Posted by: thetavernthoughts | May 6, 2015



We are all introspective to a certain extent. We all have a sense of what motivates us and what our problems are. The same cannot be said about empathy. It varies with the individual. Yet, empathy is the foundation of human society.

Working on the world’s greatest surveillance program, I have realized that I have been hired for my social skills as much as my coding skills. Somewhere between the implementation of a 5G network and creation of super powerful Google glasses, the governments of the world realized that the internet was not something that they should restrict; it is instead a tool with which they could control. They declared it a basic necessity and made it more easily available than water. Soon the entire world was hooked to the virtual reality, not yet to the extent in the films, yet they spend enough time online for us to track them. Not just their posts, but unknown to people the glasses are also used to record facial expressions the window to person’s soul. The complete analysis of their online activity gave us a very clear picture of who they were. In-fact as the program grows in strength, with it’s every new update it comes closer and closer to becoming the first true oracle. Of course with a window to million souls at my fingertips I created the first ‘oracle’ update. Now I could predict crimes. I can track psychopaths from birth and create alerts lest their tendencies make them monsters. I marvelled at how well my code worked. Now the truly serious crimes could be predicted and prevented, or at least that is what I thought. Of course there would be few misses I figured.

There were none, every crime was witnessed and felt and catalogued from all the possible perspectives, including those of an innocent bystander. The powerful program I had created could mirror all personalities and characters in human experience. It learnt by doing so. The program simultaneous simulated millions of people to understand their behaviour patterns and use it to predict crimes. Once I had understood how the system worked, it was time for me to involve the law authorities.

The new problem arose with the system when the police got involved. They now received alerts of possible crimes that could happen in their locality. They could now apprehend perpetrator and stop the crimes from happening. The program of course was not happy with my decision. That is when in communicated to me. It sent me a design of a complex machine, perhaps the best virtual reality simulator I had seen.

Of course I built it. I wanted to understand what the program was up-to. For a while I was also suspicious. This brilliant AI might want to take over the planet I thought. It had evolved by itself, so I had very little control over what it had become. So I took precautions before entering this simulator. Few close associates were informed and asked to stay offline. I was afraid that the virtual reality generated by my program would totally overwhelm me. So they had to ensure that I stepped out into the real world.

With a deep breath I switched the simulator on. I wore its sensory gears. Slowly, slowly the real world dropped away. Almost in a dreamlike state I was transported to scene of crime. It was that of a woman being beaten up. The most common crime even now is domestic abuse. I looked at it as fly on the wall. I was sure that the perpetrator was stupid psychopath enjoying the little power he had over the woman. I was disgusted by the victim and her refusal to take a stand for herself.

Suddenly I felt a blow on my face. I stunned by it. Before I could understand what was happening, I felt another one. I wanted to stand up and fight back, suddenly I felt weak and scared. Suddenly I felt ashamed deeply ashamed. Off what? I do not know. Just an over powering sense of shame. I do not even have to fight just run. Run the man was going to kill. The fear left me paralyzed. I was scared of leaving the man, I was powerless, and I wished he would kill me and end the pointless existence. There was nothing beautiful with the world. It was better to end it all.

Then I felt the sweat and blood on my knuckles. She had to know I was the man. I was in charge; I had to prove that I was in charge. If I did not control her she would go away. She would leave and go away. I was scared of her and the extent to which her absence would hurt me. She was the centre of my world and she had to be stopped and protected. I felt love and a strong urge to hurt. I love her, I will hurt her. Keep her weak and dependent on me. I need her so I keep her dependent on me.

Then suddenly the police arrive on the scene. I was a cop and I had a baton in my hand. I barge in through the door. Anger, I was angry with both of them. I was right in being angry. I am justice. I had to protect the weak. But the weak as always would not let me.

Perhaps there was another way out. I feel wicked and in control. I challenge the man berate him. I can feel his anger come out of that dark pit as he hurls himself on me. I strike him once and hard with my baton and then again. This time I feel a definitive crack in the skull. I feel a rush as I deliver justice to the weak. I am out of the police man again and I am drifting, towards a closed-door. Behind the door in the corner a little girl of three is lying on floor in the typical infant position.

I am her now and I am feeling guilty and ashamed as I hear my mother scream. I had been crying and that made Daddy angry and so it he hit mother. I am bad. I feel so ashamed and guilty. I deserve to be hurt and killed.

As suddenly as the visions had begun they stopped. As I stepped out of the simulator I felt exhausted. They emotional roller-coaster had taken a toll on me. It felt like a long and tiresome set of visions had been sent to me. The program was communicating its distress. The daughter I realized was now likely to do things that would harm her. The policeman and his righteousness were also dangerous. An abusive husband who loves the one person he is hurting and the mother’s d illusion of dependence.

It was almost as if for the first time I could become the person I was trying to understand. More important I realized that all of the people involved might make different choices if they ever totally and without any difference felt exactly like the person who they were hurting or was hurting them. Perhaps that is what the program wanted of me. This one single could totally change a person’s approach. I do not even have words for most of the things I felt in those moments, for I believe that program had observed and replicated a certain primordial impulse in us human beings. An impulse that lay at the root of identity and identity crisis assuming we all had fractured personalities.

Hence, the final part of this fantastic tale is as such. It ends with an appeal to extend the original scope of this program and redefine crime prevention as not merely stopping the criminal act, but using empathy to beat the criminal mind-sets.



  1. Based on a prompt…………[WP] Deterring crime is now accomplished by downloading the potential victim’s emotions, pain, and suffering into the would-be criminal’s brain in time for them to change their mind.Writing Prompt (self.WritingPrompts)

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