Finding Damo

The story of a man, his job, two cats and the meaning of success.

Illusion

All is not what it seems.

Or rather, all is what it seems and it’s pretty mundane once you figure out the why of it.

Or nothing is what it seems and the glitches in the Matrix are the only hints at the real world hidden behind the illusion.

Scary dinosaur - very realistic

We live in a world where, if a dragon landed on the street in front of you, most people would just wander up to it, trying to figure out whether it was a hologram or animatronics.

I’m reading Chasing Embers at the moment – good read, check it out – and the main character is thinking that if someone looked up and saw a dragon they would scream and panic and then call the police.

It’s amazing the things you see walking through the bush.

I just don’t see it. If I looked out of the window into the night sky, and saw a dragon flapping merrily through the night, I could justify it in a dozen different ways. It could be one of the new drones, with a cloth shell. It could be a projection. It could be a bat/bird/flying lizard that just looks like a dragon. It is most likely a stunt for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.

It would be cool, don’t get me wrong. But it wouldn’t be a dragon.

Of course, once the dragon started burning houses to the ground and making off with our virgins, I might be persuaded otherwise.

I am always amazed by the world that we live in and the technology we take for granted.

In my head, I am planning lessons for my students next year (check the calendar – yup, still next year) where they model a piece of furniture from their classroom and then I import that into our virtual reality classroom for us to shoot with paintballs. My year tens start the semester by programming drones. The Year Sevens make robots that follow a black line around the classroom (before creating their battle bots and destroying their opposition). They make computer games and short animated videos, podcasts and movies, all on their laptops.

And that’s normal for them.

I can make a dragon fly across the sky using Maya and After Effects and post that on YouTube and – even if I did it perfectly – nobody would be fooled.

My Psycho Teddy Bear hiding in a hole
What is real, really?

If the footage was blurry and the camera jumped about a bit and you couldn’t really see the dragon, then maybe some people would be taken in.

What would it take for you to believe in dragons? Ghosts? Aliens?

Because I don’t think that even seeing one up close and touching them would do it for me any more. It would be always in the back of my mind that someone had just come up with a better illusion.

Is this a good thing for humanity?

Or just a very sad indictment of our lack of faith?

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