Author: Nicholas Schroeder

The supercomputer could predict everything you were going to do. But Kyle was skeptical. “Let me see that video again!” He studied it carefully. “None of that’s going to happen.”

“Could you be more specific?” the scientist asked.

“Well, I’m supposed to barge out, leave, make a scene. Nope! Not going to happen.”

“How much of the video did you watch?”

Kyle smirked, “Two hours, that’s all I got to last; just two hours.”

The scientist made a long note. “What else?”

“I’m going to get a call from my girlfriend. But I’m not going to answer. My phone it’s on silent.”

“That’s interesting. Why are you so determined to prove the program wrong?”

“Because I’m free dammit. No machine is going to determine my fate,” Kyle said.

The scientist smiled. “Did this conversation happen in the video?”

“Well yes, but that’s not the point. I just have to prove it wrong in general.”

“How are you supposed to do that?”

Kyle knocked the notepad out of the scientist’s hands. “That didn’t happen in the video!”

The scientist was flustered. “That’s extremely inappropriate.” He regained his composure. “Are you sure that didn’t happen in the video?”

“Yep. Positive.”

“Let’s look at the video again.” They walked over to the computer. The scientist played the video, pausing twenty minutes in. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Told you!”

“Well, that’s just a glitch; the program works.” The scientist retrieved his notepad from the floor. “What happens next?”

Kyle looked intently at the scientist. “I’m not telling you. You’ve got reason to make these predictions become true.”

“Well, I could just watch the video.”

“Come on man,” Kyle said, “let me make my point.”

The scientist made a short note. “I suppose so. Would be interesting if you’re right. You know the other test subjects were predicted with perfect accuracy.”

“Well, I’m not them,” Kyle said. “I’m free.”

Kyle’s phone vibrated in his pocket.

“Aren’t you going to answer that,” the scientist said.

“Nope.”

“What if it’s an emergency?”

Kyle took a seat. “Not going to happen.”

The scientist looked uneasy. “Answer your phone.”

“Nope.”

The scientist went to check the video.

“I thought you weren’t going to check?”

“I have to.”

“Yeah, I’m supposed to throw my chair at this point,” Kyle said.

“Yes!”

Kyle picked up the chair and threw it. “Now maybe I was determined to be not determined to throw the chair. Either way I did what I want!”

“So you spited the program by deciding not to throw the chair, then spited yourself by throwing it?”

“That’s right baby!”

The scientist scratched his head. “Now you’re supposed to come check the video with me.”

“No, I think I’ll just sit here a while.”

The scientist studied the video carefully.

“No, I think I’ll get up! No, I think I’ll sit down! No, I’ll do a handstand!” Kyle performed a handstand crashing to the floor.

“What the hell is going on!” the scientist yelped.

Kyle punched himself in the face. “This is freedom.”

“Please stop!”

“Now, I’m going to meditate until time is up,” Kyle said.

The scientist checked the video over and over again. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

After the two hours were up Kyle gracefully got up and walked out. “I’m free to choose.”

***

The scientist rushed into the control room. “I don’t think the program works!”

The CSO laughed. “No, everything happened exactly as predicted. The computer just showed him the wrong video. It’s the Compatibilist Patch.”

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