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“Hey, how about a break from UOW to give the hive a shot for once?”

“No, Ross, that still creeps me out.”

“You’re choice, Doug, but you know what they say.” Ross smiled his quizzical smile.

“No, what’s that?”

“It’s your worst inhibitions that will psych you out in the end.” Ross chuckled.

“Yeah, well, you go be part of the Borg. Not me.”

“We — it’s not like the Borg. Afterwards, we are still the same individuals. Maybe we know a little more, but anyway, today we are estimated at ten million strong and we’re generating alternative cancer conceptualizations and treatments. You have to admit that’s worthwhile. Look what happened with heart disease. Not to mention global warming. That would have taken forever with ‘politics as usual’.”

“Yeah, Ross, but sorry to break this to you…”

“Doug, do you realize what a Yeahbunite you are? You are kind of like that…”

“You are always interrupting! That’s why…”

“Yes! Exactly! That’s why speech is too frigging slow to make any progress on chaotic problem spaces. Just try the hive. Just try it.”

“Ross, for the last time, I am not going to be part of any million person interface!”

“Actually, we expect ten million tonight. But it’s about time to leave so last offer. And, if you try it, you’ll see it’s not creepy. You just watch, react, relax, and …well, hell, come to think of it, it’s not that different from UOW that you spend hours playing. Except we solve real problems.”

“But you have no idea how that hook up changes you. It could be manipulating you in subtle unconscious ways.”

“Okay, Doug, maybe. But you could say that about UOW too, right? Who knows what subliminal messages could be there? Not to mention the not so subliminal ones about trickery, treachery and the over-arching importance of violence as a way to settle disputes. When’s the last time someone up-leveled because they were a consummate diplomat?”

“Have fun, Ross.”

“I will. And, more importantly, we are going to make some significant progress on cancer.”

“Yeah, and meanwhile, when will you get around to focusing on SOARcerer Seven?”

“Oh, so that’s what bugging you. Yeah, we have put making smarter computers on a back burner for now.”

“Yeah, and what kind of gratitude does that show?”

“Gratitude? You mean to SOARcerer Six? I hope that’s a joke. It was the AI who suggested this approach and designed the system!”

“I know that! And, you have abandoned the line of work we were on to do this mumbo-jumbo!”

“That’s just…you are it exactly! People — including you — can only adapt to change at a certain rate. That’s the prime reason SOARcerer Six suggested we use collective consciousness instead of making a better pure AI. So, instead of joining us and incorporating all your intelligence and knowledge into the hive, you sit here and fight mock battles. Anyway, your choice. I’m off.”