Culture

Out of Order

Life
Life
Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate. Biology is the science concerned with the study of life. | Photo: Mushir | Link | Life, Art, Living, Death, Human,

Game Over, want to play again?

Have you ever sensed that there's something off about the phenomenon we blithely term 'life'?

You needn't be known as NEO vis a vis Morpheus to get such a sensation and, if the Mayans were right, this cycle, this 'level', of that tragi-comedic game is winding down, its software I'm calling 'be-ware' has got a fatal glitch, and the hardware's not looking too healthy, either---that I'm calling 'scare-ware'.

And the Greeks were onto it: son of Hypnos--just add the 'is' suffix--namesake of morphine. The Romans tagged along, dubbing him Somnia. We chimed in, thinking we were describing some other realm, sleep, and its own extra weirdness, somnolescence, sleepwalking.

I mean, long before 'cyberspace' became argot (a la its coiner, Gibson), simulation was the hyperspatial domain (there's another clue) of Daniel F. Galoyue's 'identity units'.

Arthur Clarke, that guy who made your cell phone work (among other things), nailed it: "Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the idea is quite staggering."

What sort of entity allows this kind of question to arise amongst its smarter than average bears? Maybe a consummate gamer. Couldn't this proposition explain what is otherwise seemingly inexplicable---unpredictability, woven into the system, fulfilling Dr. A. C. Doyle's detective formula: 'eliminate the impossible and, whatever remains--however improbable--is the truth.' All the so-called paranormal stuff, right there in plain sight, simply an arbitrary construct to cause 'us', the fish in the water, to throw up our hands/fins in puzzlement. Even the quantum physicists say we can't go any deeper than the Planck scale, or farther than the invisible boundaries of our 'universe'.

German director, Josef Rusnak, deployed his take on Galouye's construct in the cyber-melodrama 'The Thirteenth Floor', whose release, much to its demise, coincided with 'The Matrix', an unrelated yet truer synchronous revelation of the questioning of reality per se.

As timely inheritor of Tesla-ized modernity's newest capabilities, he saw the literal manifestation of the 'truth as stranger than fiction' aphorism as truism. In the same way that Gibson, conveniently alive, describes science fiction as 'a narrative strategy' for reflecting upon the 'incomprehensible now' in his interviews, Galoyue saw as yet nonexistent digital recreation as but a potentially infinite layering of meta-realities, the Russian doll nesting of one within another.

The American presager of the seemingly paranormal, Charles Fort remarked: "A social growth cannot find the use of steam engines until comes steam engine time."

Today, no less scientific luminaries than British Astronomer Royal Rees and JPL's 'atoms are pixels' Dr. Rich Terrell (behind such epoch-making scientific probing as Voyager) concur that it is highly plausible that you, reading this, and I are 'living' within a simulation.

Postscript: That Buddha guy/entity/avatar (yikes, another clue) taught that the source of all human suffering was the failure to recognize the true nature of reality; he even provided a reset button called 'reincarnation'. So, fear not if the soft or hard 'wear' crashes--the game reboots eventually.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:08 PM EDT | More details

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