Metaphysical User Interface

Imagine that the universe is a big ol' computer, and we're all just geekin' away.

Theists are using a GUI like windows or a MacOS. It's easy to use, intuitive, and adequate for most purposes. On the other hand, it uses a lot of resources, and interferes with their ability to get the most out of the system.

Because theists use a GUI, they have little understanding of The Way Things Are. This causes them to become confused easily. For example, Most say the buttons are real, but understand that they're not real in quite the same way as the keyboard buttons, and are happy to use the mouse to click them. Others insist that the buttons on the screen are actual, physical buttons. They insist on pressing them, and wonder why that doesn't work. The fact that a handful of them actually have touch-screens only confuses thing further. When they realize that the screen is covered with glass, they blame the Atheists for putting it there.

Some theists have noticed that if you get crumbs in the keyboard the computer won't work properly. They have concluded that eating over one's keyboard angers the Man in the Computer. If you do get crumbs in the keyboard, you must clean it carefully and place hard candy on the monitor.

As you might expect, Mac users think Windows users are Satanic, and vice versa. OS/2 and NEXT users go door to door on Sundays trying to convince others that their OS's are superior and would be in widespread use if it weren't for Bill Gates.

Most theists refuse to believe that it's all just Ones and Zeros, although some believe that The Man In The Box uses Ones and Zeros.

Atheists are using a command line interface like DOS or UNIX. It's fast and powerful, and they have all the control they need; but it can be very inhuman.

Atheists know that the computer can't get angry about crumbs in the keyboard, so they eat crackers while coding. They look down on theists for not having a better understanding of The Way Things Are, and think that they are idiots for thinking that all those icons and buttons and things are real.

Some atheists are happy to use a GUI sometimes, but hard-core Atheists insist on using the keyboard for everything. This makes it practically impossible for them to produce compelling art. They believe that a theistic conspiracy is somehow ruining their keyboards in an attempt to force them to use mice; they are at a loss to explain why theists would use cracker-crumbs to do this. They criticize theists for using a UI without ever really understanding that they are using UI too.

Mystics try to do everything using raw current. They know that there are no Ones and Zeros, just Current. They discard the mouse, the keyboard, and the monitor as being too worldly. Some replace them with banks of lights and switches. Others eschew even that and lick the circuit boards to test for current and close circuits. Most end up touching or licking the wrong thing and frying their brain. A few gain fantastic insight into The Way Things Are, but they never get anything of any significance done because they're too bogged down in details to see the big picture.

Enlightenment comes from understanding that different UI's have different strengths and weaknesses. The enlightened person also understands that familiarity can be strength in and of itself. The enlightened person knows that the GUI is an illusion, but also knows that the illusion is valuable. An enlightened person might use a Mac to edit a movie, Windows to play a game, and UNIX to write software. If their neighbor uses Windows to edit a movie, and a Mac to play a game, the enlightened person will accept, and perhaps even celebrate these differences. If someone tells the enlightened person that they should be using Windows 3.1 (the One True OS) the enlightened person will feel free to call that person an idiot. If the same person simply states that Windows 3.1 has always worked for them and they sees no reason upgrade, the enlightened person will nod their assent and offer the person their copy of MS Word 1.0.