Of course we’re in a simulation and we chose it ourselves.
Idiots. One of the most common questions during the Q&A of the Brian Cox tour concerns the idea, popularised by Elon Musk, that we live in a simulation. According to one interview, there is a one in billions chance that we don’t. Looking at the speed of growth in computer intelligence in the last 50 years leads him to propose that this universe is the creation of a super intelligent artificial intelligence. On a pragmatic level, this shouldn’t make any difference.
On a paranoid level, it can feed your waking nightmares.
On a cult level, they could be building the fibre optic, antique valve and flickering diode altars right now.
Within this simulation, we seem to have be drawn to our own pettier reality simulations, and the ramifications are bearing their toxic fruits.
Where were you when you realised social media stopped being fun? And how long did you pretend it still was whilst realising you were addicted to the 140 character pellets?
Making Twitter our first reality has had unfortunate effects on physical (formerly, actual) reality.
I am currently trying to unplug, but leaving social media is harder than giving up smoking.
I have given up Twitter as many times as I have given up smoking. My most recent attempt to give up smoking has lasted over six years, I do not have the confidence my social media rejection will last as long.
Social media has come to define not only its users, but any group that get caught in the crosshairs.
It shapes news stories. It becomes a major part in how news is disseminated, digested and becomes the news itself.
Our access to millions of minds and a vast library of ideas has not broadened our minds, but narrowed them.
It has made us aggressive and paranoid. We shun the doubt and the confusion that comes with too much information and become platform-headed low brow dogmatists and zealots.
We are in a constant wild neon jig of misunderstanding short sentences.
After 48 hours off Twitter, I popped in late last night to tweet an apology to those whose tweet questions I had not answered and thank the audiences of this week’s tour dates. I was on just long enough to waste 15 minutes attempting to explain to someone that I had not made a homophobic joke at Brian Cox on the stage at Brighton.
context (you can skip this bit if you want) – Audience question asked about Brian still playing the keyboards, which he does, frequently.
I said that I had suggested to him that during the arena tour in May, he plays the piano in a lounge style while talking about images of the Cosmos. I explained that he said he thought it might be “a bit camp”, and then said, “he thought it might be a bit camp”. Insinuating that Brian is a bit camp. (On the way back from the Plymouth gig, we were listening to show tunes including Barbara Streisand singing Send in the Clowns. We both agreed we thought Judi Dench did the best version, in case you are wondering.) Apparently, suggesting someone has an element of camp after you yourself have suggested your own camp idea, is homophobic. And so, I spent 15 – 20 minutes attempting to explain that there was no homophobic intention.
And that is one of the many reasons I must, must, must get out of this mindfuck of illusions and delusions and high horses and low abuse.
If you’re not trying to face down the aggressions of a Fascist, you’re trying to explain a fucking joke to a Anarchist pescatarians (and that works both ways).
We share so much, but we seem to understand each other less and less.
Campaigns of abuse our mounted by people who declare they are free speech warriors whose free speech seems to be hampered by a very limited vocabulary.
We have poisoned our believe on humanity with this tool that was meant as a frippery, a lightly held delight to distract us for occasional lazy minutes.
The sceptic corners of our mind are slow in catching up with new technology, To quote The Age of Earthquakes – “Before the internet, we had a few memes a year. Now we get hundreds a day”.
And that “No smoke without fire” commandment of gossip and lies means that we are choking in a kipper house of misinformation and disinformation.
“Meeting” so many humans seems to have made it even simpler to dehumanise them.
In addition to that, you find that your conversation is made up of things you have already tweeted or blogged about, so your spontaneity is richer in the virtual then the real.
And most of my communication is fun and with delightful people, and good can come from these things, but I think we may need to rethink our play area, because it seems that there is a lot of dog excrement secreted in the sand pit.
(I will now be tweeting this blog post like the addict I am, but I will then run away. I am hopeful that I will only occasionally tweet links to specific events etc. Wish me luck, but not on social media)
Josie and Robin’s Book Shambles series 4, including Alan Moore, Noel Fielding and Srah Bakewell, is HERE