Tag Archives: the matrix

I wonder if I ever did put this in The Omen?

17 Oct

(The Omen is Hampshire College’s student produced magazine which publishes whatever it gets. This is from… well, I don’t remember. I found it in the dusty recesses of my digital archives.)

I wish that I were a poet. So that I could look around, and see poetry everywhere, like Neo sees code instead of blondes and brunettes when he’s in The Matrix. And it always comes back to movies.

I don’t know why I am writing this. I am typing because the server is down, and I can’t waste time looking up advance movie news and script reviews on the internet. I am writing because I am a writer, and I haven’t written all day. I write poetry sometimes, but I’m not a poet. Sometimes I never write, but I am still a writer.

Vulnerability is always beautiful.

Sometimes, if you go out into a rainstorm, and you look up at the falling drops, you might never see them hit the ground.

I wish I were a poet. I wish that my words made people react, cheer, laugh and cry. But they are just words, and words are everything. Words have power beyond poetry.

Words have power beyond paper, beyond sound. And you might not care. Why should everyone care?
Pick a subject. Somewhere, somebody cares about that subject so much that it becomes what he or she does. Their life is devoted to that subject. If you care too, go talk to them. Because talk always makes things better while accomplishing nothing.

Do, or do not. There is no try. Because it always comes back to movies.

Are people defined by what they do? Are people defined by who they are? Do people do what they do because of who they are? If you do nothing, are you a person? That’s right, see, I’m the one writing here. I control the words. I can make you feel inferior, and I can spout out personal wisdom like a self-made Jesus. Or I can make myself sound stupid and naïve. Without realizing it. And you can choose not to read it. And then you’ll never know what you missed. Even if what you missed is just this.

So, this doesn’t seem to be about anything. Which means I could put it in The Omen. Or I could leave it on my computer, saving it for when I write the last great American movie, before America ceases to exist. Saying “I wish I were a poet” is a stupid thing to say. If I really wanted to be a poet, I would define myself as a poet. That’s how I became a writer after all. Done.

Hey, Grandpa, maybe you can come back tomorrow and read it to me again?
As you wish.
Because with me, it always comes back to movies.

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None of this is real?

19 Jun

This slideshow from the New York Times shows people who play games next to the digital avatars that they use to play them. It’s interesting to see who looks like their avatar, and who doesn’t. It’s also interesting to see how much variety there is among the people in this slideshow, and how long each of them spend inside a digital world. Up to seventy hours a week spent in a digital world!! That’s almost half of the total hours in a week.
player and avatar
It brings to mind a key discussion from The Matrix (which is here transcribed from my memory and is thus probably not word-for-word correct. But close enough):

Neo: Right now, we’re inside a computer program? None of this is real?
Morpheus: What is real? If real is just what you can touch, taste, smell, see, and hear, then real is simply electronic impulses translated by your brain.

Perhaps Morpheus is right… what makes the “real world” more real than, say, the world of Second Life? Sure the technology isn’t quite there yet for all five of our senses to enjoy Second Life, but it’s probably only a matter of time. And why not? What then when a Second Digital Life is more appealing than a “real” one?
Afterall in a digital world like Second Life there is total freedom. Inside this digital new reality you, or your avatar, can look like, act like, and do whatever you want (which already includes sex and violence, even without total sensual immersion). In a digital world there is no fear of death, since you can always just play again. This creates a form of immortality and freedom so far unavailable in the “real world.”
Is the “real world” all it’s cracked up to be? If it isn’t, or doesn’t become so really soon, I suspect there will be a larger and larger migration into digital ones.