The Document No One Knows About

This is the document no one knows about. If anyone knew about it, it would be the document someone knows about. But no one does. Hence its name. You may think you are reading it, and that you are someone, but please refer back to the title: The Document No One Knows About. No one. Including you. Therefore, either you are, in fact, not reading this document, or you don’t exist. There are no other options, because this is the document no one knows about. Not even the person who wrote it knows about it, if indeed someone wrote it at all, which is a matter of some question. It’s possible someone wrote it, then died. Which is perfectly acceptable, as being the document no one knows about does not logically preclude being the document someone knew about at some point or another, but now that person is dead. Alternately, the person could be alive but in a coma, or a victim of lacunar amnesia. Or simply very forgetful and busy. Or — and this is a very real though unlikely possibility — the document spontaneously arose, winking into existence on the desk of a minor functionary of a small, middle European government in a pile of unimportant and previously read documents, whereupon it was given to a filing clerk who had no more enthusiasm for his job than Bartleby the Scrivener, and who filed the document without so much as a cursory glance, secure in knowing that, bureaucracy being what it is — especially in the government of a middle European country — there would never be a need for the document ever to be examined again, and even if there were, no one would be able to trace its absence or mis-filing to him. And so into a file cabinet it went, to rest with other documents, which may equally have spontaneously arose, or perhaps were typed by people now dead, thus also becoming documents no one knows about. Eventually the middle European government would fall, as they so frequently do, and the need or interest in this document, already at a rock-bottom low, would collapse through the metaphorical bedrock into the even more metaphorical mantle of the world, so devoid of interest to humanity that it actually exuded a negative sort of energy — not only the document no one knows about, but also the document no one wants to know about. However, this is all mere supposition; as no one knows about the document, certainly no one can test its capacity to make potential readers desire not to read it. It is Schroedinger’s black box, wrapped in a puzzle, swaddled in an enigma, covered with a thick, muffling quilt and thrown down a well that was subsequently filled up and buried under the foundation of a whirly amusement park ride. Perhaps you are on that very ride, idly wondering what lies beneath, as G-forces threaten to extract the contents of your intestines through your mouth. Really, who knows.

The Mac’s Back


The Mac is back, after a certain amount of time of inactivity, much of it brought on by my own sloth in getting it off to the repair shop. There are three places to get your Mac repaired in the Dayton area, and all three of them are on the other side of Dayton from me. I finally roused myself to drop the thing off over the weekend; on Monday I got a phone call from the service department telling me that my power supply and motherboard had been fried, and that this was actually a known issue — apparently iMac G5s are frying in their own juices all across this great land of ours, so many, in fact, that the service shop expect it might be a four week wait for parts. Then they called back today, said the parts were in and been installed, and everything was working great and i could come and pick it up.

Part of me wonders if the "it’ll take a month" thing was just a ruse to appear to be providing excellent service. On the other hand, they did fix my computer in three days, which does count as excellent service, particularly as they did have to order a new power supply and motherboard from Apple. So no matter how you slice it, a fine job by the technicians. Assuming nothing else goes wrong. The best news: it’s all under the warranty, so it didn’t cost me anything. And there was much rejoicing.

The bad news for Mac lovers is that I didn’t really miss it all that much while it was gone. The thing I missed most about it was the mail client, which is both way smarter than any PC mail client in terms of spotting spam, but which also (naturally enough) had all my e-mail in it. Since I use my e-mail as my back-up brain (which is to say it’s where I store phone number addresses, etc, all easily accessible through Spotlight), not having all that at my fingertips was a bit aggravating. Otherwise: eh. I use the Mac primarily for writing books and for e-mail, and I wasn’t writing a book at any point when it was down. All the other major functions transferred easily back to my PC without a hiccup (and of course some functions never left: I do all my image manipulation on the PC because that’s where my Photoshop is).

This would bother me more if I wasn’t already clear on the fact that my Mac is something of an affectation, something I got in the "want" category rather than the "need" category. I will say that it’s definitely an argument for having more than one computer in the house (and for having most non-system files on a networked archive drive). So all things considered I was and am pretty mellow about the whole "iMac iMploding" incident. Although now that it’s back I guess I should start another book or something. You know, to keep it busy.