Disclaimer: Do yourself a favor and if you’re not watching “West World” on HBO–do it. Now.
The show has done an incredible job at blurring the lines of real and artificial intelligence; what distinguishes us as “human beings;” exploring what fundamental human nature is; and whether it’s really just as simple as being put into neat little boxes labeled “good” or “evil.”
A large motif of the show is the concept of narratives and how the AI’s are not meant to veer off the path of their backstories, purpose(s), or loop(s). Modest improvisations are, of course, allowed but if there’s any inclination that they’ve gone off track a bit too far, they get “reset.”
The most recent episode had a scene that resonated so completely with me that after a long (unintended…ok fine, a little intended) hiatus I had to write about it.
The self is a kind of fiction…We live in loops as tight and as closed as the hosts do. Seldom questioning our choices, content for the most part, to be told what to do next.
When was the last time we questioned our choices? Is this good for me? Is this mindful of me? Is this the right attitude, emotion, or energy I should be emitting right now? Am I surrounding myself by the right people? Am I following my instinct(s)?
To be content is certainly not a bad thing (see previous blogpost: “What’s Wrong With Contentment?”) but too much of it may not ever allow us to go off the well-worn path of our every day and think creatively outside of what we think we know. What are my curiosities? Have I followed them and explored them? What is important to me right now? Do I do things that are in line with what is important to me? Can I see myself elsewhere? Doing something else?
We are inherently a culture of followers and leaders. But, even the leaders were taught to lead by following another leader. Doing what they were told to do and listening, in order to learn. Some of this is normal and should exist as part of a functional society (I am not advocating for anarchy…not today anyway). But, when was the last time you said “no” to the thing you were told to do? When was the last time you made your own rules?
When was the last time you picked up the pen and wrote your own next move, next witty line, next big leap?
When was the last time you were mindful of the current loop you’re in?
Happy #mindfulmonday !