A Tentative World

Here is a place made to seem real.

All those things of a world she would expect to see are here, at least when she looks for them. But Laurie is not sure, not anymore. Sometimes she gets the feeling that things do not exist, not when they are out of her reach, out of her sight, anyway.

This world seems tentative to her, made up on the fly as she passes through it. Sometimes out of the corner of her eye, Laurie is convinced, that the world is not there. If only she could turn fast enough, spin on her heel one day, she is sure she would see… well, see nothing.

There are other people in this world, this pretend, this tentative world. Laurie is not sure if they are real or not. She can see them, talk to them, interact with them, touch them and even smell them. But she is not sure if they are like her, moving through this world as living beings or whether they are a creation of something.

What that creative something is Laurie does not know. It could be her own mind creating this world for her, or it could be some powerful AI computer program. It could even be some god, although she dismissed the idea of a god – or gods – a long time ago. Now, though, she is reconsidering some supreme, omnipotent, being could exist. At least it is a tentative explanation for this tentative world. She thinks that is why gods were invented, as a first explanation for the inexplicable, at least until better explanations came along.

She experiments with this world, examining it closely, touching it, smelling it, manipulating it. It all seems to work well enough when it is up close and personal, even the people seem real then. But when she takes a step back from them, a step back from the world, she is no longer certain any of it is there, not out there, anyway.

Laurie has – of course – thought she could be crazy. But who could she ask about that? Who could she trust? If this world is a simulacrum, if the people are just agents of her own mind, an AI, or even that Supreme Being, how could she trust anything any of them ever said to her?

She has had lovers in this world and all of them turned out to be untrustworthy. And if a lover cannot be trusted, who can be?

So, Laurie walks this world alone, not trusting her perceptions of it, not trusting her senses, and constantly on the lookout for some clue – detectable by those untrustworthy senses and perceptions – which will tell her this entire world is a lie.

Meanwhile, we sit up here in the control room, watching her sitting alone in the bare room as we create the world around her. All hoping she will not discover it us busy making the universe for her on the fly, or for her to discover just how tentative her entire world is.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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