Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Captain's Log

Captain’s log, 28 August 2112

I awoke early to ensure that the other occupants of the ship were still safe in their state of hibernation. I must confess, I have neglected my duties; it has been several days since I checked that my company were as they should be, safe and well. The access that I now have to the archives of human literature has caused me to lose sight of what is important; even in their state of cryopreservation, and despite the brevity of my time in the cryo chamber, I could feel the warmth exuding from the minds of those under my charge.

Once my duties were performed, I made my morning (morning by name only, of course, time ceases to have any meaning in a world with only artificial light) coffee, indulged my hunter-gatherer need for endorphins with some time in the ship’s gymnasium and plugged myself into the machine, as I have now every day for the past four years.

I can now say that my insatiable thirst for the assimilation of information has reached its inevitable conclusion. The utopia I perceived behind enlightenment has proven to be a mirage. Clarity of vision has dissolved.

Whereas I once believed that the ideas I consumed would align themselves so that I could cherry pick the best amongst them to produce my own coherent doctrine, I now find myself greeted by a cacophony of faceless notions, each as banal as the last. All that pervades is a sense of twisted aimlessness; instead of standing liberated atop a mountain of ideas, I drown, protesting noiselessly in the mire of options.

Whilst the sensation of drowning dominates me, the urge to assimilate yet more tugs at my sleeve, whispering that there is something just out of reach that will offer me salvation, a helping hand out of the quicksand. In this way the sense of indifference breeds itself, so that I can no longer feel the bottom of the expanse. I have not abandoned myself to the machine in the same way that the captains of the other ships have, the system indicates that whilst some of them have viewed far higher percentages of the data than I have, no one has yet made a shadow of a dent towards full ingestion.

A macro-reflection of the conflicts beneath, the nagging need for further consumption competes with the sense that I wish to forget all I have already absorbed and return to a child like state of innocence, a state where new ideas thrill me rather than reeking of pastiche and tiredness. But where would I go from there? The knowledge that assimilation leads nowhere can only come from experience of assimilation itself. The tired cycle of apathy would repeat itself ad infinitum.

It is now three years since I heard a real human voice - not just one synthesized as a digital code and retransmitted as a mere ghost of itself. I long for something more than a fleeting connection.

Your captain.