Vivek Haldar

No ||

I was captivated by the performance. The sound was wholesome and three-dimensional. Not echoing. Just full. The actors were wearing dusty trousers and puffs of dirt shot out when they slapped their thighs. Yes, watching a live performance was a sensual treat.

What part of this could not be reproduced without live humans? Surely, the holodeck is not that far away. It is just a matter of resolution, fidelity, technology — and time. How long before personal holodecks relegate live human performances to the same status as steam engines in museums?

The performance had me engrossed, but I could not shake the question from my mind. The deep dark expanse of the hall was like a meditation chamber — calm and still and silent. Except, of course, for the flurry of activty on the stage.

Then it struck me. A holodeck will not replace this because it will have one additional control. It will have a pause button. It will be yet another window in our daily juggling list, one alt-tab away from the ignominy of the attention-starved background.

A holodeck might replicate the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the real world. But it will succumb to my scatter-brainedness. And so will I.