Two Kinds of Boxes

This entry is part 14 of 22 in the series Alternate Histories


A black box originally meant a coffin. A light box was a bed for waking up in or a garden full of unmarked snow. The black box would be opened & its contents subjected to ritual examination — a kind of haruspicy to divine the past. We would stand around making small talk in the presence of the dead & see what made their eyelids twitch. The light box couldn’t be opened because on closer inspection, it turned out to include everything. To examine its contents, you started with yourself.

Thanks to John Miedema and Rachel Rawlins for the inspiration.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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