Today, Edge 250 publishes a new short story by science historian George Dyson. A born storyteller (watch his TEDTalks on Project Orion and the earliest digital computers), he uses the short story as a persuasive tool — or so Stewart Brand suggests in his foreword:
How does one come to a new understanding? The standard essay or paper makes a discursive argument, decorated with analogies, to persuade the reader to arrive at the new insight.
The same thing can be accomplished — perhaps more agreeably, perhaps more persuasively — with a piece of fiction that shows what would drive a character to come to the new understanding.
It gives nothing away to share this eye-opening line from the story:
Are we searching Google, or is Google searching us?