I live alone.
I do not mean physically alone, which I do only because I like being dwarfed by the space around me more than being around others. What’s funny about that is that it’s possible to have another human being live with you that isn’t intrusive, and reciprocation is necessary for that to happen over time.
No, I mean that I live alone in my mind, devoid of languages others know, with orbs of different gradients symbolizing things, with feeling heard more than felt, a low rumble in my being that influences the colors and sizes of those orbs at different rhythms, distilling that sound into something I can associate with a word or phrase to communicate. This life requires constant stimulation, from music to sound to visual, in an effort to find new ways to communicate effectively with others.
When it gets tiring, it can be unbelievably heavy if I don’t feel like I’ve communicated what I’m trying to communicate.
If it sounds childish, it is – that look on the face of a child trying to express something but unable to is the same thing you would associate with it, and if you’re anything like me, you know the feeling. Maybe it’s not childish. Maybe it’s just honest and something we threw away with our childhood like the one throws the baby with the bath. Maybe that sincerity got drowned out by complexity.
Maybe what we wished to communicate lacked the appropriate finesse. Maybe it needed to be more driving, more emphasis. Maybe it required an ironic twist to stick, connecting two things for people in a way that allows them to receive a message. Maybe they got the gist of it but not the high notes of the idea and interconnections.
And maybe, just maybe, they are not interested, or worse, unable to see why they should be interested. They may be in pursuit of red dots, whether for their own good or not, and not have time to pause for a TLDR from someone – which means you have to compete with the red dots, a shrill voice trying to rise above the constant murmur of people giving bad directions to others, to get where they told each other that they need to go.
Just like we’re all trying to do.
Meanwhile, they released large language models that are scraping content – let’s be honest, probably ours too – and maybe that’s not too bad, since it will likely write more likely to be read by those who read, but it doesn’t credit the original person of the idea, giving them slight bit of prominence so that others read the prose.
Then maybe something stirs in them beyond the writing equivalent of a self-satisfaction toy of choice: a large language model. Something that can please you without needing to be pleased, it hums and vibrates according to your preference. It allows you to prolong or not at your discretion. Something that tells the stories we want.
I don’t write what others want on this small part of the Internet. The experiment with sharing my content on Facebook has revealed that while I have many connections no one either sees (algorithms) or therefore shares unless you throw some money into Zuckerberg’s wallet – no, not the crypto Zuckerberg, the the Zuckerberg that started a website by scraping college women’s pictures off the Internet and generating profiles. Then there’s the Google search algorithms, the Yahoo search algorithms, that other company’s search algorithms… starts with a M and based in Washington? Strange, Mickey Mouse lives in both Florida and California, but that’s Disney, and that doesn’t start with an M.
What’s funnier is that because this is such an isolated bit of the web, does that mean that the large language models didn’t scrape my content? How did they decide what to scrape? I’m betting it was the first x pages in search engines on a topic or phrase. That’s what I’d have done.
We started off with orbs and sounds and feelings and ended up in this mess of complexity that does isolate us.
It happens to all of us. Connection through technology can disconnect. Cavafy demonstrates the idea is not new, and with a twist of Thoreau, unbridled technlogy is showing us that we have become the tools of our tools, the walls of our own prisons.
Poetry that is ‘less filling and tastes great’ to slake the demands of the hungry ghosts.