Shock Level Zero

“The legendary average person is comfortable with modern technology – not so much the frontiers of modern technology, but the technology used in everyday life. Most people, TV anchors, journalists, politicians.”

—Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, “Future Shock Levels

I require of these dead creatures only
their comforts: a leather-skinned easy chair
in which to crawl, its black and silver matching
consumer electronics like Operation game
organs filling slots in the entertainment
body against the wall beneath the barely
stanched flow of lines, squares, and circles
of inscribed consumption. There are no
bridges to cross that the remote won’t reach
to the other side, in doing so bringing that
much distance to me in my comfortable chair. Reality
television matters. Reality matters. There
is no comfort in contemplating the robot fantasies
of the fallen, for I have before me the Book
in which magic is ensouled. With proper reverence
I think not dangerously of place outside
my place. I follow to lead and there calmly
and without impression the artifacts of my immediate hold
are as comfortable as belief in the Greater,
but not shockingly so.

#NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 5

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).