Here was a world of simplicity and certainty... a world based on the one and zero of life and death. Minimal, beautiful. The patterns of lives and deaths.... weightless, invisible chains of electronic presence or absence. If patterns of ones and zeros were ``like'' patterns of human lives and deaths, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long string of ones and zeros, then what kind of creature would be represented by a long string of lives and deaths? It would have to be up one level at least --- an angel, a minor god, something in a UFO.
--- Thomas Pynchon, Vineland .