She closes the lid, and unplugs a device no bigger than her thumb from the computer.
"My life's work", she says. But it isn't her life's work.
"You see, we store information like an Escher painting. It shouldn't all fit in there, but it does.
And every day we manage to fit more and more into smaller and smaller spaces, until one day,
we'll be able to fit all the information the world has,
everything that everyone knows, and believes and dreams into nothing.
It will all be there, stored and filed, tagged with any keyword you might imagine.
Our hard drives will be thin air, they'll make nanobots look like elephants.
And elephants will be in there too, tagged, accessible with search terms like 'grey', 'ivory' and 'the largest land-dwelling mammal'.
We'll process away at nothing, and understand everything.
We'll think of a word, and the information will slip in,
not through our ears or eyes, but straight through our skin.
Information will breath in and out of us, permeate our skin,
and knowing will be as deep as it is wide.
You see, our work here is to learn so much,
To be so full of knowing, that all there is left to do is unlearn.
Humanity must get to a point where we let go.
We leave the useless ideas and the spent idealogies in the recyle bin,
like an adolescent brain shedding neurons,
like a snake slithering from its old skin,
like an old man who's come to understand so well, the point where reality meets the intangible,
that he is able to decide which breath will be his last.
And he will enjoy that breath more than any he's taken in his entire life."
And her life's work is more than a 4Gb flash drive.
"My life's work," she says, "is the impact this has."
"This is not about what I produce. This is all about what others receive."
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