JP Fosterson


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Capstone Proposal — Suckers’ Roulette Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of Suckers’ Roulette, “Capstone Proposal” is up on Medium. Here’s an excerpt:

At first, Tommy’s theory about Daniel Young and DY3x had sounded crazy. Young could not be 140 years old. Even with the most modern rejuvenation techniques, nobody had lived past 122. But Sarah’s curiosity got the best of her. She opened the site, DY3x.net, half expecting to find a fetish porn site (for which she’d have to congratulate Tommy on a troll well done). Instead she found what he’d described: a blog with ten years of posts on U.S. law, physics, software engineering and cryptography.

Her curiosity piqued, Sarah dug in. She mirrored the site and began to take it apart. First, she separated the posts — already neatly tagged — into categories. Then she stripped away the formatting, and loaded the raw text into dataframes for analysis.

The month that followed was a frenzy of work unlike anything since her years after college. Back then, young and full of zest, she’d thrown herself into a start-up whose founders, starry-eyed but disorganized, had sold her on their vision of a new kind of educational AI that would help teachers ‘debug’ students ‘buggy’ thinking. After nineteen months of work, they rewarded her with ten thousand worthless shares of stock, then folded the company and pivoted to build a staff-management AI for fast food restaurants. It had been a blast while it lasted.

The past month had felt like that. Tommy was at Stanford. Their boy was on tour in Asia. Sarah had the house to herself. She fell into a rhythm of working through the night, collapsing into her bed near dawn, awakening without an alarm six hours later, and starting again with the next steps already in her mind.

Now she was finished.

[link — chapter]
[link — TOC]

2020-01-10