Affective is a collection of fresh reads, perspectives, and thought pieces

Second Person


May 17

The Second Person is a project exploring the various identities that converge into who we are, the hundreds of worlds we inhabit in a day, the roles we play that are always changing. Through second person prose pieces, we try to bring out various versions of ‘you’, virtual and real, internal and external, and create an archive of self by examining interactions, beliefs, experiences or moments.

If you think about it, most things science fiction can imagine come true. You can speak to somebody a million miles away. You can send them pictures, videos, watch them at any moment, as though you’ve been teleported in an instant.

There are machines that can speak to you, analyze your every thought, bots who chat like human beings or vast systems of information that know you better than you know yourself.

You can watch archived video from any era, or read about it, you can learn about every known moment in history, you can see a painting or a sculpture or an artefact, probably even hear their music, like you’re traveling through time.

You can understand and translate any language, you can see any part of the globe or even outer space. You can land on Mars or the moon, or use satellites to discover any location, even fly drones to them and observe.

You can use a pocket-sized device to communicate with anybody, to replace your mind. You can go on a diet of supplements and juices. You can take pills that make you happier or calmer or more energetic, you can alter your mind and body in every way.

But even though all these possibilities have been made real, why do they often feel like a shallow imitation, an empty version of an adventure, like progress that is more internal than external, more imagined than real?

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