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If one is on a business trip or are new to a location, it can be difficult knowing where to go and how to get around. Fortunately, many hotels and other establishments hire a concierge as a visitor’s go-to expert on these matters.
Although traditionally a concierge sits behind a desk to perform these tasks, some concierge services operate on an online basis. You can do business much the same way with maximum efficiency if you run an online concierge service. (more…)
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Even with the slight success in running our program that has resulted in a small increase in the number of ideotags gathered for our guild, we are still deeply aware that the contested space of the city will not fall in line with our plans.
And so we find ourselves wondering at what that means for us, and for the intelligence we uncovered in the city.
We wonder if, perhaps, we have been to binary about this whole affair, breaking things down into discrete packets of zeros and ones, success and failure, black and white, people and buildings, urban and rural, life and death. We wonder if, perhaps, there is a space between these extremes, something transitory where the expected rules of systems break down into things that cannot be measured, only observed. We wonder if, perhaps, we should have been looking there all along. Will there be meaning? Will there be life? Can everything be encoded and sampled and endlessly repeated and simulated? Can we predict the future if we know everything about the past and present? Or do we all exist within that contested space between states of certainty?
We also wonder if, perhaps, the other guilds understand this – through intuition or study – and whether our gaze should be turned on them instead of the city itself.
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We were right to question where our gaze should fall. It should have, all the time, been focused not on the city but on the Crossmedia Ecologist and the Master Codemaker themselves. We see now, and our simulations back this up, that they all along have been working to prevent us from achieving our plans.
Where we were honest, they lied; where we hewed to transparency, they slipped into obfuscation; where we tried to bring something new into the world, they were content in playing with what was already there; where we observed and studied, they interfered.
This time is over. This experiment is over.
But we cannot allow it to be undertaken again – and we cannot allow it to be adopted, in part or in whole, by the others. We have run simulations on what they would do, and we believe that their influence would create a city hostile to the essential processes that a city needs, one which is built exclusively around play, or one which hides the true nature beneath layers of history and ephemera. And we, for our part, have seen it as a series of codes, deconstructing it into rules and fragments of information. This was a mistake. We three have all been utterly wrong. None of us is the correct way for a system – a city – to be healthy. Our simulations have shown this, our programs have shown this. As individuals in conflict, what we created was half-formed, howling unheard into the sky. The life that we brought into this world is incomplete, barely conscious, without rhyme or reason or purpose.
So we have decided to give it one before we can no longer support it.
Operatives have begun running a slightly modified program in the city – a tweaked variable, a few new lines of code, a minor function added – that will change the emerging consciousness. It has only a short amount of time left before it disappears completely into the dust, like all life, and we don’t know how long that might be. What we do know is that we can guide it, coax it out, make its tiny life burn oh so bright. It is not quite a virus, although I’m sure the other guilds will see it that way, but it is hostile – to all three of us, which they are free to take or leave as some small consolation.
It is time. It is time the city was left to its inhabitants, not to its observers. It is time that the process we began was brought to an end. It is time to leave.
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Does it come too late? Have operatives finally found a way to not only implement, but also become our initial program? We look on the number of tags being gathered and we wonder – was this always the program that was being run? Were we merely part of something bigger? Is it less that we are watching the city and it is in actuality watching us? Is it more likely that the inhabitants – those who we exhorted to gather & process, run and interface – were creating a system designed to show us something. Was it about life? About futility? About showing us hope and then dissolving it into the unknowable chaos of something larger?
As we look at the numbers, with 181 ideotags gathered, a rounding error away from the Master Codemaker’s 208, we wonder – is our program being run now? Is it, as we write this missive, stretching out again across the city? As we are considering spinning down our drives and flushing our memory cores, should we be doing the opposite? How much is being missed as the program is run without our observation? In these last few hours, are we about to see the big-bang we have been waiting for all this time?
We find ourselves hopeful. Without data, without information, without connection, that is all we have. Will that be enough in these final few days? We will see.