Today I deleted my Facebook account. To celebrate, here is a short story.
Blogger Mary ate the last potato chip, threw the bag away, and once again gripped the handles of her blogoscope. She always did routine tasks diligently, and this time was no exception. In her skilled hands, the blogoscope scanned one IP after another at incredible rate. A few minutes later, something unusual caught her attention. After double-checking her observation, Mary opened a chat client and wrote,
“Come here, SuperSonic.”
SuperSonic15 was Mary’s only true friend. She had started blogging long before Mary was born and knew a lot about the internet. She ran to Mary’s room immediately after receiving the message.
“I was scanning Facebook City when I noticed this,” Mary turned the blogoscope to SuperSonic15.
“Let me see… Oh my god. Facebook is preparing its troops.”
“Yes, but why would they do it?”
“Elementary. They are planning an attack that would put an end to free blogging and confine all of us to writing on Facebook pages. We need to react fast. Wait here, Mary. I’ll be back soon.”
SuperSonic15 returned about half an hour later, just when Mary started to feel anxious because of her long absence.
“After a short discussion in a comment thread, the greatest bloggers unanimously decided that we should initiate a preventive strike. The best defense is a good offence, you know.”
“So… we will fight?”
“Yeah. Don’t worry, it will be fun,” said Supersonic15 and then quietly added, “That’s if we win, of course. If we lose, it will be no fun.”
“When will it all start?”
“Less than an hour later. Get ready.”
A little boy was sitting on the stoop of his house, which was located in a picturesque suburb of Facebook City. He knew that something unusual was about to happen, and he didn’t want to miss it. Guys in uniforms have been running around for a few hours, and the boy even saw a couple of large vehicles go along the street.
As he was trying to figure out what was going on, he noticed his mother standing near him. She said,
“Go inside, son. You will be able to see everything through the window and…”
She was interrupted by a loud rumble coming from the sky. A few moments later, something huge broke through a thick layer of tag clouds. It was a round object measuring about three kilometers in diameter and covered with pictures of cats and pages upon pages of text, which was too small to read at such distance.
“What is it, mom?” the boy asked.
“It is the Blogosphere.”
All bloggers, including Mary and SuperSonic15, grabbed game controllers and opened fire. Facebook troopers responded in a matter of seconds. The launched heavy torpedoes, each of which contained a DMCA takedown notice. The torpedoes produced sizable explosions, but Facebook admirals were not satisfied.
“The Blogosphere regenerates almost immediately. Every important post is reposted in so many places that we can’t hope to hit them all at once. Our weapons are futile.”
“Execute Plan B.”
The screen above Mary’s head showed Facebook City in all its glory. Suddenly she noticed a bunch of grey dots floating in the sky. She put away her game controller and reached for the blogoscope to look closer.
The dots turned out to be huge flying saucers moving towards the Blogosphere at great speed. A few red symbols were inscribed on the surface of each saucer. Mary started reading: /pol/, /b/, /s/…
“4chan is here.”
SuperSonic15 pressed a big red button on the wall, activating a loud alarm. Bloggers immediately started commenting on the situation.
“Why is 4chan supporting Facebook?”
“It doesn’t matter now.”
“There is a special saucer for each board!”
“Not all 4chan is here. Many members decided to stay at home.”
“Still, there are tons of people in these saucers!”
“Wow, a few of them are falling down.”
“Look at the board names. I am sure nobody in the falling saucers has the slightest idea on how to control them.”
“I think the remaining ones are not about to fall.”
“They are firing!!!”
Down in Facebook City, the little boy and his mother were still standing on the stoop and watching the fight. 4chan’s weapons were making large holes in the Blogosphere, and bloggers were unable to stop the attackers.
The boy noticed a new dot appear in the sky. It was red. Just when the boy was unsuccessfully trying to show his mother where the dot was, it activated an unusual weapon. Two lines or red light shot from the dot, and the boy heard a sound like “boing-boing”. The sound was heard exactly when the light was seen, since at the moment everyone was too busy to think about the difference in the speeds of light and sound.
The dot came closer, and the boy could now easily see that it was actually a balloon. It continued to shoot, taking down one saucer after another. To be fair, 4chan members could have destroyed the balloon if they cooperated and fired all their weapons at one spot at exactly the same time. Fortunately for the Blogosphere, such cooperation was beyond 4chan’s capabilities.
Eventually, only one saucer was left. Of course, it was /b/. The Boing Boing weapon could not penetrate its shields. The balloon circled it a few times and disappeared in the sky.
For a couple of minutes, the bloggers were thinking what to do. Then someone fired a meme gun. This weapon was generally considered ineffective, but it worked incredibly well in this situation. People in the saucer started repeating the memes and forgot to control the ship. The saucer began a rapid descent.
The only person not affected by the meme blast was Christopher Poole. He saw that there was no way to regain control of the ship, so he shouted in a computer terminal,
“Python! import startrek!” and, a second later, added, “Energize!”
The bloggers watched /b/ saucer crash and explode. Everybody sighed in relief. Then a notification came from an inner part of the Blogosphere,
“Hey, these guys are here! They teleported from the saucer at the last moment! What the…”
“How bad is it?” asked Mary.
“Very bad,” answered a blogger she had never seen before, “The thing is, our main engine has to burn 100 subscribers per second to function correctly. And now that /b/ folks are spamming the blogs, our readers are fleeing!”
He quietly added,
“I mean, they have been fleeing since we turned the engine on. But now it is happening even faster!”
“Not all is lost,” said SuperSonic15, “If I change the contents of startrek module to initiate self-destruction when any function is called, I think it will stop them. Mary, you go with me.”
A minute later, Mary and SuperSonic15 were sitting in a hovercar.
“Authenticate the driver by real name, Mary Null.”
“Error: Field SURNAME cannot be left blank.”
“Okay, then authenticate SuperSonic15.”
“Error: It doesn’t look like a real name.”
“Who said it was a real name?”
“Error: Voice recognition failed. Please try again.”
Half an hour later, they managed to persuade the hovercar to leave the Blogosphere.
A Facebook agent saw the hovercar and aimed his smart gun at it. He pressed “Fire”, but the screen froze. A second later, some text appeared on the screen.
“Installing Windows 10. 1% done. Please do not turn off your device until the installation is finished.”
The agent swore and helplessly watched the hovercar go by.
Mary and SuperSonic15 reached Paramount headquarters.
“Let me in,” SuperSonic15 said.
“Why should I?” someone replied from the other side of the door.
“If you don’t, I will write in my blog that your next movie is not worth watching.”
“Wait a minute,” said Mary, “Suppose you change the module. But everyone has a local copy. How will you persuade them to update it?”
“Ah, that’s your job. Write a blog post entitled ‘Huge Security Breach Discovered in startrek Version…’ whatever the current version number is.”
“And what should I write in this post?”
“Doesn’t matter. Nobody will click the link to full article anyway.”
By the time SuperSonic15 returned from Paramount headquarters, Mary had already received a message from the Blogosphere.
“4chan no longer poses a threat. However, so many subscribers left the Blogosphere that our main engine will run out of fuel in less than an hour. SuperSonic15 knows what to do.”
“Do you know what this guy is talking about, SuperSonic?”
“Yes. He wants us to activate our ultimate weapon. This weapon will only work if activated in the main tower of Facebook City. We need to get there as quickly as possible.”
“Okay, I will launch the hovercar.”
The hovercar did not share Mary’s enthusiasm.
“I am sorry, but you have reached the end of the 30-day free trial. To continue using the hovercar, enter your credit card number…”
“I have a better idea,” said someone standing nearby.
Mary and SuperSonic15 freaked out at first, but then smiled as they saw the speaker. He was dressed in a red cape and goggles, and a red balloon was floating above him – the exact balloon that took down most of 4chan’s saucers not long ago.
“Hi, friends! Get in my balloon!”
Soon, the balloon was floating above the main Facebook skyscraper, shaped like the letter “f”. Cory Doctorow said to Mary,
“Here, take my cape. Knitted from thousands of witty comment threads, it is guaranteed to save you in any situation.”
“Thanks, Cory!” shouted Mary, jumping out of the balloon.
Two bloggers entered the building without encountering any guards or even moderators. Mary thought it might be a trap; SuperSonic15 was even less optimistic. They opened one more door and got into a huge room filled with heavy machinery. A conveyor belt transported likes from one side of the room to another, where they fell into a big blue box. The purpose of other mechanisms was completely mysterious.
“Okay, launch it!” Mary said.
“Too late,” said someone standing behind the like box, “I knew you would come here.”
The man slowly walked towards the bloggers, who were terrified to realize that he was Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Two swords appeared in Zuckerberg’s hands. Bloggers pulled out their own swords. SuperSonic15 shouted,
“Remember what you learned at Blogging U?” and they got into the fight.
Zuckerberg was more skilled than each of the bloggers, but he had a hard time fighting with both of them at once. Eventually he managed to perform a certain closed-source maneuver. It happened too fast to see what exactly he did, but a second later SuperSonic15 was lying on the floor, unconscious.
Now that he had only one opponent remaining, he was sure he would win. He tried to stab Mary, but she turned around at the last moment, and Zuckerberg’s sword hit the cape. Nobody (except Cory Doctorow, of course) will ever understand what happened next. A sudden flash of red light blinded Mary.
When she opened her eyes, she found out that Zuckerberg was lying on the floor, and she was pointing a sword at him. SuperSonic15 had already regained consciousness and was preparing to launch the weapon. She pressed a button on a small disk, and a mechanical sound filled the room.
This sound mixed with the sound of explosions, as Facebook skyscrapers collapsed one by one.
“Stop it! I agree to negotiate!” Mark Zuckerberg cried.
“Why should I stop?” SuperSonic15 said angrily.
“I think you can disable the weapon,” Mary replied, “I doubt Facebook will ever try to attack us again.”
“Let’s hope you are right,” said SuperSonic15 and pressed another button on the disc.
All sounds disappeared.
After a month of negotiations between Mark Zuckerberg and the greatest bloggers of our time, a peace treaty was signed. It received 50 million likes on Facebook and was reposted all over the Blogosphere.
Speaking of the Blogosphere, it was repaired and now it has even more pictures of cats on its surface than before. Mary and SuperSonic15 are still living in it and writing blog posts. Mary’s latest post, entitled “The Benefits of Open Source, Part 37”, became hugely popular. Cory Doctorow took back his cape. Wanting to find adventures, he flew upwind in his balloon, which caused a lot of concern among physicists, who said that balloons can’t fly like this.