Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ubiquitous

Ubiquitous – Adjective

existing or being everywhere, esp. at the same time; omnipresent: ubiquitous fog; ubiquitous little ants.

I think I understand why I'm finding some of these design school readings readings miserably difficult to follow, it took until mention of Neuromancer for my interest to perk up. Well, perk up in the 'well no kidding' sense. I work daily in virtual worlds, developing and marketing products. Little nothings, sometimes things from the real world I attempt to simulate by using the tools available, often it requires a little programming genius mixed with other skills I don't have and am forced to learn in a hurry.

In developing a skill set with programming, animation, sound engineering, texture artistry, geometry, mathematics and being ept enough to put it all together, I've come into a variety or weird situations. Particularly interpersonal.

I've forgotten how to do small talk. An innocent “How are you?” can reduce me to Rain Man puzzling the meaning of life with a dredging of my mind for a way to sum up the entirety of life's experience. Bored people question, “How are you?” Or needing something and engaging in ancient introduction forms. I'm not bored, I'm just boring.

As for the meaning of life, I'm convinced that it's nothing more than having a reason to smile. :)

People asking to commission me for work. I quote my rate of $30/hour and it runs into a range of shrieks of horror to a tirade of laughter. “But it's not REAL!” The expected rate of pay the would be customer seems to expect to pay, on average, is less than what a child labourer is paid in a south Asian sweat shop. I don't know about them, but all them heartbeats I'd be expending on work for them feel very real to me.

The unreal as real is becoming ubiquitous. Those who struggle with the notion are gradually being urged from society the same way the scribal class was. Death. And it's still going to take some time. Am I not working alongside an American computer modeler and texture artist? They respond to my questions, I respond to theirs. We joke. We make an unreal thing that does stuff in its unreal world. We market it. People buy it. It will never see the light of physical form. The two of us may never meet in the flesh. Are we real? My heartbeats say yes, I am.

1 comment:

Fogwoman Gray said...

Yes, I have this experience in trying to explain my relationship and virtual community.
We are real souls, communing in the same way souls have communed over time and space forever - whether via ink on woodpulp, sound waves over the aether, wires to a telephone, or a computer connection.
No more or less fictive than any other form of interpersonal communication, and our output no more or less valuable than any other method of remotely provided goods or services.
If I write a screenplay or create a painting, it still has value even if I fax the screenplay or lithograph the painting.