The Embodiment of Proximity, a tall strong but somewhat lanky fellow, with touchy feely tendencies and barely any need for private personal space, sat, sprawled, in the chair across the desk from The Embodiment of Gravity. Gravity was not quite as tall, but very broad, very stout, very stern. His arena of personal space shifted, depending on who he interacted with — the mass of their presence, their demeanor, and their size being key determinants.
Both Gravity and Proximity had grown accustomed to their positions, as extremely powerful forces in the Department of Social and Interpersonal Interaction. Both had suffered recent declines in the scope of their influence.
For Gravity, the change had been more a shift of power and control, from laws and acts that controlled the individual bodies of creatures, to policies and regulations governing the construction of physical social infrastructure. Gravity still exerted a great deal of impact on the everyday lives of humans but more and more this effect was indirect, reaching human activity only by way of controlling how easily humans could connect with technology. Human transportation and communication technology had gone a long and significant way toward neutralizing his control over individual humans. In their virtual worlds, he was barely recognized.
For Proximity, the loss of power was even more significant. Every hit on Gravity from the direction of virtual worlds technology had been a devastating blow to Proximity. The combination of two newly dominant and partnered forces, The Embodiment of Overpopulation and Crowding and the The Embodiment of Social Awkwardness and Discomfort worked directly in opposition to Proximity, encouraging and making it more and more acceptable for humans to avoid concrete, tangible, physical contact.
I used to have so much control over who connected with whom. I worked so well with The Embodiment of Practicality… well the old Practicality, that is.
Proximity had progressed well on into a full whine by this time.
This new so-called Embodiment of Practicality, pft! I’d hardly even call this one the same entity, barely even the same species. Sheesh, a whole new breed, that one. We don’t even speak the same language anymore.
I mean, take friendship for example, once upon a time, friendship was ruled by the forces of daily proximity. We built on the natural foundation of Social Need the Embodiment of Evolution embedded in the design of humans and we gave them a controlled and well defined range of other humans from which to act it out with.
Now! Now, we’re nothing. Friendships are all based on interest.
Here Proximity used a baby-voiced, mocking, tone on the word interest, screwing up his face in total disregard of the word’s aptness in this context.
There are no limits. It’s all taste and preference. Humans will never be able to handle it. They are going to ruin everything with their gluttony!
Gravity raised a large and heavy hand, lifted, seemingly with great effort, into the air above his desk. Then, brows furrowed, lips turned down at the corners of his mouth, eyes as stern as ever, he let his huge meaty palm drop. Drop! Landing with a loud thud and quieting Proximity abruptly.
I’ve no time for this now. Besides there is nothing you can do until you have become completely obsolete. Humans have grown more and more incapable of seeing anything relevant to them, as long as it exists in their current environment in any way shape or form. Collectively they are horribly unself-reflective. Once you become part of the past, entirely and officially, that’s when they’ll notice you again.
Until then, Proximity, I suggest you sit up a little straighter and draw your knees in and learn some patience.