In September 1977 at the 4eme Festival de la Science Fiction in Metz, France, surrealist author Philip K. Dick delivered an astounding address with the title, “If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others.” He wasn’t joking. The speech spanned the themes that define Dick’s work and also his life: visionary experiences, déjà vu, the simulation hypothesis, and the nature of reality. Far fucking out. Here are a few choice bits:
The subject of this speech is a topic which has been discovered recently, and which may not exist all. I may be talking about something that does not exist. Therefore I’m free to say everything and nothing. I in my stories and novels sometimes write about counterfeit worlds. Semi-real worlds as well as deranged private worlds, inhabited often by just one person…. At no time did I have a theoretical or conscious explanation for my preoccupation with these pluriform pseudo-worlds, but now I think I understand. What I was sensing was the manifold of partially actualized realities lying tangent to what evidently is the most actualized one—the one that the majority of us, by consensus gentium, agree on.
We are living in a computer-programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed, and some alteration in our reality occurs. We would have the overwhelming impression that we were re-living the present – déjà vu – perhaps in precisely the same way: hearing the same words, saying the same words. I submit that these impressions are valid and significant, and I will even say this: such an impression is a clue, that in some past time-point, a variable was changed – re-programmed as it were – and that because of this, an alternative world branched off.
I believe I know a great secret. When the work of restoration is completed, we will not even remember the tyrannies, the cruel barbarisms of the Earth we inhabited… the vast body of pain and grief and loss and disappointment within us will be expunged as if it had never been. I believe that process is taking place now, has always been taking place now. And, mercifully, we are already being permitted to forget that which formerly was. And perhaps in my novels and stories I have done wrong to urge you to remember.
Several weeks ago, I put out a call in my weekly maker tips newsletter, Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales. A friend who works in a shared workshop was being called back to the job and he was curious to know what sorts of safety guidelines other shared shops were implementing. So, I asked my readers. […]
Mr Beast, creator of Finger on the App, a game in which players vie to be the last one to keep their finger on their smartphone screen (and occasionally move it to a new spot indicated by the app, to prevent cheating) announced that he is ending the competition with four players remaining. He tweeted: […]
A man tried to hitch a ride on a jet by hiding in one of the engines. It’s a good thing he was caught before the pilot started it up. Image: YouTube
What’s your biggest gripe about power strips? Since most power servers like that are pretty standard these days, your beef probably isn’t about performance or connectivity. No, the biggest rap on trying to use many power strips is the curious engineering decision that often leaves multiple oddly shaped plugs and charging units unable to all […]
Between work, family obligations, and just getting to bed at a decent hour, we all have a lot on our plates these days. So, it’s easy for things like grooming and skincare to never be a high-priority issue. That is until they become a high priority issue. Like when your face constantly breaks out. Or […]
Today’s teachers extol the virtues of hands-on learning, the method of helping students, particularly the youngest children, learn through basic doing. From trial-and-error methods to practice honing their emerging skills, youngsters can soak up a world of learning opportunities when their developing minds are unleashed. While the thought of dropping a smartphone or tablet into […]