The Back of My Head
What does the back of my head look like? Obviously, it looks like the back of everybody else’s head. To be sure, I have looked into mirrors, seen the back of my head on video, and looked at pictures of myself. Is that enough? Well, if I do not want to go crazy, then there is more than enough visual proof to prove (to myself) that the back of my head is normal.
I certainly have looked at other people’s heads without issue, and nobody has commented that the back of my head is unusual. Therefore, the leap of faith required for this safe assumption is small. However, I can never be sure what the back of my head looks like because I cannot directly observe it with my own eyes. Yes, I admit this is something I think about and probably should not give it a second thought.
What am I really asking? Am I in a simulation? Am I a character in an elaborate book? Do I have free will? What does this have to do with writing? The tie in is that a writer can create a character from nothing. This “person” will suddenly exist in the author's mind and the reader. “Bob walked into the room.” Just then, Bob became real. He was not born; I imagined him. Is Bob English? Does he have a yellow shirt? Can he speak Chinese? The author and reader do not understand, but does Bob know? He is not real and therefore, cannot answer his own question. However, authors and readers accept that Bob is a normal person. “There is a bug on Bob’s hand.” Now we know Bob has a hand and there is a bug on it.
Should I worry about this profound philosophical question? If I am in a simulation or a character in a book, I probably do not want to know. I have to be content living in a world without free will. As long as you do not read about my death, then I will be fine. Please do not skip a chapter!
You’re the best -Bill
August 26, 2020
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