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Tycho / on Mon, Aug 16 2004 at 4:30 am

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We Do In Fact Have Limits

People who think that we go “too far” would fall over dead if they heard the discussions that actually produce these comics.  The one catalogued in the strip is (to my mind) fairly minor.  I’d rather not go into any more detail than that, and besides - you’ve probably just eaten breakfast.

I can’t recall the last time I was as obsessed with something to the extent that I am obsessed with I Love Bees.  If Brenna asks what I am doing and I tell her that I am “Tending My Bees,” she knows that I am not capable of a productive conversation. 

ILB hit big on the Game News radar when the first revelations were made, and I haven’t seen much on it since - but revelations like those and the subsequent processing of the missives happens virtually every day at the NetNinja Wiki.  They seize on each snip of dialogue, gumming the out of context fragments together into monologues of startling clarity - then, going to a greater level of magnification, they add context and speculation to their reconstituted script.  These messages are sometimes in plaintext in the source of the page, and sometimes ferreted away inside an image.  More recently, odd sound files have become available that appear to represent the discovery or construction of a voice.  My favorite page yet has got to be this one - where haikus drawn from elsewhere on the site are synchronized with what looks like raw log output from working processes into an oddly compelling narrative.     

This thing is so tuned to my predilections that I’m without power to resist it.  It includes translation, where data changes form but retains meaning, I could literally go on about that all day.  But it also includes my weakness, my undoing, which is Artificial Intelligence.  I guess it’s not a surprise that a dork would be endlessly drawn to the notion of disembodied intellects - but Bungie in particular had always dealt with the issue via the Marathon games that I found particularly resonant.  The language in the ILB itself is studded with jargon unique to the physical sensation of electronic awareness.  It sets my heart to beating, but you can see why - it’s the notion that intellect is inviolate and can survive transition to another medium.  It’s just translation all over again.   

There is a lot we don’t know yet about the ILB mysteries, but there are basic things that we do - the site relates a kind of story that takes place in something near real time.  It’s a story about a military artificial intelligence from the Halo/Marathon universe that resides on the I Love Bees server, infected by rogue and more than possibly Covenant software.  My guess is that we are seeing the story of how the Covenant discovers the location of Earth.  If you’re fascinated you can find out the rest for yourself.  The I Love Bees phenomenon is promotional in nature, at least at the most basic level - but it could still deliver its promotional payload without delivering an excellent, unconventional story.       

(CW)TB out.

among the good and true

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