The Wish Game we played as children always started with such promise. Someone would introduce the simple question and our conversation would drift happily toward the ether. "What would you wish for if you could have only one wish?" Some wise guy would always wish for a million more wishes or unlimited magical powers but such "unrealistic" options were summarily excluded.

The game often degenerated to a chorus of wishes for money. Someone would say a million dollars, the next a billion, then a trillion. When we reached the frontiers of our vocabulary we wished for a "gazillion" or a "bazillion" or simply "infinity dollars." For most of us the grandest wish in the game became our greatest goal in life, sadly, the acquisition of money.

These money wishes left me unsatisfied so I would continue the game on my own, trying to think of the best possible wish. If I couldn't have magical powers or a million more wishes I wanted to have the truth book. The book would have ever-changing pages that would provide an answer to any question I could ask. If a grown-up was bullshitting I'd be the first to know and when someone claimed to speak with the authority of God they'd get busted quick.

Some wishes do come true because I am communicating to you now using just such a device. A computer connected to the Internet knows everything that is knowable and my laptop computer looks a lot like a book with ever-changing pages. A naysayer would argue that the Internet is bottom heavy with misinformation and detritus. I would counter that even bad data is useful in any quest for truth and those distortions and falsehoods provide the shadows that allow the truth to stand out in the light.

I hope my friends got their gazillions.


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