1 And it came to pass that on the tenth day of the second month, Danny rose from his bed in the early morning. 2 Having completed his morning routines, he opened Instagram, and unfollowed 20 people, as was his custom. 3 For Danny’s following to followers ratio was abhorrent in his sight, yet he feared the Instagram bots that had been known to shadow ban his account from time to time.
4 After unfollowing the allotted number of accounts, Danny returned to his home page. 5 And behold, there before his eyes, Danny witnessed his posts from the previous weeks. 6 But lo! As Danny looked upon the images he had shared, his wrath burned against that which he had created. 7 And he said to himself, “Never before have I created something so lacking in originality and meaning. Come, let us destroy this account I have created lest it inflict another citizen.” 8 For while the pictures Danny had posted had been meant for an interesting project, as before in previous years, the meaninglessness of Instagram weighed too heavily on his soul, and he sought to only to destroy his account.
9 Danny turned his countenance upon the Account Settings page within the app, and behold, he scrolled from the top of the page to the bottom. 10 And not finding the option to delete his account, Danny began searching through all Settings pages, hoping to find that which he sought. But even as he searched, his every attempt was thwarted as the Account Delete option was hidden from his sight. 11 In his frustration, Danny turned his countenance to the sky and wondered: “Why can I not delete this thing that I have created? For this account is a blight unto the land and must be hastily destroyed.”
12 But it had come time for Danny to climb the hill to enter into Berkeley Lab, and so he closed the app, and began the walk to the bus stop. 13 And Danny was given temporary relief as his research distracted him from the horrors of his Instagram account. 14 But when the time had come for Danny to leave the lab, Danny was reminded of his struggles earlier in the day. And behold, Danny opened his laptop, intent on enacting destruction upon Instagram.
15 And Danny was filled with joy, for after a Google search, the Account Deletion page which had previously been hidden from his sight was revealed unto him. 16 And from where he sat, Danny finally brought destruction upon the account that had been plaguing him. 17 And that is why, even to this day, the link upon XFA to Danny’s Instagram redirects to a page stating: “Sorry, this account isn’t available.”
What is up, my dudes. It is a truly wonderful morning in Berkeley. Slightly overcast, not glaringly hot, not oppressively raining. A great day to be alive.
Now then, right to business. One of the central purposes of this project is to catalog my attempts at interacting with the supernatural/unknown/God/god/gods/the Divine whatever you want to call it. I therefore feel the need to catalog one such event.
Yesterday morning, I was feeling lonely. I’m not afraid to admit it. However, because my wee lil brain likes to blow all my emotions out of proportion, when I am feeling lonely, it isn’t a small emotion in the back of my brain. It’s only ever that acute sense of existential loneliness that beacons an onset of depression and nihilism. Actually, writing this, I realize I don’t actually talk to many people about their loneliness all that often. Perhaps what I experience as loneliness is in fact your standard, run-of-the-mill loneliness. Hmm. Perhaps I’ll survey my friends on this issue. Actually, I can just survey you all as well. If you feel so inclined, please comment below indicating whether you experience loneliness as a small, perhaps peripheral emotion, or an extremely powerful sensation that brings about depression.
Ok, so back to the main story. Yesterday morning, I was feeling lonely. Whence my emotions reached a certain critical magnitude, I decided it would be a good idea to open a connection to the supernatural/unknown/God/god/gods/the Divine and see if he/she/it/they had anything to say about my current emotional state. To be precise, I basically brought to mind the full spectrum of my emotional state and made a request for something to be done about it. Interestingly enough, yesterday turned out to be a day filled with all sorts of social activities with a variety of my friends.
Before I perform an analysis on this situation, I feel somewhat inclined to address those of you who are wondering if I am just another “loser.” The formal definition of the word “loser” is something of which I don’t feel I have a good grasp, but I can imagine you may be wondering what kind of social outcast/ “loser” feels the need to plead with the supernatural about loneliness when his friends are a text away. I actually have a large group of people whom I have the pleasure of calling “friends,” so perhaps it is a bit silly that I turned to the supernatural before I turned to them. On the other hand, I am also, as a citizen of our reality, always trying to ascertain some understanding of the supernatural, and it seemed like an acutely powerful and uncomfortable emotional experience would provide a good “playground” for attempting to interact with extra-realitas.
Now then, to begin my analysis of this potential interaction with some unknown form of superintelligence, let me clearly lay out the facts of the case.
Ok then. Let’s begin. I think a reasonable place to start would be to ask the question “Was yesterday an answer to a prayer?” Let me first say that I do not know. I also feel inclined to mention that by prayer, I mean a sequence of words carrying a specific set of connotations and denotations directed at some aspect of the unknown. I think that this definition of a “prayer” is pretty neat because it indicates a language agnostic conveyance of information and emotion. Anyway, back to the main line of analysis. The events of yesterday certainly felt like what I might consider an answered prayer.
To summarize, I don’t if yesterday was an answer to prayer, but it certainly felt like it could have been. Some of you distracted readers may think that this isn’t a big deal, but I would entreat you to take a different approach in your thinking. Let me explain.
Because we humans don’t have access to the fundamental truth of our universe, we are not in a position to make assertions about the state of reality with 100% certainty. Is there a God? Are there many gods? Is there life after death in some capacity? Do the crystals that are all the rage in sororities actually have spiritual power? Maybe. We don’t know, and we are not equipped with the ability to assert anything about these claims with 100% confidence.
This may sound discouraging, but our perception of the universe is actually quite exciting. While we don’t know anything for certain, we are in a position to test our hypotheses against reality. Let me give an example. Let’s say I come up with a pickup line so amazing that I believe it will cause any girl I use it on to immediately give me her number. Any interesting premise, wouldn’t you agree? Now then, I can’t actually make any real assertions about whether I have found the ultimate pickup line until I actually try it out. So then, let’s say I start trying it out. To my astonishment, 10 out of 10 girls on which I use this line give me their numbers. Am I now in a position to state with perfect confidence that I have actually found the ultimate pickup line? Of course not. Perhaps I encountered an extremely lucky anomaly. Be that as it may, 10 out of 10 is an extremely good track record, so if nothing else, I have built up faith in the notion that I have found a darn good pickup line.
So then, back to the supernatural, and my potentially answered prayer. One particular possibility that I would like to explore throughout my life is the idea that there exists an all-powerful God in the universe that desires a relationship with us as humans. I know, I know. That reeks of Christianity. However, I think that is an incredibly compelling prospect, and I can certainly say that I would very much enjoy having some form of relationship with a higher form of super-intelligence in our universe.
So then, once again I ask, was my experience yesterday an answer to prayer? And again I answer: I don’t know. Regardless, my experience yesterday has allowed me to increase my faith (or confidence) in the possibility that there may in fact be some form of superintelligence that actually cares in some capacity about my personal loneliness. And to me, that is quite exciting indeed.
What is poppin’ my bois? (Using, of course, the gender-neutral b-o-i spelling). I’m currently sitting in DIA, which, as I have been recently informed, is a haven of conspiracy and dark secrets. As I’m sure many of you cultured readers are aware, there’s a statue of an angry looking blue horse outside the airport that has actually killed someone. Spooky stuff, my friends.
Now then, allow me to jump right in. I was watching YouTube the other day when an ad came up featuring a musical artist who was talking about her work. She presumably has some level of fame, but I had certainly never heard of her before. The last thing she said before I swiftly and mercilessly skipped the ad is that her work is incredibly important to her because it gives her a platform to talk about her anxiety and depression. To be perfectly frank, blessed reader, when I heard that, I didn’t find myself to be sympathetic towards this artist. I was honestly super bored with everything she was saying.
A case can always be made that I’m just an emotionless unsympathetic wench. Perhaps I am. I think the better case to be made is that I’m a machine who’s more interested in code than some people’s lives. I think I could probably build a strong case against that, but that’s for another time.
Regardless of my potential sociopathisms, I found it quite interesting that my first response to this artist’s video was boredom. I’m of the opinion that mental health issues/depression/anxiety are incredibly important issues plaguing our society, and I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m trying to minimize their importance. For those of you thorough readers who have read the “About” page, you will know that I myself am prone to depressive thought patterns if I am not careful. So then, why was I bored by the artist?
To answer this question, I retreated deep within myself to have a quick conversation with my emotions. These conversations tend to be quite violent, overly anthropomorphized, and altogether unstructured, so I will leave out the details of this particular interaction. The general consensus among my emotions, however, was that I found the artist to be boring because it seems like every artist and their mother are all talking/singing/writing/dreaming about anxiety and depression. It just so happens that one of my favorite albums is about depression. Incidentally, that is also my favorite album within which to engulf myself when I (even I, rumored to be sociopathic, asexual, machine-like) am depressed.
Upon having this (incredibly straightforward) revelation, I began thinking in my brainicles about why it seems depression and anxiety are all the rage in pop culture. After doing some light thinking on the subject, I have formulated a hypothesis. For those of you nerdy or aggressively legalistic readers, no, I haven’t formalized any of these claims, and as previously stated, this is only a hypothesis. If you disagree with me or have a different opinion, please feel free to drop a hot comment down below. You are then urged to ring the bell, like this video, and subscribe to my channel.
My hypothesis is built upon four of my personal observations. My first observation is that the average human is hardwired to seek out and be fulfilled by interaction with other humans. As a sub-observation, I have found that I’m prone to my greatest fits of anxiety and depression when I am isolated (either by accident, or by my own doing) from other people. My second observation is that human interaction is difficult. Not only does it take planning and time, but I personally tend to feel some level of discomfort during most of my conversations. My third observation is that literally everyone around me is constantly on their phone. I realize this implies that I live in an area where everyone has the economic means to possess a smartphone, but regardless of wealth, I have found any exceptions to this to be the statistical outlier. My fourth observation is that social media is a frackin’ drug. Throughout my life, I have rarely posted on social media, but whenever I have, I get an unreasonable amount of satisfaction and pleasure when people like something I’ve posted. And if someone comments on one of my posts? Goodness me, the feeling is ecstasy! During my time on social media, I have found that I am frequently overtaken by the desire to open my insta, regardless of whether I would visually intake some dank, dank memes or photoshopped pictures of attractive human beings or videos of Fabio Wibmer being the most epic human to walk the Earth.
Now then, I will take these observations as temporary axioms, and I’m going to paint you the word picture that is my hypothesis. Basically, before phones, people felt the compulsion to interact with each other, and so they would overcome the discomfort associated with human interaction, and just talked to each other. Once my boi Zuckerberg came around, people suddenly realized, “OMG I can, like, talk to all my friends and post about my life on the internet! Now I don’t need to constantly be with people to interact with them! Yaaaaas!” This seemingly innocent desire almost immediately gave way to a deeper subconscious realization: “Wait hold on. Now I can spend time making everything I put on the internet perfect. Also, I can say whatever I want because the people I’m interacting with can’t actually hurt me, right?” And so, through digital media, humanity found a way to temporarily fill its desire for human interaction, and my oh my did it feel good. What an amazing feeling it is to know both the people you know and don’t know like something you’ve created. Amazing how that can quench your fundamental anxieties and give you a feeling of superhuman pleasure. And better yet, you can achieve this without putting a toxic chemical into your body! What a wonderful creation.
And so the world fell prey to this digital drug. This wouldn’t really have been a problem if social media was a perfect substitution for regular human interaction. Unfortunately, it isn’t. I can’t give you a definite reason why it isn’t, but I doubt many of you would disagree. And so, the fundamental issue with social media is the following: it gives the temporary impression of filling our fundamental desire for human interaction, but it doesn’t actually. What is it called when you want human interaction, and you don’t have it? Loneliness. So basically, social media creates a population of people who think they aren’t lonely but actually, fundamentally are.
This really isn’t groundbreaking stuff. I’m simply attempting to formalize the loose thoughts cascading around my psyche. Now then, what are the fruits of loneliness? You guessed it! Depression and anxiety. Given that the average modern artist relies on social media to market themselves, it really is no wonder they all are writing about how depressed they are. However, there is even a better explanation for this phenomenon. Talking about depression and anxiety is a remarkably effective way to garner sympathy from the masses. Anyone who doesn’t take mental health seriously and makes their views public is at high risk of large-scale public shunning, so there are incentives for even the people who don’t give a snort about mental health to pretend like they do. And what does sympathy do? It promotes the sharing of deep emotions which furthermore promotes more natural human interaction.
So then, this hypothesis is centered around the notion that your average population of humans are desperately striving for meaningful interaction, but through a twisted play on the human being’s natural fears and desires, people have been diverted from natural interaction by social media.
It appears as though I’m about to hit 5 pages (I’m of course typing in Word, with standard margins and font), so I feel as though I ought to wrap this pupper up. One last tidbit, if you will. At the end of the day, social media really ought to be thought of as the tool. I, for instance, am shamelessly using it to try to increase the number of people exposed to my incalculably vast stores of wisdom that have come through my many long decades of life. However, best to not let the hammer be the one calling the shots, don’t ya think?