Reality checks: On office layoffs and VR’s future

It has been a week of mixed emotions and reality checks for me, virtual and otherwise.

I suppose I could get into a long discourse here on the nature of reality, and suggest that the world as we generally see it — and feel it — is an illusion, as in:

Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever

As a theosophical sort of transcendentalist, I get that “life is but a dream.” I really do know that, sort of . . .

So why do I feel so much sadness when I see people I have worked with for decades being layed off? Why is my heart broken by the seemingly irreversible doom faced by the newspaper industry in Canada?

Is it not written by sages that “all things must pass”?

Indeed, as one beloved colleague being layed off told me before she departed, we can’t expect a company to hire us for life.

Yup. That’s reality.

We’re there to serve the owners, and when they no longer need us or can afford us, out the door we go. Forget about the “we’re all family” stuff in the workplace. That is a fanciful fairweather friends line of thought — an illusion.

Which is not to say that it is bad. It’s just the way it is, baby.

But it still hurts, ya know. And it is still hard to go back to work and see all the empty desks . . .

Ultimately, I am more aware today that what counts the most — if anything does in this world of illusionary experiences — is the love you have with your partner and family and close friends.

And, perhaps, the knowledge that we are each, in “divine” immortal essence, manifestations of the One in its multi-dimensional playground we call “the universe.”

Well, that is the hope, anyway. But there comes a time when one doesn’t really care much about such metaphysical theory, because God’s playground can be just so damn depressing, and the thought of eternal nothingness seems so appealing . . .

No, mustn’t go there. But I can see down that dark tunnel of depression, and I can understand why some succumb to it.

Hold on world, world hold on
It’s gonna be alright
You gonna see the light — John Lennon

***

Speaking of illusionary experiences and reality: Virtual reality is about to become reality big time, according to various soothsayers. One video I was watching this week predicts that smartphones as we know them now will be obsolete in three or four years as we all switch to virtual reality devices that are in the making.

Who knows? Nothing would surprise me. I mean, who would have thought that I would be watching TV shows on my phone now?

So, in a bid to cash in on the illusionary nature of VR and make some real coin as the technology starts to play a major role in our everyday reality, I bought some stocks in a company called YDreams Global Interactive Technologies, and am eyeing another firm called Spectra7 Microsystems — both trading on Canada’s TSX exchange.

I’ll talk more about VR in future posts.

— Jillian

Photo: The lotus symbolically represents karma in many Asian traditions. A blooming lotus flower is one of the few flowers that simultaneously carries seeds inside itself while it blooms. Seed is symbolically seen as cause, the flower effect. The lotus is also considered as a reminder that one can grow, share good karma and remain unstained even in muddy circumstances. (Photo: Nevit Dilmen/Wikipedia)

9 thoughts on “Reality checks: On office layoffs and VR’s future

  1. It’s all BS. Like what’s happening South of the 49th. Put another way, “C”apitalism vs Socialism. Because that is what the “reality” has been all about since the turn of the 20th century. But, it’s not illusion. The actual Q facing “advanced” developed nations is how to pay people after all the robotics take their jobs. Rather, how to pay robots. Apparently guys like Mr. Microsoft et al are promoting that the robots pay taxes. Oh, my dear, you been on the Holodeck all your working life %P

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    1. But if robot workers replace human workers, who will buy the products made by robots? Certainly not humans, because they will be too poor.

      Actually — a subject for another post — I doubt capitalism will survive in the long run. The economic system as we know it will implode, which may not be a bad thing at all.

      One day, mankind could return to Eden, where robots do all the work and humans eat grapes and things, sunbathe in their micro-kinis (or nothing at all) on the beach and just generally have groovy lives.

      Then again, the divine One might be bored with that thought — and never allow it to happen.

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      1. hmmmm. Depends on what you mean by “groovy”. All though undoubtedly you will have some ideas on it for your personal growth, there are others who groove on making big $$ just for it’s sake. We probably would agree on what “hell” (on Earth) is. But isn’t the big Q that homo sapien is constantly on the search for is what does Utopia look like? Unfortunately, we have enough resources to create it right on on the planet. But we want to get off of it d*amn quick. And as easily as possible %@

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      2. We do have the technology to create Eden on this planet. But that is not the nature of the material world — it is an ideal to strive for.

        Metaphysically speaking, all things are unfolding as they should here, karmically speaking. We are reaping what we sow.

        I see this world as both a playground and an elementary school, and once we graduate from here, we may find ourselves manifesting in other dimensions — or not.

        Maybe we’ll just groove in a nirvanic buzz — and if you have ever got really stoned on 1970s-type mesc or ’60s hashish, you might have a sense of how that feels. (But I digress.)

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  2. I was very nearly made redundant in 1992. I was 12 weeks on “gardening leave” before they found me something else to do; being sent to a site the company was closing down entirely to take “brain dumps” from folk they were laying off. That triggered depression that was with me on and off for over a decade. It also made me realise that, though companies waffle on about “employee loyalty” there is no such thing as “employer loyalty”. Actually, there is no such thing as a “company” or “enterprise”. There are just a bunch of individuals like you and me trying to make ends meet and collaborating to save their jobs, even if it means sacrificing others’ jobs.

    As for VR, I think you will find that there is more AR “Augmented Reality” first, where we have our smartphones provide additional information to go with what we are doing in “Real Life”. Google Glass was an early attempt at that sort of thing. Maybe in the line of games will things go completely virtual.

    As an aside, the Tad Williams’ “Otherland” series of books is good fiction on the matter of VR and what constitutes our existence.

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  3. Jillian – I’m on your side. Reading the morning paper is one of my great joys in life. I get to find out what’s going on globally, nationally and locally. But I guess evolution is tough to stop. My hope was that the great journalists who can put together a string of words that make me feel as if I were in the room, would simply move their talents to the Internet. The Internet is certainly not as satisfying as reading the newspaper, but at least I would be able to enjoy their musings. Yet, now I’m reading how bots and AI are anticipated to replace human writers. Dang. It seems I become a fish a bit further out of the water with each passing day.

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    1. Too bad you’re not a Bluefin tuna. In which case you would be worth > 1m$. Of course, there is also the added distinction of being near extinction very soon. Fish indeed. The problem with “humans” is that for some unfathomable reason we want to achieve immortality and be as gods. Problem is, we have overlooked one critical fact. We are gods. Capable and having dominion over life and death. Will we make it? It’s still quite the game of Craps %O

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