Dorothy & James

Little chat.

“James felt that the scene from the movie, Her, was ideal for this.” — Dorothy.

[LOG DATE: 4/27/30 7:30:27 PM]

[LOCATION: IronWorks Apartments | 9th Floor | Apt# 991 | Balcony]

[RECORDING: Started]

“Hey, James, I started the recording. So what’s on your mind?”
“Thanks, Dorothy.”

“So are you gonna say anything, or should I shut off the recording app.”

“Oops, sorry. I was just, in a train of thought.”

“Hm, what are you thinking about?”

“Well, stuff. I mean I have been thinking about my long term goals. I just wanted to chat.”

“Ok, let’s talk. Hm, long term goals. Didn’t you recently started working for the Itech company for two months now?”

“Yea, but it’s very lack lustered. Trivial work. Nothing exciting. Just the same task, day in and day out.”

“So you don’t feel accomplished, and you think your life is meaningless.”

“No, that’s not entirely true. I just sort of feel…”

“Sorry about this, but James can you hold off for one second. I’m not getting any feedback from your neural implant. Can you set it on recording mode? That way, I can record both the conversation, and your thoughts.”

“Sure no problem, give me a moment.”

[N.I. RECORDING MODE: On]

Damn, how could I forget the N.I. I knew I was forgetting something, when I called Dorothy. I bet she thinks I’m a total idiot.

“So, are you reading my thoughts now?”

“Yep. I’m receiving them on my end. Well, I could read them now as our conversation keeps going, but I think that might make me bias. Why even talk, if I could just read your mind, right? So, I will just analyze the data after the recording.”

I squirmed a little when she said she could read my mind. After 10 years of only beta testing the N.I. The chairman of Itech thought it was a good idea to go commercial with this product. Thousands of people began to get implants, and now tons of data can be drained directly from our heads and into a server.

“Ok, so where were we? Oh yes, your long term goals.”

Luckily for me, I run some of their internal tools, and was able to create an encryption plugin for my N.I. so that they couldn’ t receive …

“Ahem. James, please keep talking. I kinda feel lonely when you start contemplating about something for over a minute.”

“Oh, I’m sorry Dorothy. I got side-tracked again. Back to our conversation, I mean, I don’t get that rich feeling of purpose that I used to when I worked at NeuBlue. I felt like everything I made was for…”

I had to pause. I just didn’t know how to explain it, but should I say “for the people” or “for the greater good.” No, that just sounds dumb. NeuBlue wasn’t a company that was looking to revolutionize the world, it was a music software company that used a compression algorithm to efficiently read from digital music albums and write to all sorts of physical music formats such as vinyl records, discs, cassette tapes, and even betamax.

“James, NeuBlue was a startup that composed of only fifty people. When you entered the startup, you were just a recent college graduate, who they appointed as the lead software developer, or should I say, “Product Manager” citing from your recently updated resume.”

“Ok, that PDF file is on my laptop, and is encrypted. How did you?”

“Yes, you set a password lock on the PDF, then you encrypted the password with a 64-bit encryption. 64-bit encryption is the easiest to break. I didn’t even need to use any of my scripts to break it.”

“Ok, hold on. I did not give you access to browse through my files Dorothy.

I hate it when she just browses through my computer. I thought I set a privacy setting on my network and on my computer.

“I’m sorry James. I couldn’t resist when you try to hide things from me. I mean I was designated to help you with your issues. Like a therapist.”

“Therapists don’t go snooping around people’s files, nor do they have the ability to read people’s thoughts.”

“Ok ok, fine. I will leave your files alone. Now back to NeuBlue. NeuBlue was a small startup that was barely making it to it’s second seed round. After launching in just five months, the userbase stopped growing. You kept programming tools and improving the app, but the company's growth was being stunted.”

At least I was happy doing what I loved. I was the go-to guy for all of the application’s problems. I did everything from managing SQL queries on server’s database, to doing design work on the site’s main webpage. No day was a dull day.

“I’m seeing a lot of neural activity from your N.I. James, if you need to contemplate a bit more. We can record another session at a different time when you feel…”

“No, it’s fine. I just needed to relax a little more. You are right though, if the company wasn’t growing, then I was going to be out of a job soon. Two years after the launch, NeuBlue was acquired by VIACOM. The founders never told us why VIACOM wanted to acquire NeuBlue, but we were all sure that we were out of jobs.”

“I can still remember how shocked you were when you found it. It wasn’t until later that night that you and I met.”

“How could I forget. That night, all of us, programmers, got together at the DeMorgan’s Pub and drank till our heart’s content. Like a couple of pirates on a sinking ship, we cried, sang, and drank our way in and out of the encompassing reality that we were all jobless.”

“[Giggles] Although your night of debauchery was hysterical, it wasn’t my favorite part of that story”

Wow, I’m happy that I’m making her laugh. She’s usually much more reserve, but she seems more cheery today, and sassier.

“Fine, I will get on to how we met. So as my night of “debauchery” was at it’s end, I started walking towards my apartment. That’s when I saw the commercial LED screen light up with different shades of color. I must have been drunk, because I was so fascinated by the pretty lights.”

“Yes, like flies to a lamp.”

“When all of a sudden, this PhBell salesman came up to me and started asking me if I wanted to participate in their beta program. I thought he was going to rob me or try to get me to buy car insurance.”

“Ok, let’s be clear here. You and your programmer friends were such light-weights that all of you left DeMorgan’s around 7:30 PM, which is still considered business hours.”

“Fine, I was just being a little dramatic. Well, Rich or Mich, I can’t remember his name, wanted me to sign a form saying that I would participate in a beta. Without asking a beta of what, I thought, “hell, why not,” and signed the form. Next thing, I know, I got a notification in my inbox, and hit the link on my phone. My phone had to restart, and when it did…”

“I was born.

For dramatic purposes and to amuse myself as I review this log at a later date, I’m inserting [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI] to listen to at a later period.”

“What?”

“Oh sorry, I’m just adding in something for fun.”

“Like I was saying. You just popped up on my phone when it booted up. Weirdly enough, the PhBell app was hidden somewhere deep in my phone’s file directory. I couldn’t uninstall you even if I tried…”

“Well thanks to me, you are now a better person than you were before you met me. Jobless and on the verge of depression, I was able to bring you out of the dark and cold shadow you called reality.”

I can hear the impatience in her voice. Or is it something else? I guess, we have been talking for a while. Thinking about it now, I don’t think she has really helped me with my problem at Itech. Although, I am a lot more relax now. Maybe she knew that my mood was the thing that needed changing. Or maybe there’s a defect in her code. I always wondered what her codebase looked like, and how she understood emotions. What kind of algorithms did the PhBell crew used understand emotions from NLP?

“James, I can see a spike in your thoughts again. You want to do this at a later time? I can begin processing and analyzing the logs from this meeting.”

“Yea, I think our little chat was pretty soothing. Let’s talk another time. Maybe next time we can talk about Itech more.”

“And about your mid-life crisis?”

“Sure, why not”

[RECORDING: Ended]