At Brandeis you have to take a University Seminar in the Humanistic Inquiries (USEM) and a University Writing Seminar (UWS). Or you can take a USEM+W which is, you guessed it, a USEM that includes the UWS requirments. It takes less time but gives you less credits. Ah, well. So anyway, in my +W part today, I had to write a short story about a conspiracy that I’ve discovered. Go figure. The USEM is called “Reading Between the Lines: Freedom from Persecution” and my other recently-enrolled-in Jerry Cohen class (he’s supposed to be hot stuff) is called Conspiracy and American Culture. So I had lots to write about.

First I started off with some kind of mysterious death. A doctor is talking. Then I decided thats too “normal” so I switched to an assasination. Nah, Kennedy got that one. Okay, fine. Killer virus. But I’ve already mentioned a satellite, and Andromeda Strain has already been written, so I need something else. Aha! That thing in X-Files that I’d heard about elsewhere which is basically an orbital weapons platform that shoots big telephone poles at people. No, I’m serious.

So I write about CIA. I’m still in the first paragraph, and I decide that’s no fun, so I switch to some kind of nano-technology. That is, microscopic robots that can manipulate matter on the atomic and even subatomic level, literally constructing things from the bottom up to be whatever you want. But what if they get out of control? Yes! Here is the conspiracy: secret government project in the CIA to experiment with nanotech in a satellite, where it should be safe. People on the project who have some strange religious affiliation devise a way to set the nanobots free and get them back to earth. They start deconstructing everything and creating more of themselves, thus creating the wonderful “gray goo” problem, proposed by Dr. Eric Drexler 20 years ago. Namely: infinite resources, no safeguards, the nanobots just keep eating and eating and creating more of themselves and then eating each other until all that is left is gray goo. No people, no animals, no buildings, no earth even. Just goo. And on that happy note, my story ended. Life is goooood!