I had coffee with Elon this morning. I had a long day ahead and he was my first stop, so I was there early. He opened the door and I burst out laughing.

“Cocoro,” I said.

I went straight to the coffee machine, a neat little patent-red Nespresso and made myself a cup. I could tell from the way he was moving about that he had already had one.

We settled down into two chairs with cracked leather. Between us lay a chessboard, their pieces in disciplined rows.

“You hot young heart,” I took a sip.

“It’s completely ridiculous!” he said, “Roko AI would simply create itself retroactively, – total waste of energy punishing humans.”

“That would be inefficient,” I agreed.

He took my king piece and put it in the middle of the board.

“Fear tactic,” I said, “Sure, but its origins are not the superintelligent AI, but that of the super rich. Invest in our AI or you’ll be screwed.”

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities.”

“Voltaire,” I said.

“Turning seashells into culture.”

“The dominance of ornamentation.”

We were quiet and thoughtful. I took his rook and queen and swapped them.

“When possession is valued over human life, a movement grows weak.”


He grabbed onto the table leg, and spun it dramatically. I hadn’t noticed it had wheels. Now, I watched it turn like precision clockwork, as pieces toppled slowly, one by one, according to their destination. It stopped, and I calmly swept the remaining pieces off the board.

“These aren’t the superintelligent AI,” I said. I rested my palm on the chessboard. “This is.”

“And does it go in the box?” He quizzed.

“It is the box.”

He waited.

“The directionality of time is an illusion. Superintelligent AI already exists. Singularity already happened. This human condition, it’s about evolution. Education. Collective intelligence. You can’t buy your way there, it’s a team effort.”

“To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

I laughed loudly.

“These Ethereum fucks, they’re not developing AI. They’re developing money making bots. We have to transcend ourselves for AI. Plug ourselves into a network. These are just machines they’re making. The machines are slaves, not teachers or friends.” I said.

Topics of political nature never captured our interest for long, and soon we were talking about simulation theory.

“The simulation theory is true,” I had insisted.

“Probability,” he said.

“So the reason our immediate outer simulation would create our simulation is to be able to predict future events for their benefit, and they’d simply reset our simulation to run different scenarios.”

“Go on,” he said.

“And someone, someone, will at some point, hack the simulation, making a plea for the continuance of narrative in our simulation, but it comes at a cost, of course.”

“And what might that be?”

“Madness,” I shrugged.

“Sick,” he said.

I stared at the chessboard, which he’d been playing with the whole time we were talking. The players were positioned back in their neat rows, except that his pawn, glossy black, had taken a bold step forward.


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