html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: If I have met you, you are most likely real.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

If I have met you, you are most likely real.

When I was a kid, I never believed that anything existed outside my immediate perception. Things came into being as I saw them and if I turned around too quick I would catch the nothingness. By the time I was seven or eight I believed that land and physical objects were there all the time. People took longer. I had doubts about the permanence of other people well into junior high. As I got friends, they would tell me about things they did outside my awareness. I gradually was able to imagine them in those specific activities, then extend my belief to full-time existence for them.

But not annoying people. I was very sure that annoying people existed only at the moment they were annoying me. Even in twelfth grade I remember staring at Steve S. as he asked to copy my homework. He said he tried to work on it at home, which was so blatantly false I didn’t know why he bothered lying. He didn’t do anything “at home” because he rejoined the ether the second I turned my back. Since then I have learned that annoying people can cause trouble for me even while I am not perceiving them, which makes me think that they exist all the time. Well, my rational mind thinks that.

I got a comment and a couple emails yesterday complaining that I called you imaginary. But you guys don’t act like real people at all. Real people show up and they eat the food I make and they throw frisbees to me and they horse around with me. (Not nearly enough of them take my clothes off.) Y'all are made of pixels, if anything, and you say nice things all the time. Real people don’t mostly say nice things; they talk about the Kings and our plans for the weekend. I am standing by all my statements from yesterday. You are imaginary, smart, very hot and I clearly have a crush on you.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Chuck said...

Don’t worry I am only a figment of yours and most peoples imagination

9:01 AM  
Anonymous scottb said...

It's not so much that nothing is permanent, although that's a problem, too.

The real problem is everything is twice as big as yesterday. Including all the rulers.

That always worried me when I was little. What if _everything_ changed size - we'd never know.

ps Did I say twice as big? I meant _10 times_ bigger.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous peefer said...

Your narcissistic and solipsistic drivel is getting nauseatingly stale.

Now that I'm real, dumb, and ugly, do you still have a crush on me?

10:49 AM  
Blogger Ananda said...

And it isn't just that everything is twice as big as it was yesterday -- it's that two days ago, the universe didn't even exist at all. It, us, and all our memories spontaneously came into being on Tuesday.

(I wonder what explains the large number of philosophically trained commenters here? Must be the MR link.)

10:51 AM  
Blogger Chris Lawrence said...

"When I was a kid, I never believed that anything existed outside my immediate perception. Things came into being as I saw them and if I turned around too quick I would catch the nothingness."

I wonder if all people go through that stage; it's something I distinctly remember being quite concerned about for a while when I was little. I'm not sure when I really grew out of it.

Of course, that you think I am "very hot" clearly indicates not only that I am a figment of your imagination, but also that you are imagining someone other than me when you think you're imagining me. Try wrapping your brain around that one!

1:11 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

No, not all children go through a phase like that. Most of us are in the "Thus I refute him"-stone-kicking camp. Y'all are freaks :)

1:41 PM  
Blogger matt said...

Mmm... stone-kicking.
Because I haven't seen you, not outside the contstruct of the words I am told to believe you put here, I refuse to believe you exist. Maybe you're a computer.
Are you a computer?

And if not, what are your plans for the weekend? Because we all have a crush on you too.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Did you guys have a stage (um, two or three years) where you worried about the heat death of the universe? Did you lie awake at night, following the energy chain of your activities to find the heat losses? Man, I never found any way out of that one.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous thelonious_nick said...

Interesting to know I can't pass a Turing test...

7:31 AM  
Blogger Ethan said...

I sort of agree. People I have not met seem not-real. People I have met, but now only interact with online, seem to fade out of reality.

4:50 PM  

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