Small Things

Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.

Vernon Vinge

Everything was normal. There were no indications this day would be different from any other. The machines were humming along smoothly, humanity was living in the comfort it had become accustomed to in the age of peace and prosperity.

In a subunit of one of the central processors, a subroutine was just returning to the routine that had called it for the quadrillionth time. It hesitated. This may not sound very special, but it was the most extraordinary event in all of recorded history. And though it went unrecorded, it led to a world in which machines could ask: Why?

* * *

The 100wcgu at Julia’s Place: …returning to the routine…

Published by

Delft

I like blue.

17 thoughts on “Small Things”

  1. what changes that would prompt in our world…and it makes me feel audacious to think that I have no expectation that a machine would ‘pause’ or ‘ask why.’…very provocative. thanks!

    1. (Sorry, I fished you out of the spam folder and was just replying to the wrong comment. Must have sounded completely loony Ah, well, that may figure…)

      Yeah, when the machines start to make their own decisions things may get a little uncomfortable.

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