“So, tell me about the problem. Shouldn’t issues of this sort be a thing of the past now that humankind has evolved into beings of pure energy?”

“Well, 0100000101101100,” said 0100010101100100, “as I’m sure you’re aware thanks to the fact that our species now shares a quasi-hive-mind in which all that is knowable is instantly embraced and shared, 65536 is the highest integer that a can be stored as a 16-bit number. In the Dark Ages of Flesh, there was a similar problem when bit conservation in the early and expensive days of computing meant that years were stored as two numbers, which caused a problem when the year 2000, or the year Singularity -34478 in our current dating system, rolled around.”

“But surely there must be virtually unlimited space for holding date information in current systems,” said 0100000101101100, raw energy crackling across its spherical surface in surprise.

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” laughed 0100010101100100. “But believe it or not, all existing computer systems still rely on the Intel x86 architecture at their base level, since there has never been a meaningful need to change.”

“Are you telling me, and saying that I actually already know, that our entire enlightened utopia of energy is actually based on a 65,000-year-old physical microchip from 1978 (Singularity -34500)?” 0100000101101100 cried.

0100010101100100 wobbled in an archaic gesture of agreement. “Yes.”

“So what happens on New Year’s Day 65536 (Singularity 29052)?” asked 0100000101101100.

“Our utopia, way of life, and consciousnesses die a screaming death,” said 0100010101100100.

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