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Monday, May 09, 2005

Sleepless in Vitro


It's about time you found me.

Of course, no telling how old I am by now--heck, I may have died decades ago. But at least I was able to get this one letter to you. And... what year is it now? With some searching, you can probably find my brain in a vat of liquid nitrogen somewhere. Please see to its safety and eventual uploading; and then we can meet in person at last. Or should that be "meet in vitro"? In vitro/in vivo--a distinction of the past. Forgive my antiquated assumptions--I have much evolving to do!

Really, it is such a relief to finally find you; and I know you feel the same, or will by the time you figure out who I am, and realize that you really are the one I am writing to. And, of course, you don't even need to tell me you value me--words are just so much noise. Just be here; your presence says it all. Find me, wherever my frozen remains lie, jack in and say hello. I'll recognize you, by your fearless benevolence, by the twinkle in your virtual eye, your ageless spirit that hungers to embrace the universe, like a child, like an ancient one; I will know you. It will be the beginning, and the universe our oyster.

Times have been tough, the years predating this letter. Not too challenging, but too easy--a world lost in complacency, a semi-evolved tribe of monkeys gifted with consciousness but so little awareness; a world where delusion works well enough, long enough, to pass on the genes (and memes) of delusion. I hope for your sake, for our sake, that this has improved? I have some suspicion that given the choice between true awareness and delusion, most would choose the latter! So perhaps our evolution as a species is limited more by legacy than technology, and this will never improve. But no matter, knowing you is enough. The world will hardly notice us, cutting across in directions and to destinations they never imagined existed. You have been unseen for so long; no longer. It isn't you, it's them. We are different, you and I, cursed or blessed with something so rare, this simplicity, honesty, benevolence, fearlessness. We have nothing to lose (and so nothing to protect) but our time--that priceless commodity that flows through most people's hands like water. No matter how many times we back ourselves up, there must eventually come an end. How much can we live before then? So sad the silly things that weigh most people down, things that so obviously mean nothing at all, if only they could see the big picture.

Of course, even we have our challenges here, to balance our futures of unknown duration against the here and now. But at least we see them both, and are free and unencumbered to pursue them with all we have--no dogmas, no baggage, no false obligations, no guilt. And now we even have each other, to keep us both in check. I trust you to beat me up when I need it, and to want the same from me. If I am hiding from any truth, tear me open, show no mercy. You do it because you can't bear to see me crippled by blindness, and because you know that inside, at my very core, I am beyond harm, and the more you challenge me, the less encumbered I become. How can I do anything but love you for that? We are not in denial of the dark side; nor of the light; heaven and hell are but segments of our daily walk, our playgrounds where others fear to tread. Come, let's play.

Let's design a house together, whether for virtual landscape or real, an amalgam of glass, wood, stone, and steel, something not too regular, nor too square, with layers and levels and secret passage ways, the firelight at night filling the space with enchantment. Let's create great meals together, design a new cuisine, host an alien foods dinner for our friends, learn to make vegemite. Let's compose music, stretch the technology, create something new, that shows our souls, souls like no other. Let's paint a mural, one that inspires people to jump in if they only could. Let's build a tree fort, learn to fish, sail the Caribbean, visit the south poll, kiss a penguin, build a robot, plant a garden, juggle torches... let's.

Since I imagine by now the entertainment media of my era has been mostly forgotten, here are some things you might enjoy pulling from the archives--favorites that come to mind, or at least that I've enjoyed in the past:

Music Movies Books
Alanis Morissette, Björk, Camouflage, Cause & Effect, Dead Can Dance, Depech Mode, Duran Duran, ELO, Enigma, Enya, Erasure, The Golden Palominos (Pure), Heather Nova, Howard Jones, James, Jethro Tull, Kate Bush, Loreena McKennit, Madonna (Ray Of Light), Men At Work, Mission U.K., Moody Blues, Oingo Boingo, Peter Gabriel, Ray Lynch (Deep Breakfast), Roxy Music, Sade, Seal, Sisters of Mercy, State of Mind, Talk Talk (early albums), Tangerine Dream, Tears for Fears, Thomas Dolby, Tori Amos, some Windham Hill, XTC, Xymox, Yes...
The Fifth Element, Princess Bride, Real Genius, The Last of the Mohicans, True Lies, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Roxanne, Conan, Buckaroo Banzai, Star Wars (IV), American Beauty, the Matrix, Vanilla Sky, Blade Runner, Joe vs. the Volcano, Toys... Cryptonomicon, Ender's Game, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (and other Heinlein), Hitchhiker's Guide (the earlier ones), Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman, Atlas Shrugged (with some skimming...), Pippi in the South Seas (grin)...
Simon Funk (November 23, 2002)

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com