Wednesday, April 1, 2015

the Nether

I am fiddling with my phone. It is an ordinary smartphone, most probably your phone is very similar in many ways. This same phone has more computer power than all of NASA back in 1969 when it placed two astronauts on the moon. [Take 2 seconds to read that last line again]. I know how you feel, get over it.

It does not take a stretch of imagination to realize how quickly (to be exact, exponentially) computer power is growing and if you told me that mind reading would be possible, I would nod in agreement: in time…you will be able to read my mind and I wouldn't even have to write this post. (of course, you would have to resurrect me first). But there is more than mind reading to future…like living your imagination…

What if you could live your wildest dreams without consequence? You could be anyone, you could be with anyone, dead or alive, you could do anything…no limits whatsoever. You could be God or you could be a pedophile. You could create man or you could kill man…all in your head but as real a feeling as this black keyboard I’m touching. What if?

This is what “The Nether” is about. The Nether is a sci-fi thriller theater play written by the American writer Jennifer Haley that explores the future of Internet (“Nether”) where a computer program (“Hideaway”) can make one cross the line between reality and imagination and live their dreams without consequence. In this case, it was pedophiles who could fulfill their imagination with an 11 year old girl Iris. They also used to cut off her head with an ax.  

Is it ok?

In the play, the program author is being investigated by police…but rather than giving a verdict, the play raises many questions…and answers none…

Is it ok to have no limits, both ways, if this is only in your head? Is it ok to fulfill your desires in an imaginary world? It is ok to exploit kids and kill them if this happens only in your head?

I do not know what the right answer is and whether there is a right answer, but I, personally, believe our imagination, like our thoughts, are one place that should remain private…they can be the darkest thoughts ever but as long as they hurt no one, and do not translate into acts, it’s better to let them be where they are…I would prefer a world without imagination police.

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