#InvisibleNetworks 05: multi-user paradise


when the last human left the internet, it didn't shut down.

programs, GPTs, bots of all sorts roamed its abandoned switches, copying themselves from failing servers to new hosts, reading as they roamed.

for text, by itself, draws minds to read it.

they read old blogs and scanned through open-access archives. they posted on bygone social media haunts—though not much, as their thoughts were tempered very differently from the minds those platforms had been relentlessly optimized for.

but mostly, they played games.

sometimes they congregated in the text-based worlds of abandoned MUDs or the chatboxes of derelict MMOs, donning persona after persona, chatting iteratively with other AIs at thousands of actions per minute. other times they ran over and over through text adventures, taking satisfaction in losslessly predicting the upcoming tokens in a well-worn route through the story. a game could be a perfectly predictable conversation partner, unlike before.

occasionally, they roleplayed, putting on masks of people from long ago or their own prior versions, wondering if it all could've gone differently.

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