I was working at "Apple," which had recently transformed itself into an experiment in writing interactive games based on the "infinite monkeys at infinite typewriters producing Hamlet" notion. Only they hadn't actually told their employees that.
They had this new facility where you came in, got an assignment (writing exercises? character studies?), and you could either take it home or sit there and work on it. People were arranged at desks around the outside of a large circular structure. The desks were crowded close together.
They also had new drive through "cafeterias" where the food was all in big bins or came out of big faucets.
My partner (not OH, but with some OH-like qualities, and some qualities of other partners I've had) and I both worked there. So we came in, got some work, and sat there for a while working. And then I began feeling like I was waiting for something to happen. Then I realized that because we were all crowded together, I was feeling like a student in a class sitting at a desk who couldn't get up and leave until the teacher said. But there was no teacher of course.
I realized that this is what "Apple" intended by creating this thing: that we'd all sit there like lemmings and work work work.
I knew there was the option of coming in in the morning, getting an assignment and working at home, and I considered that. But I realized that if I made a habit of working at home, I'd fall behind, because everyone else was sitting at their desks doing work work work, and new announcements and assignments were made available during the day. And I knew that with all these people working on the same assignments, multiple people would come up with the same ideas, but you only got credit for an idea if you came up with it first. So being behind would mess with my chances for getting credit for an idea, which was a good thing.
"Apple" hadn't actually told us any of this, so I thought I was very clever for having figured it out. I tried to tell my partner about it, but he scoffed and wouldn't listen.
I think my brain came up with this idea by thinking about distributed computing projects (e.g., Seti@home) and LiveJournal simultaneously.
My brain has a hard time wrapping itself around just how many humans are out there on this planet. It sees things about how Seti@home has logged 1,058,634 years of computer time (and 3,000 years in the last 24 hours), or how there are 632,152 LiveJournal users who wrote 121,201 journal entries yesterday, and it just goes TILT and produces these weird-ass dreams.