High Resolution

The fundamental question I want to answer is: is reality better than fantasy? There are certainly times and places where fantasy is superior to real life. The real question is something like: how does one live in such a way that real life is better than fantasy?

The essential quality of reality is that reality is high resolution. I game on a 4k monitor and a GTX 1070, but video quality only goes so far towards what I mean by high resolution. In the end, you still have only one health bar, two companions, four dialogue options, eight playable classes, sixteen possible hairstyles.

If you want to live real life better than the best video game, you need to take full advantage of the high resolution of life. Real cars have more amazing gears, pistons, and fluids than any fantasy CyberPunk steam-helicopter. Real decisions have many more branching paths than any visual novel. Real people have much more personality than any anime girl.

All this is no use when people round off the details of life into story mode to make it easier to digest and interact with. But the details are everything! If you round them off, you destroy the principal advantage of life at the outset.

If you think the only options when you disagree with your partner are to stay silent or fight, your relationship is doomed. If you think depression is the same as anxiety is the same as being sad, then you’ll just keep trying that thing that worked that one time you were sad, and it won’t work again.

So, I will take a microscope to my life and take a single example all the way down to the atom. Although some of the specific details below may be interesting in themselves, pay attention to the spirit of the exercise: take a problem and dissect it as far as your imagination will allow.

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