Down to our final hours! Please share! Issue 8: Thorn of the Rose
KS Update: We are down to the wire--need $43 to get to the goal within 60 hours! Please ask your friends to order their greeting cards with a special meaning in Love. http://www.tinyurl.com/greet-rose
And here is the next installment on the Thorn of the Rose--the fictional story I am weaving every day we do this Kickstarter. Tune in tomorrow for the final issue in this chapter! Thank you!
Reviewing the Rules
While waiting for Pistil and Stamen to finish their whispered consultations and came back to the table, Thorn drew out a Port and plugged it into the diner’s power and wireless system, feeding the receipts for their sandwiches and coffees into the maw to prove they had the right to access the net.
Thorn’s receipt was from GoldenEagle@gmail.com. As this abandoned account had at least 500 credits on an old PayPal charge, Thorn figured that whoever actually had owned the account must have been retired and then died without an heir looking for that. Of course, 500 credits would get you just about 60 lunches—not a bad deal—food for two months. But not really enough for someone to go detecting it.
Thorn looked up the rules again for submitting a Spark Idea to the MD Foundation. The computer would not let you skip past the introduction (and Thorn had tried every way to bypass it known to computer science, to no avail). So Thorn sipped coffee slowly and fed a pickle slice to Potential while the video droned on about how Mark Devallier had made his fortune on the VeRity game and had turned both the game and his money into a foundation to make “all those bright ideas about how to save the world a reality—for your kid’s future!” Prophets and profits, the MD motto went.
Let’s save the world and keep the change, Thorn muttered to Potent, who merely waved a claw, splattering the pickle juice against its shell. The rules hadn’t changed much this quarter. The game plan was to submit your spark (non-disclosure guaranteed). You would get half the net profits, and the Foundation, as your backer, would get the rest. The Foundation would, of course, actually getting the idea to reality—you just had to have the plan and then the drive to make it work within their budgets and their rules. (The rules didn’t mention failure after this point, and Thorn didn’t want to think about that just yet).
The Spark entry day was every quarter, and the next one was coming up this Tuesday. If the MD Foundation board passed your proposal on, then you got an invitation to do the Rose Essay in person. This was supposed to help prove both that you owned the idea and that you understood it so thoroughly and had such a passion for it that you could flex-change it when needed—and still accomplish the goal.
If PD (Pauline Devallier, Mark’s wife) said that you passed the Rose essay, then you could go on to the Thrilling Grilling, the public show where experts and the public would tear your idea apart and you had to put it back together again as a plan. The What If scenarios they could throw at you were never short of amazing.
At this point, the Intellectual Development and Foundation Act applied, so that anyone who went to market with your idea (or as close a replica as the court said counted), you would get half the profits there. So, usually, this kept all but the deeper MD Foundation pockets away.
Thorn calculated the odds for the fifty-millionth time. The ideas were complex, but doable—the math finally worked out right a few weeks ago, and Thorn had spent most of the days since just searching for similar ideas. No one had entered a similar spark. People had tried various AI algorithms, and quantum computing had offered a tantalizing potential to do more than an on-off switch for bytes—an indefinite quantity a neither no nor yes. Thorn had worked out a way to go one step better—to make the quantum computers, with their superpositioning potential think in Rose.
Until now, no one had thought of using the Rose language as a way to teach computers how to determine value or non-value. Love or hate. Enlightenment or delusions.