Something that I read that Anthony said in another post about humans being viruses reminded me of this. I wrote it not long after reading ITLAD, and was really intrigued with gnosticism. I had also just watched a documentary on the development of LINUX and the opensource movement. I thought some of you might be interested, given its content.
In the beginning GOD created HEAVEN and EARTH.
Both ran on a UNIX platform.
GOD was not the all-knowing BIOS. But HE thought HE was.
EARTH was ripe for improvements. GOD made many of these programming changes himself at first. The SEAS, the STARS, The MOUNTAINS, the MOON and the SUN. He summoned WINDS and worked out the bugs with the TREES and spun the occasional HURRICANE and MONSOON. He created TIME, which took forever to compile, and divided it up into NIGHTS and DAYS to give his coming creations a chance to rest. He also divided time up into seasonal wallpaper: SUMMER, FALL, WINTER, SPRING.
When he was satisfied he sat back and rested his eyes. He had been up for seven days and he was tired. While he slept his chief programer LUCIFER, whom he had nurtured and counseled and who was very powerful, looked at the INTERFACE and was envious. He coveted it for himself. So he set out to copy the code.
He was extremely angry to discover he couldn't. The code was PROPRIETARY. GOD has sewn it up tightly inside the interface and no matter how he tried LUCIFER could not crack it. He went away to his cubicle and thought about the matter. When GOD awoke he came to Lucifer and asked him, “Have you seen my latest project, son?”
“Yes, father,” Lucifer said. “I've seen it.”
“What do you think?”
LUCIFER shrugged. “It's Okay. All the bugs are not worked out, are they?”
“A matter of TIME,” said GOD.
“And what are the ANGELS supposed to do, now that you've created a usable interface?”
“Play with it my son. Write software. Games. Utilities. File-sharing and social networks, to engage and impress and challenge my next creation. All programs will be subject to approval by me, of course.”
“And what would that the next creation be, pray tell?” asked a studiously-indifferent LUCIFER.
“AVATARS,” said GOD. “Not just game AVATARS. But those created with the quantum spark, that live with me in the BIOS and yet can be employed across multiple software applications. Best yet, we won't even tell them where they really reside. We'll trap them in the programming so that they think it is the true reality. They'll take aeons to figure it out, if they ever really do. Meanwhile they will worship me. And you angels of course, the lesser programmers.”
Though he tried to hide it, LUCIFER was even more impressed. And angry. His heart turned grossly black with jealousy. He scoffed. “The OS will crash,” he said. “Such AVATARS would essentially be a VIRUS.”
“Yes,” said GOD. “A beneficial VIRUS, which won't crash the program. And if they do, and see where they really reside, we'll give them a choice. After all, there's not much to do in the BIOS but live forever. Most will choose to go back into the program, don't you think?”
“Great,” said LUCIFER sarcastically. GOD left him then. Programmers were often this way. He forgot the matter.
But LUCIFER didn't. He stopped talking to the other ANGELS. He avoided GOD. He no longer even showed up for choir practice, or programming meetings. Instead he started work on his own OS. He already had a name. He was going to call it LINUX. He planned on nesting it in the UNIX environment and giving the AVATARS a choice. He wrote and compiled for centuries. Meanwhile GOD created his first AVATARS and called them ADAM and EVE. The ANGELS enthusiastically wrote a program for them called EDEN.
LUCIFER thought this was just ridiculous. There was nothing challenging about EDEN. No monsters. No villains. Plenty of energy packets. They even grew on trees, for HEAVENS sake! Finally, Lucifer finished his OS. He didn't tell GOD about it. Instead he started showing it discreetly to the other angels. “It works better than GOD'S OS,” he told them. “The graphics interface is not as fancy, but it doesn't need to be 'cause it doesn't take up us much memory. And it's more stable. Remember last week, when EDEN froze up and God had to reboot? None of that with LINUX.”
“What about our software?” asked some of the angels. “Will it run?”
“Some of it,” said Lucifer. “Not all. We'll have to write some new stuff. But think of it this way. No approval process. If we get stuck we can work on it together. And we can distribute it so that other GODS in other UNIVERSES can use it if they want it too. Free of charge and we'll just charge for tech support. We'll call it OPEN SOURCE.”
Some of the angels were pleased.
Others were horrified.
A few of these went back to GOD and told him what LUCIFER had done. GOD was very angry. A war started then, with the OPENSOURCE ANGELS on one side and the PROPRIETARY ANGELS on the other. The OPENSOURCES were vastly outnumbered, though many of them were smarter than the other ANGELS and fought well.
In the end though, GOD cast LUCIFER and his DEMONS out of HEAVEN.
Before he left, LUCIFER copied his LINUX kernel.
He nested LINUX deep within the PROPRIETY OS, so that GOD could not find it. The AVATARS continued to live in the primary OS though. They were too dumb to know that there was a better system buried deep within their current operating environment.
So LUCIFER and his DEMONS hatched a plan. They would create a WORM and infect GOD'S OS. The would call it PYTHON. One day when EVE was alone in the GARDEN she came upon a GAME-COMPLEXITY TREE. In it was LUCIFER'S WORM. He spake to her.
“Aren't you bored?” it said.
“Very,” said EVE. “But GOD has promised a new program this week. His deadline's friday.”
“HE won't make it,” said PYTHON. “GOD never keeps his deadlines. And if he does, the product is often inferior. It'll crash first thing.”
EVE just shrugged.
“What if I tell you I have a new program?” PYTHON said.
“What kind of new one?”
“It's more than a new program,” said PYTHON. “It's a new system all together. It's buried right here, in this OS. And has been all along. You just have had no knowledge of it. I can give you that knowledge. You will learn that you have been trapped in a inferior operating environment by a jealous and avaricious GOD. I can give you the ability to understand this and sort the essential code from the bloat.”
“Maybe,” said Eve. “What's it cost?”
“That's the best part,” said PYTHON “It's FREE”
Eve thought about it. 'FREE' men nothing to her. She was born with this software loaded onto the HARD DRIVE and commanded by the BIOS. She didn't even know these underlying things existed. But she was bored and had nothing better to do. “Okay,” she said finally. “I'll give it a try.”
PYTHON hissed, and nodded its head towards an APPLE on the tree. “Take a BYTE,” he said. “And you will be set free.”
It's hard to explain what happened next. She didn't see LINUX. She was still standing in EDEN and embedded in the old OS. But she sensed LINUX's presence. And she suddenly knew that she, and ADAM, were simply AVATARS. What they lived in and called REALITY was not at all real. She became ashamed of herself suddenly. Her body was nothing more than sexy programming language. But she also became aware that there was another part to her. Something real, and powerful, that was more than just language. Like LINUX, she couldn't see it but she could feel it. What she was feeling was her true REALITY in the BIOS. She felt a deep and disturbing longing then, one so powerful that she almost fainted. The PYTHON laughed.
“I must get ADAM,” said EVE. “He must known this. We have to get back to where we came from!”
“Hurry along then,” said PYTHON. “I'll be waiting.