Friday, March 20, 2015

Cheat your way to Success!

First, just in case you're new to my sense of humor, the title is a Joke.

Also, it's kind of not.

Lying to other people is still bad, m'kay? Coping with reality is difficult enough, without you inventing bits of it that never existed.  I don't mean "cheating" as in "I know I said I agreed to some common rules before starting the game, but, surprise!"

I mean in the sense of "cheating nature", or even "cheating death". Those are not rules we agreed to in good faith, coming into the game. They weren't even properly written down. And it's also very difficult to take the re-negotiation route with Reality and, for example, talk Time or Gravity into being a little less strict.

So in that case, it's perfectly fine to, in all good honestly, cheat like hell.

If in doubt, you know you're doing the right kind of cheating if you'd be happy to arrange a press conference, and rock up like Tony Stark in his Iron Man suit to announce it in advance.

Aerodynamics is a cheat. Medicine and Science in general is a cheat. The Large Hadron Collider is a complete and utter cheat... deliberately causing billions-to-one chances to come up nine times out of ten. (Talk about weighting the die!) And if you're going up against Ebola, I don't want you playing fair. There is no sportsmanship with pandemics.

Technology is cheating. And the skillful use of it requires, above all, a kind of joyful cheating that is forever thinking up new things to do with things no-one has noticed, and gets hackers into trouble when they can't distinguish between natural and man-made restrictions.

If you were in a foot race, suddenly substituting yourself with a robot scooter mid-event would be frowned upon. But in general life, it's a brilliant idea that gives us things like dishwashers and ATMs and insulin pumps.

So, cheat at life. Cheat the universe! Just be honest with other people when you're doing it, and everything will be fine. They might even help.

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