Breaking the Reality Barrier
It seems to me that we have been running faster and faster all my life. What we have been running away from I do not know. What we have been running towards either. But we have been running faster and faster, as if that were our ultimate destiny – to run faster and faster all the time.
But this could not last forever, there had to be a limit to all this speed – and we have reached it, gone through it, and now don’t quite know what to make of where we are. Which is, simply enough – nowhere. We have been busting our balls to get nowhere. Or more accurately – to nowhere.
I suggest we take a look around, and see where we are. And look at our final breakthrough (or breakdown) more carefully.
I can remember it clearly, since I was at the epicenter of that seismic shift when it happened – Silicon Valley – similar to the Valley of the Shadow of Death – of the ultimate craziness.
And it was crazy, crazy beyond belief. It was like being in the middle of an atomic explosion – but it was a silent explosion that everyone ignored, even as we were being blown to pieces. And would never be able to put ourselves back together again. Everybody was totally convinced that nothing unusual was going on. When, in fact the end of the world was happening.
Note the past tense I have used – the end of the world has already happened, and we are living in the wreckage of that event. Where the most profound wreckage is our shattered selves – that can recognize nothing.
How this will all end up we have no way of knowing – since we have never been here before. We are in uncharted territory, where none of the old rules apply. None of the social rules, that is. And they are all-important.
And these social rules include what we call the economy - which is not some mysterious thing outside us, whose rules we are forced to follow – but a clever social construct we have made ourselves, without thinking of what we were doing (as usual). Now we are faced with a solid fact – it is not working! And we have to fix it – because no one else is going to fix it for us.
But instead of telling ourselves “Hmm, we got to fix this here thing.” We are saying “Help, the sky is falling in and we have no way to stop it!” We display our ignorance, stupidity, and helplessness with great satisfaction. Expecting something else to save us. When nothing else is around.
I repeat – nothing else is around, because we have broken through the Reality Barrier, and left it behind us. We now longer have any interest in Reality and it cannot save us.
The question remains “How did we break through the Reality Barrier?”
I believe in the effects of Technology. Not in technology itself – but in its effects on us – which, it seems to me, are all-powerful. And the technology in question was the Internet – that broke all barriers before it.
I can remember when this happened – back in the Nineties. We all knew it was Big – but didn’t know how it was Big. We just shit in our pants and were determined – absolutely determined - to shape the world to meet its needs. Which eventually, after light-years of effort, we accomplished.
We are now in that world – and don’t know what to make of it.
I have done my usual thing, and set myself the task of understanding it – its technical details. Which, I am satisfied, I understand. It’s really not that complicated, basically.
But I can see how we have been overwhelmed by it – since we never realized what it was – but took it for much more than it was. And have considered ourselves insignificant by comparison. We really do need to go over this change again – more carefully this time. But we do not have this luxury. Time only goes one way – and we are where we are, and not somewhere else.
Even those who do understand the technical details of the computer complex seem to be autistic - unable to understand its effects on people. It is no accident that autism is now so common – how else could it be?
We are what we make, and what we make of ourselves.