Riding the Wave

In a time of digital reproduction and near-perfect quality, relating to other humans appears increasingly anachronistic.

My iPhone updates with a new operating system as technology changes. Automatically. My personal operating system was cast at birth and set by the time I was seven.

Our cars tell us when something’s wrong, what it is, and what to do next. No-one even considers tinkering with them any more. Most of the time I can barely tell you what I’m feeling, and definitely not what caused the emotion, nor how to fix it. Every day is different, no one internal reaction the same.

Social media tell us who our friends are, why, and the last fast-food meal they ate. Everyone is neatly categorized and graded. I’m still wondering why my Grade 2 girlfriend, Jane Phillips, wanted to bring me lunch every day. It’s a mystery decades later.

A binary world of yes/no on/off outcomes is great for some parts of life, and not so good for others. Consider a computer-based romance. Such a thing would leave no room for surprise, or delight, or unexpected change, or anger, or the resolution of such a thing. Or direction shift, or kindness, or renewal of long-lost friendships.

Silicon romance lacks the chaos of biological romance. Which means that if we want real romance, we should probably learn to like the chaos, or, at a minimum, figure out how to accept it.

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