It was a long time since I read one of William Gibson’s books, a writer that I follow for a long time and one of the most visionaries in the cyberpunk genre. I just finished yesterday one of his latest books with the title “The peripheral”. In this book, he is writing about a reality, sometime in the future, where people from the future can visit continua (versions of the world in the past) and affect their course. Travel can also happen from those continua to the present where a person is connected through a brain-computer interface to another… body (mechanical) in the future experiencing the future world through them.
This whole idea made me think of our current situation and how the notion of presence seems to have transformed especially this last year. We arrange to go to work… have meetings… social gatherings with friends and family… take classes… and do so many other activities virtually. However, although we may be doing all this from the same place, in order to truly participate… you need to be present! Listen, look, talk, think, write… sense and act like you were in a class… in the meeting room… in a cafe. After all, the only thing that changed is the medium of being present… but the pure essence of it … remains the same. Now the mediums we used all this year may have limited bandwidth… but I’ll keep that for the next post.
For the time being… try to be present like you would be in a concert of Troilo’s orchestra back in the early ’40s… or like in your local milonga… while listening to this… and think of the how present were Goni and Troilo in this recording to do this little bandoneon – piano dialog.