In Other Worlds
"So, this is the big goodbye. Tell me something, Dix. When you've gone, will this world still exist? Will my wife and kids still be waiting for me at home?" --Lt. McNary, TNG The Big Goodbye.
Picard and the crew of the Enterprise have their first experience with the holodeck in The Big Goodbye. In a mildly touching scene towards the end of the episode, the holographic character, Leutenaint McNary ponders inexistence as Jean-Luc prepares to exit his holonovel program and return to the "real" world.
The mail server at work had crashed again this morning. It had been getting progressively worse over the past few weeks, a memory leak somewhere in between the mail retrieval application and the smtp interface combined with an aging Windows 2000 installation with more than a few cobwebs floating around in its operations. Today was spent setting up and finally putting in place a Linux box to replace the old server, a tedious job when it seems the system is determined to do anything but what you want it to.
Shopping after work at the supermarket, my attention turns to the faces of the other shoppers. Behind each one lies a different story, a different world. Kind of reminded me of the various town marketplaces in The Legend of Zelda videogame series, each character having a part to play in the story as a whole. While playing, a whole new world opens up all around, created, constructed by the mind. But unlike static worlds, such as those created in the pages of a book or scenes in a movie, the artificial world of the videogame can be directly influenced by the will of the mind. What happens to this world when I turn the power off?
I sometimes feel as though I am split between many different worlds. Within each one, I am someone different; I play someone different, am perceived as another, yet remain unchanged. The deranged flow of existence circles around, other worlds just passing by.
Village people from Outset Island