Dream Diary: “The Google Button”

Setting: post-apocalyptic America. All surviving humans have crowded into the grand hall of an old conference center. We have one useful tool left: a floating Google button. You can say anything to the button, and it will produce an exact (though unusable) replica of it. The only thing we have been warned not to say to it is “100 million consequences of globalization”; because doing so will turn half the world into the carcasses of factories and robots.

A boy named Chip says the fateful words; not only that, but he says them indoors, where the results are even more sudden and devastating.

* * * *

“If you’re such a political scientist,” says Abby to me as she hands me a Scantron, “let’s see how you do on this test.”

I look at the questions.

“What causes political strife?”

My choices include “A. Because they said so.” and “B. The 99%”

I skip this one and examine the next.

“Who is the transit manager for the city of Quincy, MA?”

“Abby,” I say, “I’m offended by this test. It’s clear you’re just trying to make a point about how little I know.”

Abby continues to pop one lens out of each pair of glasses she finds.