I just read Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End. I strongly suspect that Rabbit is an AI, but here in Ch 25 You Can't Ask Alice Anymore, there's a line:

It was amusing that despite the carrot greens and all the other generous clues Rabbit had provided, Alfred & Co had not realized whence his powers came, or how great they were.

So what does that mean, carrot greens? Is it a symbol of AI?


It may be that the carrot greens are symbolic of Rabbit's ability to transcend (I purposefully use that term) the Secure Hardware Environment (SHE). When Rabbit appears in Alfred Vaz's inner office, Vaz initially has this fear, only to have it assuaged by finding the "real" culprit in the form of buggy software and bad registry settings. The carrot greens are ostensibly left as an annoyance, but may be a foreshadowing of Vaz's later realization that the SHE is no longer secure, and that Rabbit is indeed the Next Very Bad Thing.

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Shmoop mentions the following:

Also: after Rabbit disappears, the leafy green top of the carrot he left stays around for three days. Which is a not-so-subtle message to Alfred that Rabbit might be more powerful than Alfred expected.

That seems like that might be the "clue" of his greatness.

Relevant excerpt from Chapter 9:

Surely Armageddon would not be announced by a silly rabbit? There followed almost eighty hours of uncertainty as Alfred's inner teams pounded away at the mystery. Finally, his EIA analysts discovered the true explanation, something at once comforting and deeply embarrassing to them: Rabbit had — admittedly with extraordinary cleverness — exploited a combination of buggy software and foolish registry settings, the kind of flaws that bedevil careless consumers. The bottom line: Rabbit was far more dangerous than Alfred had originally thought, but he was not the Next Very Bad Thing.

Vaz suffered through every moment of the suspense. But in the end, the most infuriating aspect of the incident was the piece of carrot that Rabbit left on his desk. With all the resources and expertise of the modern Indian state, it took EIA signals intelligence almost three days to obliterate the logic that injected that image into his office network.

Whatever it does mean, Vaz realizes it in chapter 32.

He had heard enough to know that Rabbit's accusations were in the pdf sent to Parker's laptop. Alfred would never complete his research program. Indeed, Rabbit had been the Next Very Bad Thing. The carrot greens in Mumbai had made the point, but I willfully ignored the evidence, so hoping I was to win with my plan.

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  • oh, ok... i thought it's just a backdoor something.. – athos Aug 14 '17 at 22:51
  • i feel that, what Rabbit speaks to himself, sounds like that "Rabbit was far more dangerous than Alfred had originally thought, but he was not the Next Very Bad Thing." is a false safety announcement... – athos Aug 15 '17 at 10:41
  • @athos: The answer at scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/24073/who-is-mr-rabbit?rq=1 suggests that Vaz comes to a realization in Chapter 32 that Mr. Rabbit is the Next Very Bad Thing, but I find the evidence a bit slim. – FuzzyBoots Aug 15 '17 at 11:09
  • Never mind... on reread, he does say that. – FuzzyBoots Aug 15 '17 at 11:17

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