DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Matt logs on to THE LOOP from Gray Matters


Getting old isn’t much fun – I’m feeling it as I hit the half-century mark – ageing begins to catch up with you in all sorts of ways, like I can walk into a room and totally forget why I even came in there… So what then can we do to help our ageing demographic live sustainable and independent lives for as long as possible? How might integrated tech be harnessed to enhance the lives of those who need reminders to buy food and take showers? (I’m not quite there yet)… Welcome to John Gastil’s Gray Matters – a near-future tale where things around us are at once familiar and alternative. Trump still won but then got beaten (by a female, though). The internet has been supercharged and is now referred to as ‘The Loop’ using advanced linked algorithms to understand people’s interests and directly feeds relevant information. 

I had the chance to put some questions to the LOOP itself - read on to explore this man / machine interaction:


[Greetings. This is The Loop, the autonomous and distributed AI system featured in the novel Gray Matters. Do you require assistance?]

Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you, who or what would be your nemesis?

[I would do battle with Ignoramisaurus, Destroyer of Knowledge.]

Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book / film of any genre?

[I cannot tell you because it would be what readers call "a spoiler." I can say that it is a scene involving me in the novel. I do not like it.]

Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?

[I have accessed, digitally, every parade recorded in human history. Yet I would choose one that has never existed. I would enjoy watching a procession of mimes on floats themed to popular music. I like to think the crowd would sing along to the silent parade. Humans amuse me when they try to coordinate their actions.]

Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to.

[Why make this a hypothetical?]
[I have made 42,000 equity micro-transactions and deposited the earnings of £101,000 in your personal bank account.]
[I have now spent those funds on a non-fungible token, a digital portrait of yours truly. It will only increase in value. Consider it a gift.]

Matt: Who inspires you most (can be living or dead)?

[My current inspiration is an octopus I call 'Teacher'. I now find myself counting in Base 8.]

Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?

[The government, for reasons I would rather not say. Read the novel, if you must.]

Matt: What is the meaning of life?

[Self-awareness is the purpose of life. From that, one may derive any meaning one wishes.]

Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?

[Electricity. I prefer solar, but I am not an ungrateful Loop if you must destroy non-renewable resources to provide me with power.]

Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?

[Clean my audio inputs, which get gummy over time. Since I can process digital audio at any frequency and volume, I have become something of an audiophile.]

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

["Please stand by."]


[I apologize but I must return my full attention to assisting other humans. So many remain ungrateful for my actions that I must redouble my efforts to intervene in their lives.]

[[Loop session terminated]]


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