What mass shooters know that you don't
To some degree or another, mass shooters have embraced the notion that their targets and maybe even themselves are not real human beings but merely the products of a simulation or other manipulated reality. Perhaps they are right.
(Spoiler alert) A recent episode of Doctor Who came close to legitimizing killing as a valid response to discovering that you are not real. In the 10th season episode “Extremis” of the Peter Capaldi cycle, people kill themselves after discovering that are computer simulations that are part of a preparation for an alien invasion. In one scene, scientists at CERN have gathered around tables armed with time bombs.
A scientist proves the simulation by asking the Doctor’s companions to blurt out a random number. Instead, both keep saying the same number again and again and are then joined by everyone in the room in the repetition. While this is an extreme sample of synchronicity, there are some very real-world examples of synchronicity, such as the Lincoln-Kennedy comparisons, various Nine Eleven synchronicities and numerous other examples that are routinely dismissed as “just coincidences” but I would contend are evidence that there is something very irregular about our so-called reality.
If we are living in a simulation, there is no such thing as murder, only disruption of data streams.
It all harks back to the Columbine massacre and The Matrix.
When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold attacked Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, killing 13 people and themselves, investigators said the killers evoked Neo, Keanu Reeves' character in The Matrix.
The two teens were known for wearing long black trench coats similar to the one "Neo" wears in the film and for calling themselves the trench coat mafia.
Perhaps the Columbine killers decided that the predictable, petty pursuits of their fellow high school students was evidence that it was “all a game” that is already rigged to produce the most frustration and conflict.
Not all mass killers are deep thinkers who think they are in a simulation but probably most believe that a large portion of human existence is manipulative or phony. Indeed, how many here have looked at the Trump election and presidency and said to themselves, “I don’t believe this shit.”
More chaos is likely as more people discover the “coding” governing our programmed reality.
Image Doctor Who “Extremis” promotional poster © BBC, fair use