Impulsive Writing (19)

What IS it?

Who knows? I’m only conscious of my thoughts after they’ve been ‘thunk.’ and envision my conscious ‘self’ as though a camera, clicking pictures of what’s happening within a narrow field of view. And only after the fact.*

Much like a computer monitor, which displays just a tiny fraction…the ‘viewable’ portion…of countless terabytes of digital processing taking place, unseen, within and beyond the computer. None of which depends on whether the monitor is displaying anything or not…or even if it’s turned on, or off. But ask the monitor, “who’s running the show?” And it’s likely to reply:

“It. Is. I.”

Yet the keyboard and mouse are not so easily dismissed. They are the input devices…without which the computer has no way to receive computable instructions. And they often rely on the monitor, (an output device) to provide either the stimulus or feedback needed to decide what they should input for processing (like get another web page, or email…or respond to the one displayed). So if you ask the keyboard or mouse who’s running the show, they’ll look at you like you’re nuts and say, obviously…

“It. Is. We.”

Eventually I’ll tire of ‘computing’ and decide to quit for the day. I turn it off and start to leave. But before closing the door, I generally look back to say good night to the computer (which resides under the desk and ‘mindlessly’ does what it’s told to do, sight unseen), and the monitor, keyboard and mouse…who live ‘atop’ the desk, and are always in view.

“Goodnight kids. Get some rest. I’ll see you in the morning.”

And you know what? They never acknowledge, or answer me. Of course I assume that’s because I’ve turned them off. I mean, after all, I’m the one who’s in charge here!

So, my answer to the question?

“IT. Is. Me.”

But perhaps the ‘real’ answer is:

“It IS Us!” (Including the space in between)

* * *

*A camera doesn’t capture what IS but instead what IT has become. The difference is in the time between ‘decision’ and ‘click.’ As a result, our vision–or consciousness–of IT is always second-hand. Think about it . . .

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10 comments on “Impulsive Writing (19)

  1. While I was still studying (looong long time ago) I took, among other things, a narratology course. Part of it was on the postmodern need to “record” everything, the conclusion being that only what is recorded (i.e. narrated) is perceived to have any kind of value. Our professor by that time was as unintelligible as a conversation between Vladimir Putin and the three little pigs. Reading this, I am starting to realize what he most probably had in mind but had great trouble phrasing accurately.

    My take on this one is: there is never only one camera, or at least not one lens. I’d say that from birth you are surrounded by various flashlights, lighthouses, lenses, keyboards, cameras and computers (the lucky ones also get printers + instructions to throw out the window). Some of them get damaged along the way, or run out of battery (the Duracell bunny is also in jail, by the way) or become outdated – so you decide to replace them with new ones. But it’s never just one camera. Imagine. What would happen if that camera broke down? The late night snap shots of your next door neighbors playing Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf would be irremediably lost. Nature simply doesn’t take such chances.

    Last but not least. Once something has entered consciousness it’s not even second hand anymore. It’s an entirely different story. Here’s where language comes in (i.e. taking possession of the world) and transforms the merely tangible into intelligible. Which sometimes leaves you understanding nothing.

    PS: I envisage this conversation in a dimly lighted bedroom, huge bed, a veil or silk shawl hanging over the lamp by the bedside, maybe a fireplace if I’m not asking for too much, a dark winter night, and a snow storm outside. Click.

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      • One night I was watching TV in the dark when I was startled by a muffled chattering sound coming from the area where my computer is located. I don’t recall the movie I was watching, but it must have been a scary one because when the sound came all of a sudden like that, it make my heart flip-flop. After I unfroze, I thought, “What the heck was that?” (Obviously a razor sharp survival instinct…) What it turned out to be was my printer running a program to keep everything moving when it wasn’t in use, or so the manufacturer claims. But now, after all this, I’m starting to wonder what it’s doing in there, in the dark, after I’ve touched the keyboard all day. (smiles)

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  2. Are you and your brain a single entity or are you one and your brain another As you think you control your computer Does your brain control you Aren’t you oft times turned off and by who Ask your brain

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