Archive for end time

Ragnarok

Posted in Global Travel, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2012 by javedbabar

Danny said, “I am sorry I was being difficult before. You know what you are doing here. You are doing a good job.”

“Thanks for saying that,” said Sophie, “but what was your issue, exactly? I was never really sure.” She had an inkling, but wanted to hear it from him.

“Well, I had the same idea four years ago. I mean, converting the old quarry into a multimedia venue. When I visited Egypt I saw the Pyramids of Giza’s sound and light show, and thought something like that could work here too. I told the village CEO but she wouldn’t listen, and then hey presto – someone has the bright idea to turn the old quarry into a multimedia venue. I thought you had stolen my idea, and taken all the credit, and was really mad. I hoped you would fail, and you almost did when it flooded, but now I accept that you developed this idea independently. I submit.”

He bowed and then continued dropping, as if to the floor. Was he really going to prostrate himself? Normally Sophie would have let him continue – why not? – but after his confession, she felt he had fallen enough. It was time to raise him.

She said, “Look, I have made many mistakes too. Each show is a new show, and I’m learning continuously, but the process is becoming familiar, and I have a talented and reliable team. Thanks for all your help to date, Danny.”

He was itching to ask something, she could tell. He said, “What about the current show? Are you happy with how it’s turned out?”

Ragnarok had been a strange choice, granted. A cataclysmic story compiled from the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda of Iceland. Her father had been a captain in the merchant navy, and told her Norse myths as bedtime stories whenever she stayed with him. He had left her mother when Sophie was five, for “another woman in another port,” her mother told her years later.

“Yes I am happy,” said Sophie. “But I hope things don’t turn out like that in reality, or if they do, then not in our lifetimes.”

The show was sold out. People came to QARY whatever the story. It was on the itinerary of every visitor to the west coast of Arcadia, as something not to be missed.

Ragnarok’s series of future events, and great battles foretold, were made for multimedia. The occurrence of natural disasters, destruction and submersion of the world, and its resurfacing and repopulation by two human survivors, gave her technicians a chance to show off.

They put a live rooster in each room, whose every movement was tracked, triggering sounds and visuals. The Crimson Rooster in the forest caused Yggdrasil, the world tree, to shudder and groan. The Golden Rooster in Valhalla made the Eagle shriek. The Soot-Red Rooster in Hel made the Midgard Serpent writhe. The Hound growled before the Cave. The Giant strode from the east. The Ship broke free and set sail westwards. Odin was swallowed by the wolf Fenrir.

Ragna means “ruling powers”.

Rock means both “the end” and “renewal”.

Ragnarok is thus an ending and a beginning.

Danny said, “What if it really happened, and we were the only two humans left?”

Ah! So that’s it, thought Sophie. He likes me; he’s coming on to me. She said, “Well then you would be a very lucky guy, as that is the only way I would ever consider dating you.”

Mission Critical Destructive Data Simulations

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , on April 11, 2012 by javedbabar

Client (in a pompous voice): “XOXOX is your name?”

Voice: “It’s my working name.”

Client: “Isn’t that usually a woman’s email sign-off? Meaning love and hugs?”

Voice: “I am a woman, but it’s not my sign-off. It’s my working name.”

Client: “How do you pronounce it? Just say the letters individually, or read it like a word?”

Voice: “It doesn’t much matter to me. Say it how you like.”

Client: “What does it mean though? It’s a strange thing to call yourself. Why not MCDDS?”

Voice:  “You are a curious fellow, so I will tell you. I specialise in the field of Semiotics. People often write XOX, which seems pessimistic to me – X, a sign of negation, then O, a sign of creation, then another negation; that’s it. But OXO is overly optimistic – presuming that creations are followed by negations, and then recreations. XOXOX is more realistic. Correct symbolically. It represents creative and destructive cycles – but starting and ending with the Void. The world is germinated and will end with nothing. We are nothing. But until that final cycle, we may as well all do our best.”

Client: “Are you a Buddhist? A nihilist?”

Voice: “Yes I am both.”

Client: “But we work by strategic and scientific principles. Can you work within rational parameters?”

Voice: “I only work within rational parameters.”

Client: “But what you say is more mystical than rational.”

Voice: “Are they different?”

Client: “Yes they are. Aren’t they?”

Voice: “I’m not so sure.”

Client: “Emotional things and rational things come from different places. Emotions come from the heart, and thoughts come from the brain. Isn’t that right?”

Voice: “That may be true for you, but I feel differently. Emotions are underpinned by logic. You feel a certain way for a reason. Intuition and instinct are powerful forms of knowledge. I feel the truth first, and then analyze it. For example, I feel right now that Time is precious. My daily rate is $200,000. I suggest that you use my time and your money wisely.”

Client: “Yes, you’re right. I don’t know why I was acting so casually. We must press on. Have you read the brief? It was edited by the President himself.”

Voice: “I haven’t read it yet. I’ve been too busy.”

Client: “What! You haven’t read the brief! Do you know how serious this situation is?”

Voice: “I do know that. That’s why I’ve been so busy. My services are much in demand.”

Client: “But we’re not talking about just anyone here. We’re talking about the President of Canadia. You should put him first.”

Voice: “Does he put me first?”

Client: “But he doesn’t even know who you are. How could he?”

Voice: “Exactly. He doesn’t know me. He should.”

Client: “Well who are you? I will tell him.”

Voice: “I am everyone who didn’t want this war to begin.”

Client: “But he didn’t start it. What could he do?”

Voice: “I agree it wasn’t him individually, rather it was the system he promotes. However, we have now spent 4 minutes discussing general matters rather than the situation at hand. I suggest that you allow me to begin my work. I will call you in exactly 236 minutes with a status report. The task will be completed 240 minutes after that, inclusive of any further discussions. Is that all to your satisfaction?”

Client (in a deflated voice): “Yes thank you.”

XOXOX examined the brief. It required the standard process but on a larger and longer scale. She initiated analysis. It amused her that clients always assumed she was male. The scrambling software disguised her voice completely, making it robot-neutral. This was a good reflection of her character. Her instincts as a woman, mother, and grandmother told her one thing. But her professional persona often disagreed.

She called the Client in 236 minutes as agreed.

Voice: “Hello, it is XOXOX.”

Client: “Things have got worse. I’m sure you know. The threat is real and growing. Where have you got to?”

Voice: “I have performed initial analysis of your Financial-Telecomms-Military-Energy-Knowledge-Agricultural-Industrial Systems, plus a selection of Soft Systems. If the threat is executed, I predict that 52% of all systems will be harmed irreversibly, 38% will be recuperable within 12 months, and 10% will remain largely operational. 91% of the human population will not survive. Many won’t be harmed directly by the onslaught, but will become indirect casualties of failed systems, and will die through lack of water, food, power, products, medicines, communications, co-operation, and hope. However the 9% remaining will be lean, healthy, smart, and strong, and will provide good genes for their descendants, who will be able to build a lighter, better, more balanced, and more sustainable culture. It will take seven generations to rebuild a standard of living comparable to today.” She felt pretty bad saying it, but the conclusion was clear. “I recommend that you allow the threat to proceed.”