PILL: The Message As The Medium


I shot a gun into the air, absent mindedly. Now that I have your attention, consider the above: it’s a lie, of course. There was no sound, there is no gun, I Am Not With You (though it’s true, then, I’m absent of mind; my mind is not there): you read a sequence of words, a message, a token string that your brain instantly and intuitively turned (assuming an absence of aphantasia) into the illusion of a sound. But there wasn’t a sound, at least not a bang, at the point of writing: I jabbed some keys on the keyboard, touched two contacts, the computer noticed, it made some magnetic fields flip flop around, and it pumped some electrons through a series of tubes, and your computer vomited it out on your screen. A simple string: “BANG!”, and your brain hears it; I tell you I have a gun, and you suspend your disbelief, and you believe first in “I” and then hand “I” a bit of gun-ness. That I can exploit language gives me a foothold within your brain, and so long as these words have higher salience than anything else, you’re trapped here.

Even the “I” and “You” here are ambiguous referents, way too abstracted to properly mean the one thing. We can talk about triangles with four sides, in this concept-space, because we don’t try and collapse it downwards. The abstractions don’t map neatly, but even then there’s deictic in this space: as I type “you”, you read it and know that You Are You, but at time of my writing the You is a collective - there’s All Of You reading, across space and time - it’s only through the step of observation that You collapse the superposition of All Possible Readers to Just You. Inversely, the I behind the keyboard is a single self - but to you as reader, I drift and dissolve away: I’m just words on a screen. You have no idea who I look like. You do not know who I am, unless you already read the following paragraph, or saw my username.

Since I’m stuck in this application, and already getting hazardously metatextual, I’ll tell you who I am before I let you go - I go by Randomini online and have written extensively for the SCP Wiki, being in the top 50 authors by page count and upvote count. In particular, my work SCP-2719 explored the idea of an “variable abstract-metaphysical construct pointer” which can assign the property of “insideness” onto physical objects, with what that actually physically entails left intentionally ambiguous to the reader. My work The Cool War explored metaphysical artists’ misadventures and what art looks like in a world where reality can be broken for fun. In the “real world” I worked in computational linguistics for several years, where I learned lots of great new words and how to misuse them. In The Message As The Medium, I’ll explore and meander through abstract language-space, and maybe deconstruct how I’m somehow simultaneously sitting at my desk typing, I’m a set of words on your screen, and I’m a subset of neurons inside your skull as you decompress me like a zip bomb and I take you over all Agent Smith-like. Oh, and since this is supposed to be “fiction”, I should probably confirm: I’m not real, just a fictionalised version of the author. After all, I’ve never held a gun, but here, in this space, I have. If you agree with me, then you concur I’m in a fiction; if you disagree, the claim was a lie, and so the claim was fiction, and so I must be fiction. I’ve hijacked my way into the fiction bucket by tautology. Fun, eh?


Oh you just invaded my brian! :hear_no_evil: