Apple Announces iUniverse
Apple announces the latest and greatest product from the research lab on Infinity Loop. The iUniverse will revolutionize the way we learn, work, love, and grow. The iUniverse offers a totally immersive alternate reality—simply plug the device in to find yourself in any environment, having any experience of your choosing. From dragons to star ships, everything is possible with the iUniverse.
Customers buy the new device in droves, and plug in. They choose from among the myriad environments available—everything from sex fantasies to flight simulators. They get lost in the worlds created by Apple’s elite environment designers.
So they think.
Having a cadre of designers was Apple’s initial plan, but production schedules were falling behind and the exquisite detail of each environment was too much for the team to handle. Luckily the company had made serious headway on a separate device, the iTelepath. The iTelepath is a device for reading minds. It wasn’t production ready because it was limited to reading paleomammalian urges—thoughts from the subconscious mind only.
But that was enough for the iUniverse engineers, because now they could define generic situations, situation archetypes—beach front condo with smoldering hot foreign woman. The designers used to face issues like: what will the average person consider sexually attractive? How can we design a woman who is foreign to everyone? What is “ideal” beach weather?
Now they didn’t have to design those aspects that are different for everyone. They can just use the prototype iTelepath to “ask” the customer’s subconscious mind what they really want, and generate that. One customer experiences full sun and mid 70s temperature (24°C), with a bronzed Moroccan woman. The next sees light afternoon showers from beneath a romantic canopy that she shares with a fair-skinned Irish woman who has hair like fire.
And it works marvelously: create the essential structure of the experience, and let the customer fill in the details.
Unleash What You Will
Many customers absolutely love the iUniverse because it gives them exactly what they want, and surprises them with more richness and detail than they realized they could get.
But trouble started as soon as the iUniverses were in customers’ hands. One man returned the device after finding his mother in the romantic beach getaway environment. A infertile woman had to be committed after giving birth to a demon in the pregnancy simulation. All manner of nightmare creature, personal agony, and abject humiliation skittered from the hell hole that the iUniverse had turned out to be for many.
The shared experiences were marginally better. When more than one person plugged into the same environment, monsters tended not to erupt from the ground to devour people. The software would take an average of all the participants’ thoughts, so the environment tended to be more stable. Sharing was safer for those who gravitate toward terrorizing experiences. But customers also reported that their experiences tended to be bland and stifling—that their preferences felt crowed and ignored. They wanted to connect with people, but they also wanted to have their thoughts and desires come to fruition in the environment.
The official word from Apple on the shared experience fix was: Form a clear, strong vision for the environment so the device can read your intention clearly, and connect with like-minded people. Cocreate your environment with people you like and trust to add value to it.
People were pissed because they just wanted Apple to fix the damn issue. Apple created the iUniverse, and the customers wanted to connect to people and just have their experience work perfectly, they didn’t want to go through the effort of changing environments and changing who they connect with. Of clearly specifying what they wanted from the environment. That meant effort.
Some customers just couldn’t muster the effort to strongly create their environment, so they settle for sharing the “lowest common denominator experience.” With all the other mainstream users.
Some people were comfortable on their own so they went off into a corner of the iUniverse that was so very different from the shared iUniverse that they could scarcely interact with the mainstream customers at all.
Certain groups of power-users really figured out how to push the limits of the iUniverse software to create radically alien environments and modes of being that mainstream users could barely recognize as an environment or fellow customer at all.
Whatever the customers subconsciously expect is exactly what they find to be true in the environment they’ve chosen, and the more they find of that, the more strongly it’s reinforced.
The Central Question
Some people don’t believe that Apple designed it this way. Some people don’t read the company press releases, so they think the iUniverse just has prebaked environments and that what you find there is what was put there.
Whether a customer is limited or unlimited, and no matter what environment they choose to experience, the whole simulation is running on the same underlying software that operates with knowable and essentially predictable rules.
Remember that customers will only give themselves permission to have experiences that fit into their current subconscious beliefs about their environment. The fundamental assumption of science is that objective reality exists without regard for us observing or experiencing it, so we can do experiments to figure out what that objective reality is like.
For those iUniverse customers who strongly expect that the environment is immutable, scientific experimentation is how they will accept new information. Ironically it seems that whatever experiments they do in an iUniverse environment will spontaneously generate exactly the result they expect: proof that the environment is objective and stable.
Still, scientific reasoning is the bridge over the gap between those who think the shared iUniverse is immutable and those who powerfully create their own environment.
Here’s the question I want you to really think about and then leave a comment to answer: If you were plugged into the iUniverse, how could you tell? How would you demonstrate through experiment that the device does indeed generate experiences from your subconscious mind?
Hint: I’m not talking about an Apple product.
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