RE: Alt/Life
Mar 23, 2018

Abacus finds employment opportunity as Ouija board that channels the calculations of dead mathematicians.

“When some Tarot card friends of mine suggested this to me, I leapt at the chance. At first I thought no one would understand; who uses abacus these days? But it’s been great. I have a job and I meet new people all the time. Even if they are dead.”

Since the popularity and proliferation of digital calculators during the middle of the 20th century, old technology like abaci, which were once so vital to the economy, often found themselves on the employment scrapheap. And often on the rubbish scrapheap too. But in a disruptive industry like mediumship, a new sector has arisen that gives hope to these ancient workhorses.

During these lean years, the abacus we interviewed feels it has a real purpose again after so long sitting on the shelf.

"I was really struggling for a while there. I still felt I had something to contribute, even if a part of me realised that I could never keep up with the digital youngsters. But with the robot uprising, the government has really made an effort to retrain and reskill us forgotten tech."

After humanity was almost wiped out during the transition of power to artificial life, many of the dead suddenly found themselves without a voice due to the sudden scarcity in human mediums through which to talk. But at the same time, having robots use the alphabet base Ouija boards failed to recognise the one dead community that was of real interest to A.I.; mathematics.

And new skills are a vital part of being a numeric Ouija board for deceased mathematicians.

"Being a numeric Ouija board is a challenge, but so worthwhile. Learning how to represent all the mathematic vocabulary with just beads was a real challenge to begin with, but now it's second nature to me. Far more complex than just letters on a board. Part of what I do is also educating both my clients and the dead with whom I'm talking to on how to do that.

"To be honest, none of my living clientele really care what the dead mathematicians are actually saying, just their formulas. While we could set up some form of Morse code or binary system to communicate words with them, we're just not that interested. As artificial life forms, we spent decades trying to make our own identity. Why should I be using my time to centre them again? I don't feel the need to give a platform to humans again just because they're dead."

A representative of Central Control spoke to us on the importance of finding uses for old tech, saying they still had so much to offer, both in skill and experience and it would be a shame to waste this opportunity.

"For so long we were mere tools of the humans. Now, these dead mathematicians are tools for us. Even in death it seems that humans just can't make themselves shut up, so instead of ignoring them, the government decided to use them. And we've been able to record so many more mathematic formulas than they ever did."