There’s a scene toward the end of the book Contact by Carl Sagan, where the protagonist Ellie Arroway finds a Message embedded deep in the digits of PI. The Message is perhaps an artifact of an extremely advanced intelligence that apparently manipulated one of the fundamental constants of the universe as a testament to their power as they wove space and time.
I’m reminded of this scene by the Time.com 100 Poll where millions have voted on who are the world’s most influential people in government, science, technology and the arts. Just as Ellie found a Message embedded in PI, we find a Message embedded in the results of this poll.
Looking at the first letters of each of the top 21 leading names in the poll we find the message “marblecake, also the game”.
The poll announces (perhaps subtly) to the world, that the most influential are not the Obamas, Britneys or the Rick Warrens of the world, the most influential are an extremely advanced intelligence: the hackers.
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