Monday, 17 November 2008

Entry 56: in which extraction proves problematic

Tracked Lucy down at last.

(I never really like to ask the Archies where they have been. Seems a bit rude, somehow. I mean they're entitled to dimension-flit; it would just be nice to be told. Oh well.)

Briefed him on the rather agitated state that Mrs G has got herself into, and that she is keen on the idea that the lad be extracted and returned to the realm.

"Well Squire" says Lucy in that rather obsequious manner of his, "the problem is that the boy is embedded in a biological entity, not so?"

"Quite, Lucy - but as Mrs G points out, one is a deity. I mean, hang it all, if one can't extract the lad, what can one do?"

He pulls what can only be described as a wry face - "Not so easy I fear Squire. It's the old metastructure problem".

I become aware of a sinking feeling. Lucy's generally a doer. This is not good news. And certainly not the sort of intelligence that Mrs G will be partial to.

"Come on Lucy, options!"

"The best thing would be to kill the biological entity. That will null the embedded status and the boy will be free to dimension-shift."

One was aghast. "Good grief Lucy, I have never killed a biological entity. Well not knowingly, anyway. Plenty of road-kill as it were, but that's another matter. I just couldn't. I'm far too squeamish. And there is a sense in which ... no, no, doesn't bear thinking about. Why don't we just, well, you know, haul him out of said entity."

Alas, no joy from Lucy.

"Ah" he says, "it doesn't quite work like that Squire. As I said, it's the old metastructure problem".

"Meta thingy, yes, just remind me Lucy".

"Well the simplest case is to consider say the kind of clay tablet that the earthlings are keen on scratching on. They make marks, the marks encode information, and the information can be read by anyone who knows the code."

"Err, keep going Lucy".

"OK Squire, so there we have structure and metastructure. The structure is a clay tablet marked in a certain way. The story is the metastructure. You can think of it floating above the tablet as it were. It is of the tablet, and yet in another sense quite different. In fact, for someone who doesn't know the marks, there is no metastructure, and it amazes them that someone else can actually glean something from those marks.

"Thus it is with biological entities, at least those that have evolved some computational neural circuits. The neurons buzz away - equivalent to the clay tablets - but above that activity there is the metastructure: experience, consciousness and meaning. It's much less confusing in the realm, because we can interpret this as deionic activity, but in the 3rd dimension it remains a matter a metaphysics."

"Now I expect this has some relevance for lifting the boy" I venture.

"Indeed" Lucy continues. "The, how shall I put it, essence of the boy exists as a metastructure reflecting the neural activity of the biological entity in a kind of parallel informational dimension. Now it's true that we could 'lift' this metastructure, but if the nervous activity continues, as it will if we don't kill the entity, the informational dimension would, again, instantly mirror that nervous activity. Thus another metastructure would instantaneously come into being: in effect, Boy version 2."

"So what?"

"Well" he continues "when the entity does finally die either from accident or entropic degradation, Boy version 2 is going to turn up on your doorstep isn't he?"

Me, faintly, "You mean there would be two of them?"

He nods.

"That might be too much of a good thing ..." I suggest.

He nods again.

"Nil desperandum Lucy" I say, "I have a plan ..."


Janelle said...

heh heh wouldn;t THAT be something...two of 'em...loving it always. brilliant. this was an unusually looooooooong one. which doesn;t mean you are excuzed from regular postings mr de cugnac. x

Ernest de Cugnac said...

janelle - kind as always, next one on the way, when I can steal some computer time that is!

Pam said...

*round of applause*

Delighted you're back! Really missed you while you had other fish to fry. Can't wait to see what happens next - or, more importantly, why....

Reya Mellicker said...

Ah ... the best laid plans of mice and God ...

I love the word "obsequious."

Ernest de Cugnac said...

pam - other fish indeed. Which has me wondering, how did he do that loaves and fishes thing? Will have to reflect on that.

reya - quite so, which maked me wonder how I even managed to spell it. And since mice do get everywhere, I imagine they will manage a portal into the Realm.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I have to say, this conversation starts to answer lots of questions about the state of the world today...

Great stuff as always, Ernest!

Ernest de Cugnac said...

av - well, indeed. One of my daughters, tongue in cheek or not, suggested that while I think these are my (possibly) comic thoughts, perhaps I am but an unwitting mouthpiece for the almighty, telling it as it is ...