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Okay, this will be a weird one but hear me out. I’m sure I’ll have a point to make by the end. Well, I hope there’s a point to this. Right now, all I have is a silly flight of fancy. It’s a whimsical notion that has an ounce of reason, a touch of madness, and a whole lot of what-if’s thrown in for good measure.

I feel like I need to start with a warning, so voila. You’ve been warned. I’m in a very peculiar headspace. There’s no controlling it, and believe me, I’ve tried. You’d have better luck wrangling a moose rampaging through Starbucks after it ingested all of the espressos. I think it’s best if we both hold on tight until we see where this goes.

Speaking of going, shall we jump in?

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I’ve come to the not very scientific conclusion that we are, in fact, living in a simulation. None of this is real. There’s a control centre somewhere out there, and someone is pushing random buttons. Should they do it with more care? Absolutely, but let’s face it, it doesn’t matter what reality you live in, no one’s paid enough to care that much.

Some minimum wage temporary employee is sitting in their cubicle with Earth Sim two-point-whatever running on a computer that’s five years out of date. They’re on their third java, second big gulp, and they’re licking the grumbles out of a Doritos bag. There’s a banana on the desk because everyone wants to eat healthier, but those brown spots have more motivation. I applaud the attempt, if not the execution.

They slam back the coffee and put the cup on the manual that carefully outlines protocols and procedures. They’re supposed to reference the Good Book, as management calls it, before pushing a button. Alas, the pages are stained with greasy fingerprints, coffee rings, and an unidentifiable substance. The words are barely legible, and the effort it takes to turn the page is too much for our poor, underpaid temp.

So buttons are pressed whenever a supervisor walks by, and our friend needs to look busy. Was it the right button? Meh, maybe. Maybe not. Hmm, did they restock the break room? That’s the only upside to working at a Simulation Control Centre. The snacks are excellent.

Damn it, Carl! Why did you push that button? It’s the one button you weren’t supposed to touch. It’s red and big and it has a warning label that reads, “Do Not Press!” It’s bad enough that you started a global pandemic. We thought you learnt your lesson after that debacle, but here we are on the brink of…Damn it, Carl!

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I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. It was just a movie. Who would actually believe that machines rose up and staged a coup against their creators? That’s ridiculous. It’s Absurd. It’s banana pants woohoo. Get some sleep, you’re starting to sound a little bonkers.

Machines plugging people into a matrix? Laughable! Sure it makes a fun film if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s also a neat exercise in What-If. What if we created a computer so powerful that it became sentient? What if it decided that it could do a better job? 

Here’s a better question: Would it be wrong? Given all the evidence? Uh… 

No, handing over our lives to machines would be a horrible idea. Probably. Actually, it’s still up for debate. But if the movies taught us anything? Yeah, it’s a silly thought.

And that’s all it is! A silly little mental exercise. I haven’t completely lost my mind or touch with our reality. I’m simply questioning the state of reality itself. Is it real? What is real? What if we’re a part of some cosmic experiment? Everything we’ve experienced has been devised and implemented by a scientist, computer programmer, or some whacked out deity. What if our world, our lives, are nothing more than an exercise in celestial curiosity?

Did I just glance up at the sky and wait to be deleted? Sure, but that’s a natural response. You know, just in case my wacky hypothesis is correct. Obviously, if it were, they’d want to silence the people who put the pieces together. They can’t have the world knowing that this is a simulation, and life as we know it is artificially created.

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Have I been deleted yet?

It’s silly, I know it is, and I’m not under some delusional spell. My mental health hasn’t deteriorated that much. I’m simply trying to make sense of everything that’s going on because it’s beyond my scope of understanding. What seems more reasonable to you? The world has collectively lost its mind, or someone pushed a button they shouldn’t have, and now the matrix is malfunctioning?

Mm, that’s a tough one.

Again, I assure you, I haven’t lost my mind, though that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. The problem is simply a tired mind trying to make sense of recent events. How can so much suffering occur over such a short period, yet it’s met with callousness and conspiracy? How can the evil of one man be allowed to flow unchecked for so long? How is it possible that one person can cause so much death, fear, and upturn the lives of millions of people?

I don’t understand how…why…It doesn’t make sense to me.

I was journaling the other day because that’s supposed to help settle the mind. Self-care is important! Especially when you’re living through the tenth once-in-a-lifetime experience in two years. I’m really getting tired of that phrase. It’s losing all meaning at this point.

In a simulation that’s trying to pull us apart in the cruellest of ways, the best resistance is kindness.

Anyway, I was writing down my thoughts on recent events. You know, trying to make sense of it all. It wasn’t working, my mind wasn’t settling down, and I didn’t feel like I was purging any excess emotions. Nothing made sense, and that’s when it hit me. What if God (or whatever deity you believe in) didn’t create the world because their heart was pure? What if they were bored and thought, “I wonder what would happen if…” And thus, the earth was created, and the experiment commenced.

What happens when you put a diverse collection of humans and assorted creatures on a tiny globe? How would they respond to adverse conditions? Would they rise to the occasion or crumble? Do they have a breaking point, or will they stay strong? How far can we push them before something snaps?

It’s a game or a show. It’s a puzzle to solve. With great power comes great boredom? 

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I know, it’s a silly thought. If you believe in God, then you’re screaming, Blasphemy! God would never, but what if? And why did God create the earth and all that was on it? There was nothing, and then there was us. Why? Why do it? Why would a creator let their creation suffer?

It would make sense if this was a simulation. It makes more sense than watching bombs fall on homes and the blood soaked faces of innocent people. It makes more sense than a virus that’s killed millions of people in short order. It makes more sense than happenstance.

Even then, it begs the question: Why would these cosmic forces be so cruel?

That’s the age old query, isn’t it? If there is a god, why would they let horrific things happen? War and the evil deeds of unstable minds. Famine, starvation, the lines of refugees seeking safety and peace. The tears of the terrified and the grieving. Why is this a part of your simulation?

What did you learn in this social experiment? Are we more divided than ever before, or did you push us so far apart that we found our way back together? Are we weaker or stronger than you thought? Did we act as you expected, or did we surprise you?

Has it been fun for you to watch us fight for our lives or a moment of happiness? Was it worth it? If you are out there, this cosmic entity or God, why does it have to be this way? Can it end now? Have you had enough?

Despite leaving organized religion a decade ago, I have a system of belief that includes a greater power. I call it God, but the name doesn’t matter to me. What’s essential is knowing or believing that there’s something powerful out there holding us together. I believe that we were created to work in unison, not division. 

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When we work together rather than in opposition of each other or our better angels? We are capable of magnificent things. We can stop evil, cure diseases, and end suffering. We can change the story, take control of the simulation, and rewrite a narrative that was destined to fail.

I suppose, in the end, it doesn’t really matter if this is a simulation or an experiment. It’s our reality as we perceive it, so what do we do with it? The answer seems like it should be complex or philosophical. Perhaps the control centre is trying to make this messier than it needs to be? What if we screw with them for a change and make this as simple as possible?

In a simulation that’s trying to pull us apart in the cruellest of ways, the best resistance is kindness. It’s cheesy and gag worthy, but it’s the weapon we have at hand. It takes little effort though it requires courage. So, be brave. Be strong. Be kind.

Honestly, I’m really hoping it’s that simple because, damn it, Carl, the SIM is a mess.

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