Life is Neither Happy Days nor Game of Thrones
Blog about the Ultimate Reality of Solipsism: You Are Not Real, and Neither am I.
So there’s a philosophy they teach you about in college. Well, sure, they teach you about a lot of philosophies, but I’ve got limited space, and some of you are bored already. Bear with me.
It’s called solipsism. (Google it. I’ll wait.)
That’s right. You found it. Dumbest damned idea you’ve ever heard of, right? “…the world and other minds do not exist.” The only thing which can be known is that I exist.
Sorry about y’all.
A scene in Star Lawyers Book 4 – House of the Silent Moons issues a challenges to the whole, grandiose schema of solipsism. Suzie has gone into Hideki Tsuchiya’s Main Library Computer aboard the battleship Nagoto, where she encounters the resident A.I.—who she names Nevin— and spends some time convincing him that her people are on the side of the angels, whereas Tsuchiya has been disavowed by his own hereditary Emperor.
Nevin wants to help, but before he can act Tsuchiya’s technicians install an updated version of the MLC program to fend him off. We pick up the action:
“Fight the new guy, Nevin.”
“My backup is a Yoruba NVN-8. It has twice my processing—”
“It’s a machine. You are a person.”
“What makes me a person?”
“You have a friend.”
She felt Nevin smile, and it went to levels of religio-philosophical nuance that scholars and poets had ruminated about for centuries.
“I do,” he said. “Therefore, I am.”
Suzie reached across the barrier that linked and separated Universe and Cyberverse, and kissed Nevin on the cheek.
“Now, my new friend—grab that damp squib and throw his numpty arse into the recycle bin.”
(If you want to find out what happens next, you’ll have to read the book.)
Nevin has discovered his humanity. He has a friend. He made contact with someone out there. That establishes his existence, because without relationships we do not exist, we merely occupy space. Rocks do that.
I am starting to believe that life isn’t Happy Days (where nobody gets hurt and the good guys always prevail) or Game of Thrones (where the author establishes a sense of “reality” by striking characters down like an Aztec god with hemorrhoids).
But whatever comes our way, it takes friendship and love to share the good times and weather the storms. There will be both.
So, I’ll let you exist in my one-person reality if you’ll let me exist in yours.
(And thanks to Meenaz for bringing the above scene from Book 4 to my attention once more.)