[Author's note: This was my first use of the name "Blimix". I didn't take it as my on-line handle until later.]

"Blimix! What's that you're running?"

"A simulation, sir."
Blimix smartly saluted the supervisor.

"Of what?"

"Life, sir."

"Doesn't look like life to me.
Where are the people?"

"There are none, sir. It's just called `Life'
because of the intermingling
of order and chaos that's
reminiscent of organic life."

The supervisor sternly sat down ("How does he
do that?" thought Blimix) and studied the output
for several moments. Slowly, as if he were speaking
to an idiot, he explained, "You're only using three
dimensions, Blimix. How much chaos can you get?
I'll thank you to stop wasting computer time on such
simplistic... uh... stuff. Time doesn't grow on binary
trees, you know."

Blimix, not daring to tell the supervisor what he thought of
his joke, stuttered, "B-b-but... the forces act through ten
dimensions. And it also moves through time as we do. It has
different kinds of pixels which interact with each other
differently. They have inertia. Admittedly, there are only a few
quingigillion of them, but it's a start. I have tracers scanning
for the development of intelligence, which is a distinct
possibility. Think of the benefits to the artificial intelligence
sector! We already have self-replicating groups of pixels that
respond to stimuli without decay for about 2.6 sextillion cycles!"

"Listen. I appreciate that you like your program, but there are
more important applications waiting. Furthermore, the concept
of three-dimensional intelligence is ridiculous. The pixels can't
go around each other. If one is enclosed from only six directions,
it will have to travel through the others to go anywhere. It is
impossible to create an efficient brain in three dimensions.
Shut it off."

Blimix looked shocked. "Sir! That universe has gone through
countless repetitions! I can't stop it now!"

"Blimix!" the supervisor barked. "You have just disobeyed a
direct order! I am hereby demoting you to junior programmer." He
walked away, leaving Blimix to collapse, sobbing, into his hyperchair.

After a minute, Blimix sat up and glared at the simulation.
Then, drained of all emotion, he flipped the sw-


- Joe Levy 1993

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