She who controls her past, commands her future

ef episode 8: Pushing the reset button

Leonard Shelby had his tattoos and Polaroids. Minitrue had its doublethink (and Kane had…Kane). Chihiro Shindou has her Life Note.

“If it wasn’t written down, it didn’t happen,” so goes the bane of programmers everywhere. But if it was documented, does that mean it happened? The diary defines what she knows, what she doesn’t know, what she did, what she will do, what she was like, and what she will be like. It is the state, the chains that confine her to her circle, quasi-Markovian. The state machine must necessarily follow. Chihiro plays a dangerous game with her next incarnation.

When is a meal more significant than conversation? When a conversation can be rewound over and over again. Forgetting is good to her; she can enjoy the trajectory of idle chatter without tire, just as this world orbits the sun.

Is it good to us, too? Do you have memories you want to forget? A terrible song stuck in your head can be overwritten with something else, a bad day rubbed out with alcohol. Forgetting would let Takaki move on.

Forgetting is entertaining. Fads come and go and come again. Old dorama is new dorama. It makes possible Monsters of the Week and Issues of the Month. We forget old lessons and make up new ones, to the delight of the masses and the consternation of the few.

Companies in general once pinned their success on a consumer who was leveraged to the hilt, themselves taking loans against future earnings, all in a bid to meet expected demand. In one country, that house of cards collapsed in 1929. These days, add one really leveraged government that borrowed huge sums of money against expected tax revenues and then, ironically, cuts taxes.

It’s nice having central banks providing liquidity this time around, isn’t it?

How will it end? Chihiro walked the likely path: someone is going to push the reset button. Maybe some of the innocent will join the ranks of the wise, but you want to know the really cool part of all this? Most will just forget after the pieces have been swept under the rug, conveniently omitted from the mainstream’s diary.

Forgetting is fun. Going boom-bust (or boom-recession) is fun. We should be so fortunate that we won’t have to start from scratch, like that terrified girl. Probably.

One Comment