Original Link : https://psiloveyou.xyz/reality-is-a-social-contract-21c7ba62e9ce
Who creates the universe?
“Everything is just data,” she told me. She would. She’s a back-end CRM developer for a consulting firm. I was a brand copywriter for a Fortune-500 tech conglomerate, glitching and misfiring, hungover, sitting cross-legged in my living room, melting down in a pile of my haphazardly strewn-about mess, trying to both clean and call a housekeeper, lamenting leaving my phone in last night’s Uber. That was the morning after our second date. Amazingly, there’d be several more.
“What are the conditions?” She asked me. “What are the constraints?” I furiously listed and connected them in a notepad. I organized them into a workable order further down the page.
“Data leads to insights,” she continued. I laughed as I thought of eerily similar copy I’d written for my latest out-of-home advertising execution. “See? It’s all right there. Execute against that.”
I calmed down. I googled “lost phone in Uber” on my laptop. I clicked into the first result. I followed the steps — one at a time. I cleaned during sprint intervals between them. I logged into my Uber account from her phone.
Within the hour, I had my phone, my sanity, a tidied-up condo, and a housekeeper coming in two days. Such was the gestation of the single greatest problem-solving breakthrough in my lifetime, the dawn of the single greatest era of my lifetime (this one), and the connective tissue of an overarching life philosophy forged from technology, calculus, psychedelics, astronomy, near-future dystopia, my day job, my essays, my politics and my love life.
“If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context,”writes psychology professor and Medium writer Devon Price. (Admittedly, I needed to google “if someone’s behavior doesn’t make sense you’re missing context” to recall the author and exact wording, as I’d been batting those words around in my head for quite some time, and I knew they weren’t mine.) Context is data. Cognition is insight. Behavior is action.
Data → Insight → Action. This is the perpetual, ruthlessly efficient flow of reality that spills, spreads, syncs and smashes against the walls of existence.
At an elemental level, this progression applies to learning, problem solving, algorithms, social order, science, communication, business, psychology, self-improvement, athletics and infinite combinations contained within and without, beyond our meager comprehension. The universe is the biggest of big data. It’s all right there. All we have to do is execute against it.
As I was brainstorming a catchy hook for this distillation, I’d forgotten — I’d already cycled through this sphere of thought.
Synthesis is the art of adding value to a moment, a situation, a condition, a need or relationship. Synthesis is the chain of events that takes something to its next level. It’s art. It’s heart. It’s brilliance. It’s practicality. But it’s all science. It’s A+B=C and people wonder “wait but how,” as you explain to them that it was all there beforehand, it just wasn’t arranged in the way it needed to be before.
Synthesis. The progression from data (problems, conditions, constraints, context in general), to insight (cognition, belief, precursor, organization), to action (behavior, innovation, solution, creativity, change). Point A, to point B, to point C.
To understand the nature of synthesis — and everything is always synthesizing, either by design or default — we need to understand how everything is connected to everything else. Some call this synchronicity, or vibrations, or “The Butterfly Effect,” or whatever. The name is immaterial. I’d like to approach this somewhat differently. Thankfully, my source material slapped me in the face with the proper angle.
“Belief becomes a technology that creates change,” writes trend forecasting outfit K-Hole, in their now seminal (to me only, apparently) PDF entitled A Report on Doubt. “It’s radical D.I.Y. that uses reality as the only necessary operating system.”
Belief as a catalyst for change. It’s a concept as obvious as every social, scientific, religious, political and economic movement ever devised by humankind. Change is that action. Belief is that insight. Where does the data come from? From reality. Which, in itself, is the “only necessary operating system” — the arable land from which all things grow, the base of every application our minds can conceive and develop. Yet the nature of reality is always changing, with each new synthesis.
I know what you’re thinking: “The fuck are you on? Ketamine?” Of course. Now, let’s look at a goddamned picture together.
Iwant you to imagine reality, our OS, as that pristine, smooth-as-glass body of water above. And we — all things, really — are those droplets disrupting the surface sheen via synthesis. Each new synthesis produces new data — ripples, emanating outward. Each ripple, each synthesis, affecting others, and these effects, in turn, producing, in and of themselves, a synthesis progression.
New data. New insights. New actions. Intensification and multiplication. Ebbs. Flows. Clusters. Waves. All of us. All of life. All of the universe’s many living, organic and inorganic wonders, the infinite and infinitesimal, radiating outward, smashing and crashing, smoothing and grooving, like broadcast towers throwing their kilohertz deep into the multiverse. Will anyone hear us?
We are all hubs, sending spherical spokes of energy into space-time, creating multi-nodal amplifications that in and of themselves shape reality, crafting a self-containing feedback system.
Data → Insight → Action → Data
Ifreality is an operating system shaped by all data, insight and action emitted by all things, then reality itself is a social contract. The very nature of reality is a mutually agreed-upon and universally created construct, a loose yet unfathomably deep consensus between all users and developers — and we are all both users and developers, in much the same way we are all creators and consumers. We shape, sand, slice, smooth and subvert it through our mere presence within it. Reality is a composite, an aggregate, of all varying data, insights and actions. It exists because of all that exists and all that emits.
Everything is just data. We all capture it and create it — whether we try to or not. It’s in all that we say, feel, touch, eat, experience, witness, strive for, succeed at, see, sense, and craft. We create, bend and shape reality. Boiled to its most elemental, our only occupation as humans — at home, at work, at play, in public, in solitude, or abroad — is to create the best UX possible for ourselves and for others in equal measure. It is our most basic moral, professional, and personal obligation. It is, unequivocally, the meaning of life.
Perhaps I did not present this finding in the flowery, spiritual language you’re used to when we discuss such lofty pillars as “What is the meaning of life?” Yet, as “existence precedes essence” (Sartre), so the metaphysical precedes the lingual, the territory precedes the map, and extended metaphor is the only GPS to that which can’t be found via direct route. To understand the nature of the incomprehensible, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns that lie beyond and within, we need the table-stakes of the known. We need the constraints and conditions.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my housekeeper’s about to arrive, and I have some copywriting to get back to at the coffee-shop down the street. See? That’s context. I suppose that means this abrupt ending makes more sense now.