You ever read any of The Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher? If you haven't, you should. They are fast, pulpy and imaginative - sometimes a bit repetitive, but altogether fun and enjoyable to read. Forget a lame synopsis though, the only thing you really need to know for this story is that the books are about a modern day wizard and because of his magic he has major difficulties relating to electronics. Because his mere presence will interrupt electronic signals and fry circuits, only the most rudimentary machines will work for him - forget computers. Got it? Good.
Flash to reality, and I'm likely sitting jaw-dropped in front of yet another piece of electronic equipment that just won't work for me, or with me, or whatever. The screen may be stuck on a repeating, flashing, seizure-inducing image, or in the midst of a forced reboot. There is definitely a high probability that some kind of official-looking message containing the words "factory settings" or "restore mode" is staring back at me with startling hostility. I just have problems. Even my beautiful iPhone, just birthed from its packaging required me to restore to factory settings THREE times within the same day. And each time after I had entered in a few contacts by hand.
Right around Ryan's birthday last year, I nuked our laptop somehow. I was writing a blog post, switched to a separate screen and then when I came back to try to type - BLACKNESS. It was one of the more dramatic incidents I had experienced, and as this was only the most recent event in a string of minor problems I had caused (technologically speaking) it brought Ryan to his feet and set him pacing around the kitchen. Eventually he threw up his hands asking me, "What on EARTH is wrong with you?" I gave an exaggerated shrug and said, "I have no clue, man. I'm SO sorry." He shook his head, "This is like Harry Dresden. You walk by our laptop and the thing basically explodes - his magic fries all the electronics he comes near." I gave him a sarcastic look behind my smile. But he continued on about the logic of the entire thought, and the fact that he always knew I was special anyway. He winked away the last part, and I smiled again. We never really get mad about anything, and this was just a minor annoyance anyhow - magic involvement or not. I left him then to his impending repair attempts, and went on about my own thoughts.
All kidding aside, it did bug me that complicated electronics seemed to sputter at my touch. Was it magic? HIGHLY unlikely. It could be that I was just bad with computers - but, in my defense, my bad internet habits were few and relatively mild. But still, I'm definitely no computer scientist, so that could be it. Or was I just unlucky? Perhaps, but my bad luck did seem to have insane aim
- hitting me in the electronic device Achilles each time. My thoughts of luck turned to the possible existence of Karma. Then fractured to another tangent, and another. Some far away part of my brain even worried intensely about the possibility that Artificial Intelligence will take over the Earth someday and I'd be one of the first they'd ax. "You just don't get us." They'd say.
Then I settled on a topic that Ryan and I had discussed several weeks prior that suddenly seemed to have a possible connection - he had brought up a concept he'd read about called a noosphere. Basically, it was the idea that we all have energy coursing through our bodies, and out around them in a sort of orb. Think an aura. A real, physical thing containing energy. And the interesting part (aside from getting to think of yourself as a cloud) is the way that our noospheres may be interacting with each other, influencing each other - all the energies of people, animals, and things able to push together. It might be a part of our existence that we have forgotten, or never really discovered. We might be able to unite through that, conduct it together - and what kind of world might that be?
I love the idea of being a conduit. Conducting energy as I see fit. Not the creator of the energy, but the one who harnesses it - directs it. The blessing of this life is just that, I think. That we may conduct the forces residing within us in whatever direction we choose.
Should the existence of a noosphere be the explanation for my mysterious and unintentional black widow-ing of computers, I feel badly. I would certainly never intend to set my phasers to kill. And should it be magic, meddlesome and swift, I'd be pissed - Harry Potter is like my dream life, so being a witch and not knowing it? NOT FAIR. You can bet your life I will be cutting out a lot of right-clicking and some other habits I have been informed might be troublesome, so any user error should shrink to a minimum. And hopefully it is not a curse of bad luck for I haven't the foggiest idea how to begin fixing that.
An aura of energy around each of us. Individual magic sipped straight from the belly of the Universe. Perhaps they are one and the same. The laptop was fixed and so far remains functional. My thoughts are mild and appreciative when we are in each others' presence - just to be safe, you know?