thoughtwisps One commit at a time

down for the cause

We worked in what had once been the office. The floor was carpeted, a calm grey with faded prints of colourful symbols. The logos of the companies whose employees had worked here many months ago. A string of glass walled rooms ran around the edge of the office space and I thought I could see, like an afterimage, the colourful armchairs and discarded cans of warm,half-drunk soda, left on the tables or still half-finished beside smiling people with laptops and post-it notes.

The laptops had stickers and pictures of cartoon animals, whales, rodents, bees, elks, another variation on the tribal symbolism printed on the carpet, declaring, at once in-jest and in flamewar worthy seriousness, the allegiance of the owner to one technology library or programming language or another.

Meetings would have been held here and product launches and Friday afternoon beer o’clocks, the laughter and clinkle still lingered. We were still always shipping these days, thought neither now or then did it have anything to do with ships or the ocean.

We had yearned to build the future. How did we learn it, that appetite for disruption, that pride, that insatiable optimism that we could re-invent things for better and better, that from the ashes of this creative destruction, a new future would emerge.

Well, it did, but it was nothing like what we hoped for. The lesson was that creative destruction can be set in motion but rarely controlled.

It was still in the air, the staticky air between our computer screens, but an afterthought, as we continued to type on our keyboards, government issue, no logos, no cute animals, typing into existence a future that we did not intend and that would have no place for us.

At night we slept in the old employee dorms, an act that had once been a badge of honour, a sign that we were down for the cause, now a prison, dowm because of the cause, not our cause.

There was the lingering smell of old ambition in these rooms. But also old sex, sad sex, escape-from-dead-bedrooms sex, sex with no-consent, sex with dubious consent, against corporate policy-sex. An expectation, of something without shape or name. And we were trapped, within it, within the torturous present and the torturous memories of the past that enabled this present. The final frontier - our thoughts - to which which we never quite managed to extend our technoutopian dreams of the future, that is where we escaped to.