We must be thankful, truly thankful, if we had a good, heartwarming, soul refreshing holiday season. To have been so blessed in these times is a privileged experience. Mariner had such a holiday. His son and daughter-in-law, a four year old, a one year old, a frisky dog and a cat spent Christmas week with mariner and his wife.

It was commotion and noise, of course, and special meals and decorations and presents and special conversations. It is how Christmas should be experienced. Opportunities to have inter-human experiences are growing less common. Some of it is due to the migration of children (or parents) and close relatives to distant geographic locations; some of it is due to the massive interruption of Covid; some of it is due to the powers of the internet; more common than we may think, some is due to debilitating poverty; finally, some of it is due to cultural disruption caused by a failing national ethos and the unknown future that will be created with artificial intelligence.

But it is our duty to hang on, to sustain the normal pleasures and responsibilities that come with being human. It is our mandate to be among humanity. Our saneness depends on unity amongst the species. We should take every opportunity to share time with others, to mingle, to share common courtesies and goals; to take responsibility for the human condition.

Think about this: all things are subject to evolution. Is our house the first evolutionary form that will become our Matrix casket? Will the growing, amoral reality of machines that can think live our lives for us?

We no longer have to shop outside our home. Our bills are paid automatically. We talk to other human beings on the internet rather than in person; it has become common to go to work without leaving the home; we arrange lifelong partners according to internet specifications. Our house, evolutionarily speaking, is our Matrix coffin. For most of us, that final coffin is beyond our lifespan but in the meantime, let’s celebrate face to face human interaction at every opportunity!

Ancient Mariner


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