Rendered Fat Content


"I already drive an autonomous car most of the time."

I'm reasonably confident that I'm not closely related to sheep because my coat has no wholesale market and because I'm a pickier eater. In spite of the inescapable fact that I'd much rather bleat than bleed, I consider myself a notch above the typical lamb on most cognitive scales. My will seems freer and my judgement somewhat more sound, but I still seem to spend much of my life on autopilot, not really observing, thinking, or choosing for myself. My vast body of experience easily convinces me that I might reasonably just go with the apparent flow without frequently intervening to change course. Once settled into a pattern, I tend to stay down in those reassuring ruts.

I suppose that I turn where I turn because I didn't get burned by going that way the last time.
I run primarily upon positive feedback, with each iteration subtly amplifying its influence over prior runs. Over time, I do tend to run out of control this way, leaving perhaps a larger divergence to recover from than I consciously intended. The widely-discredited notion that humans perform as rational beings says nothing about the perhaps even more pernicious presumption that humans usually perform consciously. In my case, speaking anecdotally from personal experience, I might confess to operating consciously less than ten percent of the time. The balance of my existence here as a potentially rational, conscious being, I spend making PatTurns, operating in tenaciously patterned ways I only very rarely acknowledge.

My experience might be unique to me, but I doubt it. It might even make rational sense if I used the time not spent behaving rationally and consciously for something other than simply spacing out. I am not usually plotting future courses, and choose to follow well-ingrained headings which seem to require little forethought, though I almost never think about engaging in active forethought. I go about my mindless routines, somewhat satisfied that my rationality and my consciousness get to take another day off. My hobby seems to be emulating the nothingness I'm supposed to fear overtaking after I've expended my time here.

I could rightfully claim that PatTurns render my life more efficiently expended. I can cruise along without considering much of anything. This lifestyle leaves me vulnerable, but only very rarely, and I sense little danger since my senses seem to be sleeping much of the time. What of this existence IS mine to have and to hold, a reportedly rare and precious gift only rarely ever enjoyed? Perhaps indifference best defines the meaning of life. Sure, there's much to do, but little of the mandatory obligations seem to require more than rote engagement. I already drive an autonomous car most of the time.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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