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“It’s an easy mistake, and forgivable,” says Cote, “thinking there are other places.”

“The evidence is pretty strong,” murmurs Ballard.

“But it’s all flawed evidence, because it comes through your senses—your own personal 3D rendering system. And that system needs loading zones. Ever notice that when you take fast transportation, you spend a long time in a tiny tube with a bland image out the windows?”

“You mean clouds?”

“Planes, trains, the identical corridors between doors in Doom,” says Cote. “All serving the same purpose.”

“Is that why the suburbs seem to have so few polygons?”

“Be nice,” she says.