Do you remember when things existed?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Asmodeus, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. This night I am struck by the unreality of our world.

    I lie here, wondering about this girl I've met, trying to imagine what she is doing right now, what she is thinking and what things today will make her smile, or sink or rage. And it strikes me that I will never be able to predict it - not 100%. My imaginings are a fantasy, an unreal narrative of her life that will never come to be.

    I wonder how atheists can demand to see God, when they live in a world of so many unseen, non-existent, non-tangible things?

    When I was young music was tangible - records and CDs. You had to hold it, to manipulate the matter, solid to solid. Now we download these i-tunes, less than vapour, and stream our films from murky corners of the net. Movies that never happened, stories told by conglomerates. Even books have gone electronic, shooting intangibly and invisibly through the cyber haze.

    I sit at my desk at work, phoning strangers to discuss their debts, clicking buttons that move their red numbers to blue numbers, that calculate their interest rates and mortgage figures. My job is to get back the money that they borrowed - the money that was never theirs, which they used to buy homes which they do not own. And even that very money did not exist. The moment it was put in the bank it was spent by the bank managers, who survive only by the promise that they will give that money back should the customer ask for it.

    And yet, if everyone in the country went to the bank on the same day and withdrew their savings, the banks would collapse. Because the money just doesn't exist anymore. All that exists is a promise.

    And promises are my sole investment. I have bought a plane ticket for a flight that has not happened, booked a room that is not mine and a car that is not paid for, for a trip that will be nothing like I imagined. And till that day I will write my novel - a story that will never happen, and play on Iwaku with avatars that don't exist in the pursuit of story perspectives that are not shared.

    We talk in similies and unreal things. "It was like this... and he was like 'Hi,' and I was like 'woah!' and we were like "Awesome!". Blankly lying to each other with facsimilies of events. Nothing happens accurately anymore - just reported equivalents. Our personalities expand into the internet and our facets sparkle on Facebook and Twitter while our real selves dwindle, as relationships break apart because they are not as we fantasized or because we see someone else and imagine them to be better.

    And politicians join the fray, erasing the origins of our wealth, the origins of our food. They rub away the third world countries, hide us from the oil wars and the slave labour. We eat our food that comes from nowhere and drive our cars that have no consequence. We read the newspaper stories of potential terrorists and potential paedophiles and look for Youtube clips of cats with humanity they do not have. We play our video games that yield nothing, talking stats and Warcraft gold. Just the sad ones though - the cool kids go to the clubs in search of sex that is not happening or a night they will not recall in the morning. We strive for the forgettable and the null, the space between matter, the narcotic veil and the artistic hypothescape.

    For my own part, on these nights, I go to the gym, trapped in there with the other neurotics, who tone their bodies for the chance that they will be desired, that someone will notice them and fall in lust. We pump the iron and pound the treadmills, aspiring for a body image that is not real for a prize that will not be as we imagined. The men with their fantasies of pornographic scenes that will not happen. The women with their thoughts on children who do not exist.

    The others my age are planning now, saving their ethereal money for immaterial futures, planning the events that have yet to transpire while checking their Facebook phantoms and quibbling over bonuses that equate with nothing. We create no materials, we produce no matter. We are shifters of unseen things, waving our hands in the air and calling it progress. Like the mad witch-doctors who were too enlightened to bash rocks with the other cavemen.

    And all the while I am intimidated by the people around me - by the people who I imagine to be braver and sharper and calmer and cooler than myself. I am hounded by ghosts, by projected creations, and seek salvation in my characters... in the imagined avatars of Iwaku.... and in her... that girl who I think is thinking unreal thoughts of me. I watch the third person dopplegangers of myself - the Greg my parents envision, the Greg my colleagues work with, the Asmodeus who grates and jars with the Iwaku Community. And I am enslaved to those personas, using them to streamline my own, material, tangible, actions, of which there are fleeting few.

    It is perhaps the most sensible conclusion that the world - the real world - ended a long time ago. And we are now just ascending, moving into the spirit realm where everything is cyberspace and numbers, where everything is promise and projection. A world where we are told that things exist and that Cause X will yield Effect Y.

    Perhaps we are with God now, requiring not to see, but only to trust. Were we to hold in our hands the things that make us... it would be a nightmare. For we cannot bear to simply surround ourselves with matter. Our minds cannot process such a world.

    So instead the twitching of my fingers sends another post into Unreality, for the delight of an audience who is not as I imagined.

    Enjoy, my darling phantoms. And send me back your promises. ;)
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  2. Smoking the wacky weed again, there?

    But seriously, there is a fun scientific theory that I am not smart enough to relay the details about. But it says that things aren't there until someone is LOOKING at it. Something about the particles running around all willy nilly until sight is focused on it. >> So if we were not here to perceive things, then those things couldn't exist. D:
  3. Thats part of quantum theory, illustrated by the cat in the box.
  4. As an Atheist, I can honestly say that not all of us do ask for God, but I see your point and raise you a down with technology, up with the real world.
  5. Should've thought about this when the second industrial revolution was happening, you twat.

    You really bring warmth to my cold nordic heart though. >=|
  6. My Level 85 Blood Elf Shadow Priest has over 6000 gold and a 20% Haste rating. So nyah.


    Seriously, I get what you're saying, because I know exactly what you're talking about. I know not your age, but that's irrelevant to me. I'm 31. Some of my earliest memories are of spurning Saturday morning cartoons for MTV. You know some of those old videos, like Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistable?" Or Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer?" How about the unforgettable collaboration of Aerosmith and Run-DMC's "Walk This Way?" Not only did I watch those videos when they first came out, I owned the cassette tapes. I may still have a 45 of the song "Rock The Casbah" in my old record box.

    Even today, I'd much prefer to acquire physical copies of things, as opposed to digital copies. I've imported music from Norway, direct from the band, when affordable. I walked to Wal-Mart to buy the "Wrath of the Lich King" expansion for World of Warcraft, back in November 2008, instead of waiting for it to become available as a digital download (I digitally purchased the Cataclysm expansion, though).

    Really, the older we are, the more we remember what it was like to get tangible things, and the more we remember what those things were. Remember when video games were cartridges instead of CDs? Remember blowing into the cartridges when they wouldn't load correctly? Heh, me too. Nintendo, Atari, Colecovision, Texas Instruments... the list goes on.
  7. We are achieving the ephemeral state of our origins - when all things were just concepts. We are returning to that state.

    In fact, I could argue that we are becoming as God is. After all, He created us in His image, did he not?
  8. With the way you're going, becoming a technopriest for the glorious empire of Man seems more than likely!

    Digital technology has a firm grounding in reality (electromagnetics). Harddisks and flash chips, at the lowest layer of abstraction, store 1's and 0's as states of charge or magnetic poles. The information can be transmitted by radio or pulsed light or current. It's tempting to look on it as a black box but lots of people work with the physical reality of electronics every day.

    But you eventually redeem them for physical services and goods.

    I believe we are trending towards less imagination as time goes on. Just take a look at the entirety of fiction literature. Audio/Visual media has replaced print and places less burdens on our imagination.
  9. I remember playing around with this stuff when I was a kid. In particular, I came across an acoustic coupler while at school and figured out how to use it at home to transfer files from one computer to another.

    At the speed of 300 baud.

    It was your only option if you ran out of floppy disks!
  10. I likez this.

    Not if those fat cats at City Hall don't publish my novel. >:[
  11. You actually raise an interesting question, of which a very important corollary is:

    What actually defines a human? Is a digitized human still human? Is a brain in a jar with wires coming in and out still human? Is a dead human still a human?

    That question - how something as abstract as the will arises, at the most fundamental level, out of chemical signaling in the brain, is still unanswered. Consciousness itself is something that hovers between real and abstract.
  12. It's TECHPRIEST!!!! *finds his psycannon* An Execution is Nigh!
  13. I am only a casual enthusiast amateur in WH40K ... *shame*