As kids, we get a thrill out of watching scary movies or telling spooky stories, partly because we know the monsters aren’t real and that the grown-ups we love will protect us from the bad things in the world.
Let’s say, for a moment, that humans don’t wipe each other out with some kind of nuclear war or via climate change. Let’s say we get our stuff together and find some kind of peace and harmony to leave for future generations. Sounds pretty good, right?
What is true reality if the consumption of certain combinations of plant and synthetic chemicals, or even chemical imbalances in our brains, can make us see things that don’t actually exist?
Anybody who had a wading pool or bathtub growing up knows what happens when you try to sit in it and the water’s too high. It makes a wet mess thanks to water sloshing everywhere, and the adults get angry at all the clean-up.
The age-old question of “what happens after we die” is at the heart of Amazon’s “Upload,” a show about a man who dies and his consciousness is resurrected in a digital afterlife. He can still talk with his living friends and family, something that might provide a lot of comfort to many people who lose a loved one suddenly. There’s a catch, of course: The dead person’s afterlife only exists so long as their storage space on a gigantic server is paid up. People can opt in to this afterlife party if they want, and if they have the resources to support it, and the idea of death shifts greatly for those who make this purchase. They’re literally buying extra time, but they can’t physically touch or hold or interact with people, and technology doesn’t exist to download their minds into another body.
Jumping into a pool of liquid nitrogen might sound like an awesome way to cool off when the, uh, mercury is rising, but it’s really a terrible idea that no one should ever attempt.