Wednesday, May 30, 2007

1914

"But don't you see, Miss Smith?" Doctor Carrington exclaimed, standing up from his desk suddenly. "Mathematics defines reality!"

This exclamation was indeed a surprise to Miss Smith, the Doctor had not spoken for three days, had not slept for three days, and it was all she could do not to drop the tea cup she was about to hand him.

"No sir, I don't see sir," she managed, eyes fixed on the tea cup as she placed it firmly on the desk. "And I'd thank you not to startle me so" - not now - she thought.

"Piffle," said Dr. Carrington, "you are party to a discovery of great magnitude, and you...", he became distracted,his eyes lost focus, and he slumped back in his chair, "...and you, well, you bring me tea".

“For which I thank you," he added finally.

"Well, much obliged sir," she said, " I'm sure we'll be most amazed by your intelligence, sir".

"Do I detect a note of sarcasm, Smith?"

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean, sir", she replied, "am I dismissed?" - this is the moment - she thought.

"On intelligence, Smith, do you know what an intelligence amplifier is?"

-of course I fucking do- thought Smith, "No sir", she said.

"Well, this pencil," he held up the chewed nub he had been scratching with for the last 4 days, "and this paper", he took a sheet of foolscap from the desk, "this is an intelligence amplifier!".

-go on- she thought - you're almost there. Please stop now.

"You see, I can't possibly multiply 256 by 1024 through mental gymnastics alone"

- I can - thought Smith.

"But if I write this", and he scribbled the 256 below the 1024 and dashed a line below, "then I have a little machine, an intelligence amplifier, for making this multiplication easy," and he proceeded to write carried ones and added tens around the line until he had the answer delineated below. "You see!" he shouted, brandishing the completed multiplication. "Through pencil and paper I have amplified my intelligence by an order to complete an algorithm I could not possibly attempt through mentation alone!"

-that answer's wrong though- she thought, "If you say so sir." she said.

"Well," he said, smiling, "what if you were able to amplify the intelligence of intelligence amplifiers themselves? Eh?"

-you're close now - she thought - don't go any further.

"this is a hackneyed question, and one that has apparently been exhausted by our formal logicians". this was said with some contempt.

Miss Smith felt a stinging in her eyes. No, I can't falter now - she thought - this Region is not ready for this, my mission is to STOP this- "please don't say any more sir," she said, feeling in her apron for the long, vicious knife she had concealed there earlier, "we aren't ready for it".

The doctor looked up at her and she realised he hadn't actually been talking to her until that moment, "Miss Smith, you seem upset, are you alright?"

- the first fucking time you notice me, and I'm supposed to cut your throat to stop you unleashing mathMeme in this Region- "I'm fine, sir, I suffer a little from hay fever"

He looked at her intently for a moment, "Miss Smith, I do believe you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.”

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