ATOMIUM from FUTURE EMOTIONS BOOKS
The light had entered the room of Yoko, a young philosopher. He had finished giving a presentation in the morning, and in the afternoon, he lay on the bed. He had decided that he would not get up unless he first found a good reason to do so.
He began to examine his life, that of the people next to him, and then his entire existence. At the end of the hour, he had found no good reason to get up. Therefore, he did not get up.
Philosophy had always been his perspective on life. He had found himself exceptionally gifted in rhetorical conversation during his studies and therefore decided to continue doing what he did best. He had many followers on social media; his life was alternated with moments online and in conversation with colleagues and students and moments in solitude and reflection. The two stages rotated quite positively and regularly. He considered the moments in front of a screen, of discussions with his students and chatting with his colleagues, the EMPTY moments of his existence.
He was forced by living in society to accept the empty moments of his life to be able to enjoy the FULL moments in peace. On the contrary, he considered moments of reflection and solitude to be full moments, those truly capable of giving meaning to his whole being. He could find a balance between the two phases. He had also come sometimes to devote more part of his life to the FULL moments. It had almost touched balance recently in the amount of time dedicated to the two phases. This made him happy, knowing he was on the right track.
He wanted to make the alternation between empty and full moments an entire philosophy of life. Then maybe spread it to others, and who knows, it would become the philosophy everyone was waiting for, a complete reading of human existence and a return to a balance that is too unbalanced today with continued empty moments online. He had never supported new technologies that allowed you to be online all the time, with avatars that could also be located at a distance to be physically next to others in moments of impediment, such as an illness, a trip elsewhere, a criminal sentence. Thanks to his education, he had taken advantage of the opportunity to live part of his childhood offline. He belonged to the social elite who could still afford off-line moments without advertising interventions, constant interactions, messages, and notifications arriving at any time. Yoko had grown up with her paternal grandmother, and her family had been managing information streams for years, having inherited virtual data servers from generation to generation. The business had projected his family more into the past than into the future. Storing data from the past to be able to manage them was a look at a moment already forgotten and obsolete, even if a few seconds had passed by itself. It was in this privileged context that Yoko grew up. He had appreciated a vintage way of life in thought and actions over time. Except business wasn’t his passion. For this, he had left his twin brother to take care of the family business, with also the full-time concession of his avatar, who was always in the office in his place. His avatar, in this way, followed the family business, collected data, and participated in meetings. In this way, Yoko managed it remotely regularly to please the family and not be wholly excluded from the management. The family had understood and appreciated them, leaving him free in his choices since he was little. The encounter with philosophy had marked the start of a formalization of the questions of life and existence that had always interested him.
Today, however, he wanted to go further and start an experiment directly on his thinking. He wanted to see if he could make the moments of fullness fuller or probe the quality directly in his mind:
- “So the void and empty is represented by the moments of conversation with others and the reality transmitted online and not lived, while the fullness is the profound reflection and comparison with conceptual analysis. Starting from this evidence, legitimized by all, I could try to increase the fullness of my life and increase the quality of my reflection, to access new, more original, unique, and unrepeatable spaces of thought. What are the limits of my full moments? Are there any limits to my full? What reasons do I have to experience moments of emptiness, and which ones are full? Why should I accept moments of emptiness? “
Yoko was lying on his bed.
The muscles hadn’t moved for more than an hour. His whole being was focused entirely on his thinking. He was used to physical sacrifices to devote maximum attention to his reflection. As a child, he understood that he was different. His grandmother had played a central role in his training. If his brother was left immersed in virtual reality for hours and hours, he was always called back after a few minutes by the voice of the grandmother. Virtual access control had always been stricter with Yoko. At first, it had generated in him a sense of frustration and malaise. Then over time, he got used to it, understood, finally appreciated, and shared his grandmother’s position. He had been an experiment for his grandmother, a woman of culture and thought. At the time of his death, when he was already a teenager and she had decided on assisted suicide, she revealed to him the reason for her further education than her brother:
- “You, Yoko have a lively and sharp intelligence compared to all the others. You can help humanity to correct the drift in which it is self-directed. You can make an epochal transformation possible. You can re-evaluate the importance of offline in people’s lives. Your education is the testimony of how you can be authentic in a new and original way. All my hopes are in you. Take care of my avatar after I am dead; he will be able to support you in this crucial battle in which there will be only you and your thoughts “.
The grandmother’s avatar had been confined to an online space dedicated to the dead. He visited him regularly to hear the last message and other phrases that she had addressed to him over time, all carefully recorded by the avatar. He lived all these moments and memories with his grandmother as a great privilege, the start of his mission, and an indication of his battle.
Yoko watched his hands as he lay down. The hands of men were once used for writing. The transmission of thoughts directed towards outer space in the different desired forms, such as images, text, music, and performance, had made writing useless. Out of curiosity, he would try one day. His grandmother still remembered something of the gesture of writing; as a child, she had once shown him how to hold a pen in his hand. Then she, too, had forgotten, and he vaguely remembered the traces produced on paper resulting from the hand and wrist movement. She had to return to the avatar cemetery to ask her grandmother to learn the gesture. Any souvenirs or videos of the interaction passed must have remained in memory. They weren’t a family of data collectors and server archives for nothing! It was precisely the family technology that had brought the importance of libraries and documentation of the past back to the present, thanks to the advanced technology that his family had developed and patented. Now it was his turn to move from materiality to theorization. Lying on the bed, it was said that perhaps the long-awaited moment for humanity to theorize the Eureka of thought had come. He had to do it for his grandmother, who had always believed in him.
The clock came out to measure the moments of emptiness and fullness of his existence. It was a device he had put in place and always carried with him. The whole moment had passed the empty moment of the day.
- “Well, from now on, we start in full depth.”
Yoko turned off the reception of all messages, notifications, and virtual communication. He wanted to be completely isolated. Yoko had done it all through online settings. He had also sent letters to his robot waitresses to leave the service until he decided otherwise. Then he activated his protection cell called Atomium and made sure that everything was perfectly sealed. An anti-noise, anti-light, and anti-glare screen are also active. Nothing could upset Yoko.
The Atomium was a safety device that had recently been put on the market. It made it possible to create a safety bubble where the body was completely isolated from the outside, especially in the event of a life-threatening such as in the event of a fire, a fall into the sea, a situation of violent aggression, a fall, etc. All the wealthiest had anxiously awaited the release of the product to be able to buy it for themselves and their family. The scandal of the limited edition of the work had made a lot of echoes. The producers had released the product in a limited number to increase prices exponentially.
For this reason, in the current electoral campaigns, many new candidates had promised to ensure the purchase of an Atomium for all with genuine democratization of the Atomium. The political victory of the current elections could be played on these products. Many did not want to miss a situation that had already occurred in the past. Yoko’s father had bought an Atomium for the whole family, and Yoko loved the idea of being able to use it to be able to do philosophy within the rewritten and peaceful space.
- “Now I can devote myself to thinking. Only when I have found new knowledge about my complete thought will I be able to get back in touch with reality. Then I can share everything and see the top and empty balance. Or not! Let the full invade my life and live the rest of my existence without the emptiness. If death is a connected, continuously lit avatar, life can be the absence of the virtual, to then be able to experience the virtual after death for a lifetime. And why is fullness greater than empty, my contractors will tell me? I have to be ready to criticize my system of thought. Well, the void prevents me from thinking because I am in action and consummation, and, instead, the fullness allows me to build an idea that was not there. And who can guarantee that this constructed thought is valid and exciting? Well, this is a difficult point. Know if it’s a good thought or not. I can see in the view I have generated whether it is an empty or a complete thought. Yes, this is a good idea. Excellent, there are! “.
Yoko smiled at himself. It stretched out in its cell, regenerated oxygen, resumed looking at a fixed point in the void, and began to think:
- “So I have to look for moments of emptiness and fullness in my thought. Okay, so it means I’m generating new ideas right now, so I’m in full swing. But in this fullness, there are flows of moments of emptiness and others of fullness. Perhaps this distinction allows for the separation between a thought of quality and an idea without quality. OK well. So how can I distinguish the empty moments in my thinking? “
Yoko stopped thinking. He didn’t have the answer.
- “Here, this is an open moment. I don’t know what to think, so I am in the absence of thought and, therefore, of fullness. But I can reduce this void and cancel it if I find a good reflection that makes it full “.
Yoko decided to activate the meter for empty and full in his thinking.
- “Now I’m in the void. As soon as I resume the reflection, the full will be active. I’m glad I found this moment of emptiness in my thinking. If I have found it and can identify it, it means that I am capable of full at other times. Therefore, I will be able to identify and increase the other moments of my life to distinguish between full and empty and increase the full to my pleasure. And I could also assess the quality of my thinking”.
Yoko spent the whole afternoon and evening reflecting on emptiness and fullness. The matter pleased him. At the end of the evening, he saw the counter of the moments of his thought and realized, despite himself, that the void was more significant than the full.
- “It cannot be. I am already in full swing because I am thinking, so the emptiness by logic cannot be higher. And in this full of reflection in which I am immersed, there may be gaps, according to my new theory, but these gaps cannot be higher than the full ones. Otherwise, it would remove all meaning from my theory of life”.
Yoko continued to reflect on her theory. He wanted to keep finding new questions and answers, so he decided to lie still and not get up until the full was over the empty in the moment’s counter. He spent the whole night in this state of excited delirium. The reflection moved from one point to another and came back to itself. In a moment of disorder, I carefully reflect on my grandmother’s words. Then he resumed his thoughts.
In the morning, he opened the full and empty count. With regret and a hint of anger, he found that the void still exceeded the maximum. How was it possible? Yoko screamed with all her strength and lungs while still lying inside the Atomium.
It could not be accurate, and he would not have accepted the defeat of his thinking about emptiness. Now his was a battle between himself with his thoughts, just as his grandmother had prophesied. He continued his reflection, which became increasingly empty with time due to hunger, thirst, lack of emotions, stimuli, and movement of his body. His whole outlook on life and his assumption of emptiness and fullness was in the process of deconstruction, and he did not want to let it drift away. He tried to regain control of his thinking, and above all, he noted the quality, which was far from being equal to emptiness. In the afternoon, his counter still marked the empty winner over the full one. Yoko continued to shout until she lost her breath. His cry was lost inside the Atomium. Eventually, when all his energy was exhausted, he gave up. He could no longer think. He had lost. The void had won. So his was an empty thought.
Yoko is in disgust with all active virtual communications. Life began to flow in his mind suddenly, in his gestures, body, and movements of his face. The notifications caught his attention, stimulated, urged, and forced him to respond. Messages from colleagues and students were addressed to his intelligence to find solutions. His avatar requested a meeting with him for a debriefing on corporate matters. The virtual world seemed to have suffered from his absence, calling him, begging him, flattering him, flattering him. Everyone asked for his thoughts on virtual communication and social media. His network wanted to hear his thoughts. In any online space that goes quickly, everyone asks him: update status, communicate your position, tell us about yourself today, what you are doing, what you are thinking, what products you wear, who you are with, what space you went to, your exact position, tag a friend, enter data, buy, sponsor, rate the service, add a review, update, snow, dive in, communicate, take note. The virtual demanded of him fully and totally. Everyone needed him and his thoughts.
Yoko suddenly understood. He realized he had been wronging all his life, conditioned by his grandmother’s outdated perspective. In a moment, he saw his entire system of thought and made a new and vital decision: from that moment, the fullness would be the moment of online and virtual life and the emptiness, the moment of reflection and solitude. He would have supported this new philosophy strongly and throughout his life.
- “Yes, the full moments have won. Yes, full is the virtual reality “.
Yoko opened her Atomium. The sunlight greeted him. Yoko got up.