Witch of Wals

“The most valuable answers are the unambiguous and certain ones, nonetheless extraordinarily difficult to come by. Moral quandaries are unanswerable. But computers can solve madly complex math problems, or find the correct alphanumeric combination from a nearly infinite set of combinations, and unlock a special chamber with nothing but itself hiding inside. This alchemy mints new coin by asking the supercomputer—the Oracle—to do increasingly difficult operations. Puzzles. Riddles. This is hot activity!” She fans herself sardonically and catches her breath. “Imagine! Server farms buzz with power. Fans and cooling systems keep everything from overheating, from bursting into flames. Imagine! Our computers may overheat from relatively mundane tasks, like uploading content to the Internet. Now, imagine an entire warehouse of that, and then imagine many giant warehouses, all over the world. We think our virtual space, our virtual realities, have no consequence or materiality. But these spaces are made from the earth and the heat of the sun, just as anything else.”