System Updates


Hey I can see the president from here.

Hey I can see the president from here.

So, I was reading an article in the New Yorker which argued, in evident seriousness, that the snafu with the Best Picture Academy Award was evidence that we were living in the Matrix.  I’m simplifying, of course: there are elements of philosophy and satire and cultural commentary at play that make it difficult to interpret the writer’s intentions, but I’m pretty sure that they weren’t attempting to convince us that this was the case, only that it could be the case.

There is a certain comfort in the thought that life might just be one big simulated program for our benefit instead of a complex equation of chaos and statistical anomalies. It’s nice to think there’s some higher power at play, even if that higher power might be alien life forms performing experiments on our monkey brains or sentient digital beings who are co-opting our organic impulses to solve their shortcomings in creativity, empathy, and instinct.

Whether this is the real life, or whether it is just fantasy (are you caught in a landslide? No escape from reality? I defy you to stop singing now) the bottom line is that it makes no difference: the truth of our circumstances is impossible to see from the inside. And we are fully immersed. We will live and die our entire lives and the lives of everybody we have known or will know within this irrational existence. We exert exactly the same amount of influence over the course of our own destinies either way.

So I’m not particularly worried about what the Robot Overlords might be up to when it comes to deciding who wins Best Picture. But if we are living in a simulated reality then something in my programing seems to have gotten a system update. Suddenly, things that I’ve been struggling to work through (What’s my next step on the career ladder? Will I ever feel inspired again? How do I turn my Job into a Career? Etc.) have snapped into focus. Is this how iTunes feels? No wonder it wants to be updated all the damn time.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 1, 2017.

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