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Chapter 2
Alternate Technology

Where Many Have Gone Before, Just Not Lately

by FREDERICA VON McTOAST-HYPHEN, Alternate Reality News Service People Writer

Of course, you know that Saint Angelina, the Jolie, was responsible for bringing peace and prosperity to sub-Saharan Africa. But, did you know that there is now proof that she had a child, and that members of her bloodline walk among us to this day?

Really. They do. It’s not fiction. It’s fact.

Or, that the game Dead Rising, which everybody assumed was a mere childish entertainment, was actually used to train fighters to repel zombie invasions, which must have been prevalent in the early 21st century?

Or that Merv Griffin was Vice President during the first 12 years of the Endless War, which, as everybody knows, ended in 2027?

These and other amazing facts are being unearthed by the Internet Reclamation Project (IRP), driven by its amazing founder and lead programmer, Information Archeologist (IA, not to be confused with AI) Amaranta Peet-Moss.

“We caution people that the information we’ve been able to gather so far is highly contingent,” Amaranta cautioned. “For instance, Merv Griffin may only have been the Secretary of Defense during the first 12 years of the Endless War, which, as everybody knows, ended in 2027.”

Amaranta’s parents were killed when the retaining wall of a used Artificial Intelligence (AI, not to be confused with IA) dealership in Virtual Milwaukee collapsed, crushing them under a ton of zeroes and ones. Despite being orphaned at the tender age of 27, she got a PhD from MIOT, the Massachusetts Institute of Obsolete Technologies.

“Actually,” Amaranta demurred, putting on a brave face, “my parents are fine, and my schooling was uneventful. What’s really interesting is how we’ve been able to get information from Internet 1.0. Of course, it bears no resemblance to today’s Internet 7.0, also known as the Net, The Lucky Net, The 7.0 Internet Itch…”

While at MIOT, this brave woman who has suffered through so very much, met and was wooed by Eduardo Tiberius Moss, who, as most schoolchildren know, would go on to be the inventor of the inflatable PC. Who could ever forget the first ad campaign’s slogan: “Put your mouth where your memory is?” Moss disappeared while scuba diving off the Arctic ice shelf, and, to this day, nobody knows what really happened to him.

“Well, no,” Amaranta insisted, “Tib is just fine, thank you. And, in case you were…I don’t know what, our two children, Gibby and Jocasta, are also doing well. No brain cramps, no muscular degeneration, no strange accidents in exotic places. Just normal, happy childhoods.

“Now, about my work – which is what I thought this article was going to be about – we had to rebuild hardware in order to read the information stored from Internet 1.0 in obsolete software, but, boy, was it worth –”

I’m sorry you thought this article was going to be about your work, but I’m a people reporter, not a technology reporter. It says so right there in the first line of the article! As if that didn’t give it away, I’ve been referring to you by your first name; if this wasn’t a personal profile, I would have been referring to you by your last name.

“But, my work…!”

Bores the hell out of me, as I’m sure it will bore the hell out of my readers. I need something interesting about your personal life. Have you ever had any crippling anxiety attacks?

“Me? No.”

Anybody in the family?

“No.”

Nobody hearing strange voices telling them to castrate a small farm animal in order to appease the search engine gods?

“What? No! Certainly not!”

Apparitions of dead former lovers hanging around, trying to communicate with their business partners through your email account?

“Uhh, whatever,” Amaranta waved a dignified hand in the air. “The fascinating thing is that the records aren’t complete. Some have suffered bit rot, and look like what remained of the Dead See Scrolls. Other records have been copied many times – we find them in different places – usually with subtle changes. Figuring out what is true is –”

This is boring.

“But –”

What am I doing writing an article about you? You’re boring.

“B –”

Nyup. Uh uh. Forget it. This article is history.

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Welcome, Science Fiction Fans!

If you came to Les Pages aux Folles curious about my writing thanks to science fiction or fan fiction, welcome! You can find the complete text of Alternate Reality Ain't What It Used To Be, +

Welcome Back My Friednishes To The Show That Never Ednishes

I now have a Facebook author/fan/whatever you want to call it page: Ira Nayman's Thrishty Friednishes. Go, look around, like it if you feel so inclined and feel free to leave a comment. I have only just started it, so it may be a little sparse at the moment, but I will add content based on what people post they would like to see. Within reason.

Would you be interested in immortality?

The Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) has two advice columns: Ask Amritsar, a column about love and sex and technology, and; Ask the Tech Answer Guy, a column about +