Tuesday, January 28, 2020

My Life as an NPC



Something had always been gnawing at me. The idea that I am not something which is tied to a specific identity. In a coarse sense, I am somewhat like a mathematical function, taking some input and generating an output. Like every function, there is a domain (available inputs) and range (available outputs). As life in one's twenties crystallizes and converges to a more stable state, I would like to explain what my domain and range are - for they inform more than the behavior of the function is, but perhaps of all functions in general. My domain:  is a fixed path, a life of routine, everyday exactly the same, almost like waiting at the ready for the protagonist to interact with me and use what meaningless talents I have for some inconsequential task which is a subset of some even more pointless cog - in an unceasingly rotating wheel. My world becomes so small the days blend together and nothing new emerges out of it.

My range: anxiety, depression, picking mental needles out of haystacks and repeatedly pricking myself with them. The difficulty with such a limited output is it throws the proportion of good feelings to bad feelings horrendously out of whack. So, one could try to inject this black box function with new experiences hoping to bias it to new points in the range of outputs. I believe this cannot nor will not happen. As a staunch believer in the simulation hypothesis, I have come to the conclusion that I am an inert being. I have found the walls of my container like a firefly in a jar, my orbits are bound from the start. But, I will keep drawing out fluorescent shapes until the fuel runs out. This is of course a self-fulfilling prophecy or an irrelevant argument altogether (if free will doesn't exist), but I think the reason for suffering is that this simulation I am living in is most likely not mine

While I feel I am a complex organism with thoughts of my own, it is plausible that in a simulation game built for someone else, I am merely an AI following a prescribed path which was determined by drawing my attributes from some laundry list of random variables and plopping me wherever I landed. This is why I conclude I am most likely an NPC. Anyone who isn't at least 3 sigma better than everyone else at something, is likely an NPC. Even if you don't take my words literally, it is true that we are just following the footsteps of greater minds, never quite going past the surface of the most complex ideas, appearing very primitive and weak compared to the truly rare. These people, who are unbeknownst to us or them, protagonists, are the exceptional ones. We merely are meant to flesh out the playground for those people. It is possible that my purpose, if one could concretely say there was one at all, is that I am to brush across an NPC at some  low point in their game and this will lead to their turning around their mindset towards the game based on what I say or making them feel better by direct comparison, etc. True alienation would be you are just necessary for other drones which is a unit contribute to some minuscule event in the protagonists' storyline.

So this fixed prescribed path, the suffering, the anxiety and depression was all predestined from the luck of the draw, but unlike poker I cannot fold and draw again. We must accept our lot in life because the idea of opposition to something that much greater than ourselves is pointless. The bright spot in all this, is that perhaps there was a consciousness of 99.9% similarity to mine who is a protagonist. Exploring another world, and that "being" is a dynamic one, a brave one, a useful one. In my weakest moments, I comfort myself with the pathetic valediction before returning to the regularly scheduled programming : "If only I was the same - but different".

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