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If they don't recognize your humanity, you fail

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Codes were important, Alan knew. In fact, codes were everything.

Winning a war. Living through love. Both require an understanding of codes.

They say you are mentally ill if you love a man. But if you speak in codes, you can love someone as much as you want, right under their noses.

The trouble is when you slip up. Coding error.

But then, whenever human beings establish a connection, they do it in code.

Machines are more truthful than humans, Alan thinks. They never deny that meaning and truth are trivial concerns; only the code is important.

But then again, Alan knew someone once who made it easy to know the code. The words came easy, the laughs came easy, the feelings came easy too. But easy doesn't last.

Alan dreams, though, sometimes, of the man who might clap his hands in delight at one of Alan's better ideas, or that he might jokingly groan at the occasional worse one. That he might weep with Alan at how they shunned him and drugged him, instead of Alan weeping alone.

Some day, Alan knows, machines will be able to clap and laugh, groan and weep. Identical, perhaps, to how a human would. Alan knows it will long remain unclear, though, whether a machine will be able to know love or loss.

Alan was always good at seeing the future. But sometimes, the future is too small a recompense for the past.