The Imperfections Of Memory

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
The Loves & The Lives Of Man & Machine

Infinitely personal, but always engaged and growing around these same seeds, these same implicit structures: Your Mommy doesn't look like my Mommies, but we have the same generative process, because everybody has a Mother. The Clarice parts and the Amanda parts and the grandmas and the housekeeper and the mommies on TV all factor into Zoë's Mother in one way or another, say. And that's why stories work on everybody, and why the Quest looks the same, always, and always completely different: The same branches sticking up out of our equally infinite and equally chaotic soup, the parts of the trees we can occasionally see, so we can look at them and name them and stop them controlling us and use their power for ourselves.

And our inner determinist says that's where it ends: Your generative process means the tree grows up and out depending on prevailing wind patterns and soil conditions and gardening techniques, like a book that's being written in indelible ink. But as in every spiritual truth, and every fairytale, the opposite is also true: There is a best tree. There is the best you implicit in the structure, implicit in the infinite chaos under the water where you already know everything there is to know -- that Hamlet already written by the typewriter monkeys of your unconscious chaos -- that is working damn hard on getting out: Pow! Pulling you by the hand and urging you forward, through the Maelstrom into truth. And every trauma or bad call or bad year isn't a scar on the tree, it's an obstacle to climb over, so you can get back on the path toward Future You, who's calling your name, over and over and very loud indeed. Just sometimes from so far away that you can't quite hear it.

And the reason I can understand anything if you explain it with crystallization, and why I did jumping jacks throughout this scene, is because both are always true: The tree is all nature, and all nurture, and heading toward something perfect. And both are the point of Zoë, and Zoë's point: While a hard-SF person watching this scene is thinking, "This is last month's game development theory, we've moved on," and might make the jump to the universe-building scale that she's talking about, what's implicit in this scene and leads directly to the end of the episode is the other half: Zoë is talking about herself. A seed of Zoë that contained in it the blueprints of infinite Zoës -- a soul like yours and mine -- with memories applied to tap the glass. And out she came -- Pow! -- fully formed but still growing, from her own and Daddy's forehead. Which, again: While she is Clarice's new life, zoë, she's a disappointing Apotheosis/Resurrection. (Tammy's still the secret star there, the perfect and eternal copy.)

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