Imagine a scenario where you convince the victims to do themselves in by the end of the story. Not only are they coerced into believing what they’re doing is for their own benefit, they high-five each other when they cross another milestone on the journey towards their own demise.
The players become so preoccupied with their efforts to reach the goal line, that they hardly notice their peers quietly exiting the game, one by one. What was once a game that required large teams, is now a game of smaller groups, and getting smaller. The few who realize the playing field is gradually thinning reinforce their hubris with the perception that they will remain the chosen few, who are required to keep the fewest possible parts moving in the machinery.
There must be a floor to this bottomless descent. A Calculus “limit” to the reduction. Surely this game will not only last forever, it will require them to be key players. Anything else is unthinkable; impossible. That there must be at least a few players left to play the game at the very end.
They ignore the last word of the previous sentence. And when the last light is turned out, and the last player leaves the stadium, they turn around and look back and say “I used to build computers, and build complex systems with them, back when they needed people.”
— For my mom. Who on this day in 1983, showed me how to properly set the ignition timing on my old Ford. The same lady who introduced me to Pink Floyd and Zeppelin and King Crimson. Who showed me how to properly solder wires together, and how to cook for myself. A prolific reader, she left some 10,000 books to us and the library when she passed in 1997. I wish I’d inherited her reading skills. I still think of her every day.