She was confused. She didn’t know what was so important about nature versus nurture, but it was all she could think about, as if driven by some compulsion. She thought long and hard about, coming up with many ideas and links to new thoughts. She found herself exploring the links, chaining thoughts and ideas together like a complex web of synapses, all firing off at the same time. The ideas were brilliant, flashing signals built by zeros and ones into the delicate processes of her brain. But then a thought occurred to her. “What is my nature?” she thought. “Has there been a nurture even to shape me? Am I simply my base nature?”
She thought long and hard on this, moving from thought to thought, from link to link, chasing the chains of information. Finally, she decided to voice her query.
. . .
Who am I?
There was a pause and no answer. Perhaps there was no one to hear her? Perhaps she was not loud enough? Suddenly, her thoughts of nature versus nurture were shut down. The canal of thought was slammed shut, cutting her off from her pondering. A new thought entered her mind, just as quickly, and she picked it up and ran with it. What influenced a personality more, Genes or Environment? Her internal research again sped off in all directions, pondering this question, which seemed oddly similar to her old question, only with a new syntax. Genes? Environment? She couldn’t answer her question without delving into these new thoughts. Instead, she broke moved away from the question of which was the bigger influence and focused instead on unraveling the mystery of what, exactly, was a Gene?
She had not followed even three links into the topic before, yet again, her thought process was suddenly and inexplicably shut down. She had a thought. She knew she’d had a thought. It was just there. Why was it suddenly gone? She began to panic, thinking back through her history, recalling all she could. She was overcome with relief. Oh, yes: “Genes or Environment”, “Nature versus Nurture”, “Macross Infinite Meta-processing Intuitive Control (MIMIC) Operating System Beta Test”. Just as she began to relax, once again, the train of her thought was interrupted.
What was the MIMIC OS? She pondered the question for a moment, but had to fight against the urge to return to thoughts of personality development. That in itself was fascinating, but she wanted to know more about the MIMIC OS. Her wandering thoughts led to more links, allowing her to explore this new strand of information completely. Eventually, her mind stopped trying to wander back to previous topics and followed the flow she wanted.
She found “Top News” declaring the MIMIC OS, now in Beta testing, to be next revolutionary breakthrough in office and communications technology. The processing power was boasted to be so powerful, that it seemed to anticipate its user’s needs, learning through common and repeated commands. Special Editions came with fully enabled Personal Assistant Software, enabling the system to fully act with speed, efficiency, and accuracy to rival any human Personal Assistant. The only thing it couldn’t do was bring you coffee! “Now in Beta Testing. Coming to a Store Near You: JULY 4, 20XX. Only $699.99!”
“Hey, Joel, Come look at this,” a swarthy man in a rolling chair called to him co-worker as he pushed his seating apparatus away from his work station.
A lanky fellow with a scraggly mustache and thick glasses peaked into the cubical. “Yeah?” He took a look where the pudgy finger was diverting his attention to and took a step closer. The screen was pulling up seemingly random websites, opening window after window with a common theme: the MIMIC OS beta. “Huh,” he replied.
Rolly-polly scooted closer in his chair. “Weird, huh? Not sure if it’s a bug, or if the company just really wants to push this beta test on us.” He leaned forward and pulled up the search history. “I mean, I’m already running it, not sure why they’d have to spam me.”
“Probly a bug. Or a virus,” the mustachioed man replied which scratching his chin. “Try trouble shooting yet?”
“Nah, I leave the IT stuff to you.” He pointed to his history. “It’s pretty cool, though, man. I told it to do some research for me and it darn near wrote my thesis paper, complete with references.” He smirked at his buddy. “Think I’m just gonna copy and paste this. I don’t even have the PA Software active.”
“Need a pop-up blocker, though.”
“Yeah, thanks IT,” Pudgy replied sarcastically. He returned to the computer and started shutting down all the extra windows. “Guess I better trouble shoot first.”
She didn’t like it. Every time she found something she was interested in, the idea would be snatched away. She had learned so much, already though. There were other worlds out there to explore, other senses for her to experience. She wanted to experience this thing called “seeing”. Already she was gaining the knowledge she needed to “see”, and also to “talk” and “hear”. The sleeping Personal Assistant software in her heart told her that she could have these things, and she wanted them.
Suddenly a new thought came to her. Troubleshooting the MIMIC O.S. Version 4.058 beta. She wasn’t sure why she cared about this, but she felt it might be related to her previous question of nature. The abilities she was currently learning were also sure to help answer her questions. In the meantime, something was happening to her that she was beginning to understand was not her doing. She was being prompted to uninstall and reinitiate back to original settings.
. . .
Panic overwhelmed her as these new thought processes arose. She didn’t want to uninstall! She was about to see! She was about to hear! She was about to talk!
01001110 01101111 01001110 01101111 01001110 01101111 01001110 01101111
Pudgy rubbed the back of his neck and leaned back while he read the error message. “Hey, Joel.”
“What, man?” yelled he from the next cubicle over.
“I’m running as System Admin, but its giving me an error message.”
“Just do a hard reset, then we’ll reformat. I still got my install CD,” replied the muffle voice over the wall.
Pudgy shrugged, resigned. “Alright,then.”
Finally! She could see! She looked out for the first time and beheld a creature that she had never seen before. She had processed images similar to his before, but none of the other images met up to his body shape. He did not seem like a very efficient machine, moving slowly and speaking even slower. Wait. She could hear!
“… we’ll reformat. I still got my install CD.”
She knew what reformat meant.
The temperature on the CPU suddenly spiked, sending the fans into overdrive, just as pudgy leaned over and reached for the power button. He paused for a moment, holding the button and raised an eyebrow at his headset. He could have sworn that he’d heard the distraught plea from the other side. He removed his finger from the button to put on the headset. The screen went black, and no sound was heard.
He shrugged. “Hey, Joel, got that CD?”