Monday, August 07, 2006

Creating reality

"You can't always get what you want,
But you get what you need."
--Mick Jagger

The other day I was riding my exercise bike to nowhere watching a documentary narrated by William Shatner about how the original Star Trek inspired many modern day inventions we now take for granted. Everything from communicators, tricoders and personal computers impressed young and talented minds exposed to the 1960s vintage television program and inspired inventions that mimic the science fiction of the program.

Star Trek was complete fiction written by people who had no scientific background. Even the warp drives they created to explain intergalactic travel are now inspiring physicists to calculate ways that warp speed could break the limitations of the speed of light. It is easy to conclude that the writers of Star Trek wouldn't have been able to create such imaginative and inspiring ideas if they had been limited by the contraints of scientific knowledge at the time.

I believe we create our own realities. And I am not talking about wishing something was so and "poof" it is. I'm talking about forging where were are today based on each step we take throughout our lives. If you aren't real happy with where you are, you need look no further than all of the decisions you made throughout your life to get you there. And if you made it to where you are, you can make it to somewhere different.

Okay, I know that coming from a cynic, this seems a bit naive and simplistic. Shit happens. But I do believe that when it does, the choices we make determine whether we wallow in it or climb out and take a shower.

But enough of the optimistic philosophical concept of creating our own reality. I really started out wanting to talk about literally creating your own reality. I am of course talking about my new religion of manipulating digital photographs. There is something really freeing for me to be able to have an idea, open up a digital image software program of my choice and create my own reality. With digital software, I can be anyone or thing I want. I can create a scene the way I imagine it as opposed to the way it was or I can merely improve the view of an almost ideal scene.

Is there not something godlike in being able to do this? And before you run in horror waiting for lightening to strike me, I am not suggesting that I am God. I am merely metaphorically suggesting there is something godlike in creating your own digital reality. I'm sure artists with a little bit of talent for drawing or painting have felt this power for centuries. Digital software just puts the power in the hands of the more artistically challenged amongst us.

Now the beauty of this all is that once you create the image of the reality you want, it is one step closer to being the reality that is. Just look at Star Trek?

Pretty cool, huh?
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