Slightly Broken: How To Live As An Automaton

This is an essay by a friend which struck me in a way I can’t quite explain. The extreme mindfulness spoken of here feels very much like the painful, self-imposed revelations I’m undergoing in counselling. I think I’d rather be a robot…

The Ideagasm

A dear friend of mine, eloquent and vociferous in his general misanthropy, once charmingly referred to people he considers beneath his general interest: “I think of them all as automatons – mindless meat machines, nothing more.” I’m pretty sure he only said this to justify not remembering anyone’s name at parties (“Terribly sorry, miss – I’m good with faces, but your serial number eludes me.”). Whilst trying to figure out whether or not he was just being facetious, I wondered what made me so uncomfortable with the idea that I was anything less than completely free and autonomous, at least within my own mental realm.

This question is hardly a new one, but now is definitely an exciting time for those in the business of answering it. For starters, many of the ‘rock stars’ of the contemporary popular science (if you count Brian Cox as more of a…

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