…reading too much science fiction at night before bed when you wake up in that half-dreaming, half-lucid craze worried about all the cycles your AIs missed while your laptop was turned off at night. And when the word “instantiation” broken-records through your mind all day like that snippet of a song that you can’t seem to stop humming. And I should really tell you about the crazy dream about an apotheosized mathematician I had last night!

I dreamt that I had continued in my undergraduate math course and become somewhat of a phenom. (Wait… that’s not even the crazy part!) I was in Scotland, in Edinburgh, at some invitation-only course. This course was held in some kind of an outdoor stadium or amphitheater, built around this glass temple/cathedral erected in an otherwise normal public plaza in the middle of the university. The glass temple reminded me a lot of the Crystal Cathedral, but it was a bit smaller, and a stained glass dragon (reminiscent of of the Mortal Kombat logo dragon, but blue on white) dominated the larger faces of the structure. The class was taught by an avatar, not a real person, who was projected in holographic form over the top of the cathedral. This professor had once been a real person, a rather famous mathematician (and Fields Award winner) who had come to prominence with his Theory, “The Really Big set of Really Small numbers”. I don’t really know what that meant (it was a dream, after all!), but it had something to do with using sets of numbers that asymptotally approach 0 to model and thus predict the previously-apparent random behavior of quanta. Anyway, this mathematician had disappeared for a few years, first by becoming a hermit in his office, and then by applying his theories and sublimating, so he became some kind of a demi-god. He became a mathematical Boddhisatva of sorts – remaining in the world to teach the unenlightened his mathematics, but he was clearly godly and thought of people the same way people think of insects. Thus, while people flocked to his courses to learn, his temple was also considered very dangerous, as people might disappear or die if he became capricious or angry.

So, after class I noticed that a lot of people were congregating around the base of the temple to ask the teacher questions, so I figured it couldn’t be that dangerous. I went down to the base of the temple, too, and I noticed that I was standing over a grate – the kind you often see in plazas, that allow rainwater to drain into the sewers. Looking through the grate, I saw a bunch of people skateboarding or otherwise just hanging around, in what seemed to be more of a subway station than a sewer.

I called down into the sewer, “Hey, isn’t that dangerous to be down there? You know what’s right above you, right?”

The skateboarder called back, “I dunno, dude. Doesn’t seem dangerous. There’s a lot of people down here.”

Just then, every person but that skateboarder beneath the grate turned into copies of one person – a brunette girl. The copies merged together into a human-shaped wind that blew through the subterranean room. The form leading the wind blew through the skater, engulfing and subsuming him. For a brief moment, the form lost the shape of the brunette girl and took on the form of the skater, and then it blew on and he was gone.

That’s when I realized what the real danger was from this mathematician-cum-hungry-god (though for the life of me, it doesn’t make nearly as much sense today) – he was assimilating people into his well of souls to create a fuller and more complex godhood within his pocket universe.

The human shape wind blew up out of the grate and swept around the plaza. Several of the people shapes there merged with it, like the forms underground had (his fake person plants in the crowd to lure people closer), but the wind blew around, absorbing new people, including one from out of a car, which continued on unmanned to crash into a wall. The wind came right up to me, took on the face of the professor’s TA, and then … my alarm went off, and I woke up worried about leaving the laptop off all night and if the AIs would be hybernating or if they’d moved into the web, or if they died when I turned off the computer, and that took me about 15 minutes and a shower to snap out of.

So, I blame that squarely on reading Accelerando. But don’t let that turn you off – so far it’s a really good book!