Well, he roped me into this…

A Theory of Otherhood and the Monorepo

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hive Mind

It is a landmark event in anyone’s life: the sudden comprehension that there are others. For most of us, this lightning bolt strikes before we have developed the grammar or syntax we would need to construct a memory of such a concept. Consequently we don’t remember it. But it strikes none the less and we bear the scar throughout our lives. The bolt misses some—perhaps they dodge it—who are no doubt baffled by the rest of us who once were of one mind and now perceive many, who call ourselves members of society, humanity, or civilization.

Developmental psychologists refer to this phenomenal discovery of others as the theory of mind, which occurs to me, a layman, to be a misnomer. At the very least we are discussing a theory of minds. But is it a theory at all? Most human beings develop a “theory of mind” at eighteen months to three years old. But can a three-year-old theorize? This is uncertain, and would be unproductive to debate for our intents and purposes. We can agree, however, that a three-year-old can agree, or disagree. A litmus test for agreeability?

“Do you want some broccoli?”

Agreements—in the Don Miguel Ruiz sense of the word—form the foundation of our relationship with existence. They define the Self and shape our default perception of reality. Suffice it to say, we stand to benefit from making a careful inventory of the agreements that define us.

When we acquiesce to the Agreement of Otherhood, few if any of us are able to read the terms of the contract we are signing. In fairness, this is not the only fundamental agreement we make unawares. Similar agreements foisted upon us as babes sow the seeds of bigotry, misanthropy, and mortality, trees that fruit with fear, guilt, shame, sadism, and self-loathing. Though they may inspire a wide array of pathologies, we can follow them each back to the same unconscious but deluded original agreement: otherhood. Through this looking glass we can imagine that each individual awareness is separate and independent. And as these raw membranes of consciousness subdivided rub and chafe each other, the calluses of ego thicken and harden, impacting the otherhood pathogen in these seemingly closed cells of awareness, in these drops of the ocean.

But do not despair. This is only one way to play the game, albeit a common approach. It is not clear whether this is a game to be won or lost, or whether choosing a winning strategy is possible. What we do know is that without otherhood, no one would compete. Why roll the dice if you are your opponents?

Culling the Herd

It has only been a year since I became conscious of the agreements that define me. At first my inner eye refused to focus on them, like I was trying to watch a tear form, which is not quite as tricky as an eye trying to see itself. Eventually I managed to float the glowing orb of awareness into that shadowy nook of gullibility. The agreements I found may not shock you. They may just ring a bell. Here’s a sample (and how they fare in the light of consciousness).

  1. May the best one win.
    Win what? Trophies?
  2. The truth is out there.
    All signs point within for truth.
  3. All life is sacred.
    samsara
  4. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.
    On whose authority?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [humans] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Were we created? Or did we grow? Did rights grow with us?

  1. All is matter energy information quantum fields consciousness Mind.
    We’ve hit a bit of turbulence. Seatbelt signs are on ;)
  2. Self-improvement is masturbation.
    The self is more than me.
  3. You. Only. Live. Once.
    Unknown. I am the one who survives.
  4. This too shall pass.
    अनिच्चा • anicca • all is impermanent
  5. Love is the answer.
    Affinity runs the cosmos.

Platitudes and aphorisms mostly. Words to live by? Or words to leave (a room) by? You be the judge. I ended keeping the last few and binning the rest. And I am the author of my truth, but no one’s besides. Perhaps that is the purpose of the illusion of Otherhood, to give each drop of consciousness the thrill of divining the Truth from its precious, one-of-a-kind perspective, and then the thrill of trying to explain it. Pretty fun game, eh? How’m I doing?

Enter the Monorepo

Listen, I don’t know jack about monorepos. The last one I worked on left me cussing up a storm and mounting a campaign to modularize the codebase when it took half a week to get the dev environment running on a new machine. I could have been more patient, yes. But when the computer can make three billion decisions a second, patience on a scale of days is criminally ludicrous. This was years ago. It was ahead of its time.

Today, as then, we diffuse, distribute, decentralize. For the Jungians among us, individuation is the name of the game, the purpose of choice, the bee in your bonnet. For the Darwinians, differentiation drives evolution, which explains the diversity, behavior, and strangeness of nature. Our telescopes find ever more and farther stars accelerating away from us. Meanwhile McKenna would lead us to believe that complexity will exponentially outpace entropy as order and chaos footrace through the heavens.

At present (in 2019), all over the world individual minds are claiming distinct identities and adopting more reliable methods of establishing their relative value to each other. We are pursuing the individuation Jung exalts as our prime directive. Power, control, wealth are decentralizing, as knowledge, storage, services, functions are becoming more distributed. The blockchain and its dapps may not come to triumphant fruition as they do in the Adderall-induced fever dreams of the HODLbois, but the client-server model has already mutated and evolved. RESTful APIs and reactive, functional programming enable serverless data streams to flow like unseen ocean currents, whisking data plankton along for the whales to follow.

Each conscious node in the decentralized distributed information ecosystem is being honed toward its ideal configuration. They tumble chaotic like semi-precious stones, knocking off sharp edges, ever polishing, always iterating and improving, one issue, one unit test at a time. Eventually the polishing process will pulverize all granules, until only magic dust remains, so fine and dense that the heat of its affinity begins to fuse the powdery core. What could be more perfectly ordered and purely chaotic than plasma fusing at the center of a cosmic dust cloud?

And so the one true Monorepo takes hold. This is a ways off of course. But it’s never too early to prepare for immortality.

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