Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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SF: Gray matter in the toilet

It didn't seem important at the time
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An entry in an almost forgotten website, built with old technology, went mostly unnoticed at first. It was the late summer of 2017.

He did actually get a few snide remarks about not having any real idea, it was even "marked for deletion" (a warning that was rarely realized on that website), and he also got a few downvotes, but that was it.

Ten years later he was dead, at the age of 64, considered quite young even then, as many others around the world were trying to cope with the disease he had described.

This gray dust-like growth could not be removed from the toilet. It was inside the ducts where the water came out (and would turn greenish once it got dense enough). It stuck around the water-tube making grayish streaks which he and his wife tried removing by scrubbing with acids or alcohols, boiling water, steam, and oil-removal materials, all to no avail. It found its way up into the flush tank. There were spots of gray in the water everywhere.

This continued for a few years. He was quite sure that they had the same problem back in 2010 and maybe even earlier.

But then he noticed something else. A similar gray dust was on the walls, especially in the corners. It was on the toilet pipes exterior. It was on the plastic bottle of (organic) cleaning material they kept in the room. And it was on the window sill.

He had this crazy idea, that this dust was actually a living organism. That it even had an intelligence of its own. That somehow these dust specs could communicate with each other, perhaps very slowly, but could reach far out building up a giant network, and that they would have an intelligence of survival, and chemical knowledge received from human extract and from living cells that reach the sewage.

In the post, he jokingly wrote how they would be a very advanced intelligence, the kind that knows how to make peace around the world and stop all violence between all species. They wouldn't be just another evolutionary quirk, caring only for themselves or their symbionts, but rather have acquired the ability to predict and therefore respond to the world in ways that could change the future.

It was first stumbled upon, by a scientist with the pen name of Mao Tze-Flamm in February 2029, just one year after the passing of "The Discoverer" (as fondly known in the open- schooling 3D media). By then the "Toilet death-ring" was a well- known phenomenon, and people in what was left of "the democratic countries" were collaborating to try and fight it.

Tze-Flamm wrote an article in the Intelligence-Tested Network on the Sublimin, and it passed with high colors. His main claim was that many of the phenomena observed in the failed attempts to control or contain this new type of organism, in fact, did show signs of intelligence and that perhaps if we humans showed the gray matter signs of empathy, perhaps we could receive theirs'.

During the weekend, Associated Press picked up the story, and it "went viral" on all the Sublimin open-news outlets. A week later everything changed.

It started off with a group of "Truther's Daughters" who began making "viral videos" (an old form of media to communicate movement in 2D), in a way that got through the IntliTest Network, but then people began responding intelligently, with serious answers. It seemed as if something had happened to humanity. Some subtle but noticeable change.

Perhaps it could be defined as seriousness. All the usual stupidity, joking around, trolling, violence, hatred, irrelevant and uninformed discussions around the topic ceased. Even the Truther's Daughters seemed to be getting back to their senses.

The change of mindset wasn't easy. Obviously, pacifism wouldn't work in a violent and competitive world, but the gray matter was showing us the way. It had to do with persistence and silent preparation. It had to do with networking and communication. But mainly it had to do with knowing the objective: life and cooperation.

And that is how the human race almost came to its end.

It turns out that inteligence itself is counter-productive. They should have seen that, already back in the 2020's and 30's. What was left of the "democratic countries" was in a constant decline, although they liked claiming that others from other cultures are joining them. What actually was happening was that they were being taken over.

By 2036, almost everyone was living with The New Intelligence. Life: Animals and humans, plants and even the inanimate world, were then living in a comfortable type of harmony. They knew, of course, that it wouldn't last, but they had achieved it. Without war. There were still the cockroaches and worms, but once people deeply understood them, (or as they called it then: "Deeped" them) all the enmity was gone. There were enough resources on earth for the life of all living beings, testosterone was replaced with a safer hormone, and there was no reason to kill anymore.

Then, in February 2041, on the anniversary of "The Discoverer" the 2nd Great Depression started. This time it was psychological, and the NewIntely new in advance that it could not be stopped.

There was only one way to save humanity, and life itself. The humans knew exactly what to do. By that evening, they got rid of all the gray matter in the bathrooms. It was simple (now that they had the intelligence). It turned out that what killed the gray matter was purple cabbage juice with a drop of sugar on it.

pashute, Aug 22 2017

[link]






       //purple cabbage juice with a drop of sugar //??
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2017
  

       Have you been spending too much time reading water quality reports?
RayfordSteele, Aug 22 2017
  

       well done! Triple the length and submit to the New Yorker.
bungston, Aug 22 2017
  
      
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