Two days ahead of schedule, ‘Your clothing is still downloading’ passed the 50% mark of 25,000 words on its way to NaNoWriMo completion. Here’s the paragraph that took it across the halfway line.
Did the internet, I asked myself, really expose hidden, but pre-existing identity? Or did it create brand new identity that would never have happened without it? Or was its ultimate function just to take whatever identity you’d managed to build and to tear it into tiny, unexaminable pieces? Was Benjamin Burton just an evolution of his younger self – the guy I’d met at university who’d once told me he regarded marital fidelity as one of the most important pillars to the meaning of life – or was that man no longer in existence, replaced by a new human being who only happened to share a few of his memories? It was hardly the case I disagreed that opinions should ever be revised; it was hardly the case I thought that before the internet no-one had ever come to change their mind about something – the psychological literature was replete with suggested explanations for that process long before the first email got sent. But the degree and the speed and the totality of the change was overwhelming. Were we built to absorb such change? Was it possible to sustain it indefinitely? Was there a limit to how far we could travel from ourselves before we looked back at the distant shore and realised we had no idea who we were any more?