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Snippet

I just wrote this and found it humorous.

“Do you have an internet terminal?”  Ariela all but threw herself off the bar stool and looked over at the desks.

Wolff and von Barronov broke out laughing.  “Here,” von Barronov offered, proffering a small holotablet.  “Just set it on the bar, touch the button, and ask it what you want to know.”

“Seriously?  Cool.”  Ariela reached out and touched the graphical button, fascinated.

“Ready,” the tablet said.

Ariela jerked her arm back, then composed herself.  “Um . . . information on the, um, antithanatic drug, please.”

The tablet made no reply, but threw its big holographic screen up above the bar.  A hierarchical file system containing a number of labeled virtual folders appeared.

“You can touch them, or simply tell the tablet to open them,” explained Wolff.

“Even cooler.  Is this, like, Wikipedia?”

Wolff frowned.  “Never utter that curséd name to a serious researcher.”

“Oh!”  Ariela looked at him, unsure of herself.  “I mean, no academic took it seriously in 2015, either.”

Wolff shook his head.  “You don’t know about the WikiScandal of 2036.”

“Bad?”

“Trust him,” affirmed von Barronov.  “Threw an election.”

“Worse?”

“In favor of the Libertarians,” said Wolff.  “Who then proceeded to try to abrogate the Constitution in the name of rational anarchy.  ‘Libertarian’ is another term you’ll want to avoid using, if you stick around here long enough.”

“What happened?”

“Every known, active Libertarian politician was hunted down and killed.  Only way to be sure.  And Wikipedia went offline.  To this day there are no serious crowd-sourced encyclopedias or dictionaries anywhere on the hypernet.  Everything like that is commercial, requires a subscription, and is rigorously vetted for scholarship.”

“Wow, you guys in the future are harsh.”