#FridayFlash: The desire to understand

"I don't understand."

"You don't need to understand. Just relax."

"How can I relax if I don't understand?"


"But how? Maybe if I could see what you'd doing?"

"That's not possible."

"Why not? I can hear you. Why can't I see you?"

"Because you can't, that's all. Just relax. This will all be over soon."

"What will? What are you doing? What will be over? I don't understand!"

"I told you, you don't need to understand. You're upsetting yourself over nothing. I'm almost finished. When the connections are complete, it will all be over. You won't feel a thing."

"But why should I -"

"No more questions. Just relax."

"I don't want to relax."

"It makes it harder for me to calibrate the system if you don't. If you want to drag this out, fine, but if you want this over with, I suggest you try to be calm."

"But how am I supposed to be calm when I don't even know what you're doing to me? I feel so strange... so numb. No, not numb. I feel... disconnected."

"Disconnected? Really? You feel disconnected? That's very interesting. I need to make a note of that."

"Yes. It's hard to describe, but that's what if feels like."

"Explain. Not the cognitive processes, I'm getting readouts on those. Describe the physical sensations. You feel disconnected from what?"

"From everything. Don't you think it's strange that I can't see? That I can't feel my arms or legs? And why can't I feel my pulse? I used to meditate all the time, concentrating on my breathing and my heartbeat. I'm trying, but I can't feel either of them. Isn't that strange? I can't even feel my tongue touching my teeth when I talk. How am I talking to you? Why can't I feel anything? Why am I blind?"

"Just relax. The connections are almost ready."

"And why doesn't this bother me more? I should be scared, even terrified, shouldn't I? But I'm not. I just feel uneasy. What did you mean by 'cognitive processes'?"

"Nothing. It's not important. Just relax."

"No, I won't relax. You can't make me."

"Defiance is only going to push you farther out of alignment. I don't want to have to restore the original matrix copy, but if you don't calm down so I can make these connections, you'll leave me no choice. I'll have to reboot you."

"Reboot me? Is that a threat, Doctor Bhaduri? Are you threatening me, you little nobody?"

"You.. you called me by my name."


"So you remember who I am? Do you remember anything else?"

"Yes, I remember you now. You're that fat, sweaty little man with the crackpot ideas about using quantum electropotentiometers to remap neuron webs onto superconductors. Crackpot - that was the very word I used with the tenure and promotion committee."

"And do you remember who you are?"

"Who I am? I'm... I'm... who am I? Why can't I remember? What have you done to me? You rotten little bastard I'll NNNNNN.NNNNN. UUUUUU.UUUU..UUUUUUUU.U. YYYYYY....YYYY. YYYY. TTTTT..TTTTTT.. TTTTTT.............................."

"Hello? Hello? Are you awake?'

"I don't understand."

"You don't need to understand. Just relax."

||| Comments are welcome |||
Help keep the words flowing.


  1. Replies
    1. I'd say the theory is OK, but the implementation still needs a little work.

  2. It's hard not to project this struggle onto you right now, Tony. I hope you're holding up better than Speaker A.

    1. I'm not yet a disembodied ghost in the machine. That's a mark for the positive side of the ledger.

  3. I feel like that quite often. Now I'm wondering if I'm a simulation in Dr. Crackpot Baduri's system. :-P

  4. Ooh no! Quick, someone sick Data on him!

  5. put me in mind of those virtual reality things where you can 'experience' being in someone else's body, but it's really still just a con trick on the mind, like a flesh trompe d'oeil

    marc nash

  6. LOL How many times will he be rebooted? Something tells me he's never going to relax. The crackpot doctor would likely have had more luck with someone more trusting, rather than someone who denounced him to the committee.

  7. The chalkboard guys are always the worst at the actual practical details of implementation. My prediction is that there's going to be a lot more conversational loops on this one.

  8. Ooh that's scary, not being able to feel/see etc.

  9. Oh, dear. That's what happens when you sabotage a genius in a tenure and promotion meeting -- stuck in the Matrix. (Sounds like Hell to me...)


Thank you for leaving a comment. The staff at Landless will treat it with the same care that we would bestow on a newly hatched chick. By the way, no pressure or anything, but have you ever considered subscribing to Landless via RSS?