Taichung City, Taiwan, 2019
November 14, 2020

Reality

The Pope is praying for our relationship with technology. “Let us pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind,” he said. In Washington DC, the self-styled militias that once haunted the dirty fringes of the American mind commingled with Republican leaders, groups with names like the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers. They hollered “stop the steal” outside the Supreme Court because they believe the president should have been reelected.

We’re slipping into a new medieval age of faith and feeling. Our screens encourage us to curate the realities we’d like to believe, revealing a deep-boned craving for affirmation and grievance, as well as dot-connecting that festers into conspiracies. How does any of this get unwound? When I got sober seven years ago in New Orleans, a profane old man would often tell me, “Fuck your feelings.” Then he’d remind me of the facts. That advice probably saved my life.

Despite my best efforts, I don’t trust most of my clicking and scrolling, knowing it’s guided by the invisible hand of an algorithm. Meanwhile, I’m having long telephone calls with people about the facts of this winter. We discuss our plans for hunkering down and sheltering in place. All of us staying home, spending more time navigating the world through screens.


Calimex Mental Implant Corp. – Reality Is Possible

El Saber Del Arpavor | Nightwind Records, 2015 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020 I'm writing a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I want to etch these days into my memory before I forget them. Before the world changes completely.
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