A Higher Level Of Discourse

Benjamin straightened his tie and took a sip of his sherry. He stared into space as though deep in thought until Francis cleared his throat in annoyance.

“Are you going to answer my question or not?”

Benjamin frowned. “Do give me a moment, won’t you?”

Francis drummed his fingernails on the polished surface of the table. “Oh for heaven’s sake Francis, I believe the proper term is ephemeralization.”

Francis rolled his eyes. “I rather imagined you’d come up with something like that. Yes, yes, maximize the break and minimize the wake and all that. How very anti-Malthusian of you.”

“You asked, I answered. I would think you asked for lack of anything to offer of your own, no? Besides, what have you got against old Bucky Fuller?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t say he wasn’t a brilliant chap, Nine Chains to the Moon held my attention but I suppose I’ve moved on from all that.”

Benjamin took another sip to avoid the smirk forming on his lips. “I dare say you’ve moved on from many things.”

“Don’t start with me Benjamin. You know I don’t like to have a battle of wits with one less well armed than myself.”

Benjamin steered the conversation back on track. “Well then, tell me, do you subscribe to Toffler’s contention that system complexity and information overload are bound to be the bane of those tasked with managing ephemeralized resources?”

Francis shrugged. “Toffler waxes philosophical on technological singularity which, in my opinion tends to negate any solid opinion he could offer on ephemeralized resources, don’t you think?”

Benjamin nodded his appreciation. “Very good. A post-singularity world would be unpredictable to humans due to our inability to imagine the intentions or capabilities of superintelligent entities. That would indeed negate any absolute statement on the matter.”

“You know Benjamin, Ray Kurzweil’s law of accelerating returns is another factor that comes into play here. Frankly it’s a frightening thing to consider. What do think Buckminister Fuller would have made of that if he had been around to hear of it?”

Benjamin polished off his sherry and signalled for another. “I think Bucky was far too much of an optimist to be put off by such as that. It’s only a theory anyway, eh?”

Francis nodded and took a sip of his port. “Ah well, it’s all in the game then, isn’t it?”

“That it is old sport. No telling what the future holds for all the ideas that are kicked around.”

They sat musing about matters of space, time and technology for a while longer and then Francis looked at his watch.

“Well, I suppose I must be going, time to get to work.”

“Still clerking at Daddy’s law firm then?”

“Sadly, yes. Mom and Dad insist I pay rent now. They keep asking why I haven’t finished my thesis. How about you?”

“Yeah, still working in the school library. I guess I’ll have to finish my degree someday.”

Both heads turned as a girl in a tight skirt passed.

“Would you check out the ass on that?”

“Hot mama!”

“Well, gotta run, shall we do it again tomorrow?”

“You bet. Catch you later.”


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