TIMESCANNER wants you to help mutate language.

The music for this episode is by Psychic Mold, Dr Quandary, Aliceffekt and Matthew Schoendorff. Find more of their music at:

Psychic Mold

Dr Quandary


Matthew Schoendorff

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CRYSTAL: Incoming transmission from the TIMESCANNER.

Temporal static.


The hum of the Time Crystal buzzes in the background.

TIMESCANNER: Roman Mars, host of the 21st century radio program 99% Invisible once tweeted this: "If you have 100,000 listeners and you edit out one useless minute you are saving 100,000 wasted minutes in the world. You’re practically a hero." Not to toot my own horn, but oftentimes I'll compact a full transmission of The Infinite Now into a single minute. Other times, I'll refrain from making an episode  altogether. Superhero. > But in all seriousness, Time Agents, let's hope the time bound internet broadcasters follow Mr Mars' advice. Because lifespans and attention spans are both quite limited in the 21st century and if you're stationed there, just wading through their slooooow unoptimized methods of communication can be taxing. Each hello or goodbye like watching a lone and cross a sidewalk without a scent to follow. God bless Mr Mars for setting change in motion and getting these ants to move their asses.

But if you are stationed in the 21st century, don’t judge the locals too harshly. They are so young. Written language itself is only 5000 years old for most of them. They are just beginning to grasp the immense power of words. Words are reality atoms. And just like atoms, when used to their full potential, each word has the power within it to knock down mountains. Locals such as this Roman Mars are just beginning to experiment with language efficiency. how to convey ideas with greater and greater complexity with fewer and fewer words. They’re feeling remorse for trading in novels for tweets. When the value of either lies in its world changing power, not in its length. The best authors of their next century will be concept refineries. pumping out high octane idea concentrate with no impurities. 21st century poets will be nanotech linguists capable of compressing Anna Karenina into a limerick. Each phrase a Tiny machine working on each others minds to alter their shared reality from the inside out.

You can help speed up the evolution of their language, Time Agents. Whisper a nano-linguistic mechanism into their ears. A phrase never uttered before. (Coal mine heckler) A sequence of words that will germinate within them like a seed and expand into a Maple Tree. (Cherubic Skeleton) Once your phrase has grown within them they will encode the same phrase into their morning greetings,(non-chemical acid sneakers) their thank yous, (stork terpentine) their daily pleasantries. (Hemlock vapor cartographer) Little turns of phrase flying like helicopter seeds from their lips to grow within the fertile minds of their neighbors.

List strange phrases in your spare time. combinations never uttered before. whisper them to passersby. Leave notes on car windows.(kismet milk, homeliest ricochet line dance, fireman epidemic, choleric isthmus, kite thermos, lithe smoke locker) at first the phrases will appear nonsensical. But they will churn within the listeners' heads and mutate language where it lives. Each unheard phrase replacing a textbook worth of information like crispr editing the communication genome.

In time the locals will begin to compress their language into tighter and tighter data packages. They’ll order their coffee in 7 words instead of 12, They’ll seduce each other over a single syllable and the raising of an eyebrow instead of half a dozen cocktails. This is important work.

We need single phoneme communiques that transmit entire Peace accords so that they can be exchanged quicker than nuclear codes can be typed.

Language is a technology invented to resolve conflict. Pre-language Species are only capable of resolving conflicts with force. Language can supplant violence with cooperation. Cooperation is more efficient than conflict, but people are quicker to turn to conflict.

We must help the local 21st centurions to develop words of peace that are faster than the bullets of war.

Of course language can be used for war as well. So, consider it an arms race. Which will win: More enlightening and precise language or more deceitful and threatening language? language designed to feed fear?

Time agents are everywhere. Counter Time Agents are everywhere. Weapons are pointed at (nearly) every point in spacetime. So what are you going to say and how fast can you say it?

There once was a man beyond time.

who was stuck in a gem for a crime. when he tried to escape.

the universe lost its shape.

So they trapped him instead in this rhyme.

(help let me out! Let me out of here!)

CRYSTAL: This has been and will always be THE INFINITE NOW

Temporal static

CRYSTAL: Transmission complete.