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The Boolean Life
Things are either True or False. Or not.
A mistake that was not
By Olibe.nu

A guard has picked up a piece of paper from a corner. Did the prisoner mistakenly drop it? Or was it planted?

My mistake was that I got angry. And that is it. Not the things I did after, when I was in that state or the things that led to being angry.

First of all, mistakes are costly. There is always a price to pay. Some are affordable - those that can be paid for with money or other little compromises. Others are not that cheap. You do time. Yes,’do time’. I’ve come to realize the truth behind that. Doing time really means that. Not doing things to pass time or being punished for a length of time. It is doing time. So ask yourself this, what goes by when you are doing time? I’ll grant you this: the answer isn't time. When doing time, time stops. Literally. Yes, not figuratively.

You might wonder, who am I? Who writes such things in this place? And that will bring you to the second thing I learnt while doing time (or third?). Even if I wasn’t educated before my mistake (you would recall I mentioned something at the start of this spiel), one thing about doing time in this: You get all the time you want! (no pun intended). So, I could easily have learnt all this while going my time. ’My time’, I almost forgot that. When doing time, never forget that you’re doing your own time. That of others still goes on. Only yours is affected. I digress, what I wanted to say I learnt is that after ‘the mistake’, the system only knows you as the one who made ’the mistake’. Whatever had been done before ‘the mistake’ is ... well, let's just say nothing was done before the mistake. Your life? No, existence? No, entity? (or a stronger word?) only exists as ‘the one who made the mistake’. A separation of self from the external adjective is impossible. A possible outcome is nothingness. Hence, you do not exist without the black mark from which your life started.

Knowing this begot the resolution: never make another mistake. Now this will take a little while to explain. I'm not given to making resolutions (except the one I made not to make any. Ironic? It works!) so take this one seriously. Never make another mistake! After informing you of what a mistake can do to your existence in this system, I’ll define what a mistake means. It is an action (not necessarily boolean) which was taken due to inattention, ignorance or bad judgment. Why did I say they are not wrong or right? The power of mistakes is that if they are costly enough (to do time perhaps?), they reset your existence in this system (see full explanation above). So, my resolution amended is: never make a mistake that is a mistake. Yes it sounds unclear. That is its beauty.

When doing time, trust everybody. Who is everybody? Nobody! Yes, I mean it. Trust me, you don’t want to go foul with this. Got you! There you go trusting me. I’ll say that again. Trust everybody, everybody is nobody. Why didn’t I just say trust nobody? It is complicated, trust me. Some people expect trust, thrive on it, accept it as the only currency. So ,give it to them! Like it is said, trust everybody but not the devil in them. Trust is too slippery to define. Can I trust my lawyer to lie to me? Is that trust? Can I trust the system to be unfair? Can you trust my answer to these questions to be what I say it is? When playing the trust card, always take into consideration the intelligence of your opponent. The most stupid (found mostly among those who use their muscle more than brains) know this rule very well. Showing that you trust them or implying that they trust you is too forward for their intellect. Sometimes you have to play using mirrors; make them see your left hand moving instead of your right - make them trust you that they shouldn’t. yes that strikes the level of cryptic I wanted it to (or does it?). For the intelligent ones (you will find them where others dodge responsibility), it is easier: show them what they want to see: a person they shouldn’t trust!

I’m getting to the end now. But before that, know that the greatest enemy to those who commit crime is the law. Do not confuse the law with agents of the law. I do not mean the police, judges or the lawyers (yes, I realized I named them last). I mean that which determines the cost of a mistake. That statue which makes an action crime or not. Quote me anywhere, the easiest way of committing a crime is to make it legal. And that is straying too close to home.

Finally, you need an outside man. You can not do everything from this side of the bars. Before choosing an outside man, remember that this world is a prison. Everyone is inside. Trust me, finding this piece of paper balled up in a corner isn’t a mistake. Or is it?