Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: June 1, 2398

When Angela Walton was first alive, she was a pretty submissive girl, as was common in those days. She didn’t believe in the things that her family did, but she wasn’t outspoken about it either. Her father was patient enough to let her wait to marry a man she loved, but that was about as lenient as he could tolerate to be, and he lost that patience when her fiancé disappeared. She would marry who he chose, and that was final. It wasn’t until after her death that Angela started to find herself. The interesting thing about the afterlife simulation is that it wasn’t millennia beyond the technological limitations of the living world. For most of its history, it was only ever moderately more advanced, despite the fact that the devisers were from the future, and could have always included modern tech. They chose not to in order to keep the residents comfortable, and feeling safe. Teaching a mammoth hunter to use a microwave oven is probably just asking too much. So for the longest time, the virtual worlds pretty faithfully resembled the real world, because that’s all those people knew. That would change in the future, when science fiction began to open up people’s imaginations, but there was always one thing that was shockingly progressive.
According to Tamerlane Pryce, he put no effort into regulating the way society manifested itself in the construct. He claimed to have let the people decide for themselves. This is likely not entirely true, but not totally inaccurate either. Based on some few and far between studies that dead researchers tried to conduct over the centuries, it would seem that the act of death alone is enough to alter an individual’s worldview. That is, they gain perspective simply by passing on, and often lose a lot of the prejudices and hate they once lived with. The theory was that this process was fostered by the fact that everyone dies alone. When John Doe makes the transition, he does so removed from all the people who fueled his beliefs and preconceived notions. The people he meets now have either been there for some time, or they came from other parts of the world. That’s what philosophers imagine Pryce regulated—knowingly or not. He set up a system that grouped newcomers together through a filter of diversity, and studies have proven that living in a diverse area is the number one cause of acceptance and love. What this all means is that racism, sexism, and other biases are harder to hold onto when borders have been removed, gender roles have been ignored, and no one can rise to power without deserving it.
When Angela rose to power, it was after centuries of hard work. She had to shed her old identity, and her old personality, and pretty much become a completely different person. If not for the fact that she looks the same as she always has, no one who knew her before her death would recognize her now. She doesn’t take other people’s crap anymore, and she doesn’t just do as she’s told. If you want her to trust in your choices, you have to prove that you’re worthy of making them, and if you don’t, she’s going to decide for you. Maintaining a normal job in a mundane world is a skill that Marie honed for four years before the rest of her team showed up. She learned to listen to the words of lesser men, because she would lose it all if she didn’t. Angela has yet to learn this lesson, and her meeting has demonstrated just how far she has yet to go. None of Marie’s training could have prepared her to suffer through all that bullshit. She speedwalks to the bathroom at her first opportunity, and retches into the toilet.

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