Customer: My computer has started running way too slow and I don’t know why.
Tech Support: How does one know what is “too slow?”
C: Well, when I tried to open my email client the other day, it stalled for–
TS: How can you be sure that it is the computer? Perhaps it is your expectations that are running too fast. Or your subjective perception of time that is running too slow.
And, of course, what defines the limits of appropriate speed? Perhaps this circumstance is an exercise in patience. Because what is true patience but the willingness to accept any arrangement of events in time as it appears, without pre-attachment to one possible arrangement over another?
C: I think I’ve been hacked, and I’m concerned about having my identity stolen. The other day when I was checking my bank–
TS: Identity theft? Do you see where you’ve been mistaken?
C: Um, well sometimes I use non-secure wi-fi, and–
TS: You believed that your identity was yours to take. That it was something fixed and distinct that you could outline and contain, never infliltrated by the other voices that cross it, never molding to its present surroundings, always distinguishable from the environment in which it grew.
Some say that property is theft. By that standard, the very act of claiming your identity as your property can only described as identity theft, stealing that persona away from the surrounding world which continuously recreates and reabsorbs it in the everyday microdynamics of social exchange.
C: I’ve heard this isn’t regular tech support, so I thought I’d ask: What’s the meaning of life?
TS: Um . . . *Checks manual* Have you tried turning it off and then on aga–wait, wrong page.