prior. A group of ten h*mo sapiens burst from shrubbery in the cold dusk to surround a lone Neanderthal. .. some eight feet tall he is, with vertical slit pupils piercing yellow eyes. 22pl8 DL. +8std IQ. A fearful visage to behold, yet a Voice quite mellifluous and charming. For behind his apelike features one might find a man solemn and wise beyond reason, a giant in realms both psychic and physical.
Were one to have the privilege to hear him speak, one would be awed by the precision of his natural language, one of few words yet impossibly descriptive, instantly understood even by those who never heard it before. Indeed, his is the Adamic tongue—every word mapping precisely to a concept and a glyp. Upon hearing the utterance of each word, the corresponding glyph would appear etched in one’s mind with utmost clarity, a sacred and pure pictogram most pleasing to behold. Indeed the pronunciation of sound accompanying the information stream is but embellishment—between those of his kind, speech is purely decorative, a form of song which harmonizes with the rapid flow of conceptual imagery conveyed by thought-exchange alone.
Now, he finds himself outnumbered by this bothersome foe—one of irreverent proliferation, brute socialization, a reprehensible dependency on that parasitic fungus of domestication and amalgamation. To such an apparatus he would never submit, though he confront the toil of life alone; he knows his toil to be righteous, and loathes the false relief of willing self-enslavement. Thus, despite his near-perfect knowledge, he still finds himself perplexed by his soon-defeat at the hands of this inferior species: surely things were not meant to be this way?
Yet even as he raises his spear to defend himself in vain, in his heart of hearts perhaps he knows it must be done. As the sapiens swarm him with clubs within his mind’s eye a cubic form begins to self-assemble, one with which he is now well-acquainted. To see the futility of one’s labor, and yet to persist—is this not the test of life? His stab fells an enemy, but the blows of their clubs are nigh at hand, and their cries have crystallized into music. Simultaneously he can now see how the solid is a superposition of forms, how it rotates and extends in infinite complexity and simplicity, perfectly self-propagating, perfectly complete, perfectly self-referential. Oh God!
Under the gray illumination of the sky Tim now walks across a vast alpine plain. Patches of snow have melted showing slabs of rock and green moss on soil beneath. Sun’s nearing its highest point in the short day. God’s guiding him deeper through the timeline like the winding cracks in tree bark.
So back in the good old college days my buds and I never played “drinking games” or none of that malarkey. We had a game what we called Chips Challenge, where we’d feed each other chips with shaving cream on top—
A jolly good time it was, provided it wasn’t your luck to be the poor fellow eating the chips n’ cream. Anyway it always got a good audience among the college folk, which I always credited to the insatiable appetite people have for watching others suffer. Many a child has enjoyed burning ants with a magnifying glass, or pulling the legs off of insects one by one as they struggled between his fingers. The cruel soul finds this fascinating, a vicarious exploration of the extrema of sensation through an unwilling proxy.
Could they run away with five legs? With three? When all of their legs were gone, how long would their antennae keep flailing for? Hear them pop and sizzle under the blinding white light. Fun experiments with insects: science for kids.
The apostate kings of the Canaanites four thousand years ago raised altars to Baal and Moloch. “Tophet is Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.” Idol worshipers liked the pop, the sizzle.
I loved insects more than people, and I cried when I saw them die. A girl in my elementary school class kept pillbugs in a tupperware container. I cried to the teacher when I thought of the pillbugs being separated from their families. The teacher lectured the class and made the girl release the pillbugs. After that, the other kids hated me. They also hated me because they used to play runescape on the computers during recess but I didn’t know how to use a computer or play runescape so I told the teacher they were looking at pornography and then the teacher took away the computers. After that the other kids would always chase me with sticks during recess, so I stayed inside and folded origami insects instead of going outside. My parents thought I would grow up to be a big fat loser with a capital L. But just look at me now! You can do anything!
Bill Gates told me never to use pipes. He said, “A program should not do one thing well. Programs should not work together. Programs should not handle text streams.” Then, one night last week, he showed up at the back door of the compound, knocking in the dark. Wanted to give me a shot and a UV tattoo.
I suppose I should back up a bit and preface this with a proper introduction. Acquaintances wanted to know how I was doing. A huge number of my stans were begging for an update, wondering how I was surviving, how I’d handle the pandemic, being homeless and all. I wasn’t going to stick around. When I saw the dudes and the females, I had a premonition that appeared in cellular automata rule space. It manifested a huge black fractal, the parasitic institution, like a thunderous glider. when I saw it I knew I had to get out.
For a while, my car was my home in the desert, bouncing on rutted roads in the night as I prayed for the oil pan. I’d squat on vacant clearings next to abandoned mining roads and airstrips, startling awake in the dead of night with frosted windows and imagined lights flashing outside like a rave with my heart thumping. Then one night, it was real, a rancher rapping on my window with a double-barrel shotgun pointing at my head. He told me, -Mormons aren’t welcome in this county. I apologized, sped off like hell and then got high-bottomed in a wash with the wheels spinning. Had to jump out and pile rocks under the tires while I heard him getting closer, ATV headlights shining over the hills and warning shots from his buds echoing across the valley.
I drove through the night to the only place I could think of. never stopping I cruised through decimated small towns, the bedsheet-wrapped dead piled among sagebrush and roadside signs advertising jerky. In the grey early morning I knocked on John’s door. We called him Catholic Jack. His house was a huge Victorian structure in crumbling brick, incongruously situated in the heart of the slums and bristling with home-rigged defenses. He was a rogue beekeeper; I’d helped sell his imitation mad honey (“Bishop’s Pride”) on the black market. People bought it expecting rhododendron, but instead we’d mixed in a contraband blend of home-cooked chemicals that got you ten times more fr*cked up. It came out different every time. We called it “Stubb’s special spices.” I worshipped C. B. Stubblefield in those days—a great man.
Catholic Jack was known to always keep a nine on him, to defend against hoodlums trying to pilfer honey from his hives. Sure enough, that was the first thing that greeted me through a shattered pane on the front door. I gave him the word. This was close enough.
We were in the compound, living on beans. You had to know the ropes. Everything was booby-trapped and we were inside cooking like chemists. We were cooking with Grignard reagents like it was Chem 3a all over again. Mad honey, traded for mad beans—so many former e-girls were begging for beans we could have had an e-girl harem if we wanted. Instead, Catholic Jack would pull a lever that opened an iron trapdoor under them. It was just like Minecraft. Ammunition was hard to come by. I had always felt that the desert was a sacred place, because all unclean life was purged. It was the godlands, and we were the gods—just us and the virus. the land was brutally clean.
After Bill’s visit, things changed. The first night, I said, -Go away. but he still stood there, a pale apparition. Hours later, through a crack, I still saw him in that corner, but in the morning he was gone. He came back twice, eternally patient. For the first time, we felt fear.
I tried to combat the fear by playing PaRappa the Rapper. I had to use WINE because I didn’t dare to open a Windows machine. I ran into so many locale issues that eventually I resorted to real life. Everyone was crippled by fear, even the police, so you could do anything. Catholic Jack cooked me up a special batch of spices, a new recipe. I mixed them into my beans. The next night, I woke lying in a reed-choked ditch next to a warehouse, covered in blood. It wasn’t my own. My skin was boiling, prickling, and my muscles on the verge of uncontrollable contraction. I stumbled for miles through mud and barbed wire-strewn vacant lots before I found a road I recognized. It was morning before I reached the compound. Catholic Jack let me in without saying a word.
One of Bill’s henchman had come by. Catholic Jack showed me the body in the basement, double-bagged with HUSKYⓇ 42-Gallon Contractor Clean-Up Bags. A blacklight showed me everything I needed to know—he was glowing. Catholic Jack told me about how he’d broken in somehow, found me in the bathtub speaking in Adamic. He was gonna sacrifice me to Moloch and steal the beans to feed old Bill. Said I bit his neck and severed the carotid. Didn’t remember any of it. He said more of them were out there. We needed to do something bigger.
Around that time, I came in contact with a German chemist named John. I was running a Minecraft server, and we would exchange messages using books so Bill and the feds couldn’t eavesdrop. John told me his backstory, how his promising career in academia was ruined by his advocacy for eugenics. I told John we could use his help, devising more potent chemical weapons that we could deploy from our war van to eliminate the M*crosoft employees. He agreed, on the condition that we would cook him Dutch oven meals daily. He loved that Dutch oven cooking. All he did in Minecraft was collect cactus.
The next day, we set out from the compound to retrieve John from the university lab. He’d been in the basement eating zebrafish. I had a Dutch oven with biscuits and one with bean stew in the back of the war van, and John picked up the entire oven to drink the stew. we got to work setting up a production facility in an old hydropower building nearby.