Mar. 16th, 2016

kingtycoon: (Default)
Today I’m 41 years old.  That’s alright, I guess realistically I’m halfway through life.  That’s okay.  Unrealistically I still think I’m still on the first 5th.
Thoughts you understand, derive from information – news is staked into your mind to put to death the specter of ignorance.  That’s a way to think about it no?  I’ll think about it.  The thing that started me off though – on what I anticipate being a long and circumspect post was some discussion by futurists.  I’m a kind of science fiction writer & where I err on the side of fantasy it’s because that’s more fun, not because I’m dim about prospects.  I still think Bill Gibson is lame for making fun of Shadowrun, Neuromancer is pretty cool and all, but the Cermac Blast & the Universal Brotherhood are better stories man.  But sure, I’ll give the time of day to a futurist or two.  That’s not the worst way to spend your time.
Lately there’s a lot of speculation about the tough transition to a post scarcity economy.  There’s a lot in the pipe on that – as work becomes obsolete & people start to wonder what their value is at all if not work.  It comes up in my work – where I try and help automate processes through software – and it comes up at work because we’re probably going to get a robot and I continuously prophecy that the next time they have to buy a tractor trailer it won’t have to have a human operator.  It’s the driverless cars that are the big & looming disruption – bigger than anyone is likely to admit.  Freight & shipping is crazy expensive there’s about a trillion reasons you want to make logistics personnel redundant – and I happen to know that state by state driver is the second most common profession.  In Ohio the second most common profession is driver, in Indiana it’s driver in California it’s driver-  we pay a lot of people to get things places & no one really wants to pay if they don’t have to.  The driverless tractor trailer is probably as far into the future as my current phone is to my blackberry.  It’s going to be a big problem.
Naturally the accountants who will want this like to imagine they aren’t redundant – nevermind that they totally are.  I do some classes in Supply Chain Management because I have to figure out how to configure the software that is making everyone else in the class obsolete.  I’ve been an executive before and that’s where decision making happens – and decisions are probably the easiest thing to automate when you’ve got good information…  And etc…  The idea is that work is quickly going to become obsolete & there’s no plan at all to replace working for money with some other way to get money.  Sure, that’s a crisis.
But worrying about money – shit, I just don’t.  There’s never enough money so it’s dumb to worry about.  You’re never going to have as much as it seems like you’ll need.  It’s more interesting to worry about having some kind of utility at all when the only use for people is to consume thing that have been made for them.  So I think about that – I’m pretty smart, pretty capable – but I think of the things, the qualities a person has, I think my strength is imagination & I know full well how useless it is, but also how satisfying it can be.  Now-  computations – brute force – you can make the computer invent every single idea that ever will be and probably pretty fast too – I start thinking about imagination & how it’s not just a string of funny words put together in a novel way.
I start to think about myself as a kind of explorer – imagining things that aren’t just novel but that, well maybe they are places?  Maybe being able to imagine a thing is sufficient to make it real.  I mean – sure, it’s real.  Ideas are real.  That’s clear, but maybe physically real – actual, you understand?
Dimensions – that’s what I got into – this really satisfying conclusion that the things you imagine are somewhere real.  This lady I work with died and the people, the proselytizers in my company started to brace me about Eternity.  I can’t really respond to them.  I mean – I can, but I don’t really dare to.  On an infinite timeline, I think about telling this pompous man that blusters grinning, I will not only be your grandmother, I’ll be your grandmother an infinite number of times, and I’ll create the universe, on an infinite timeline, I’ll create the universe that we inhabit at some point, & in fact I’ll do so an infinite number of times, and so will you and so will everyone else.  Infinite time is so strange to even consider.  That not only will Everything happen, not just the possible, not the likely, but everything will happen an infinite number of times.  I think about that.
Then I have a party.
My March Party is a going concern an annual event of no small joy.  I throw this party and to do so I have to go back to Facebook.  Which is just so terrible.  Just the fucking worst of all.
So immediately when you go back to facebook you have girls you used to date, and people who used to love you and that’s a whole problem.  Then you’ve got vague interests that you used to have that nag you – it’s a fucking hassle  meanwhile there’s this election happening.  Just, oh, just fuck facebook.  So much.
But there’s girls you used to date & they’re probably better off without you – that’s just how it goes – you see what they want to show you about living their lives & how happy they look & that’s great.  It’s fine, it’s a kind of grim reminder about why you’re not compatible in the first place or whatever… Whatever.
But you’re perverse, your heart is, it wants you to suffer and you think for a while about what might have been & you think If Only.
Like an asshole.
If only and if only.  But sometimes, sometimes people have speculated – and I’ve heard this one a few times, different places – that your consciousness & the events that happen cause cascades of realities to be created – just vast, incomprehensible realities caused by every molecule’s random divergence and in that span of infinity there’s a variant of yourself that’s still with her, one that ended up happy, one that’s miserable, the suicidal one, the happy one – just endlessly into different arrays of futures & configurations of the self & the world around it.  I’ve heard it said that anyone’s ongoing existence is so unlikely that it only occupies a slimly compact array of infinities & that these infinities are sort of pear shaped – in a lot of versions you die young, you die in your teens, your twenties – that’s the base – and then you move upward and in your 50’s and 60’s into your 80’s that’s the pear narrowing down – you’re more and more likely to die then and so there’s only so many outcomes for your consciousness – and that narrowing it down further and further until there’s just the faintest sliver of possibility that you could still exist – with all your arms and legs cut off and you withered & weak maybe three hundred years old somehow – and that this narrowing down of possibilities causes a merging your consciousness.
It all means that you personally will experience the longest of these variant events because your consciousness is only part of the continuum in which you actually exist – so even if you die young and handsome in a Porsche accident your consciousness will continue to exist and experience a version of you that survives catastrophe after catastrophe & is somehow still alive – probably quite a bit worse for wear.
Which is probably a weird place to go having started out with just going to facebook to tell people aobut a party.   But I can imagine, y’know?
But imagining these selves.  I wonder seriously about how they’re getting along, the countably infinite number of me’s that must exist, who went down different paths with different people.  I wonder how unlikely my current configuration is in the aggregate & I wonder if I’ll ever know all the ways that things might have gone – if that array could at some point be calculated out by the computer – and then the computer beats the go master & I’m persuaded that not only will it know, but it might know within what seems to be this life, and that it might even simulate the whole thing for me.  That I could see all of what might have been.
And then wonder if I can beat the go-playing computer at imagining something that has never been thought before.  That’s it.  That’s where I’ve ended up on my 41st birthday.  It’s a strange old world.

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