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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Sleepless in the City of Light

Sometimes you realize you haven't blinked.

It's not the sort of thing you're wired to notice. Blinking should be a habitual, automatic process, like breathing, or eating. I was reading the other day about the particular set of identifiers that consciousness requires in order to distinguish between the "self" and the "other," about the biological hardwiring that reminds you not to eat yourself when you get hungry.

Constant reading is one of those culprits, the thieves that steal moisture from your eyes, that make you forget to blink. So is television, and movies, and that colossal electronic ghost, the internet. You spend so much time staring at things. And if you blink, you might miss something. But if you stare too long, the world begins to get blurry. The windows of your soul fog up and smear with constant light. We're surrounded by structures made of light, illusory places and virtual faces, a phantom map scrawled in Visine on the back of a napkin at lunchtime, which is precisely an hour in duration, just like a television program, no longer and no shorter, unless you want to appear unproductive.

If you blink, the map disappears.

You're wasting valuable milliseconds of time that could have been used to register more data. And you don't sleep enough. And you haven't eaten.

Your brain tells you where your self stops, and food begins.

What tells you where your self stops, and the screen begins?

What if your eyes fog up permanently? And you get lost for always, in the City of Light?

© 2005 Ken Barnes, from a freewrite on 9/04/05

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(Deleted comment)
You know, the way Barnes describes the internet here...

I am doubtless an egoiste, but you are NOT allowed to encourage me to speak about myself in the third person. ^_^ That was something I dashed off as a timed writing exercise, but I found myself thinking about it for a while, and so decided to post it.

I don't know my sutras back to front or anything, but I am familiar with the sunyata concept due to a philosophy degree (hurray for poverty!) and a smattering of world religions courses. The internet certainly does evoke thought upon sunyata -- it throws it into relief. Internet constructs don't have "forms" in the same way physical objects do -- or so it seems on the surface. But all the "pages" and "chat rooms" and "avatars" out there certainly have as much reality as real pages and rooms and bodies, once your eyes are closed. From an Aristotelian stance, they're all shadows on the wall... and shadows can't always tell you everything about the substance of the forms that cast them. Screens and artificial lights keep our eyes open for longer and longer, but what are we really seeing?

Also: Short Broken Sky piece coming soon, if I must defeat all the unexpected encounters, noisy new story ideas, emails and kittens under the sun to get to it!

Data Regulation: Infraction

Ken Barnes! Plato wrote the Allegory in the Cave, not Aristotle; he's the Other World fellow, the world of the Forms. Aristotle was far more empirical, to put it generally.

Sorry. That was rather reprimandish of me. Ahem.

Keeps you sharp. Carry on 3V3N. ;)

However, I still love your brain and will be expecting further updates. The picture was a nice visual touch in both the literal and extended metaphor sort of fashion.


Re: Data Regulation: Infraction

::squalls, data-kitty caught by the scruff of the neck...::

You know, I realized that as soon as I hit "comment," but of course, you can't edit these things, only delete them and rewrite them. Was hoping that it'd slip by unnoticed, curse you for being so wonderfully attentive. Ahem. The THOUGHT I was aiming for was that whole Plato vs. Aristotle thing, is a "form" it's own thing, or is the process of thinking in abstractions just that, thinking, and nothing more? My fingers, sadly, edited the original thought like Fox News.

I cry your pardon, gunslinger. ^_^

Is that a zombie kitty emoticon?

As my grandpappy used to say, "Eatin' brains don't make you a zombie. Just makes you hungrier than most folk."

Okay, he didn't really say that. At least, not to me.

Also, old school Final Fantasy airship sprite icons are terribly sexy. I'm sure you knew that.

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