Today is INDUSTRY DAY, which apparently has nothing to do with the ill-fated 80's band.
Along San Miguel Avenue, less than a spit away from where I live, there used to be a triangular island of concrete at the intersection of two streets, an artificial delta that separated the potential flood of traffic into three orderly streams. Sometime within the last year, the delta was removed, yet the traffic has not significantly worsened as a result. This is because, as I've noticed, nearly everyone acts as if the island were still there. The cars drive around it, and pedestrians braving the intersection actually halt in the space where the island used to be, as if it still acted as some sort of safe haven from the surrounding flow of vehicles. So the delta, it would seem, may be gone from our neighborhood, but not from our collective consciousness.
This got me thinking about consensual reality-- the idea that aspects of existence are contingent upon collective recognition. While it may seem absurd to think that reality is dependent upon everyone's conscious or subconscious agreement, the concept is actually more prevalent in our daily lives than we realize. Take money, for instance-- it doesn't exist. Seriously. The bills and coins we use do exist, obviously, but they, like stocks and bonds and securities, only serve to represent money, which is only a concept. There's no such thing. When you deposit cash into the ATM, your deposit effectively ceases to exist. The bank uses the funds for other purposes, so in fact, the only reason you continue to have funds is that you and the bank tacitly agree that this is the case. Strictly speaking, there's no such animal. Sure, a country's currency is considered to represent national reserves of gold and silver, but again, it's only because everyone accepts that this is so. When you get right down to it, the worldwide monetary system is really nothing more than a huge, long-established consensual reality.
Which is fairly freaky to think about, but also kind of cool. Consensual reality could also be the culprit behind the sudden discovery of a supposed tenth planet in our solar system. Who knows? Maybe it just popped into existence because a large enough number of people wanted it badly enough. Let's all test the concept out by deciding that chocolate makes you slim; what do you say?