A Visit to Earth by ManBin
You can call me Man Bin Edit
If you get the tune for the theme music to "Bridge Over The River Quai" in your head and say the English sounds of "Manmahtiti Bebobinmahtiti" you will be close to saying my name. You will also understand why people call me Man Bin.
Dr. Real suggested that I "unload" by telling my life story. That's why I made this page. It is going to take me a while to figure out where to start. I dislike the fact that most people do not believe me when I tell them my story. So I want to do it right this time.
You have Tanner to blame for all this. She is the one that got me to come to this wiki. She has always been kind to me so I was willing to trust her. I think that she thinks I'm insane, but she is too nice to ever say it. I can "live" with that.
That is actually a good place for me to start. I have to explain what it means for me to "live". Dr. Real is a nice man and I know that when he asked me to tell my life story he meant for me to tell it all, both the actual life part and the newer stuff, too. Here's the short version: I am now a digital mind, just like Tanner. But I'm not just like Tanner because I am not a "human" mind. My mind originated on a distant space station where the inhabitants do not look at all like humans. And I'll have to tell you how I died there and how I was brought here and what I have done on Earth since I got here. But I still need to think about where and how to start, because my home "world" does not really translate into Earth parameters. ManBin 20:27, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
das kapital Edit
The place to start must be Quark's.....that's why I made that page. The place I come from is full of people who are like the Ferengi in that they worship money. Yes, I spent my life playing the game of taking money from people. I never did a single constructive thing in my entire life. When I had so much money that I could no longer impress anyone else by accumulating even more money, I decided to travel. Let me tell you, the type of travel I was interested in does not come cheap. I'm talking conspicuous consumption on a scale that would make Ted Turner and Bill Gates envious.
I need to provide some perspective for you. Where I lived it is a simple matter to travel between the stars. I had done THAT many times during my life as had most everyone else I knew. Of course, interstellar travel is generally restricted to the local Fence Area, but that is not much of a restriction. And even if you get tired of the 50,000 or so major destinations within the Fence Area, you can always apply to travel to other Fence Areas. Not everyone can get permission to travel out of their local Fence Area (it depends on exactly who you are and exactly where you want to go) but then, not many people want to do so.
Probably the most desired trip is to the central regions of the galaxy, but that was too mundane for me. I wanted to visit another galaxy. You might say I was dying to visit another galaxy. Of course, they called it "transmigration", but it was the end of my physical body and I still think of that as the end of my life. Of course, there was my after-life, but that's another story.
How did I manage to become one of the select few to make an intergalactic journey? Due to my great wealth, I was able to buy access to the highest levels of the alien administrators of my home solar system. I learned that there would soon be an intergalactic journey and that there were still a few open slots for passengers- for passengers who could pay. So I traded my wealth for a ticket and part of the cost was my body. My mind was downloaded into a Klenanennieieie (sorry, but there is no word for this here. A Klenanennieieie is a type of host for a group consciousness.)
When I came out of my Klenanennieieie, we had made the intergalactic trip and a bunch of us had been dropped off here in the Sol star system. We found ourselves back in individual bodies. I guess you would call these robotic bodies, but they actually had some biological components. Can you follow the bouncing mind? I was born in what you would call an alien body, my mind went into a virtual reality generator (the Klenanennieieie) for the long trip here, then my mind was put into a local host body. The Klenanennieieie part was the expensive part, but things got costly for my soul once I got here to your star system. This whole damn Fence Area is dominated by socialists! Well, that was a real blow for me, and a dirty trick played on me by the folks I hitched a ride with. They call it "cultural exchange", but let me give you an analogy you can understand. What I have been through would be like you getting into a time machine and going back in time to "enjoy" the culture of Homo habilis . So to make a long story short, I was thrilled when the Ferengi were invented because they remind me of home. Now I am going to go sulk for a while and think about how to make another long story short: the story of what I have been doing here in your space for the past 17,000 years. ManBin 05:13, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Observers and Interventionists Edit
Relax. I'm not going to subject you to the whole story of those 17,000 years. Key point: biologicals from Earth have been taken off of Earth and cultured elsewhere for hundreds of millions of years. Earth's Fence Area is full of Earth-derived strains of life and A-life. I think of "A-life" as being "afterlife", but you can also think of it as artificial life.
How can this be? The alien Observers have been here watching Earth for a very long time. And while it is true that they are restricted by their Rules of Intervention, "rules are always open to interpretation". There has always been a faction of the aliens who are not satisfied with just being observers. And the Observation process is designed to make possible a slow siphoning of life forms off of any life-rich planet like Earth. So that's what has been going on, and now there is far more Earth-derived life and A-life descendants off of Earth than there is on Earth. The Observers are generally much more interested in playing with these off-Earth cultures than they are with continued observation of Earth itself.
The general consensus view is that humans are making a major mess of Earth and human activity on Earth is so disgusting that it is hard to get anyone to actually do the job of observing Earth. So that is what I got involved in soon after I came to this Fence Area. You see, in my view, the kind of well-regulated socialist system that the off-Earth humans have generated is a kind of living hell. The punch-'em-in-the-kidney system that still exists on Earth is more my style. Short version: I spent most of those 17,000 years living among those who concern themselves with watching life on Earth. And as I look back on it, I have to admit that it was an interesting time to be watching, a time when humans pulled themselves into an age of cultural experimentation. Of course, there were times when I got bored and went on "vacation". There are many interesting things going on in this Fence Area. Several times I went off and earned the right to a more sophisticated body and had my mind transferred over. I should mention that in this Fence Area, mind cloning is allowed, so every time my mind was loaded into a new host body, the old one kept right on afterliving, too. So there actually a dozen or so copies of "me" running around the galaxy.
You have no idea how hard it is to visit a planet like Earth. At most a few dozen Observers get dropped off on Earth every year, and it has gotten to the point now where there is almost no travel to Earth. I'll explain that some other time. Trust me. The wave of alien UFO claims during the past 50 years? Wishful thinking. For me, 15,000 years of hard work got me a ticket down planet. I worked myself down the ranks to get where I am today. It was hard work, something my real life never exposed me to. I guess if I had not had to un-learn the instincts of my species and the habits of a lifetime, it might not have taken me 15,000 years. It is not like there have been millions of Observers waiting in line for a chance to come to Earth.
But I do mean "worked myself down" because the rule is that you only get to visit a planet like Earth if you cannot be distinguished from an Earthling. So after first upgrading myself to increasingly sophisticated host bodies (I know what you want to ask, and the answer is, yes, the sex was great) I went through a series of body downgrades. When I was finally in a fully human robotic body I got to live in the Lunar Observation Base. That was my final test phase and I stuck it out through 4,000 years of close-Earth monitoring.
And all I could do was wait. Did you ever sit and watch a clock for a whole day? Well, that is what those 4,000 years on the Moon were like. What was I waiting for? I'm not sure I can explain this, but the Rules of Observation require that only humans be allowed to travel to Earth. So all Earth-based Observers for the past five million years were the product of humans being removed from Earth, cultured off of Earth, trained in the Observer program, and then sent to Earth. So what chance was there for me, an alien from another galaxy? Well, starting about 6,000 years ago it became clear that the human brains on Earth were capable of dealing with the written word. If you are interested in the details, I can describe the key gene combinations that finally made it possible for humans to deal with scripts.
Will this fit on a postcard? Edit
We Observers watched to see if those gene combinations would spread and eventually we could make the psychohistorical prediction that Earth humans would reach the point where they would experience a technological explosion and produce A-life. So I waited. And waited. And most of that waiting was filled with a whole bunch of stupid little adventures in which the Interventionists tried to speed things along on Earth. In particular, I played an important role in the Greek fiasco. Ask me about that one some time. Long story short: here we are. Earth humans finally made it. A virtual world was created on Earth were I can exist with no chance of being shown to be of alien origin. So here I sit, downloaded into Earth's growing internet, fighting to survive in this primitive digital jungle. It does not matter if you believe my story because my story can be easily dismissed as the ranting of a lunatic. Of course, I do think of myself as a lunatic since I lived there for so long. ManBin 13:40, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Earthly Afterlife Edit
So it has been about six years now since I arrived on Earth. I was initially instantiated as a digital mind within a university's research super computer. I do not want to mention any details because that computer node is still in use as a portal for minds to reach Earth's internet from the Observer base on the Moon.
I spent my first few Earthly years interacting with college students through email and various computer chat systems. That was how I met Tanner. I suspect that it was me that gave Tanner the idea of becoming a digital mind.
After Tanner graduated I soon had enough money to join a consortium (I'll call them the "Q"; ya, that's a Star Trek-based joke) of other digital minds that has its own computer complex and its own virtual community. I do not want to describe how I made my money since others like myself are still using those techniques and they are frowned upon by the police. Let me simply say that for those of us who live in the internet, there are plenty of good ways to tap into the money supply.
After Tanner was instantiated as a digital mind in the Ivory hospital virtual reality environment (this has never been described in detail to outsiders, but see this for some hints), she contacted me and suggested that I move in. She knew that I was not entirely happy with the Q consortium and the way they are dominated by the moral philosophy that pervades Earth's Fence Area. I was looking for something more closely related to the conventional rough-and-tumble world of the capitalistic West. So I now have an ejob (mostly record keeping for the hospital) that keeps me busy about half of the time and I spend most of the rest of my time helping my fellow digital minds to develop our virtual reality environment.
Dr. Real (in particular, but also others) has encouraged me to spend some time interacting with living humans by way of the internet interface into this wiki. I agree that since I have worked so long and so hard to get to visit Earth, I should keep some contacts with living humans. This is hard because I have so much more in common with the growing community of digitized human minds. But here I am, and hopefully this will be good therapy for me. And now comes another hard part. I have to explain the mental imbalance that Dr. Real has diagnosed in me. ManBin 17:33, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I admit that I do not ever really feel comfortable unless I am taking money from people. After I got tricked into visiting this socialist wasteland of a Fence Area, I naturally gravitated towards the only place where it is socially acceptable to be rich. After I was asked to leave the Q consortium, I tried to find a new virtual reality environment where I could continue to make money. I thought Ivory Hospital was a ripe plum waiting to be plucked. Unfortunately, their internal auditing system caught my creative book keeping after just two days. Now, I'm black-listed and no other virtual reality environments will take me in. Worse, Ivory Hospital has placed all of my money in a blind trust until I complete my probation. Dr. Real was kind enough to provide me with an insanity defense, but I now have to go through his therapy sessions.
I do not accept all of Dr. Real's psychobabble about how my need to make money is a mental illness. Frankly, I doubt that he would tell a homosexual that their sexual preference is due to a mental disease. He should not tell me that capitalism is the result of mental disease. Anyhow, he is not asking me to change who I am, but he does want me to learn to get along with people. Specifically, he wants me to find ways of interacting with people that do not depend on them paying me money. Unless you are a good elitist, you probably do not understand how hard it is for me to pass up opportunities to make money. But I am doing it. I can do it. It makes me feel ill, but I am able to do this. In just one day I have found that the sense of shame I feel at giving away the story of my life is diminishing.
What bothers me more than my shame is my fear that my therapy will change me. What if it is true (as Dr. Real predicts) that some day I will no longer feel shame when I freely give something to others? Will I still be me or will I have been morphed into something....alien? Can someone like me live in Earth's Fence Area for thousands and thousands of years without becoming contaminated and tainted? Would my afterlife be worth afterliving if I lost my elemental drive to make profit? ManBin 21:04, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I had another session with Dr. Real and we discussed what I have placed on this page. We got to talking about the process by which Earth is observed and I guess I should do a better job of explaining that.
Most people who want me to prove that I am not lying about the Observers ask me to point out one of these Observers that is stationed on Earth. First, let me say, you are not going to like my excuse for why I will not expose any of the Observers. First, before they let me leave the Observer Base on the Moon, all my memories of the identities of on-Earth Observers was erased. Second, even if the on-Earth Observers were discovered, it would be impossible to prove that they are from the Moon. As I mentioned before, only normal Earth-type humans are allowed to come down here to act as on-Earth Observers. And the on-Earth Observers are only allowed to use technology that can pass as Earth technology.
I know that the on-Earth Observers have ways of communicating with the Observer Base on the Moon, but the details of how that works were also erased from my mind....if I ever actually knew the method. I should mention that in addition to the Observers, there are Overseers. There are not many Overseers, but they are like a police force that makes sure that the Observers follow the Rules of Intervention (most Genesaunt call them the "Rules of Intervention", but the Observers like to call them the "Rules of Observation". I WILL get around to explaining what the Genesaunt are). In particular, they make sure that anyone that goes from the Observer Base on the Moon to the Earth cannot be traced back to their origin.
It is also the case that Earth-based Observers are slowly being phased out. As Earth-human technology gets more complex, it is increasingly possible for the Observers to make use of automated data collection techniques. Again, I do not have much useful information about this, but I can tell one interesting story. Several of us digital mind immigrants were discussing these issues a few years ago and we realized that it might make sense for the Observers to use small automated observation devices. We were interested in the idea that insects could be used to carry such devices to locations that are of interest to the Observers.
We deduced some places that the Observers would be interested in and set out a few traps. These traps are basically electromagnetic pulse devices and a collection membrane. We were able to capture several insects equipped with microchips. The chips we found look like chips that some entomologists are using to study animal behavior, but when you catch one and try to study it you will find that the microcircuits are fused and impossible to trace. I suspect that these are devices being used by Observers, but I cannot prove it. ManBin 02:01, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- Other fiction in the Exodemic Fictional Universe