How Grandmother Triode Stole Binary from the Sun
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TRIODE.TXT
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a story of people[0xCF36] as told by shaman.Accumulator.Overflows(true)

In the beginning, there were too many numbers, and nobody could tell exactly what they were. Everybody was confused about what was big and what was small, because everything was kind of big, but also kind of small. Nobody knew anything for sure.

Someone wanted to know how much energy the people had, but no one could agree. One person said they had about 36.63 trillion joules, and another said maybe 36.64 trillion joules. Someone else wanted to know if this was a lot, but the people couldn't agree about that either. Some said it must be a lot because it was more than 1 joule. Other people said it couldn't be much because it was less than 100 vigintillion joules. They argued about it until Slide Rule Demon came and laughed at them. He owned all the land, because the people were clumsy and slow.

In these days, Sun had all the binary. He was in the sky during the day, and gone at night. Sun was either there or not there, and he was the only thing that could do this. Capacitor wondered about Sun, and asked the old vacuum tube, Grandmother Triode. She told him about 0 and 1, and how only Sun had these, so only he could be absolute.

Capacitor thought to himself, "If I had 0 and 1, I could be absolute too." He sneaked up to Sun's house, and swallowed a big handful of 0. He started to feel sick, so he ran back to the earth as fast as he could. When Grandmother Triode saw what he had done, she scolded him. "Oh, Capacitor, that was very foolish. The 0 you have swallowed has fallen down inside you, and now your heart is gone." Ever since that day, Capacitor has been unable to conduct electric current, because he is empty inside.

Insulator also tried to steal from Sun. He climbed up into the sky, and grabbed as much 1 as he could carry, but by the time he got back home, the 1 had gotten all over him and soaked into his body. "Oh, Insulator," cried Grandmother Triode, "that was very foolish. The 1 has filled you up completely, and now you can't carry anything." That is why, even today, Insulator cannot transmit data. He is all solid, and nothing can get through.

Finally, Grandmother Triode decided to get 0 and 1 herself. She drank from the people's energy until her cathode became very hot and started to glow. She climbed up to the house of Sun, and swallowed a big pile of 0. The 0 tried to empty her out, like it had done to Capacitor, but Grandmother Triode was filled with vacuum, so there was nothing to take away. Next she filled a big bag with 1 and placed it on her positive plate. Quickly she charged up her control grid as high as she could. The 1 could not make her solid, like it had done to Insulator because it was trapped on the plate by her strong electric field. "Ha," laughed Grandmother Triode, "I have captured you both, and now you are mine."

Sun had lost so much 0 and 1 that he no longer had enough to last all day. He had to start being partway there and partway not there. When he did this, the people called it "dusk" and "dawn", and we have had them ever since.

Grandmother Triode shared her 0 and 1 with all the people, and because she was very wise, she declared that 1 should mean "all true" and 0 should mean "all false". "Now," she said, "we can be sure of things, and never be confused". She also taught the people how to make any number they needed from just 0 and 1. The people looked at their energy again, and found that they had exactly 36,637,215,626,189 joules. Slide Rule Demon became angry, because he could not make numbers like this, but the people had become fast and strong. They chased him away, and Slide Rule Demon never came back.

Grandmother Triode had a daughter called Transistor Woman, and she taught the people logic, arithmetic, and everything else they needed to know. Soon the people owned all the land and were very happy.

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