In these quiet days of dark rooms to evade summer, I often pace the sidewalks at night, extending the dark environment to its logical end. If life were only this, if there were some way to study, to absorb the strange, wonderful, disturbing events of these turbulent times, to create, to write… but this is only a lull. The engine will again require my services, probably some repetitive task with meager rewards. If someone from outside observed our world, would we appear ridiculous, wasting our lives in obscene ways? It seems we’ve (Genghis Khan, famous for killing off the aristocrats first because they were useless) engineered civilization with the caveat that you pull the yoke, or live on the streets. For most of us, there aren’t any other choices. As a result, we’re bored, violent, complex, a complexity of layers: shields, defenses, smoke screens; fake identities, faces, emotions, acts… and so the virtual world advances. “By the time 2022 rolls around, graphics will have advanced to a point at which they are ‘indistinguishable from reality,’ claims Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) visual effects supervisor Kim Libreri.” Will the worlds we create move beyond a reflection of the real, or will we descend further into darkness, extending it to its logical end?

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