Author: JT Velikovsky
They say, (well, Science says) the human brain is wired to love natural rural scenes.
So, call me an old-fashioned Utopian, but… these days, I always have my brain-computer interface re-design, re-sculpt, and re-paint, my realtime-vision of the city I live in.
Augmented Reality. It overlays perfectly-rendered three-dimensional graphics onto objects in the visible world. I can’t tell, they’re not the real thing. So–instead of concrete skyscrapers towering above me–I always see: giant redwoods. I mean truly gargantuan ones… Draped in lush green vines.
And instead of endless columns of cars clogging up the swarming city streets, I see miles of mammoths, migrating in millions as they trudge along a well-trod earthen track… (Sometimes, just for some variety, it `swaps’ vision of the mammoths out for giant ants, or other enormous prehistoric insects… I can watch those for hours… Sunlight glistening in rainbows on their shells as they amble along.)
And–the bustling city human crowds–for me–are all dressed in `caveman’ bear-skins, rather than their business suits… Their briefcases become old wooden clubs; their cell-phones are sea-shells. People no longer talk on a phone, but instead just listen to the sound of the ocean inside the shell… No-one texts a message, but instead I just see them tracing out a swirled shell-pattern, with their fingers. I like it that way.
The sounds I hear are all synthesized, too… No more inner-city engine-roars, screeching tires, car alarms, police-sirens… Just: serene animal sounds… The rumble and screech of the Jurassic jungle.
But–mostly, the soothing silence…? The whisper of the breeze in the tall trees. And that pungent smell of the ancient forest: fecund fresh earth, and moist fungi–instead of all those car-exhausts, rotting city rubbish, septic sewer-ooze.
A really funny thing… I really don’t miss all that Euclidean city geometry–and all of those strange, straight parallel-lines of brutalist buildings and byways… The square swathes of all those cement sidewalks.
All gone, for me!
I much prefer this new, ancient natural rural world… I feel at home.
They tell me that all the Dystopians instead have their realities `painted over’ with: bombed-out buildings, scorched landscapes. Mutant zombie critters roaming the ruins, instead of the people… (It’s not my thing…)
My own brain-interface even makes my sense of taste match that of the ancient past… So everything I eat tastes and smells like raw meat. But I do miss the ice-cream… And, burnt bacon.
I could ask my digital interface just to rewire my brain, so that I was equally-pleasured by the sights, sounds and smells of the actual city, as it is now… As, we had made it. All: parallel and perpendicular.
But–billions of years of biological evolution baked into a bipedal brain are not so easily undone.
And can we ever really believe all that we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch? Last count, we had eight senses, not just five. Some studies even suggest–with our technology upgrades–we have twenty-two senses(!)
You can alter the observer, or the observed. The perceiver, or the perceived. Or both.
I like to think that both me, and my environment, are: co-evolving. An emergent synthesis.
So, call me an old-fashioned Utopian…?
I’ll hear it.
Decoded as primeval guttural grunts, as we stroll in the ancient cities of tomorrow.