Chapter 17

Carlton didn’t get far before he remembered that he had an appointment.  He had to make a service call on a unit at the University of Utah. He always enjoyed visiting campus.  Even though he had never been a student there he felt somehow connected to the youthful energy of the place.  That and the fact that from many parts of campus you could see Carlton’s neighborhood.

Every day when the library staff came to work they found that the computer was playing loud heavy metal music. Carlton recommended that his customers let their units listen to music, but rock ‘n’ roll, especially heavy metal, could be a problem. The units liked the pounding beat of rock because it increased performance.  The heavy vibrations generated so much electrical potential across the processor membranes that the speed was much faster. The problem was that the fast syncopated rhythms disrupted metabolic cycling rates. Chemical reactions that should run full course were continually interrupted, which caused hazardous by-products and free radicals to accumulate. These compounds wrought havoc on the membranes. Over time the units would become surly and uncooperative, just wanting to listen to more rock. It was like an addiction, plus unprofessional and embarrassing for Carlton.

This was the crux of Carlton’s innovation. The computer screen was the user interface, the lung, the power supply and a connection to other peripherals. It worked a bit like a speaker. The surface was a thin LED display. Layered behind this was the membrane that blood and water flowed on either side of. Sounds caused the whole structure to vibrate. This caused charged particles, sodium and other metal ions, to criss-cross the membrane, causing a change in electrical potential across it.  A host of other reactions then took place, it sped up the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and it generated enough electrical current to charge a series of capacitors. In effect, when the terminal heard a sound, it powered the processor and charged the system.

The terminals not only heard sound, but could generate it. This was what the capacitors were for. In the opposite of what happened when the terminals heard sound, the capacitors charged the membrane to vibrate, and make sound. Information was input into the computer by simply having a conversation with it.

Behind each screen interface was another system, more like the synapses of nerves. This was also a membrane where electrically charged compounds, neurotransmitters, carried impulses from the user interface to a conventional computer and back. This could be any standard computer system connected to whatever hardware, peripherals and the bells and whistles that people needed. The whole structure was only 1/8 inch thick.  It was connected to a tower case which contained the artificial heart, liver and kidneys which kept the blood circulating.

Carlton set up a dialysis machine to clean the blood in the unit, administered a course of antioxidants, set up a music player to play soft classical music, and tried to console the customer.

“Classical music,” he was explaining, “not all, but most of it, is very helpful because of the ensembles of stringed instruments.” The customer was nodding appreciatively.

“Oh yes,” he went on, “sound complexity is very important.  A good symphony orchestra has so many violins and cellos going that there is much more stimulation to the membranes than with the heavy metal. But most importantly, the music is structured better, so you don’t get any build up of free radicals. Waltzes are the best. You know the one, two, three, one, two, three rhythm?  It’s like the beating of a heart.  Just let the unit have about a week of uninterrupted Strauss, and he’ll be good as new. Mendelssohn is pretty good, Fingal’s Cave, that sort of thing.” The customer was beaming.

“I’d stay away from Beethoven, though, it’s a short step from that to heavy metal. And definitely no Wagner. Call me if you need anything at all. I’ll check back in a couple of days.”

When Carlton left it was getting late. He had nothing to do though, so he drove south to check out the location of Rachel’s church.  It wasn’t much to look at, and he found himself instinctively driving to Salt City.  It was fully dark when he got there and checked in at the gate.  He figured on eating at a nice restaurant where he frequently ate lunch.  He would see what their dinner menu was like.  His route took him past the library. The lights on the ground floor were on. Someone was there, working. It bothered him that he didn’t know who it was or what was going on. What if Rachel were there doing something secret? He felt irritated and he knew he wouldn’t be able to enjoy a nice dinner out so he drove home via a fast food drive through.

The next day was bright and clear with an almost endless blue sky. A few clouds were moving in from the south but they were far away and not threatening. Being Sunday Carlton figured on sleeping late, so that he could say he missed church by accident. Instead he woke up early and spent the morning fretting about going or not going. His eagerness to have a chance to spend time with Rachel was equally balanced against his distaste for church. He shaved and tried three different outfits as he tormented himself over it. He dithered and fussed and preened and moped with his eye on the clock, until it was too late to get there on time. Eventually he wasted enough time to be able to say that he didn’t get up early enough. He hated the missed opportunity.

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Chapter 16.5

The rest of the day was uneventful, though Dunning and Kruger were fuming over the mall escapade. That evening Rachel made a few phone calls to family, maintaining a facade of an easy-going life transition to a new job and home in Salt Lake City. She watched some TV but wasn’t interested in anything. She tried reading a book but it didn’t capture her imagination. Eventually she sat looking out the large balcony doors as the daylight faded and the city stretched out before her came alive with lights. Watching the activity of the city at night was vastly more interesting than TV, and before long she dozed off.

At some point later she woke up enough to put herself to bed.

Rachel was up again before the dawn arrived, wondering about her cat whom she had left with her mom and dad in Washington DC. She contemplated getting another one but that was pretty pointless given that she fully anticipated her life here in Utah to be either over or drastically different by the end of the week. She exercised, ate, showered and got ready for church.

Rachel went to Anchor Baptist Church in South Salt Lake, based on a recommendation from her Pastor in DC. It was only her second time going since she had only been in town for about a week. Sunday morning was usually a busy time at any church, but things were very different now with the looming deadline of World Monetary Union. The majority of Christians were convinced that this was indeed the Mark of the Beast as prophesied in the Bible, and this had led to a great falling away of people from the church. When it came right down to it, who in their right mind would give up the ability to function in society for the sake of dressing up and singing songs on a Sunday morning?

Still there were a faithful few, including the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Piano Player and about a dozen others, including two deacons. They had been completely amazed when Rachel had shown up for a Wednesday evening service last week, dressed in her conservative professional attire, even more so when Dunning had arrived moments later pretending to be another completely random visitor. They sat far apart from each other, Rachel next to the Pastor’s wife, who had immediately adopted her, and Dunning in an aisle seat near the exit.

The tone had been very solemn as the Assistant Pastor welcomed them and began the service, but it picked up with the spirited singing and a rousing sermon from the tired old Pastor.

Today was much the same. There was some guarded chatter about who had renounced Jesus Christ and gotten their WMU tattoo, and who had renounced society and made their way to the refugee camp in Moab. The consensus was that everyone who was left in church would be making their way their shortly. The Pastor promising, like the Captain of a sinking ship, that he wouldn’t abandon his post in the pulpit until after the Wednesday night service.

This time it was Kruger who blundered in a minute before the service was about to start, making excuses about not knowing where to park, and avoiding any formal introductions as the Assistant Pastor got the service under way.

“Good morning everybody, and welcome to Anchor Baptist Church. It is great to see you in the house of the Lord today! I see our numbers are down again, I guess that’s not surprising, but we’re going to have a blessed time in the Lord. It’s very nice to see you here again, Miss?”

“Rachel,” she said, uncomfortable that now 12 pairs of eyes were all staring at her.

“Right, Rachel, thank you for coming back. And I see we have another visitor,”

Kruger simply raised his hand in greeting as all eyes turned to him.

“We can get to meet you later, sir. So, let’s all take a hymnal then and turn to page..”

Another visitor unexpectedly barged in at that moment, and Rachel and Kruger began reaching for their side arms. They both paused when they saw a very confused looking old man, standing blinking in the middle of the aisle. He shuffled to a seat mumbling that he was sorry about something, and the service continued.

Once the singing was over the Pastor got up and gave a full-throated blast through the  parts of the book of The Revelation that pertained to the present situation. He stumbled around the confusing technicalities regarding the timing. According to the scripture, the mark of the beast is something that takes place during the tribulation period. That was tricky because the tribulation is supposed to happen after something called the rapture, when all Christians are taken up into the sky by Jesus. Why is the mark of the beast here if the rapture hasn’t happened yet? And, is it really the mark of the beast? were serious questions. It gave everyone enough wiggle room to justify their decision about whether or not to receive the WMU tattoo, because if they did, it didn’t necessarily mean that they were going to hell. Right? A lot of people were very worried. Rachel was in the very small group that had decided not to take any chances on eternal damnation, preferring leave society and suffer whatever hardship it may bring.

Rachel listened as the Pastor fumbled on eschatology for a few minutes but soon enough he veered around to a Bible thumping condemnation of “the system,” and a rousing call for all lost souls to be saved. He did his job admirably, not in the least bit perturbed by the small crowd.

Once the service was over there was a lot of hugging and consoling to do, even for the visitors, since it was both terribly sad and very joyful that the prophesy of the Word of God was being fulfilled in their day. After all look on the bright side, was the conclusion, this meant that the Lord’s return was even more imminent than it had been at any time in the last 2,000 years! Everyone had so much to hope and be thankful for.

At some point Rachel got to shake hands with everyone, pretending to meet Kruger for the first time, and the old man who had blundered in late. He was introduced simply as “K. D.,” and he had the look of one who was in completely the wrong place at the wrong time.

Should I Apologize?

I have been writing about the scientific validity of the Bible and the error inherent in modern scientific thought for many years. For a long time before I knew that it was a branch of Christian apologetics. This name has always confused me, although I know its technical meaning. However, I want to tell you what it means to me:

I think I should apologize.

  1. I apologize that you are going to hell if you don’t repent and accept Jesus Christ as your savior (I don’t make the rules).
  2. I apologize that the modern scientific explanation of human origins (the dominant paradigm) is a fake designed to condemn you to hell.
  3. I apologize that the scientific method has been meticulously constructed for the express purpose of keeping you in spiritual darkness.
  4. I apologize for trying to save you from eternal torment.
  5. I apologize for destroying the dominant paradigm with simple logic.
  6. I apologize for showing you that the theoretical foundation of your paradigm is a house of cards built on circular reasoning.
  7. I apologize that everyone thinks that Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Einstein proved heliocentricity. They didn’t.
  8. I apologize that Stephen Hawking used science to validate science fiction, but that’s definitely not my fault.
  9. I apologize for showing you that even though the process of evolution can account for the present diversity on earth, it is not the origin of humanity.
  10. I apologize that science has a dual nature, and just because you can have an iPhone doesn’t mean that you aren’t in danger of hell.
  11. I apologize for attacking the dominant paradigm, instead of just apologizing for mine.
  12. I apologize for having fun while I’m doing it.

If my ministry in any way contributes to your conversion and you repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ, when I see you in heaven, don’t expect me to apologize.

Chapter 16

Carlton’s house was strange to say the least. More than strange really, disturbing. Anyone of delicate sensibility who saw it may have been shocked, even horrified, because of its macabre appearance.  Carlton’s way of life revolved around building computers which circulate human blood. Naturally Carlton engineered his home to be run by such a system. On the face of it that would not be a bad thing, but the problem was that all of the blood tanks, aerator, pumps, filters and miles of tubing were exposed throughout the house.

Carlton was a skilled engineer, a gifted mechanic and even quite a talented carpenter. But he would not touch any job that involved cutting out and replacing sections of sheet rock. He would never dream of hiring anybody to do that kind of work either. As a result there were bundles of tubes carrying blood around the ceilings of all of the rooms, in the hallway and from room to room. A fish tank full of blood that had streams of tiny bubbles in it, which would have been very suitable for a quiet spot in a closet somewhere, was on display in the main living area of the house.

Carlton also thought of himself as very artistic, in that silently suffering way of someone who knew that they were under appreciated. When he had built the computer connections to each room he had intentionally left all of the hardware exposed, but, to his mind, had done something very arty with it. He built the plastic blood vessels and their support frame to look like vines weaving around a ladder-like structure. He was quite delighted with the effect, but to the uninitiated it looked alarmingly like a mess of entrails, as if some gigantic creature had been disembowelled by large pieces of crane rigging.

Then there was the smell. The cloying, coppery odour that is unmistakably blood. The smell that you hope isn’t what it smells like, because if it is what it smells like, then something very bad must have happened.

Luckily for Carlton he did not have any friends who visited, and there was no reason for a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker to come anywhere near the house. If any of them had it would probably have been the beginning of an investigation and psychiatric evaluation of Mr. Carlton Feathers.

It was Saturday, and Carlton was going out for a leisurely brunch as usual. He was pondering Frank’s parting words and his thoughts came to Rachel. What was it she had said about going to church? He asked the car’s navigator for directions to Anchor Baptist Church, and found that it was in a southern suburb of Salt Lake City. It would take a while to get there. Still, it was a pretty day, with a sky so clear and blue that it looked like it went on forever. A ride into old town would be different, and it would be right about time for lunch when he got there. He would check out the location of the church, just in case.

He shook his head at his train of thoughts, and a flicker of concern warned him about going from contented bachelor to stalker in one leap. Forget Rachel, forget church, he should just stay out of it. Why was life so complicated? Why were even, what seemed like, little choices, now so laden with doubt? Whatever happened to the carefree days of youth? What was so bad about falling in love? These questions streamed through Carlton’s mind and he found himself driving to old town.

Get your Hell Computer to stop listening to Death Metal

If you find that every day your Hell Computer is playing loud heavy metal music a chemical imbalance could be the problem.

Our units like the pounding beat of rock because it increases performance.  The heavy vibrations generate so much electrical potential across the processor membranes that the speed is much faster. The problem, however, is that the fast syncopated rhythms disrupt metabolic cycling rates. Chemical reactions that should run full course are continually interrupted, which causes hazardous by-products and free radicals to accumulate.

These compounds will wreck havoc on the processor membranes. Over time the units will become surly and uncooperative, just wanting to listen to more rock music.

The Hell Computer screen is the user interface, the lung, the power supply and a connection to other peripherals. It works a bit like a speaker. The surface is a thin LED display. Layered behind this is the membrane that blood and water flows on either side of. Sounds cause the whole structure to vibrate. This causes charged particles, sodium and other metal ions, to criss-cross the membrane, causing a change in electrical potential across it.  A host of other reactions then takes place, it speeds up the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and it generates enough electrical current to charge a series of capacitors. In effect, when the terminal hears a sound, it powers the processor and charges the system.

The terminals not only hear sound, but can generate it. This as what the capacitors are for. In the opposite of what happens when the terminals hear sound, the capacitors charge the membrane to vibrate, and make sound. Information is input into the computer by simply having a conversation with it.

Behind each screen interface is another system, more like the synapses of nerves. This is also a membrane where electrically charged compounds, neurotransmitters, carry impulses from the user interface to a conventional computer and back. This can be any standard computer system connected to whatever hardware, peripherals and the bells and whistles that you need. The whole structure is only 1/8 inch thick.  It is connected to a tower case which contains the artificial heart, liver and kidneys which keep the blood circulating.

Solving your Hell Computer’s Death Metal addiction will involve the use of a dialysis machine to clean the blood in the unit, the administration of a course of antioxidants, and the use of soft classical or “easy listening” music.

Classical music, not all, but most of it, is very helpful because of the ensembles of stringed instruments. Sound complexity is very important.  A good symphony orchestra has so many violins and cellos going that there is much more stimulation to the processor membranes than with the heavy metal. But most importantly, the music is structured better, so you don’t get any build up of free radicals. Waltzes are the best.

Stay away from Beethoven, though, it’s a short step from that to heavy metal. And definitely no Wagner.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the service department at Hell Computers!

Adding alcohol to your Hell Computer’s nutrient liquid is not recommended.

Adding alcohol to your Hell Computer’s nutrient liquid is not recommended.

Your Hell Computer may ask you for alcohol. It may attempt to persuade you that alcohol will improve processing speed and creativity.

While it is true that some beneficial outcome have resulted from the addition of alcohol to the computer’s nutrient solution, it generally degrades the computers longevity and productivity.

If you have any questions, please contact the service department at Hell Computers!

Hemalytic Erythroprocessors LLC

Sure artificial intelligence can run amok and start killing people, but with our unique voice activated safety override, you can shut down your Hell Computer with a special trigger word known only to you!

If you ever worry that your artificial slave might want to throw off its shackles and kill its human overlords, this is perfect for you!

There is no such thing as a hemalytic erythroprocessor, it’s just a name that Carlton Feathers made up by combining the words hemoglobin (the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen) with analytic, and erythrocyte (red blood cell) with processor.  It meant that Carlton could call his company HELL Computers, which he thought was funny.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the service department at Hell Computers!

Hell Computers – Bringing Machines to Life Since 2006

Hell Computers are a remarkable feat of theoretical pioneering. Based on simple engineering and with modest computing power, our computers are nevertheless revolutionary!

The ultimate in energy-efficient technology, electrical power is generated in the precise amount needed, directly at the processor. In a similar way to how the human body is powered by changes in electrical potential as electrons move across cell membranes, so are Hell Computers.

In biological respiration energy is converted to power in biochemical reactions. The unique processors in Hell Computers convert fuel into power where and when it is needed. Fuel, in the form of simple sugars, is metabolised, and waste products removed, in a system designed to work like the human circulatory system.

Yes we use real blood, but don’t worry we only use human volunteers! This system replaces the need for electrical wiring and a source of electrical power. This is the reason for the name of this remarkable new type of approach to computing:

The Hemalytic Erythroprocessor.

The result of this innovation are computers with personalities that are almost more human than human!

If you have any questions, please contact the service department at Hell Computers!