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HARD DISK POND

Dreamed 1989/8/27 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

After a month of quarrels between my printer, CPU and hard disk (color graphics are still pushing the limit here in 1989) my computer seems to be actually WORKING! I stay up late painting on screen, starving my body to feed my soul. Or is the operative cliche it "Make hay while the sun shines"? After all, who knows if it'll work tomorrow? About a 50/50 chance, based on this month...

THAT NIGHT

My friend David and I have built a hard disk. Really big. Really hard! A steel disk nearly three meters wide, whirling on a hidden axle. On its face I painted the image of a pool full of fish, fringed in reeds and rocks. Through hard-disk magic, when you turn it on, the pool becomes real--assuming you can see my image AS a pool, of course, not just dabs of paint. We know it works: to test it, we just went swimming in the pool! Came out wet. Not just virtual water. It's a gate into whatever world you can picture!

A man walks up with an alligator on a leash. He asks "My gator's hungry--can I let him swim in your pool and catch some fish or turtles?"

I say "Sure, I painted those in; I can always just paint more."

So the man coaxes the gator to climb up on the disk, and we turn it on... Again, the pool turns real. But the gator just floats above, on the steel disk-face, unable to go through the surface into the pictured pool. We forgot that its reptile brain can't see these swirls of paint as doors into other realities! The gator needs real fish. You can't feed it art.

A NOTE FROM YEARS LATER

So I stopped staying up late and starving myself in the name of art, as my reptile brain was warning me, right?

Right?

Try about five more years before I really learned that lesson.



LISTS AND LINKS: computer dreams - other worlds - asceticism - anorexia - workaholism - reptiles - more crocs and world-gates: Time is a Croc and Ghost Gator

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