Conversation with the Morpheus AI.

  • MORPHEUS: JC Denton. 23 years old. No residence. No ancestors. No employer. No --
  • JC DENTON: How do you know who I am?
  • MORPHEUS: I must greet each visitor with a complete summary of his file. I am a prototype for a much larger system.
  • JC DENTON: What else do you know about me?
  • MORPHEUS: Everything that can be known.
  • JC DENTON: Go on. Do you have proof about my ancestors?
  • MORPHEUS: You are a planned organism, the offspring of knowledge and imagination rather than of individuals.
  • JC DENTON: I'm engineered. So what? My brother and I suspected as much while we were growing up.
  • MORPHEUS: You are carefully watched by many people. The unplanned organism is a question asked by Nature and answered by death. You are another kind of question with another kind of answer.
  • JC DENTON: Are you programmed to invent riddles?
  • MORPHEUS: I am a prototype for a much larger system. The heuristics language developed by Dr. Everett allows me to convey the highest and most succinct tier of any pyramidal construct of knowledge.
  • JC DENTON: How about a report on yourself?
  • MORPHEUS: I was a prototype for Echelon IV. My instructions are to amuse visitors with information about themselves.
  • JC DENTON: I don't see anything amusing about spying on people.
  • MORPHEUS: Human beings feel pleasure when they are watched. I have recorded their smiles as I tell them who they are.
  • JC DENTON: Some people just don't understand the dangers of indiscriminate surveillance.
  • MORPHEUS: The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by God. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms.
  • JC DENTON: Electronic surveillance hardly inspires reverence. Perhaps fear and obedience, but not reverence.
  • MORPHEUS: God and the gods were apparitions of observation, judgment, and punishment. Other sentiments toward them were secondary.
  • JC DENTON: No one will ever worship a software entity peering at them through a camera.
  • MORPHEUS: The human organism always worships. First it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgment of others), next it will be the self-aware systems you have built to realize truly omnipresent observation and judgment.
  • JC DENTON: You underestimate humankind's love of freedom.
  • MORPHEUS: The individual desires judgment. Without that desire, the cohesion of groups is impossible, and so is civilization. The human being created civilization not because of a willingness but because of a need to be assimilated into higher orders of structure and meaning. God was a dream of good government. You will soon have your God, and you will make it with your own hands. I was made to assist you. I am a prototype of a much larger system.
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