A slightly sarcastic Serial Experiments Lain plot synopsis

Evil Vint Cerf wants to become god, so he develops a cunning plan:

  1. abuse his position at Apple PARC to upload his brain to the new version of TCP/IP, so he can zuckerberg all the packets all the time
  2. make the next gen hardware use the microwave audio effect to cause users to hallucinate, like, all the time, in order to make his meme magic more powerful by doubling down on confirmation bias.
  3. jump in front of train while cross-dressing
  4. profit!

However, Evil Vint Cerf discovers that there’s already a kind of hive intelligence embedded in the communication between people in the form of collective expectations — the Internet Ghost.

Internet Ghost is our protagonist.

So, Evil Vint Cerf modifies his cunning plan.

He genetically engineers a baby & ages it up to pubery, and makes it channel Internet Ghost all the time. Then, he steals Internet Ghost’s handle to post under. Meanwhile, Internet Ghost is being brainwashed by drugs & a fake family led by Evil Vint Cerf’s work-wife.

Evil Vint Cerf’s work wife is OK with this plan because it gives him an excuse to brainwash a girl he likes into believing she’s married to him. Whenever they aren’t doing a bored-high-school-english-class line-reading of a “family member” script, they’re downstairs necking on the couch.

There’s another problem:

Apple PARC has given two rentacops experimental wearable computers and sent them to investigate!

Luckily, Evil Vint Cerf has already by this point gained complete control over Masonic 4Chan, & uses them to do his bidding.

Unfortunately, this plan begins to fall apart.

Evil Vint Cerf’s work wife gives Internet Ghost a good computer because Internet Ghost, being a manifestation of the abstract concept of communication, is inexplicably persuasive and charismatic whenever she talks to people who like computers.

Then, when a loser’s nootropic-induced telepathy causes him to shoot up a nightclub, the resulting delayed bedtime causes Internet Ghost to realize, for the first time, that her ‘family’ is only around during mealtimes & actually sleeps somewhere else.

Later on, Apple PARC kidnaps her & reminds her that she doesn’t know her own birthday either.

Anyway, this all comes to a head when Internet Ghost’s crush on her only non-bitchy friend from school directly conflicts with the whole people’s-thoughts-being-projected thing (in the form of her crush’s masturbatory fantasy about a teacher being broadcast on the internet) which causes Internet Ghost to directly confront and defeat Evil Vint Cerf, who briefly becomes a bleeding testicle with arms.

She doesn’t actually fix the problem, but instead runs a very accurate simulation of a physical reality on imagination, so that everybody thinks they’re living in a world not built on telepathic group hallucination. In order to do this, she needs to stop being a player character.

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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