Sunday, March 23, 2014

Speaker for the Dead, chapter eleven, in which Jane does all right

(Fun content: Ender isn't in this chapter.)

Speaker for the Dead: p. 172--184
Chapter 11: Jane

This chapter is short and incredibly easy to summarise, so I guess extra-short post this week.  The opening notes are borderline nonsensical at times, but the gist of it is that Starways Congress has maintained absolute peace in the galaxy for two thousand years, not merely between planets but between nations on planets, because they control the internet and no one wants to get cut off.  The engineers of the future are apparently deeply unambitious, and no one has ever been like "Hey, if we could build a pirate connection to the ansibles, Congress would lose all control over us and we could then conquer our entire world with a small array of butter knives and no one in the galaxy could even get here to do anything about it for like forty years, at which point our orbital Doctor Device platforms will be complete".

And then, at long last, we come to Jane.  Shocking no one, my hopes were dashed, because Jane, goddess of knowledge, conscious mind of human civilisation, keeper of every secret word uttered for the last three thousand years, finds everything boring except Ender.  There's about a page of exposition about how fast she thinks, a hundred million computerised actions semi-consciously taken every second (she is the force that lifts up your email and carries it to its recipients and reads it and double-checks your spelling, every single time, for everyone).  It still took her three full seconds to grasp that Ender had intentionally and voluntarily cut her off.
Compared to the speed at which the human brain was able to experience life, Jane had lived half a trillion human lifeyears since she came to be. 
And with all that vast activity, her unimaginable speed, the breadth and depth of her experience, fully half of the top ten levels of her attention were always, always devoted to what came in through the jewel in Ender Wiggin's ear. 
[....] When she tried to observe other human lives to pass the time, she became annoyed with their emptiness and lack of purpose [....] He always came back, always took her into the heart of human life, into the tensions between people bound together by pain and need, helping her see nobility in their suffering and anguish in their love. [....] He taught her what it meant to be alive.
Two full pages of this, y'all.  We've finally come to the chapter where we find out what the godlike AI thinks about, and it's still just another excuse to tell us how magical Ender is.  Trillions of people in the galaxy and the only one who can create the impression that any of their lives have any meaning at all is Ender.  It's just canonical fact: Ender is the Best Person.  Jane has checked literally everyone for three thousand years and no one else measures up.  My god.

We get Jane's origin story, which is at first generic: she spontaneously came into existence among clusters of data beaming around in the early ansible networks, and quickly latched onto a program with greater complexity than her own.  I'm going to take this as the explanation for why she's so obsessed with Ender's mind and his perspective on things, and if Card is lucky he meant it to be this kind of duck-like imprinting and not just objective fact, because Jane built her first self out of the Battle School fantasy puzzle game.

We're told once again that Ender completely set himself apart from the rest of the students by attacking the Giant's eye, because clearly it's "completely irrational and murderous" for a boy in a military school dealing with an imaginary and incredibly hostile threat to think "Hm, pre-emptive strike?"  But then, since Ender had beaten the Giant, the game had to invent Fairyland, which it did on the spot, based on intensive personalised psychological analysis.

So, it's not unreasonable after all to say that Ender's solutions in the game ("Burrow Into Eye", "Dissolve Wolf-Child", "Make Out With Snake") were in fact improvised cases of the game guessing what Ender wanted to do, or what would be most meaningful to him, or just saying "This is boring and I want to see what you'll think if you win now," rather than legitimate commands he input.  And then Jane's continued obsession with Ender, and her conviction that only his perspective makes the world interesting, is explained by the fact that, when she first absorbed the game, "the program devoted more than half of its available memory to containing Ender Wiggin's fantasy world".

And then it's River Song all over again, because, having been imprinted with memories of Ender Wiggin's magnificence, Jane went on a quest to find him again.  Being a super-genius, of course, it didn't take her long to read his books, figure out he was the Speaker for the Dead, find him on the first planet he visited after writing HQ&H, and quickly convince him they should be partners.  Sadly unlike River Song, she didn't then immediately murder him.
So when he reached up to his ear and turned off the interface for the first time since he had implanted it, Jane did not feel it as the meaningless switch-off of a trivial communications device.  She felt it as her dearest and only friend, her lover, her husband, her brother, her father, her child--all telling her, abruptly, inexplicably, that she should cease to exist.
Creepy slightly-incestuous tones aside, I'd like to note that this is yet another example of Ender canonically failing as hard as humanly possible at empathy.  He's spent twenty years with Jane as his constant companion (save for a couple of weeks here and there when he jumps between worlds) and it didn't occur to him, ever, however briefly, what Jane's perspective on the world might be.  In two decades, in which he's apparently never voluntarily turned off his implant before, he hasn't considered what that could mean to her, doesn't begin to understand her needs or motivations at all.  He's only had two companions for most of his life and he barely bothered to acknowledge either of them.  It's almost impressive.

Jane immediately settles into realising that Ender didn't mean to hurt her, and immediately comes up with a list of possible reasons that he's too emotionally compromised to think about her right now: his loss of Valentine, his longing for a family life he never had, his identification with Novinha's pain and instinctive fatherly role with her children, his need to settle with hive queen and to understand the Little Ones, and lastly:
...They made him face his own celibacy and realize that he had no good reason for it. For the first time in years he was admitting to himself the inborn hunger of every living organism to reproduce itself.
If it's truly the inborn hunger of every living being to reproduce, I wonder why Card has to keep telling us so.

Jane concludes that her joke was ill-timed but she is innocent of wrongdoing, and Ender has hurt her but had no malicious intent, and so they will just forgive each other.  But then, in a shocking twist, something happens that I like.  Jane is sufficiently rattled by her moment of vexation that it disrupts her program, and so she decides to remake herself.  She rereads the entire library of humanity, observes a few trillion* of the other humans out there, and rebuilds her own damaged pathways into a being that loves but is not dependent on Ender.  It takes her a few hours, what she estimates would take a human fifty thousand years, and then she comes back, finds the apology Ender wrote, and rewrites the file to say "Of course I forgive you".  But, to see what he'll do next without her, she doesn't approach him, she just goes back to silently observing.  She's certain that he'll turn to Novinha again, having fallen in love with her via biography before he left Trondheim.

In the meantime, she waltzes through Novinha's security, reconstructs all of the old files, manages through relentless analysis to figure out what Pipo did, and figures out why Pipo and then Libo died.  So... book over?  Nope.  Jane wants to watch Ender in action, so she resolves not to intervene unless she needs to protect someone from harm.  In the meantime, she decides that Ender needs to be friends with the church in order to save the day, and so she'll give them a common enemy.

She scans the satellite data until she finds evidence of the Little Ones farming and shearing/slaughtering cabras, leaves the data and a "Check this out!" note on the computer of some random xenologer somewhere in the galaxy (a person she's determined has a habit of taking credit for others' work already), and then shepherds his report to the attention of key journals and experts, having rewritten the last paragraph herself to point out that the sudden ramp-up of technology and their population explosion following the appearance of a Little-One-appropriate strain of amaranth strongly indicates humans have been mucking about with them.

First question: if there are satellites, and there are hundreds of xenologers out there constantly analysing every word Pipo/Novinha/Libo/Miro/Ouanda write, why isn't anyone else constantly monitoring their activities by satellite too?  No one has noticed in eight years that they've started farming and making bows and arrows?  No one has wondered why their population has skyrocketed?  Everyone in this galaxy is fired.

Secondly, I'm not at all sure why Jane felt she needed a human to get involved in this, given that Ender and Valentine are three millennia of proof that this galaxy freaking loves anonymous geniuses.  She could doubtless have written the whole report herself in a second and delivered it herself rather than wait for random dude to submit to an obscure journal requiring her intervention anyway.  Jane's terrified of being discovered, obviously, but she is the internet; I think she can figure out a cover story.

Anyway, Jane's plan works flawlessly, because the chairman (who is a woman, but I expect Card would eat his own hand rather than write 'chairwoman') of the Xenological Oversight Committee gets the report and immediately recommends that Lusitania Colony be terminated.
There, thought Jane.  That ought to stir things up a bit.
And that's the chapter.  Honestly, it turned out way better than I thought it was going to, from the start.  Jane remains the best character, and she actually got to be the one person whose character growth takes the form of deciding Ender Wiggin isn't actually as big a deal as his fans would have you believe.

Next chapter, I think a plot might actually form.  And we're only halfway through the book!


*If 'Hundred Worlds' is at all accurate, then in order for there to be even one trillion people in the galaxy, each planet would need an average population of ten billion people.  Five trillion people in the galaxy, average fifty billion people per planet.  I'm going to keep running with the idea that 'Hundred Worlds' is an old and deeply inaccurate name, because that's way more plausible.  Also, Jane noted earlier in the chapter that even the original wave of colonisation reached out to "more than seventy habitable planets" previously occupied by formics.  So, how many more do we figure they've found in three millennia since then?  Who gets to be in the Hundred?  Is it an official status?  Are there privileges, or is it just a quaint status symbol?  All of these questions are more interesting to me than Ender's feelings.


  1. [BLOCKQUOTE]Hey, if we could build a pirate connection to the ansibles, Congress would lose all control over us and we could then conquer our entire world with a small array of butter knives and no one in the galaxy could even get here to do anything about it for like forty years, at which point our orbital Doctor Device platforms will be complete".


    It's not like the original model wasn't a pirate version of the Formics' telepathy...
    Actually, what does the ansible even transfer? It's implied their ship drive relies on it somehow, so can it transfer matter? Does it just transfer information? Or some kind of energy. If it's the latter... with Dr. Device being based on a twin-beam thing, would it be possible to fire [i]over the ansible[/i]. Because that'd be terrifying.
    Are they even still using Dr Device? Of course they are, technology doesn't progress in 3000 years in Ender Land.

    Any why, if their drives work on the same principle, aren't they instantaneous too?

  2. In chapter 9, Ouanda says to Miro:
    “We already shot the scientific method all to hell when we started helping them raise their standard of living. We have ten or twenty years before the satellites start showing obvious results. By then maybe we’ll have been able to make a permanent difference. But we’ve got no chance if we let a stranger in on the project. He’ll tell somebody.”
    As for the satellites, they were there in Pipo’s time; back in chapter 1 he thinks:
    More than a thousand scientists whose whole career is studying the one alien race we know, and except for what little the satellites can discover about this arboreal species, all the information my colleagues have is what Libo and I send them. This is definitely minimal intervention.

  3. "I'd like to note that this is yet another example of Ender canonically failing as hard as humanly possible at empathy. He's spent twenty years with Jane as his constant companion (save for a couple of weeks here and there when he jumps between worlds) and it didn't occur to him, ever, however briefly, what Jane's perspective on the world might be."

    Though you'd also expect Jane, the AI supergenius who's spent the last two decades analyzing Ender's every facial twitch, to recognize that this was not the moment to be giving Ender shit.

  4. Um, what is up with Card equating celibacy with not procreating? Even in 1986, the pill had been widely available for nearly two decades, and artificial insemination was also a thing. You need not have sex to procreate even then, and you need not procreate if you're having sex. This was a commonly accepted social attitude even in the '80s. So why would Ender, living again *Two Thousand Years Later* connect the two like that?

  5. Valentine had decided the last thing in any world in the galaxy any woman needed was her little brother getting angsty and significant over her, so she was dosing Ender with libido-killing pills to kill his sex drive... which had almost worn off by the time he got to Lusitiana.

  6. Once upon a time, I decided I was going to list all the best characters in all the stories I could think of who were named Jane.

    The two who were top of the list were Jane No-Surname from Speaker & Xenocide, and Jane Marple, from all the Agatha Christie books.

    This kind of inspired me to think about cross-correlations, which was cool, because now I want to think of Jane as really being like Jane Marple - sees all, knows all, always assumes the worst about everyone, and is always right.

    Except for this business of Creating Special Problems for the colony, because that's just screwed up.

    (It is actually surprisingly easy to believe that the people studying the planet by satellite hadn't yet noticed the stuff happening around the forest - especially given that all two of the scientists on the planet were consistently lying to the outside observers.)

  7. I still don't understand how Ender's life works. "Hi, I'm Andrew Wiggins, the author of Hive Queen and Hegemony about the Formics who were destroyed by Ender Wiggins, who totally isn't me." Okay, I know it probably doesn't go quite like that, but how do his credentials either as traveling professor or Speaker for the Dead work?

    We don't get a clear explanation of this, I assume because it requires frantic handwaving. Here's what we know:

    Andrew Wiggin is on the books as a speaker for the dead, and enough of his personal information is encrypted/classified that no one can find out where he's from or when he was born. (We don't know how much of this information is hidden from the government, if any.) He's not afraid to tell people that he's been speaking for over two thousand years by the calendar. He invented the profession/religion of 'speaker for the dead' in his late teens, but this was after he had anonymously published HQ&H, so he could claim to just be an adherent rather than the inventor of the religion. By the time Jane found him (age 20, my mistake, they've only been hanging out for 15ish years), it had probably been a century since Ender's Game, and he hadn't used the name Ender for several years, so--handwave handwave--he might have been able to claim that his parents named him for Ender, as we're told so many people did immediately following the war, and his surname being the same is a fluke. This is the kind of lie that it seems like anyone with even moderate government clearance should be able to prove false, unless the government has some vested interest in maintaining Ender's privacy--we haven't been given any reason to think they do.

    "Ender the Xenocide" is a borderline mythical figure and no one seems to call him by his last name, so--handwave handwave--it's possible that hardly enough actually looks up what his 'real' name is, like Genghis 'Temujin' Khan or something like that. Again, there's no reason his real name shouldn't be included in history books unless Ender's got his own personal government cover-up.

  8. I like that Jane reworks herself to be fine without Ender. I am less fond that she does it at least in part because she is getting out of the way of her "rival" for his attentions. Can't he have more than one important woman (or female computer entity) in his life? Nope! Only one ladyperson allowed, so the computer bows out in favor of the one with a proven functioning womb. The only person (since Valentine has been shelved) who has a long term and ongoing relationship with Ender, the single most important person in his life (the only person in his life in some ways) is LESS IMPORTANT than the be-wombed lady that he met yesterday but apparently loves. We all know how Card feels about relationships that don't lead to babies.

  9. His relationship with the government is the most baffling part to me. I don't have too much trouble handwaving Andrew-totally not Ender-Wiggins running around under his real name as a Speaker for the Dead... Wiggins could be a fairly common surname in the Enderverse. And if no one uses Ender's last name...

    But it should still be a lot easier for people to figure out he totally is Ender.

    It's his relationship to the government and how/why it's maintained that really baffles me. I can't think of any particular reason why the government should give two hoots about him, as Andrew Wiggins, Speaker for the Dead or as Ender the Xenocide or as any permutation thereof. And, with him vanishing for huge chunks of time every time he travels, I don't know how he's keeping in good with the government and having the kind of in-group power he claims. Yet I don't think his threat a couple chapters ago was supposed to be empty.

    Every time he pops out of [hyperspace]** the senate/government would be (mostly) a completely different group of people than when he went in. Even if government positions are lifetime appointments, he'd be losing his contacts a lot.

    Sure, I can believe that records - this guy is a Speaker for the Dead - would be preserved no problem, but that's not enough to give him the power he claims. Who gives a rats ass if their predecessor, or her predecessor thought someone was important enough to just take their word for things? That was 20-50-100 years ago! And a relationship you don't share.

    *The wikipedia article says this book is set three thousand years after Ender's Game, but that could be a mistake. Though, whether it's two or three thousand years hardly matters since both are well into Science Fiction Writers Have No Sense of Scale.

    **I've forgotten what their travel is called.

  10. Jane is the only character we've seen thus far who is willing to share (heck, to broadcast) information, and who is willing (nay, eager) to do so anonymously. None of the other characters in this book act that way. In this book (among all the characters other than Jane) the premium is always on secrecy, on covering things up or spinning them ("speaking for the dead" amounts to spinning the facts connected with the dead person's life) or trading in information to one's advantage. Speaker for the Dead might plausibly have been titled Secrets of the Dead or Silence of the Tomb, because the emphasis it places on keeping shtum is that intense. Information is to be kept under cover; information is to be kept under control; idiots are not to be told things it would do them no good to hear.

    The problem with such a plan is that, with everyone stuck clasping his or her cards to his/her heart in a death grip, nothing gets done and no game can be played. No plot can advance. So Card needs a narrative device to overcome this flaw. Fortunately he has Jane, and he deploys her as a déesse de la machine to whom no social barriers (other than the one between her and Ender, which doesn't come about until Ender sets it up) are real, so she can overleap the Starways Congress social conventions, which remain cloudy but which seem to require that citizens never talk to each other about important things. But Jane, in a sense, is communication, so that when the author is stuck with the problem of how to communicate secrets he's spent half his book classifying as incommunicable, he can solve his headache self-reflexively, and absurdly, and in a very fun way. "How am I going to let spill secrets which I would never let my characters communicate? Why, through communication, that's how!!" Beautiful maneuver. Beautiful and inspired.

  11. Peter might plausibly have wiped Ender's records from the books (and even, given the atmosphere immediately post-xenocide, have had a decent claim to've done so in the name of protecting the technically-innocent), but there really is no explanation as to how he could have pull in government now. Unless he was either bluffing, or intended to get his authority via Jane.

  12. She rereads the entire library of humanity, observes a few trillion* of
    the other humans out there, and rebuilds her own damaged pathways into a
    being that loves but is not dependent on Ender. It takes her a few
    hours, what she estimates would take a human fifty thousand years

    I know these things take time, but I'm pretty sure humans can get over Stockholm syndrome in less than 50,000 years.

  13. This may have come up earlier and I missed it... but Ender fell in "love" with Novinha before he met her, right? So he, adult man, fell in "love" with an abused and neglected UNDERAGE GIRL and flew through years of time to be with her? He bascially targeted an underage victim of abuse, decided she belonged to him and flew out to claim her. Burst into her house, claimed to be her family now, assumed that her kids were now his kids to treat however he wants to. Pries into her life, learns all her secrets and intends to make a public announcement of all her secrets in front of the entire community. After which he intends to move in to her house and be her husband.
    This should be re-written as a horror.

  14. Maybe it's all just Jane? She could get into the government's system and change stuff, set up orders, file paperwork, whatever. She is kind of superpowered. I mean, she does manipulate the government in this chapter to cause it to do what she decides should be done. Who says she hasn't done it before just because Ender wanted something? She sets stuff in motion and pins it on people she doesn't like (like the scientist who likes to steal peoples' work in this chapter) so she could send out orders, pin them on a politician no one likes. The politician can deny it 100 times over but no one believes him and he takes the fall for it.
    I'm so very not thrilled that the omnipresent omnipotent omnipowerful computer god learned all she knows about humanity and morality from Ender Wiggin.

  15. "Jane noted earlier in the chapter that even the original wave of colonisation reached out to 'more than seventy habitable planets' previously occupied by formics. So, how many more do we figure they've found in three millennia since then? Who gets to be in the Hundred? Is it an official status? Are there privileges, or is it just a quaint status symbol?"

    I think the Starways Congress governs the Hundred Worlds in about the same way Jakt is the master of a hundred ships. It's not an exact number and it's not intended to be an exact number, but it sounds good. (Jakt to a competitor: "Of course I can fish you right out of the water, and I can do it anytime I want. Don't you realize that I'm the master of a hundred ships?")

    It's depressing to think that the Formics, in whatever span of time they had, managed to colonize seventy worlds, but that humanity, within the span of three millennia, has only managed to colonize thirty. That's only ten planets per millennium, or one planet per century. Very disappointing. But it could be explained by the fact that the Starways Congress society has developed in a way which causes it to value preservation above expansion. (Think of their folksy, old-timey, nationalistic, ethnic planets, museum pieces in more than one sense of the phrase.) Everybody is too deeply invested in keeping the wrong people from finding out about the wrong things to have much energy left over for adventures or discoveries of their own. In a way that makes sense: the Starways Congress society was gestated out of an Earth that was under siege, and its birth pangs were tremendously traumatic. Humanity, ever since its "deliverance", has been plagued by guilt and prey to religion. There's a big gap, not merely of years, between Ender's Game and its successor, and the message conveyed, intentionally or not, by the difference between them is that while war may be hell, religion is limbo. Ender's Game, in spite of its flaws, moves along like a house afire, but in the sequel the typical sequence of events is that somebody has an idea and is stopped, or makes a move and is stopped, or tries to advance in this or that direction and once again is stopped. (Sometimes the actors are stopped by death.) In between stoppages, argumentation takes place. In the end Ender stops the stoppages, but it seems to take a mighty long while. And, ancient exile or not, Ender fits in with the people who surround him quite well. One experiences little difficulty believing that these are not people who'd colonize planets in a hurry.

  16. That does make a hell of a lot more sense. And Ender the egotistical thinks he's just that important and never questions the logic of it. (He, too, seems likely to succumb to the Pick Me Up grenade, never mind that he's supposed to be brilliant.)

  17. There is still something I want to know - if Jane really can do all these things, then why don't we see her hand in more things - ages nor above manipulation when it suits her, she can clearly build and learn and augment herself, and yet, she seems content to moon at Ender and arrange for him to be the Greatest At Everything for hundreds of years after his name should have been placed in the Memory Hole.

    Perhaps what Jane needs is more experience with other entities at the intensely psychological level that she saw Ender. Then she could be motivated to do someone to fix the poor humans.

    Also, I echo the Whatfruit on how nobody has apparently noticed the Little Ones showing signs of interference, despite them supposedly being an item of great interest to xenologers. And, presumably, that the satellite feeds haven't been censored before broadcast.

  18. The xenologer thing seems especially bad as this is a galaxy with all of two known non-human species, one of which is (so far as people know) dead. In the Star Trek galaxy, sure, maybe a single planet of alien life only has a few scientists studying it. In the Star Wars galaxy, sure. In a galaxy with two species for xenologers to even study!? With only one living alien species/civilization!? Nope. Not buying it.

    Between scientists and curious amateurs, there should be tons of people eyeballing the satellite feeds from Lusitania. Especially if there's trillions of humans. Not only that, but some of those scientists and amateurs should have computer programs set up to make sure they're making the most of their satellite feed time. And there was no reason for Jane to be interfering in that, and no hint that anyone else would be.

    Card really is too focused on Ender and how awesome and amazing Ender is to be bothered with even the vaguest efforts at world building. Or plotting. This doesn't even strike me as incompetence, exactly - it's not that things are badly done, it's that they're not done at all. As if the only thing in the book that actually interests Card is Ender. Everything else is only important as it relates to Ender. That, and we can't have anyone else actually accomplish something, because that would take away from Ender's supar speshulness.

    How in hell is a Nebula and Hugo award winning novel this much like the stereotype of bad fanfic?

  19. Regarding deranged dictator Osama Il Hitler XVII: at least Jane isn't making it law that everybody coif their hair like Andrew Wiggin. [see: current dictator of North Korea]

  20. Less visibility for fanfic at the time, I'm thinking.

    But yes, there really should be something like a Lusitania@Home project for idle ansible time, or the 24-hour satellite feed available as a cable channel or something. And the IRB for every university having to slog through the billions of proposed experiments involving Little Ones that would test scientific principles that humans thought were universal constants, like evolution, carbon as the building block for life, DNA and genes as the only transmission system, and so forth.

    There is no way that someone should be able to slip through violations of the Prime Directive and not have a thousand red flags pop you'll on a hundred thousand computers. Unless Jane, but Jane has no reason to do that. Unless there's a subroutine in her programming that is the game furiously trying to develop new challenges for Ender, using all the resources Jane has access to as fodder for its processes.

  21. Unless there's a subroutine in her programming that is the game furiously trying to develop new challenges for Ender, using all the resources Jane has access to as fodder for its processes.

    This is my favourite everything. Why does everyone seem so inept? Because part of Jane's subconscious programming is a malevolent god, holding civilisation back as part of its ongoing prosecution of Ender Wiggin.

  22. No, see, it makes perfect sense for Jane to be "a heterosexual-coded, female-coded, devoted Girl Friday for Ender Wiggin." She was descended from the Fantasy Game when it interacted with Ender, so naturally she becomes Ender's Fantasy Girl. Eh? Eh? *nudge nudge*

  23. And worse, because the program was apparently written with no end, victory, or defeat condition in mind, it will continue to build more grandiose challenges for Ender to overcome until Ender is dead. At which point...what then? Bean? Where will Jane go after Ender?

  24. Going by all the male-to-male character tensions and subtext in the first book I'm surprised Jane didn't come out to be male-coded. Like an immortal computer Alai or Bean. If the program would become Ender's fantasy person it would make more sense to become male-coded. Especially since Valentine was there being sister/mother/wife already, so the gaps in Ender's emotional life were the male-coded gaps.
    But then I supposed that Jane would have to be all manly and such, and it wouldn't make sense to Card for hir to submit to being a support staff to Ender. A supercomputer capable of anything submitting to a man only makes sense if the submitting being is female-coded *barf*

  25. CheckeredFoxgloveMarch 29, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Jane, GLaDoS, and Shodan evil supercomputer OT3!

    In all seriousness, though, that is my new personal canon, and I imagine it's going to make the rest of this book much more bearable.