We’re heading up to Whistler today, so this space may be emptier than usual for the next little while…and I’ll update the charts and graphs to the proper size eventually…

In the meantime, a couple of somewhat-related words that come to mind as I watch the world, and its contents, spinning around me…

Sonder (noun) The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

Onism (noun) The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time.

It’s kind of mind-bending when you try to step outside your “existence” – in other words, to truly try to visualize things from any other point of view, other than your own. I don’t just mean trying to understand someone else’s opinion; I mean literally, through their eyes. Stop and consider that every single experience and memory you have is from your own, unique point of view. But it’s more than that; all of reality is only what you’ve experienced. There is literally nothing of existence outside of your experiencing it. If you’ve never seen it or heard of it, until you do, it doesn’t actually exist.

Elon Musk thinks we’re all living in a simulation, and the longer it all goes on (life, in general), the more I get the idea that it’s true. The complexity and vastness of the universe, in both directions… infinitely big or small, feels a lot like the way these vast worlds of online games work… there’s a big map (like our universe), but until you actually need to go somewhere, it doesn’t exist… the game just creates that place when it needs to. It would take way too much memory and disk space for it all to be there. What’s the point of generating all of that for some distant galaxy we can barely see? We’ll create it when we get there… which we never will.

Closer to home, as per the words above… this vivid version of reality you hold in your mind; 7.8 billion other people have their own, unique version of it. It’s mind-blowing to think about, and it’s cool that there are words for it. I have this sonder every time I feel onism.

And if this is a simulation, I get the impression someone found some cheat codes and is trying them out on us. Threat of nuclear war? Killer hornets? Pandemic? Massive political upheaval with the world’s biggest superpower? Something new pretty-much every day. Today it’s a new virus in Kazakhstan, potentially worse than COVID-19. Gee, I wonder what this sequence of buttons does…

This unfortunately has the feel of when someone gets bored with a game. You spent some time building villages or planting crops or whatever… you’ve been doing it for a while, but the game has gotten stagnant or boring… so you throw the crazy at it. Storm the villages, burn the crops. Let’s hope that’s not what we’re dealing with… let’s at least hope that if whoever is running the show got bored, there’s that guy behind him watching… and now, saying, “Wait.. wait… seriously, wait… I got this… here, give me control.” Let’s hope… because then we should be good for another 65 million years… before that guy gets bored and sends a big meteor. Or whatever he needs to deal with his own onism at the sonder he sees on earth.


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