How cool would that be: to just send your mind to work while “you” have plenty of time to do what you wanted. Let your mind toil away at work while you enjoy living your life. Sounds good, right?
That’s the premise of my 2nd novel, “Beyond 558”. Of course things go wrong as they always do in YvF stories.
Here’s an excerpt – the part where the title is explained. I’m always asked what this means…
He would still have memories of killing – that could not be removed – but he had peace in the fact that he wasn’t really the one that executed them and that he had brought down, at least indirectly, those responsible for them. The little boy was gone and so were the others. But at the same time, he felt that, ironically, the little boy was gone from him too. The man felt like a man now.
“I guess we’ll never know why he would jump out of the window like that,” the woman began.
“There’re lots of things we can never know,” the man answered.
“What do you mean?”
The man looked at the Authority then back at the woman. “There’s this saying that the maximum number of things that can be known is 558.”
“What?” she queried, looking perplexed.
“There’s an old script of philosophy that says if you had a computer that was the size of the entire universe that ran at the speed of light and ran forever – that is, for as long as the universe has existed – that this computer could only learn 558 pieces of information, or facts.”
The woman blinked, and he continued explaining.
“You see, it learns one thing, then a second. But it has to compare this second piece of knowledge against the first to make sure there are no inconsistencies before accepting it as fact. Then, before it could accept a third piece as fact it has to compare it to the second, then the first. The first few hundred facts come quickly, in like a second with all of this super-processing power. But with each new fact, it has to go back to more and more pre-existing facts, so by the time billions and billions of years have passed, it has only accumulated 558 facts. So nobody – or no thing, even if endowed with these fantastic computing powers – can know more than 558 things. Of course, you and I know more than 558 facts. The point is, to learn things, we take shortcuts, make assumptions and fabricate facts in order to keep learning. But what we need to remember is that since we’re not checking everything 100% – we can’t – that this leaves gaps of uncertainty. We never know for sure the things that we claim to know.”
“So once we go past 558 things we’re treading on uncertain ground?”
“Well, sort of. In my eyes, we’re always on that ground. There are so many things we think we know but we just don’t have any clue.”
She nodded, looking like she sort of understood what the man was saying. Then she restated her question.“Still, I wonder why he jumped.”
Thanks for reading. And remember: smart men don’t disobey the Authority…