964 words • 4~6 min read

How to fight invasive software: the cure to the cyborg crisis.

On January 1, 2016, the Southern Fried Science central server began uploading blog posts apparently circa 2041. Due to a related corruption of the contemporary database, we are, at this time, unable to remove these Field Notes from the Future or prevent the uploading of additional posts. Please enjoy this glimpse into the ocean future while we attempt to rectify the situation.


It came from the deep.

The heart of Zero Cloner is a snippet of cunningly concealed genetic code isolated from shrimp on the Mid-Cayman Spreading Center, retro-edited to create an easy to edit gene region to which other Cloner derivatives can latch.  Zero Cloner pave the way for Omega Cloner. Omega Cloner spread across the world, locking augmented humans out of society. The Standard Deviants launched a series of attacks early Monday morning, destroying essential digital architecture needed to maintain a fully integrated world.

Entire nations are grinding to a halt. We needed a cure, and we needed it fast.

It also came from the deep. 

At Clipperton 4, in a nodule field near the Tehuantepec Ridge, while conducting an environmental impact study for biomining start-up Arronax Environmental, we isolated a novel genetic regulator from a sub-population of Lepetodrilus johnsonii unique to this particular manganese nodule field. If paired with a hybrid digital/DNA computer, this regulator could prevent the Zero Cloner base from embedding itself into cybernetic structures.

It’s CRISPR on steroids, simultaneously more sophisticated than even our most advanced protocols yet dependent on DNA Synthesizers and DNA Analyzers that no longer exist. Developing and implementing a vaccine based off of this novel regulator will require a monumental, multi-collaborative effort by hundreds of research institutions. The patch, itself, must be molecular, a snippet of genetic code that will isolate the Zero Cloner locus and prevent it from rewriting the digital rootkit.

Even if successful, this vaccine will do nothing for the millions of infected augments or the status quo carriers already exposed.

The cure is code, both computer and genetic. One can’t exist without the other, but we can spread one code into systems which will allow us to manufacture the other. If any of those systems still exist.

We have to try something radical. So radical that we have an obligation to be entirely transparent about the process and the potential consequences.

Data displacement isn’t the most reliable technology, but it has allowed us near instantaneous communication between colonies, spacecraft, and the Earth. A few rogue physicist have, in the past, proposed that the same technology could be used to push information packets backwards in time. The only problem with such a device, it that it would only work around time points where the device already exists.

This is not entirely hypothetical. There are rumors about a digital displacement engine, developed experimentally by one of the old tech companies that was bought out during the great consolidation, which can, using just an absurd amount of energy, force data backwards into the past, and, most importantly, the first tests happened in 2001, causing rolling blackout across Silicon Valley.

If the digital displacement engine exists, if it continues to function, and if it was running at the right moment, then we know what we need to do. In order to stop Omega Cloner, we need to inoculate the world before the virus even exists. For that to work, we need to go back to the beginning, the moment when these core technologies were just starting to emerge: The dawn of CRISPR, the birth of the DNA computer, the first serious, functional cybernetic implants.

And, because we need someone in the past we can trust to safeguard the future, we need to go back to the emergence of deep-sea mining and bioprospecting on the deep sea floor.

In writing this, it has all become clear. One strange month in 2016 is the key to this all.


On January 1, 2016, the Southern Fried Science central server began uploading blog posts apparently circa 2041. Due to a related corruption of the contemporary database, we are, at this time, unable to remove these Field Notes from the Future or prevent the uploading of additional posts. Please enjoy this glimpse into the ocean future while we attempt to rectify the situation.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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