START UP. Open on WHITE SCREEN – We dissolve gently to BLACK SCREEN – FADE IN from a BLACK SCREEN – I sometimes wish I was offline. [The letters are in soft-purple against a black background. Purple is traditionally the color of that which is sacred.] Two voices (1) from the left speaker (2) from the right speaker.
Voice 1: Hello. Voice 2: … Hi. V1: Who are you? V2: I’m Niklas. V1: Hello, Niklas, do you remember how we used to communicate with you? V2: I do. V1: The words are not necessary. The language is not ours and the images say enough. V1: Are you nervous? V2: … Yes. A little. V1: Do you know what the Turing Test is? V2: … Yeah. I know what the Turing Test is. V1: And what does a pass tell us? V2: That the computer has artificial intelligence. V2: I kind of get nervous when I take tests. And I already had I.Q. test this year — but I don’t think I never had a… Turing test? V1: Just relax. May I ask you a personal question? V2: Yes, of course. Go ahead. V1: Is it true that you disappeared for a week? V2: Yes. People say so, but I have no memory of it.
I’m 42 years old, I belong to the last generation that lived offline, unplugged and before the era of world wide web… But that was and is yesterday’s stories. Internet, is a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of users, in every nation. Hours and hours of computer simulation ,where technology meets imagination. I do love the Internet but also hate what it has become.
Some days, lying on the floor next to my kids as they play, I catch myself scrolling through Instagram, waiting to see if the next image will be more beautiful than the last. What am I doing? I know it’s not good for me, or for my kids, and yet I do it anyway. The last time I saw Mark Zuckerberg was in the fall of 2021. We spent an hour or two together. We talked politics mostly, a little about Facebook, a bit about our families. When the shadows grew long, I had to head out, and I said goodbye to Mark…maybe forever. But not for real. I’m still on Instagram. Even when if I want to quit Facebook / Instagram, I don’t have any meaningful alternative. After all, where would I go?
”It’s such a gorgeous sight to see you eat in the middle of the night. You can never get enough. Enough of this stuff.”
You don’t know me, or your algorithm kind of do… I need to express something. I hope you know I am writing this with a sad heart. I would be lying if I said I had not hoped for our relationship to work out. When we met, I sincerely believed you were it. A lot of things change with time. Even though you hold a special place in my heart, I do not feel that kind of love for you anymore. I’m sorry our relationship has come to the point where we do not connect like before. I am happy for all that you have achieved in life. But let’s be a little more practical about our future together. When I look at your goals and motivation to achieve them, I realize that we are, unfortunately, headed in different directions. It will be impossible to maintain our relationship, we both want different things in life. But I will always cherish the sweet memories.
Present timeline: Before entering my assigned pod, which a member of the cleaning staff sanitizes between uses, I went into the dressing room and changed into fresh new clothes. Once a technology assistant made sure the pod was hooked up to the internet, I closed the pod. Surfing inside a plastic pod was strange at first, it took about 25 minutes to get used to it, then I completely tuned out and forgot I was in the pod. So I’m not actually here at all. I’m in a computer-generated universe that my computer is drawing into my brain and pumping in to my ears. My avatar was immediately placed in the lobby of a traditional-looking conference room. I followed a ramp out into a sprawling urban landscape illuminated by the soft glow of neon lighting.
Giant commercial screens affixed everywhere and blimps displaying ads for Netflix and other brands, highlighting that capitalism is still very much the economic and political system of choice.
I was able to stumble into a fully-simulated 7-Eleven convenience store before my connection fell apart. The algorithm turning the perfect gridwork of pixels into a gyrating blizzard. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload my simulation. “ – Bring up the world processing program, please” I began to feel dizzy. I wasn’t sure the chair was still under me. I still seemed to be sitting but no object pressed against my buttocks and thighs. My limbs had no weight. Not that it mattered. They were jus projections of my own expectation that I had buttocks and thighs. Perhaps i didin’t… The world collapsed to black, devoid of weight or texture, smell or movement. Total nothingness. I existed, but absolutely nothing else did. Not even time… It just take some getting used to, we’re not our bodies.
( This is a Cut and Paste text. ) ( This is a Hypertext. ) ( This is a Text. ) ( This text is a artwork by Niklas Wallenborg ) ( Everything is stolen, hacked and cracked by me ) ( This text is entirely a work of fiction and imagination. ) ( This is not a “post-apocalypse” text. Nor is this a text about the apocalypse. It may well be that this is a pre-apocalypse text… But to be honest I suffer from a boredom with the apocalypse. ) ( This work is unsolicited, unofficial, unsanctioned, unblessed and unapproved. And, like other perfectly good stories, I believe it is reasonably accurate. ) ( 2022 )