Matrix: Reloaded Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Matrix: Revolutions Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Collapsing the Wave Function

27 Dec, 2010 | Brian

Courage is a strange thing. To wit, I am always deeply gratified when someone else has the courage to say what I think and feel, because the strangeness is that I did not even realize I was afraid to do it up to that point. The labyrinth gets even more bizarre when the very subject from which I cringe is, well, fear.

In the obscene history of my life (c.f. 'obscene' in the oldest Greek etymological sense: behind the scenes), there is an idea, marching anthropomorphically alongside me every step of the way, and this idea is that no one must ever know my true name, as if I was living in Earthsea among its wizards. Too dangerous! the idea whispers. I guess what that means is that I insist on likability. I will go far out of my way for it, to the extent that it can be hard for me to know whether I have a preference for something, or if I am only molding myself to what I think the people around me want. Really cutting my own path has been a hard thing for me to learn.

Maybe this is not precisely what Jerry Holkins had in mind when he wrote the Penny Arcade piece for 27 December 2010, but that's how it struck me.

"I quite purposefully obscure my actual beliefs here, unless I think that my actual beliefs will amuse you in some way, in which case I tart up some core pillar of my conscious mind and present it for your ridicule."

I must have read it five or eleven times. I try so hard to generate an imprecise derezzed quantum probability field, in which whatever your beliefs are, you see them reflected back at you. The measurement defining the particle. Yeah, I am pretty scared, and I wasn't even aware of it. As soon as I lock it down it defines a circle, and some people are in, and some people are out. Instantly unlikable, which is terrifying. So instead I opt for delay and continual obfuscation.