Falling in love with a ghost

The system makes it possible to fall in love with a spirit. With someone’s mind without relating to the body.

I met a friend today. The friend told me about his life in an online system. About the friendships he has found there and what goes beyond friendships. He described a system, a society in which people meet who have a similar views of the world, similar dreams and fantasies. They follow similar paths to get closer to happiness or at least contentment. Those online people give themselves avatars that they choose themselves, that they design themselves according to their wishes and ideas.

Strict rules apply in the system, every now and then people disappear, sometimes because they have died in “real life”, more often they have been banished from the system. The rules give the system structure, a framework that holds it together as a system and prevents it from falling apart again, from dissolving back into its component parts. The individuals within the system are aware of the system and adhere to the rules. Everyone knows that anyone who does not abide by the rules runs the risk of being banished. Being banned means no longer being part of the system. In this sense, it is a free decision to submit to the rules of the system or not. There are many other systems, systems that function according to different rules. Everyone is free to choose a system. But there is no system without rules.

We are snakes that reach into the heads of other snakes

We are snakes that reach into the heads of other snakes. We try to manipulate the other snakes so that they do what we want them to do and behave in the way we think is right. Some snakes may be interested in money, some in spreading a truth or demanding ethically correct behaviour. There are many different motivations for snakes to grab into each other’s heads.

Why do snakes do this? Maybe they exchange information – in some form or another. There are different ways of reaching into each other’s heads, the imaginary snakes in the picture above do it with their hands, we humans reach into each other’s heads by talking to each other (and there are other ways of communicating). This is exactly where something huge is currently happening. In the past – and the earlier the more – the direction of technical communication (imagine radio) was one-to-many, today it is primarily many-to-many (all over the world, simultaneously and simultaneously time-shifted (we communicate with our friends on Facebook, while dead thinkers put their thoughts into our heads via YouTube).

Man kann heutzutage Zeitung lesen, Radio hören, und eine WhatsUpNachricht schreiben. Gleichzeitig. Nicht, dass ich das könnte, aber ich habe es im Zug gesehen.

You can now read the newspaper, listen to the radio and write a WhatsUp message – all at the same time! (Not that I could, but I saw it on the train).

We first have to get used to this simultaneity of voices that are constantly reaching into our heads while we are reaching into the heads of others at the same time. So it’s no wonder that humanity seems so confused at the moment.

But once we get used to it, it will probably be quite cool.


The image shows a person lying in bed holding a smartphone. Above them is a mirror mounted on the ceiling, inverting the view, so the room above the bed is visible in the reflection. The room contains various items such as a desk with a computer and chair, a microphone stand, a music stand, and other objects that may suggest musical or creative activity. It appears the person in bed is taking a selfie, with the photo captured via the mirror.

You can also recognise an object that probably looks like a bathroom scale, or is it simply a metal box with a rubber coating?

No, the thing, which also looks like an electric foot warmer from the DIY store, is actually a kind of spaceship that houses the secret centre of the world. All the strings are pulled from there. I have nothing to do with it, I just happen to be in the picture.

The last answer is humorous because it provides an absurd and imaginative interpretation of an everyday object. Instead of giving a simple explanation of what the object could be (like a bathroom scale or a box), it is described as a hidden spaceship that serves as a secret control centre for the world. This surprising twist plays on the idea of science fiction and conspiracy theories, making the answer witty and unexpected. The answerer’s self-distancing (“I have nothing to do with it, I just happen to be in the picture”) adds to the humorous effect by taking an innocent position in an obviously contrived and exaggerated situation.

Continue reading “Aliens”

Clarity and cruelty belong together

Was Baudrillard 1976 gesagt hat erinnert mich an Trump: “Wenn wir noch immer – vor allem heute – dem Traum von einer Welt eindeutiger Zeichen, einer starken „symbolischen Ordnung“ nachhängen, sollten wir uns keine Illusionen machen: es hat diese Ordnung gegeben, und zwar in einer unbarmherzigen Hierarchie, denn die Klarheit und die Grausamkeit der Zeichen gehören zusammen.” Es erinnert mich nicht nur an Trump, es erinnert mich auch das, was von von manchen als “radikale Linke” bezeichnet wird. Ich würde die ganz Rechten und ganz Linken unter einem Begriff zusammenfassen: tendenziell monoperspektifisch.

Klarheit und Grausamkeit gehören zusammen

What Baudrillard said in 1976 reminds me of Trump: “If we still – especially today – pursue the dream of a world of unambiguous signs, of a strong “symbolic order”, we should have no illusions: this order has existed, and in a merciless hierarchy, because the clarity and cruelty of signs belong together.” Not only does it remind me of Trump, it also reminds me of what is labelled by some as the “radical left”. I would summarise the far right and the far left under one term: tendentially monoperspectival.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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