Viva Las Vegas!
Not for the first time (and hopefully not for the last) I was accused today of "being too cerebral".
In my usual synchronicitous way I then found myself reading the chapter in Small Pieces Loosely Joined titled "Matter".In it David Weinberger compares our literal sense of the real - the rocks we can pick up, the products we can "deliver" and so on - with the reality we create from meaning, relationships, context and society.
As I've mentioned in previous posts to this blog the web represents an alternative way of interpreting reality unconfined by physical proximity. Before the web our sense of reality was limited to the people we grew up with, the people we worked with, the books we read and the films we watched, even the people we could have a phone call with but hadn't met - all of this was largely circumstantial and out of our control.
How many of us have lived lives of misery because our choices seemed so inevitable, our received worlds so real. Some seek escape from these confines in madness. Others seek to make the external world conform to their own sense of the real (isn't dictatorship another form of madness?)
Everything in the physical world shaped by man started out as an idea. The most radical ideas broke the mold of what was possible, what was real.
I am about to cross the Atlantic in a metal tube travelling at 500 miles an hour, thirty thousand feet in the air along with several hundred other people all thinking that this is "real" and OK to treat as normal. When I arrive I will be in Las Vegas where "reality" is suspended in many ways for many people. Are those battling galleons exploding and sinking in the middle of the Nevada desert "real"? Sure they are. Hit one with your fists it hurts. But what have you hit? Is it really a galleon or just a pile of stuff given meaning by its context?
Ah well...... I'm rambling again.....
If anyone who regularly reads this madness is in Vegas next week and fancies a "real" beer I'd be happy to meet up if you get in touch.