Yes I skipped last week. I was busy clarifying not asking. One thing I always often ponder when traveling:
Why don’t people uproot and move their lives more often?
The main reason we move is for a job or for a significant other’s job. The other reason is love. Maybe we love a city so much, we’d rather live there and figure some of the logistics later, e.g. American expats in Paris or Berlin, a southerner taking their liberal beating heart to Seattle or Portland, Oregon. Of course we can move for the love of another, but this is still predicated on who has the more locked down, financially lucrative job.
For this flight of fancy, let’s assume money is no object. The real reason we don’t move has more to do with how we live our lives. There is no impetus to move. Immigration was about survival. Our ancestors needed things: land, opportunity, food and resources. Now, there is also very little to even be curious about. We have the internet. A different job or creative endeavor is a workshop experience away, any cultural travel is negotiated with a taste of its cuisine, a viewing on Google Earth, and a virtual tour. Physically moving cost a lot more now than the return on investment it garnered our ancestors. The only large swaths of immigration we still see are the ones still rooted in survival.
Each of us is a nucleus. Thus, all of our wants and needs stay within a circumference of space. We have manipulated our lives to conform to where we have rooted ourselves.
Seeing that our needs, wants, and intellectual curiosity is met, we have embarked on a new kind of move. We have virtual reality. Which brings me to question two:
Prefacing, the author Yuval Noah Harari of Sapiens book fame has a new, even more exciting book out Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. I have listened to 6 different interviews he’s given over the last two months. An underlying theme is how our entire reality hinges on the stories we tell ourselves. We have told stories about money which give it its value. We have used the stories of religions to give each a credence and dominance over our behavior. Launching off this tenet, he believes virtual reality will inevitably do away with humans need for the ‘story’ of religion. Because with the inclusion of other augmented reality, we are on our way to upgrading humans into gods.
Will virtual reality replace religion?
I believe it pompous to project so far in the future, especially as it evolves faster than we can comprehend. But my impulsive answer is No, virtual reality won’t replace religion. The quest to manipulate the current reality, doesn’t eradicate old ones; yes, the potency is less strong, i.e current secularist progression over Christianity. Let’s suppose the mythological stories of the Greeks are actually metaphors for how we become, or if the 969 year lifespan for Methuselah in the Bible is prophetic of our quest for immortality, their historical context is still a reference. If what he posits is true, then he argues against himself. If we have created ourselves from a foundation of stories, we can’t evolve without telling new stories.
Harari’s book is riveting. It ask of us many questions.