Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,
Andrew
perspectivism

Indulge me . . . Imagine that the web population is a much smaller fraction of the world than it actually is. That there are 10,000,000,000,000,000's of people alive and offline, and yet there is only today's web. Imagine that it takes the productive resources of a whole town or city even to afford 'net access for one individual. Access as rare as a medieval knight's armor and horse. The same kind of access that you have right now. You're one of the few, the proud, the 'surfers': one of the special people.

To become special, to get here, let's say you won a kind of election: Many people love who you are and that that's why you're given web access. A bunch of people got together, bought a single suit of armor, and asked you to wear it. Your electorate, your constituency, is almost shockingly self-actualized and growth-oriented: Your job is to get as much as you can through the web world and bring back wisdom or expertise or dollars or something good. You're sufficiently loved that most of your electorate's pleasure comes simply from their faith that you'll make good use of the resource and that you're growing. They would certainly love to see the results of your growth as those results come in, and you're surely good-hearted enough to speak to them about your travels.

What might that do to your sense of responsibility? To your intensity? It might inform what you want to be during your limited, valuable web time.

Extend this model, this vision, this fantasy, this imagineering filter to everything, to all of your life . . . The idea being: When you're writing, you're writing as one person representing ten thousand others. When you're driving a car, you're driving as one for a million people just like you in the back seat. How would this extra motivation affect your life? [Aside: This model extension illustrates major psychological appeals of altruism and utilitarianism. Getting to live as if you're representing all those people!]

In a funny way, all this modeling and extending accurately describes your real-life situation. It is exactly what you're doing all the time; you have no choice about it except how to approach it and deal with it. 'You' changes over time. The you-now is a little different from the you-yesterday. At any particular moment, your existing time-sliced self is basically an active-cursor link within a long chain of selves, each one acting with ramifications affecting the millions of selves to follow. Those millions of selves to follow, and also in a way the selves that came before, are like your perfect electorate. They are supersimilar to you, they wish you the absolute best, they naturally and happily sponsor your dreams, and they hope you sometimes bring something back to them too from your journeys. Whatever part in your own life you're playing today, you-today are the self who gets the honor and responsibility of uniquely doing it.

You are your own ecosystem! You are your own marketplace! You are your own group of friends!
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