Day 62. 161 pages, 58,131 words. Pre-written, party was last night, report ASAP.
The … where was I? Right … the fifth thing you notice about the Myconet is that she’s not a soothsayer, not really. She can’t see the future. It’s just that she’s seen so much of the past, the future is a matter of logical extension. Imagine that the world is a glass of water that fell off a ledge above a stone floor at the moment of the Big Bang. The entirety of observable and measurable time is the split-second it has taken the glass to fall. Those of us with normal lives, well, we only see an infinitesimal slice of that time, so the glass is just hanging there in space, motionless, and that’s what we assume – with a certain amount of justification – will continue to happen. Strict and detailed observance of natural background physics will teach us otherwise, but few of us have time for that.
The Myconet has been around, if not since the glass began to fall, then at least since it said a final and permanent farewell to the ledge it had been sitting on. She’s been watching it fall. So she can’t actually look into the future and see the glass smashing into a million pieces and water going everywhere? Big deal. She’s picked up a pretty good idea that’s what’s going to happen, over the years. And the more I explain this, the more it occurs to me that this isn’t actually a metaphor.
“Oh sure,” one can easily say. “Sure, on that sort of scale, we can all tell the future. The universe will eventually run down, stars burn out, atoms decay and entropy set in. Something like that, anyway. Ultimately, that’s what’s going to happen. You don’t need to have been around for a long time to know that.”
Well, that’s true. But the Myconet has a special quality that allows her to use her knowledge for the small picture as well as the big one. She doesn’t just know the ultimate end-state of the whole, she can track the movement of the particles because she has been watching them, has been among them. She’s in the water.
This is quite different to, say, the Three-Quarters Man. Who is standing next to the ledge with his index finger extended into the place the glass used to be.
You know. Metaphorically speaking.