Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Long View: Where Was I?

Just to hit refresh on the argument of the last two posts in this series (one and two):

1. Access to the Internet is treated as if it’s magic.
2. We’re all doomed.

Get it? (Got it.) Good.

Now then. The fact that I haven’t been able to continue posting in this series during the last three weeks (thank you, Ava) brings up an aspect of the Internet which seems to be yet another unrecognized given. And that is, the more time you spend relating your experiences on the ‘Net, the less time you have to live them.

Seems obvious, right? But think about it. It takes me on a good day one to two hours of cumulative time to come up with a few hundred words on a particular subject. And because I have no blog access through my job, I have to wait till I get home to post it. Which means I’ll probably tweak it from my apartment before I upload it. Say that’s three hours. Three hours for me is 12 pages of a novel I didn’t write that day. And that’s just one post. Say I do three a week. That’s ten hours. That’s forty pages. That’s the first act of a play. What’s ten hours to you? Five movies? Ten trips to the gym? Three dinners with friends? And that's not counting Facebook updates, e-mail exchanges, and Twits Tweets.

See where I’m going with this? The question I ask myself as I consider this is, “How did we get to the point where relating what we’ve done takes more time than actually doing something?” And doesn’t this mean that everything from your Facebook update to this very post is part of an offshoot of reality, and not reality itself? Aren’t we already jacked in to virtual reality on a primitive, let's-you-and-me-play-Zork level?

West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

It's enough to make me feel 28 again. It's also enough to make me feel that we are currently living part of our lives in a sub-basement version of Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse.

I’ll leave you with a quote and an observation. The quote is from Andrei Codrescu’s The Posthuman Dada Guide:Tzara and Lenin Play Chess. (Highly recommended)

“Today, the ‘world’ is a pseudonym that stands, maybe, for the world. ‘Reality’ is doubtlessly a pseudonym for reality. All words are in fact pseudonyms of themselves, and if they are sufficiently pseudonymous, they become symbols.”

Observation: reality has become not just a pseudonym, but an identity thief.

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