Systems

by Benjamin Ong

1. There are two worlds: that of biological humans, and that of systems. The latter assumes and builds upon the former, such that eating, use of restrooms, and performance of child-care are justifiably ignored by the systems. And thus it is that there exist activities — work; sexual activity; sport; driving a motor vehicle — in which ineptitude attracts censure, for these activities are, for all intents and purposes, not reducible to a set of simple physical movements, though the respective domains of activity may be reducible into a series of simple processes, e.g. drafting a memo; setting up a meeting; turning right; loading a rifle. For, though each of these processes may appear to be equal merely to a set of movements — to click here; press these buttons; speak these words — nobody could possibly think so and yet be deemed sane.

2. The former world consists of tasks in which the latter does not impute agency. Hence the restrooms at the office exist, and are used, but nobody uses them; coffee is drunk, and coats taken off, and, even, doctors seen, but nobody does these things. They are merely overheads — quite literally so, for they are constraints to which no right-thinking person pays any attention.

3. For the avoidance of doubt, this does not constitute wilful blindness; it is not even blindness; it is perfectly natural. Neither is it abstraction, for abstraction tacitly acknowledges that which is abstracted, whereas the latter world simply eclipses the former.

4. But to the child, the second world does not exist; mummy carries the plastic bags, or gives a note to the man who gives daddy some coins and a cup, which daddy then opens and drinks from; mummy turns the wheel, takes the telephone from the table, mutes the television, talks.

5. It is ironic, then, that elements within the latter world — highway engineering; supply chains; the legal profession; medicine — support the former. And thus there may be identified an indistinct interface between the two, one in which humanity is in uncertain limbo; may this interface grow only smaller, and quickly, for, though it be tempting, it is where horror and anomie are born.

6. May the former world never show itself when the latter is in operation. For on the day of rapture, for but a moment, it will, and then humanity will be shown to be what it truly is, and this is what will kill everybody.

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