Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In the limelight

Einstein steps under the spotlight and the audience goes quiet. Is it really him? ‘Who are you expecting?’ I ask back. We assume that he is him. As if the man is a catalyst, the degree of our thought experimentation now goes through the roof.

We surge from the question of identity, past knowledge gained through a photo through Einstein’s age, and thence to age in general. There’s no halting our momentum. Finally, we bump up against the ceiling of overlapping lives. And we dust off a previous construct: that every day we might wake up as a different individual.

A great deal of deconstruction occurs within these pages. We tread on a minefield of ice floes. I’ve tried to smooth these waters by rewriting almost every word. I split paragraphs, extract sentences and weed words (the odd spelling mistake too).

Just consider what I’m asking my readers to contemplate: That they don’t possess a discrete personality; that the ‘little death’ of sleep is rather bigger; that at any instant they can expect to be replaced/uploaded elsewhere; and that they won’t have the luxury of a childhood during which time they may come to terms with their new identity.

It’s the speed of the chase that’s going to pose the toughest hurdle. I’ve tried to make the idea more palatable by comparing flitzing to cinematography, but consciousness segmentation at the sub-atomic level is going to be impossible to some people to accept. This is reincarnation with a vengeance.

I strengthen the movie metaphor to make the idea more accessible. For instance, the idea that strings of individuals could exist is little like imagining Harrison Ford in his series of roles. It’s a pity, therefore, that the real universe is more like
Being John Malkovich. It isn’t only Santa Claus who has the chops to get around the whole world in just one night (though he needs the next 364 to recover). It’s the Eingo.

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