Sunday, February 7, 2016

Time Out of Joint

Time Out of Joint 
I think that in 1999 we entered some kind of simulation reality based on the world as it was in 1999. Yes, this is the plot of The Matrix, but let me elaborate...

I believe that 1999 represents the true 'Present', it is outside the formal run of 'History', but it is also the tipping point before the manifested 'future'. By future I don't mean a specific date, I mean 'Future' as an aesthetic. The future is really only an idea formulated by 20th century sci-fi. Tight white jump-suits, jet packs, glass buildings etc, so you only really arrive in the future when it looks like the future. So the future is a fashion or style, not a particular date. The film The Thirteenth Floor illustrates all this.

Now... How would such a Matrix function? It would need to provide the illusion of forward progress without really moving forward. We have the miniaturization of technology which has the effect of emperor's new clothes in terms of 'progress'. Notice that there is never quantum leaps in progress in the really important areas, such as energy and biotech. We still have AIDS and Cancer, and we still rely on fossil fuels. In order to truly be progressing we would have to be advancing in those sorts of 'big picture' domains, and not just 'new iphones' every year.

What I think this Matrix is doing is rotating like a Kaleidoscope, this provides the illusion of 'difference' or progress, but is really more akin to re-arranging furniture in the room. When this rotation to a new position happens it causes minor glitches in reality, it has to create small changes, but never really take us outside of the venn of the 1999 period. We certainly won't have the 2015 future as projected in BTTF II.

Follow this, the clothing and fashion from the first season of the Brady Bunch to the last is very different. It ran from the late 60s to the mid 70s. However if we saw someone from 2003 or even 1999 walking around today, we wouldn't be taken aback by their appearance or clothing style. Cars from 2004 don't look that different from cars from 2014... etc. If a pop music song from today was released in 2004 it wouldn't feel 'out of place', this is in contrast to past decades, for example by 1994 the 80s were already a nostalgic encapsulated idea, an era that had come to a close, there wasn't this leakage of it into the mid 90s with music and fashion, it was retro. You could throw an ironic 80s themed party for example... But how would you throw an ironic retro party based on 2004? It wouldn't feel retro at all.