[Gllug] Square brackets [OT]

Nix nix at esperi.org.uk
Sun Jun 12 21:00:54 UTC 2005

On Fri, 10 Jun 2005, Rich Walker announced authoritatively:
> In ten thousand years, industrial archaeologists will be tracing the
> evolution of software by noticing the output effects of Nix's weird
> hacks on gcc...

What a fearfully worrying idea.

(See <http://www.orionsarm.com/> for a rather nice possible future
history. Now all it needs is someone with actual writing talent to
set stories there... :/ )

> (I think Vernor Vinge, Ken McLeod and Peter Hamilton have all made
> amusing use of code-archaeology themes in their work. I recall one
> dialogue sequence: "how do we know the <evil AI propagating through our
> system> is human-derived?" "we found DOS bugs in the base code")

The closest two to that I can think of are the Vinge _A Deepness in the
Sky_ universe, in which it's made quite plain that Unix is still in use
somewhere under all those layers of code (one presumes they've moved to
64-bit time_t), and the universe of _Metaplanetary_, when a pair of free
converts (human-descended AIs, basically) stumble upon what appears to
be pieces of a certain corporation's internal network, partly preserved
by God only knows what mischance in the rarely-travelled interstices of
30th-century Titan's distant descendant of the net.

(Classic line: `What the hell is a `Microsoft'?')

`It's as bizarre an intrusion as, I don't know, the hobbits coming home
 to find that the Shire has been taken over by gangsta rappers.'
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