The Burning Bush and Other Divine Accomodations

An unknown AI, pretending to be Wintermute, comes to Case in the form of Deane and the Finn, for, as he explains to his reluctant, suspicious listener,

"This way's better for you, man." He took, hi s Partagas from a coat pocket and lit one. The smell of Cuban tobacco filled the shop. "You want I should come to you in the matrix like a burning bush? You aren't missing anything. back there. An hour here'll only take you a couple of seconds."

The Artificial Intelligence, in other words, compares himself to God appearing to Moses in the form of the burning bush -- an image that Christian interpreters took to be type (or divinely intended prefiguration) of not only the annunciation t o Mary but also a symbol of all human encounters with the divine. In Christian tradition such an appearance is, as Wintermute explains, an accomodation to human nature and human limitations. [N169]

"Thrones and dominions," the Finn said obscurely. "Yeah, there's things out there. Ghosts, voices. Why not? Oceans had mermaids, all that shit, and we had a sea of silicon, see? Sure, it's just a tailored hallucination we all agreed to have cyberspace, but anybody who jacks in knows, fucking knows, it's a whole universe. And every year it gets a little more crowded, sounds like . . ."

"For us," Lucas said, "the world has always worked that way." [CZ 119]

the Finn said, the Wig had become convinced that God lived in cyberspace, or perha ps that cyberspace was Cod, or some new manifestation of same. The Wig's ventures into theology tended to be marked by major paradigm shifts, true leaps of faith. The Finn had some idea of what the Wig was about in those days; shortly after his conversion to his new and singular faith, Wigan Ludgate had returned to the Sprawl and embarked on an epic if somewhat random voyage of cybernetic discovery. [CZ 121]

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