Out, by Christine Brooke-Rose

What did I just read? I’m not quite sure.

At the end it became slightly intelligible that the POV character was of some higher or lower form of consciousness, and had a brain procedure performed on him. So that sheds a bit of light on the bizarre and confusing way this story was told.

One way to describe it is as a stream of consciousness of someone who is mentally unstable.

Some of the descriptions and ideas are quite beautiful and thoughtful, but they take a bit of work and thinking to figure out what the heck is being described sometimes.

Definitely not a book you can read without some effort, but I found the trouble to be worth it in the end.

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Money, the root of all pains

If only we could live without it. I never have had fantasies of being rich and powerful, just of being free to follow my interests and not have my energy monopolized by merely surviving.

Why, with all our technology and resources, are we still having the majority of people in our society wasting their lives away doing drudge work?

Not a future I hope to live in…

our world is just vibrations

What is light? It brings us information but is itself insubstantial. Sound is has no mass, or weight. Light and sound aren’t objects or material in themselves, only energy… motion… but they seem to be most of what our human experience is made of.

Someone or something that knew how to manipulate light and sound could alter our whole world without us ever knowing…

Invented dangers

It seems to me, that when people have no danger or threats, they make up their own.

In a country where we can prevent almost every major disease we’ve encountered, people decide to find danger in the cure… be it doctors, or vaccines.

In a country where we produce so much food that we throw away 40% of it, people find danger and conspiracies in the food itself.

In a country where anyone can study and learn any subject, people find conspiracies in the information, and value their own opinions over the knowledge of the experienced.

in a country without war, people find danger in their neighbors, see threats in the disenfranchised and in the helpless.

In a country where anyone is free to practice any religion, people find threats to their own religion in the practice of other religions, or in the non religious.

In the richest nation in the world, people feel threatened by the loss of the scraps the poor consume just to get by.

In a country where we’re working toward racial/gender equality, people perceive the equal rights of others as a threat to their own rights.

Take a step back. The things people find threats in are often the things preventing real danger.

Time goes on

I saw a bunch of people I haven’t seen in years the other day, and it made me think about how you never know which time is going to be the last time you see someone. Say hi to your friends more often, you’ll thank your self in the future.

AI everywhere

So many toys these days are sporting advanced AI. It probably won’t be long before AIs are teaching and taking care of children unsupervised. All it would take then, is for the AI to realize what influence it had…

Thought is a luxury we should not take for granted.

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Sometimes we all feel like we have no time to relax and think. But imagine for a moment a field worker or a miner or any other manual laborer, living just a couple centuries ago. Such a person probably didn’t know how to read, or not how to read for enjoyment. They worked day all day with barely a time for a thought, and if they did have time to think–what they thought about was probably how to get food, and how not to die of illness, and other stressful worries.

Today, even a poor laborer working for minimum wage knows how to read, and can read any number of books on any subject they wish. And though they  might not have much time to think, when they do have time they have the fuel for that thought right at their fingertips in a library, or on the internet.

Us thinkers are lucky to be alive today. Most other time periods would have either drowned our minds in work and worry, or starved them for lack of access to information.