Computerism

You know what would make an excellent religion? That the world is a computer game and so we must make offerings to the players controlling our lives and our universe.

What would an offering consist of you ask? Why, whatever you think would make your player happy. If you believe helping out the poor and the sick would make them happy, do that. Think amassing vast amount of resources while others starve is what would grease their gears? Get after it! The best part of being a Computerist is that you can tell if it’s working! Do the thing, if your life gets better, it is working! If it doesn’t try something else until it does work.

Of course then we have to decide what it means for a life to get better. This is also pretty much trial and error. Don’t like where you’re living? Move. If you’re always honest and your life sucks, maybe you should try lying. That might impress the player. Should I capitalize player? Nah, I like the idea of a lower case deity. It’s just some outer space nerd playing video games after all.

Wait, you might be say, shouldn’t you avoid insulting your player? I have no idea. Despite founding the religion, I have no more knowledge as to how to benefit from it than you do. So far it seems like my player likes me ok, knows I talk a bit of shit and the player doesn’t mind, at least if the quality of my life is any indication. It hasn’t been perfect, but I have to say, it’s been good. A few ups, a few downs, a lot of decency. Player, you’re doing fine by my book. Hopefully the fact I discovered you doesn’t fuck with the algorithm.

So, you make offerings to please the players, you have to just guess what your individual player wants from you, and you gauge the success of your offerings on the quality of your life, and adjust accordingly. I’m going to need someone else to take this on though, I already have a religion to run.

A Startling Revelation

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I was in deep meditation, not suppressing or rejecting thoughts, just acknowledging them and letting them go. One thought, however, broke me from my pleasant calm and besieged me to follow it.

When I had picked up my son from his daycare a few hours earlier he had been eating a cakepop, prompting me to ask him, “Do you have a cakepop?”

I can’t tell you why parents do that, ask their small children to state obviousness, but we all do.

Joan said to me, “How do you know what a cakepop is?”

And I said, “What else could it be? It’s a cake on a pop.”

She shrugged, I collected my son, and we left. Hours later, after the scene had replayed in my head and ended my meditation, I told my wife about it. She laughed, because she’s nice, but didn’t catch anything odd about it either.

I said, “I said, ‘It’s a cake on a pop’!” and mimed the stick that the cake would be sitting on. She continued to look at me like I wasn’t the brightest deck of cards in the toolshed.

“I called the stick a pop, but since when has it even been called that? When has anyone referred to the stick of a lollypop as ‘the pop’?”

“Oh,” she said, “I don’t know. That’s strange. So the stick that food is on is called a pop?”

“Well what else is there?” I responded.

“Popsicle.” we said simultaneously.

Then, it dawned on me, the purpose of this revelation.

“That means that the stick of a popsicle is called a pop, but we, all of us, corporations and individuals alike, call a pop, a popsicle stick. We’ve made it longer, and redundant. Why?”

“It’s like ATM machine!” my wife pointed out.

The superfluous syllables ‘-sickle stick’ will not destroy irreplaceable seconds in my life ever again. Let this egregious linguistic oversight be a lesson to us all. Next week, the ontological reversal of the donut and and its hole.