In Love and Rage by James Brooks

On 17 November 2018, my life changed.
Until then, for most of it, I’d felt like a spy abandoned behind enemy lines. The organisation I worked for had long collapsed and my contacts had vanished but I was still out there, living in a world that didn’t apply to me, from which I was exempt, still soaking up the information, waiting for the call when I could tell all and be understood.
My biggest problem was that while this organisation was dead, its ideology was still programmed into my brain, dictating how I saw the world.
You’re programmed too, by the way, but your programming is better aligned to the external operating system and you don’t notice.
For example, unlike you, I don’t have a smartphone. ‘Why not?’ you say when you notice this.
‘Because I don’t want one.’ ‘Why don’t you want one?’
‘Why don’t you want an emu on a piece of string?’ I want to answer but don’t.‘Same question.’
A lot of it, I feel, has to do with wanting things, or in my case, not wanting them. I don’t want a smartphone; I don’t want new clothes; I don’t want a watch that tracks my location and communicates with my central heating to turn it on when I’m five minutes away from my flat.
I’ve read about the French social theorist René Girard and his theory of mimetic desire; everybody else wants these things so I should want them too. But I don’t.Why not? Because of the programming.
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