The King Of Beers

I was drinking the King of Beers. ‘This is a fine set-up’, I told myself. ‘Here I am sitting back, chilling out, and drinking the King of Beers!’ That makes me kind of special, the way I figure it! It says something about the type of person that I am. This got me thinking – is it special to exist in the first place, or does specialness have to come afterwards, as a result of some special action that we take? Is it special to exist, in other words, or is it just ordinary, and if it is just ordinary, does that mean that existence is essentially rather boring? And is that why it is so important to make things be special so that they won’t be so terribly boring? Are people boring if they’re not special? Am I boring? Am I really special or am I just stupid and self-centred to think that? Then my thoughts took a different tack – is it special for something to be special, I wondered? Or, in some subtle way that most people don’t understand – because they’re too crass in their thinking – is it more special to be ordinary than it is to be special in the ordinary, boring old way? My thinking had taken me full circle as you can see, and I was none the wiser for it. I was none the wiser full stop. Then I thought: ‘If there was such a thing as ‘the real thing’ then could you mimic it?’ Could you find out what it was and then duplicate it? Could you find out all about it and then simulate it very, very accurately so that no one would ever know that it wasn’t the real thing? This seemed to me to be a very exciting idea – someone could make a lot of money doing this! And then after the briefest of moments it came to me in a flash that somebody – in all probability – already had! Somebody probably already was making a lot of money doing this. They were probably making a boodle. If I’d worked this out then so too could someone else! What’s to stop them, after all? It’s a basic law or principle in ecology that if there is a viable niche then you can bet your bottom dollar that someone is exploiting it! That’s the beauty of this law you see – you don’t even need to look, you don’t even need to send in a team of ecologists with their little nets and specimen tubes and plankton-sieves and rubber waders and microscopes and little note-books and whatever else paraphernalia it is that they carry around with them. You know already. Just as soon as you find out that there is a viable niche then you know for a fact that there is someone there exploiting it! So you can imagine what this revelation did to my head! It’s like that thing about simulated universes, isn’t it? There’s always a chance that we are living in the real one, but it’s a very slim one! ‘What are the chances that we’re living in the real universe and not a fake?’ you ask theatrically. ‘Not very good!’ the audience choruses back dutifully… It’s kind of a ritual argument at this stage, isn’t it. We know the steps so well. Maybe what I’m saying is the exact same thing as that well-worn simulated-universe argument – I don’t know. I’m no expert. It’s not really my area. But it all comes down to the same thing in the end I suppose, and that is that we are being screwed-over big time. We’re being shafted. ‘So what’s new’, you say. ‘Tell me something I don’t know!’





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