Chapter 10c

Splatterday, Mosslender -16, π13

I have come to the conclusion that there must be many of me. Millions, maybe, or perhaps only a dozen. That's what I'm hearing, either way. I'm sure of it. I am part of some bizarre phalanx of human thought. I am a whole being, I constitute all that I hear, so in some way I suppose it is all internal, but it's simultaneously not. Somehow each of us, each of me, comprises a portion of the whole while still being unique.

There's a question I heard once that proposed taking the entire nation of China and having each person there act as a specific neuron or pathway of the brain, each communicating through the same path that a real brain would by using radios or something. They all worked together to control a single person and collectively made up all the same parts that would be in a brain and functioned in more or less the same way. The question was whether this phalanx had a collective will, whether the whole unit would be able to simulate emotion and similar individual experiences.

I'm still not sure of the answer, honestly, I'm only one tiny transmitter of the whole. If we, as a collective, do make a complete unit capable of all that shit, though, what does that mean? Is this amalgamation of universes the real me? Do I remain the real me?

The question came up in discussion between a couple of the more scholarly types that I sometimes pretend to know. It was a response to Descartes ageless statement, "Cogito ergo sum." Does simply having all of us function together in a way that allows thoughts to be created mean that we are suddenly a single sentient being?

I developed my own conclusion to this notion fairly quickly but was informed that I was not the first. He said we couldn't trust anything, that the only thing he knew for sure in the world was that one statement. But why does he assume that's right? He would first need to prove that things capable of thought were real which, from my personal experience, is questionable.

I'm not a philosopher, I only philosophize. I don't know the answers. I don't even know the questions. One thing I believe I am starting to learn is the value of either. Not all questions, as it turns out, have answers. Not all answers are response to a question.

This is a simple enough concept, I guess. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? This is almost a good example. There is an answer to this question, though, and it's that nobody gives a shit. Does it make a sound? Maybe, but nobody was ever there to hear it or cared enough to watch it fall and listen, so why would they care if it made a sound?

I think I have a better question. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does the tree even exist? If there's nobody there to see it, it's totally outside the realm of semi-sentient thought, nothing even considers that it may be falling, if it's just one unidentifiable tree in a forest, is it even there?

Maybe it's not there until somebody is there to observe it. Maybe it is. Maybe it's not there until the moment somebody observes it. This question really doesn't have an answer. Nobody was there to know, there is no way to send a person back in time to see without destroying the entire premise of the question and, finally, the answer cannot be that nobody gives a shit as all people seem to obsess over the question of their own existence at some point, one way or another.

Obtained key 11