Hank

I'm just a normal, one-brained human. And this is fine. I can think about some stuff, and I get confused by some other seemingly simple stuff—like what is the opposite of the moon? It’s still a pretty rewarding existence.

But Hank—he has the one brain lodged up there in the loft overlooking the rest of the homo sapien anatomy, and in addition, at every point inside his brain there is another brain. Then, at every point inside each of those brains is yet another complete brain. This much is known.

Questions arise. Is each sub-brain a copy of the larger brain? Do they all contain the information of the entire or are they like separate organelles contributing synergistically to the operation of the whole? Information theorists will start in here about computing volumes and the surfaces that contain....I get confused.

But these are important questions. These are the questions one has to answer to understand why Hank is so smart. Further research must be conducted. Is Hank's intelligence the result of a holographic phenomenon, each sub-brain containing all the information of Hank's entire consciousness, the assemblage giving rise to such high resolution, or do the sub-brains blossom like buds on a tree, each with a new unprecedented intelligence blooming into the spring of Hank's enlightenment, statistically fractal in that each bud contains within it the architecture to unfold into a multitude of smaller, similar, but ultimately unique buds?

So I'm asking—and maybe there's no one better than Hank to respond—is Hank's brilliance a holographic or fractal phenomenon? I really don't know. This question may be beyond the scope of my one, old-fashioned mind. So I’m in this situation where I am the one who is curious, but probably Hank is the only one capable of understanding the phenomenon. But he doesn't have the time to explain it anyway.

A similar situation has arisen recently in the electronics sector. We engineers are working to design faster computers with more memory with the aim to eventually make the computers so smart they can invent their own next of kin. But right now the progress is a little slow. We thought if we could just contact the machines from the future they would already know how to make themselves, so they could just give us some tips, a brief seminar to outline the key points, maybe some sketches.

I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be on the team that made the trip. Geez, the future was nothing like I expected, and the machines weren't at all covered with light-emitting diodes (LEDs)—not even the cool, blue, gallium nitride ones. So that was a little disappointing. I immediately scrapped all my designs with multicolored LEDs everywhere (which was all of them). And just the way my computer now doesn't have a floppy drive, the machines of the future didn't have any orifices for emanating verbal language. "Oh, heck," the team agreed. "If we're going to get anything out of these guys we'll have to crack them open." So Frank jogged awkwardly in his futuristic garb (a Neil Armstrong Halloween costume) back to the van to retrieve a flathead and a mallet. I leaned in toward one machine-bot fella to do some surgery, and before I could count to a that sleek son-of-a-bitch threw an electric field that crumpled me like a sheet of cheap aluminum. Fuck that. We got in our ride and split back to now; we agreed on the way that there was no hurry to invent those creepy jerks. Those bots may be thinking about something pretty cool inside all their graphite casing, but I didn't feel the love.

Hank's as smart as a one-ton pile of cyborg, and he can still love. I asked his girlfriend (she’s a human) if it was ever tiring to date Hank. "Do you ever just have to say, 'No, I haven’t read that article about second-century Estonian architecture. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm trying to watch the monster truck rally.'" She sort of giggled and didn't say anything, but with her grin she turned to look at Hank as he threw a dart that didn’t stick in the board, and the look on her face said, "He’s a real cutie." Hank said, "What? I’m out of practice."