Let the record show that I took the time to share this with you. Note: the demo from Wonsaponatime,
Kylo, Poe and Han Solo stop off in a seedy bar following rumors about the whereabouts of Luke.
As the camera pans the room, the audience sees a variety of bizarre, but strangely familiar alien forms.
Without warning, Hans face explodes. The music stops. In shock, the group is too horrified to respond when an alien walks up to the table holding a blaster. He stares at Hans slumping corpse and says “Message from Greedo, ‘How about a ‘heads up’ next time.'”
I think about this video often. This is how I want to respond to the unfamiliar. Like Mr. Rogers responded to breakdancing.
“Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional. It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique power to express inner states or feelings. Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”
I am sucpicious of the idea of “guilty” pleasures. But here are two things that bring me more joy than I can find any reasonable explanation for.
For context, this was written about YouTube vloggers, but I don’t think that’s all that relevant here.
The problem is not lack of context. It is context collapse: an infinite number of contexts collapsing upon one another into that single moment of recording. The images, actions, and words captured by the lens at any moment can be transported to anywhere on the planet and preserved (the performer must assume) for all time. The little glass lens becomes the gateway to a blackhole sucking all of time and space – virtually all possible contexts – in upon itself.
Robots are coming for your job. That might not be bad news
The problem with automation isn’t technology. The problem is capitalism.
The first spell I really mastered was Luke’s cantrip. While on the road from Halrventon to Freesebon, Gera realized that Krashin was too busy being a demigod to actually teach me anything, so he took pity on me.
I was busy being a Very Competent Assassin. The kind who was able to take all of these adventures in stride, and so I didn’t realize quite how special Gera was and ignored most of his lessons.
But Luke’s cantrip caught my interest. Gera described it as : “Bringing part of the background into the foreground by focusing on it in the right way. Using your mind this way will create some tension that can function as useful first step for many of the more complex magics.”
Which is all true as far as it goes. Most use it as a sort of palette cleanser at the start of a big spell. But here’s why I love Luke’s cantrip: You touch the part of the universe that is raw and undefined and embrace that chaos. It opens the mind to the uncertainty that is always available to us.
Or, if you want to get mystical about it – the heart of existence is utterly indifferent to us. It does what it will by rules that we find unfathomable, no matter what the cost to those of us trying to scratch out an all too temporary life within it.
Mostly this strikes me as a problem. But Lukes cantrip makes it an asset in situations where you want a seemingly random number without using dice.
I most commonly use it when I need to make a decision.
This world gives us so little.
When you are blind you do not see blackness.
Find an object just at the outer edge of your vision, now turn your head away from it slightly.
The way in which you can no longer see it, is what Remo was contemplating.
He was at the periphery of a party wearing a jaunty purple felt hat he had chosen precisely because it did not suit him.
The music’s tempo increased. The lights seemed to pulse rhythmically. A heightened reality swirled, implying potentialities he dared not engage with.
He sat in a darkened corner with his eyes closed, trying to protect his consciousness from visions it couldn’t comprehend.
Remo had set out to slay the gods of his world, only to find that most of them were obsolete. Replaced by impersonal systems, they were highly evolved, highly adaptive. Yes they were fueled by human misery, but that was only incidental to their own survival. Now he was numb to the disappointment, with occasional pangs of fear at the degradation of his ambition.
When Jal-tok finally passed by, Remo felt the hidden dagger pulse, and prayed it would not give him away. Such aggression could not harm a god.
When Jal-tok fell to his knees, poisoned by tainted fruit and over-reaching ambition, Remo did not smile, and felt mostly sadness.
But he noted, not even gods were immune to symbols, when backed by the right dagger.