December 28th, 2000


Sometimes, all you can say is...

And maybe we're just kids who've grown, and maybe not,
And maybe when we're on our own, we don't have much,
But oh, we are young and not tired of it,
Oh, we are young and easily lead,
Oh, with all the kids getting out of their heads.
Oh, Class A, Class B, is that the only chemistry?
Oh, Class A, Class B, is that the only chemistry between us?!!
  • Current Music
    Suede - The Chemistry Between Us

The Tao of Sims

Hm... maybe I think too much, but playing The Sims has been kind of a philosophical lesson for me...

I was thinking about how much I (or anyone) behave like a pre-programmed machine. Sometimes, that can be a good thing... the machine knows how to take care of us, more or less. I would rather have an autopilot option than not, but to really live your life, you have to learn how to control the machine, and not have the machine control you...

Another thought that occurred to me; maybe I'm just living in an elaborate sim.... but a sim of what? It occurs to me that reality as we have made it is really just a sim of the creatures of our imagination, but designed for "real world considerations"... cost, ease of production, gravity, terrain, weather, location, infrastructure, etc. When you consider what we are building from (our fantasies) and what we are building for (reality)... well, we have a long way to go. We really are a pretty lazy, uncreative bunch when you think of it. You would think that technology would have helped us to release more of our creativity in our regular world, but it hasn't really... it has enabled us to be even lazier and to create mass amounts of inherently boring, unoriginal crap.

And then there are computers... it's worth mentioning the plural of computer, because a computer is a relatively boring item. People need to stop designing objects for a computer and start designing them for computers because that means that you and I will have something we can share...

Like designing for the "real world", designing for computers also involves similar considerations: cost, ease of production, gravity (designing for stability), terrain (platform/software specific considerations), weather (designing for inclement, unpredictable conditions), location (where we are relative to each other), infrastructure (what is the software built upon and how will it facilitate designing for us and not just I). Not that different from the real world, is it?

The great thing about designing for computers is that humanity can redesign the landscape easier... we can reduce gravity, flatten mountains, make it sunny every day, and make the distance between you and I much, much closer. We just need to design for it and create the technology. Think about the programs that you (not we) use on your computer... couldn't we both be designing that document/ creating that website/ drawing in photoshop? Couldn't we do the same thing with industry, allowing us to individually design our world rather than having it sold to us in bulk?

We're leaving the computer age and entering the age of computers... it could be quite interesting, but behind it all, it will be all about me and you.
  • Current Music
    Nick Cave & The Badseeds - The Ship Song