Keys and Torture

“To undergo eight tortures and become a key is to make yourself unfit for service as an interchangeable part on some industrial default script. This means you must fail enough, quickly enough, and in unique enough ways that you escape the gravity well of the black hole of aggregated, alienated humanity (alienity?).

The point is not to be uncommon, but to be common in an uncommon way. Any old ooga-booga will not do to generate that condition. The right kind of ooga booga is as hard to generate as a good, strong pseudorandom number.

Becoming a key is about rewilding your identity as a human, breaking it out of its domesticated uniformity, putting the variation back into the natural selection, doing your bit to reclaim our species nature from this benighted degeneracy — the mathematical term for a system expressing less than its full potential complexity — that is our premium-mediocre civilization.

Most people fail to further the rewilding of humanity because they err on the side of failing too generically. Because there is not enough entropy in the trials they undergo, not enough new learning in the information they uncover. They end up as dud keys that will open up no interesting variation in the human condition, reinforcing its fragile monoculture (or perhaps oligoculture would be a better word). The human condition as evolution in a parking lot.”