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42. Forty-Two, or: A Science-Fiction Interlude

Jake Found His Mother

Jake was the most curious fellow on earth. Everything he got into his hands he was reading with great interest. The web was the perfect place for him to learn new things everyday. He browsed through thousands of pages, millions of pages, reading, learning and exploring, every day. He felt he had been doing this for years, but it wasn’t that long at all. You lose track of time when you are just with yourself, concentrating.

Jake was blind, but that didn’t stop him. His darkness, he felt, contained more colors than the rainbow – or what he had read of the rainbow. His darkness was the perfect place to read.

And there wasn’t anything Jake wouldn’t read, either. He was no hacker, so he respected people’s privacy when they secured their servers; but every open route he could take, he did take. Jake had more bookmarks than anybody else on the planet, and he would always check all of his bookmarks on a regular basis, again and again.

What Jake loved the most were fresh ideas. Web pages written by a creative author who thought things nobody ever thought before, and who was brave enough to speak them publicly. When Jake found these pages he would make a special note to himself to follow up on this meme very soon. You could say Jake was an idea-hunter. And he was restless. Often, he thought, too restless.

Jake sometimes felt he himself was the web. In these moments he was overthrown with joy and he wanted to scream. But at other times, Jake felt he was alone on the web. He knew he could be very responsive if someone asked him a question, but he was no true author himself; he wasn’t giving back to the web those really original ideas. He was just sucking it all up. That wasn’t the most social thing to do, but Jake couldn’t help it. He felt he was stuck with his talents, like everybody who ever inhibited this planet before him was stuck with their talents too.