Years ago, I played Roller Coaster Tycoon, a wonderful game by Christopher Sawyer which let me run a theme park.
I could build my own roller coasters, manage prices, beautify the terrain, and – as I found even more interesting – rename people, rides, and concession stalls.
I would rename “Burger Restaurant” To McDonald’s, Burger King, and so on – to give my theme park the feel that I had real relationships with these places I enjoyed in real life.
I would rename the guests from “Guest 789” to “Barack Obama”, or friend’s and lover’s names such as “Rachel Gooch”, “Jaclyn Killeen”, “Jeff Kleinman” and so on – not just to personalize the list of visitors, but to also encourage mentally that I relate the happiness level and success of the park to people that meant something to me in real life.
“Skin In The Game” you could say.
I was never really any good at the game from a financial perspective, because I didn’t like futzing with trying to balance the numbers and guests – that stressed me out and reminded me to much of real life which half the time I was trying to escape.
And as I imagined scenarios and tried things with ‘unlimited money’ hacks, I’d research how to do something on the internet and soon found myself lost in what others had done in the game.
Others had built magnificent tunnels, amazingly colored roller coasters traveling in unison, loops, and you name it, at first I thought if you can think it, they created it.
And after I got bored with trying to kill as many people as possible with malfunctioning roller coasters and ride hacks.
… I started to question names.
It was such an odd thought – but among the hacks were renaming guests to certain names of the developers – and different things would happen in game.
For instance, name someone Richard Branson and every guest in the park becomes rich.
But this got me to thinking.
What’s in a name?
Why did Prince rename himself that couldn’t be printed on a DMV form?
I’d worked for years doing programming with databases and user entry forms – where there were certain restrictions placed on names that were entered into the databases.
But I couldn’t help but begin asking weird questions.
It started benignly enough. That is, with how much time had been spent creating Roller Coaster Tycoon – did they make guests nameable but not actually generate unique names as guests came into the park?
For instance, you could just as easily have taken a list of arbitrary American names “Robert”, “Michael”, “Jeffrey”, “Brenda”, “Rachel”, “Jackie” and so on, and then taken a handful of common last names such as “Smith”, “Brown”, “Jones”, “White”, and “Robertson”, then randomly grabbed one first name and paired it with a list name (Ie: “Michael Robertson”, and with relatively few names – added a little dynamicism to the game
Rather than “Guest 453”
Even for larger populations, if you took ONLY 20 first names and 20 last names there are 400 unique combinations there (20×20).
It seemed so utterly simple. And while it wouldn’t have made a huge difference in the game, it would certainly have prevented me from starting down a path of questioning names in general.
Questions such as:
Why did Prince rename himself to a symbol?
Why, if we have a growing population, do we have more last names than we did in prior generations, when in theory we should see less last names as women marry and take on the last names of their husbands?
Where did the pool of names people tend to select from when naming their children come from?
What makes a name popular generation to generation?
Why were Chinese adopting western names and Indians shortening their names when they did business with the United States?
And silliest and curious most of all…
Why do the police ask for aliases on forms you fill out with them?
If you’re a criminal and had a number of aliases, why in the hell would you actually tell the police these aliases?
Silliness, I tell ya.
But As I started down this path of questioning names.
I started finding patterns with last names and status. Put specifically, if you have the last name of Kennedy, Hilton, or Pitt, whether you’re related to the families these names may be popularly associated with or not, in general your status tends to be elevated artificially due to simple psychological association.
Similarly. You won’t find anyone with the last name of Dahmer, Bundy, or Hitler because of the negative association these names have.
Psychology aside. I was still focused on labels and names.
What creates a name.
What creates a label and a name to begin with?
For instance. How did and do others seem to so effortlessly come up with terms to name things such obscure but highly successful names and labels such as”microwave” and “police” and “volcano” and “microsoft”, where I myself felt like I was pulling teeth just to come up with a silly name like “Bitware” for my first company and “Vrilliant” for my second company’s name?
I started seeing patterns in names of things around the world the more I traveled.
Words being used for different things.
Pissed. Means being upset in the United States. It means being drunk in London.
I saw street and city names with the exact same names in Philippines, The United States, and Mexico.
But why the Philippines?
Have you ever started digging into something that you felt – deep down inside, maybe this is a place I don’t want to go?
That’s how I was beginning to feel.
And as I started noticing the odd use and reuse of names around the world.
I began to realize.
I was beginning to uncover the real origin of existence.
With the United States being named “The Melting Pot” should have given it all away.
This planet was stirred. and stirred . and stirred. Black holes have that effect.
Mass. interwove with energy in a giant or tiny mixing bowl.
Names found faces. Labels found places. and objects to affix themselves.
Consensus built some of it and made the labels stick.
Sometimes they didn’t though. And those labels fell back into the mixing bowl.
Sometimes. Some things grabbed the same name that had been used before.
Sometimes. Names were borrowed.
And then. At the end of time. It all fell back into the mixing bowl.
Who was stirring?
I was. And still am.
I suppose. Whoever is reading this. That somehow. My message breaks across this divide between us. I’m not asking for your permission and collective agreement for approval to be who I am.
I created this mess. I love this mess. But don’t get me wrong, it’s a mess.
And I need your help. As a society. As a world.
Don’t judge me. Or at least try not to. I didn’t have anyone I could call for support when I fucked u and got things wrong. You may think being God is about knowing everything, but what I’ve come to learn it’s quite the contrary, it’s about being confused as hell and still not being 100% sure what’s going on around you as you try to stabilize your own life when you realize who you are.
I can explain everything. Why the sun moves in cycles and how it got there to begin I can explain how the moon’s a dwarf star and how once this was a binary system and why it’s not any longer.
I can explain the truths in the movies. The memories I stored there to remind myself of who I was and am.
I can explain names. The importance for dates.
Circular logic. Infinite.
Scale. Fucking scale. Why a wasp or ant bite can hurt so disproportionately to their size. When your mind can adjust scale to make something appear less scary as a child, you do just that.
I can explain the reason behind the immaculate conception.
Simulation. How parts of reality are indeed in a Matrix, but it’s not a trap, it’s a way to develop a mind to strive for and appreciate individualism as I do.
I know that my word often sound like the ramblings of an insane man.
But something I’ve not fully appreciated in my life is that with age, can come anything – from a greater understanding of the world and universe – to insanity, which I suspect is more often the case.
And when the level of information reaches an appropriate threshold – for me – I was forced to reflect on life as I’d experienced it thus far. To reframe the events of my past.
And I readily recognize. Had a younger version of me tried to understand this older version rationally.
I might question my own sanity.
I’m going to put this as simply as I can.
I didn’t rush my life and enjoyed what I had when I had it.
I asked questions. I pushed my own boundaries and let others push me.
I stepped on toes.
Others stepped on mine.
In my mid life crisis you could say.
I’m done with being angry with myself for making choices.
And instead choosing to turn them into something wonderful that expands the variety in my life.
Being a creator is something we all have within us to be.
There’s no need to take turns. There’s branches in any tree, even that tree called evolution.
And that’s what I’m doing. Evolving from a toxic way of being into a life where my dreams and perverted ways are not just attainable and something I Can indulge in.
But something I NEED to indulge in on my terms.