I feel like a norn with a lazy decision lobe. Stimulus from around me raises and lowers various meters in my head, and when one hits a maximum value I’m motivated enough to do that action. Norns have a very limit scope of things they can do compared to a person — move, eat, talk, sleep, etc — but the concept is the same. Today, despite having lots of vague ideas in my head about what I might do, even just what I might write about here, I don’t have much of a push to do any one thing in particular.

I have a lot of notes on some books I’ve read that I should put together and post in the compendium. Each book I read ends up with a dozen little bookdarts marking various pages. Words I want to look up, words I want to remember. A clever sentence or an inspiring quote. Where my brother uses only one to mark his place, moving it from book to book as he reads, I ordered 250 three years ago and am now in desperate need for more.

Then again, I have books still waiting to be read at all. I don’t need to revisit the ones I’ve already taken in quite yet. Then there is the mundane, from doing dishes and laundry to going up to the gym. Yes, these things need to be done, but none so urgently as to max out their little meter in my head.

Instead I sit around, snacking (lacking the inspiration of a good meal to cook), watching television or movies. I might yet watch another, but to appreciate them I need to be in the mood. I think about how I might make a moral argument for ageism, for a debate in one of my upcoming classes. The Truman Show pushes me to wonder if a perfect simulation is as good as the real thing. Seahaven Island was not perfect, of course, since it failed to deceive its only real inhabitant completely. If a perfect simulation of a world is not worth living in, doesn’t God’s having created this universe make it worthless? A poor excuse for the real universe where God himself lives and plays.

I was standing in the shower and looked down at the scar on my chest. I wondered what it would have looked like in the few hours between when I didn’t have the scar and when it started healing together. The doctors know. This thought is only half-formed for a reason, and I can bet most people can guess at what it is. Very few relish picturing their sternum being sawed apart.

But as far as I know, for as much as I care, it may never have happened. All is ephemeral, one moment passing to the next. From a sunny summer afternoon to a hospital ICU and back again to the outdoors, nothing changed but a bit of epidermis. Photons that have flowed through space for 14 billion years meet their end in a simple man-made detector asking simple questions about the world. Even energy is not conserved.

Why would we want it to be anyway? Not much happens in flat spacetime. There are no snacks to be eaten, no movies to watch, no people to meet and have conversations with. Just a gedanken and a dream. This all sounds a bit nihilistic, I know, but with the right mindset even nihilism can be the motivation we need.

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