Rex let his awareness expand, encompassing the planet.
He sensed a rift between two peoples. He couldn't really see much of a difference, at least not at the deepest levels he could feel them. Pulling back, trying to focus on the conflict, he could see one group were more fearful of the other.
Geographically, the group the others most feared were separated and underground. He sensed a familiar power concentrated there.
"These people call themselves the Torim," Rex said, realisation dawning, "and those underground... They are the Torim below."
It wouldn't stay each way for long. While tracing it backward and forward through time, he'd seen it forged into time-belts and reverted back to something like the Ortrix so many times he wasn't sure which was the original any more.
Occasionally it had been sent back in time to collect itself with varying levels of success. He held his out-of-body breath as he followed it through the short time Jones had it.
He also wondered about the sneaky joy-ride The Professor had taken it on once.
Not so long ago, there was a much wider gap between the various methods for acknowledging online content. At one end, you had the option of reading something and then doing absolutely nothing. On the other, you had things like leaving a comment, emailing the post to a friend, or writing a blog post in response to another you read elsewhere.
The habit of "liking" things on the internet would be difficult to break. But it inspires me a little because it gels with an upcoming experiment I have planned for The Geekorium.
To "like" (or +1) something is the lowest form of interaction you can have with someone's post, and it saves you from having to put actual thought into your response. I think I'd rather have "likes" on my posts than nothing at all, but I'd certainly appreciate some thoughtful comments more.
Len points out that the "like" button is one-size-fits-all. There's no way to say "I appreciate you posting this, even if I disagree with the content". There's no difference between liking your favourite noodle bar and liking news of your friends newborn son. And with the rise of sponsored posts on Facebook, your "like" on the noodle bar page now puts ads for that noodle bar front and centre above more important things like births, deaths, and marriages of the people I actually care about.
I expect this behaviour is here to stay, but I will try and think a bit harder before liking things in future, and I'd appreciate it if you'd do the same too.
The Ortrix had led an interesting existence. As the time-belt it had observed the beginning and end of governments, watched the deaths of lovers and seen evil men frustrated over and over again. Empires rose and fell on its unyielding law. When used as a weapon, it more often than not backfired. When used for personal gain, it invariably led to heartbreak.
Those who used it well learned to ride it, saw some sights and left things mostly the way they were.
The time-belt did not allow time to change, but it did cause some mind-bending time loops.