Klosterman Essay


One page for each prompt  You should, as a rule, have no more than 15% source usage in each essay.  In other words, you should have AT LEAST 85% of your essay coming from your ideas, your own thoughts.  Use quotes to strengthen your argument only–I’m not looking for a rehashing of Klosterman’s ideas.These are the prompts1. In “This is Emo,” Klosterman writes very specifically about a very specific kind of love.  That is, he writes about fake love, and that fake love is ultimately what he desires, and what he thinks we all desire; and this has much to do with how love is represented in film, TV, and other media.  Klosterman thinks that love is best seen as it is seen in  media, and it is his theory that people have, after years and years and years of consuming this media, come to expect that kind of love from everyone, and if that kind of love does not come, Klosterman thinks that the people who want that kind of love are unhappy. My question is–do you agree with this?  What is love in your opinion?  What is real love, and what is fake love?  What is the difference?  Can you ever know when the person you love is being genuine, or do you believe that people who are in love (or who say they are in love) are in some ways mimicking the people they see as in love in film and in TV, etc?  (Please don’t write about love between a parent and a child, or you and your pet, etc–I want you to write specifically about the kind of love Klosterman writes about–that is, love with a partner).  Do you want fake love?  Be specific, and be detailed, and use Klosterman to help make your argument. 2. In “Billy Sim” and “Appetite for Replication,” Klosterman writes extensively about simulation, and about how people use other people’s perception of them to understand how they, the people being perceived, truly are.  What happens as a result of this, according to Klosterman, is that we go around and pretend to be all these things that people judge as being appropriate based on sometimes snap judgments.  Klosterman believes, it seems, that we are all merely simulating what we think we should do and not actually doing the things that we think we are doing–Klosterman thinks that we are all merely simulations, and then simulations of simulations (as in The Sims).  Do you agree with this?  Are we all just simulating each other, simulating what we think we should be simulating, simulating who we think represents us?  Why?  Why not?  Be very, very specific; and use examples from your own life to help strengthen your argument.3. Klosterman writes that, “…it suddenly occurred to me that there would always be road construction–not always on this particular road, but somewhere” (from “Billy Sim”).  That quote has always stuck with me, and it made me think about what would happen if construction just went away, what would that feel like?  It made me think about how cities would look, how foreign it would feel if there wasn’t construction happening around me, particularly in downtowns and highways.  That then got me thinking a different question, but similar.  And this is your question–what would happen if all the pigeons in the world, everywhere, went away?  Like construction, pigeons are everywhere, all of the time; so I’m wondering what you would think the world would feel like without pigeons?  My biggest curiosity here is how cities, particularly downtowns wherever you live or have lived, would feel.  Would they feel different?  Do pigeons, in any way at all, make you feel at peace in the world?  I know most people hate them or at least think they are a nuisance, but what would you do without them?  Do you take pigeons for granted?  If you can, I would like you to go to a park, or go downtown, and stare at the pigeons, and think about what you really think about them.  Do they make cities have life, do they give cities meaning?Without them, what would that mean, how would that feel?  Be very, very specific.  This question will likely result in you not using much of the text to help you, and that’s okay.  I’m more interested in your own thoughts on this.

Question 2: Human and Simulation

The simulation argument proposes three possibilities: one, that the human species has the possibility of being eliminated before they attain the stage of posthuman.  The second proposition is that the civilization of the posthuman will most likely not run a large number of their evolutionary history simulations. The third proposition is that humans are already living in a simulation. Only one of the propositions can hold true and thus negate the other two. From the propositions, there is no chance that the posthumans will run the simulations of their ancestors if we are living in a simulation. At the beginning of the Billy Sims, Klosterman asserts that (24), “I am the master, and I am the puppet. And I am not the type of person who still plays video games.” The assertion confirms that the author does know whether he is the real self, or he is a simulation being controlled by another creature. In addition, in Appetite for Replication,  the statement (78), “…we all use our illusions,” further highlights the belief that we may not be whom we think we are as humans.

There is a possibility that we are living in a computer simulation coded into a computer by some highly advanced species. The likelihood has been captured in books and films. Physicists have agreed on the possibility of us being in a simulation as it casts aside what we already know, or we think we know about the universe and the part we play in the entire plan. If it is true that we are already living in a simulation, then it follows that the cosmos that we observe are just a minute part of the physical existence and that the universe that we know and assume to be real is not anchored in the fundamental reality (Falk). There is a familiar notion to the idea of simulation that there exists a creator or a simulator who created human beings. There is the idea of a superior deity forging a simulated universe in the form of creation as capture in the bible. However, some analysis welcomes the analogy to religion. The argument is that if the simulation hypothesis holds, there exists an architect or a creator who was is responsible for designing the world. The simulation happens to be an idea that is reaccepted interim of mathematics and science and not just in faith.

Questions linger on the entity of the godlike being who was supposedly involved in the creation of the simulated universe. There is likely to be a race of advanced beings or space aliens. The aliens and the advanced space aliens are also likely to be our own beings’ descendants or our future selves. The future version of the human being can be located thousands of years into the future with the ability to simulate the world, our minds, and bodies. Just like it is possible to simulate anything else, then it is possible to simulate brains. Though we currently don’t have the technology to simulate the human mind, there is a conceptual barrier that it can and will be done in the future. Once it is created, the simulations will generate conscious experiences.

Just in case that humans happen to realize that they are nothing more than a simulation, the knowledge has the potential of disrupting the human existence as they question their sense of purpose and the place they hold in the world. The realization has the possibility of causing social unrest as the human come to terms that their thoughts are not really what they are and that they can not be held liable for their actions. The discovery that human being is nothing more than a simulation would have a damaging effect on the social order as the human consider themselves as the most advanced creatures with the power to control the world and the universe.

I do not believe that that we humans are a computer simulation. However, I think that the posthuman that will appear after us will have the ability to simulate us. The world we experience is the real one, and it exists as part of reality.

Question 3: Elimination of Pigeons

Klosterman wrote (29), “…it suddenly occurred to me that there would always be road construction–not always on this particular road, but somewhere.” On the existence of things and the essence of their existence. What would happen if they suddenly cease to exist? How would the world be affected? Pigeons are flight birds that are present in all parts of the world except the coldest regions and the most remote islands. There are more than 250 different species of the bird. All the members of the family suck liquids and they feed their young ones. Normally, removing a specific species from the environment would lead other species that compete with the species to exploit the resources that the species once used, or other limited resources would end up receiving a boost.

If the pigeons were removed from the environment, other species would benefit from the elimination as they would no longer be competing for food resources. Eliminating pigeons would lead to a proliferation of competing animals such as rats, mice, stray dogs as well as other species of birds such as crows. The reason is that the majority of people treat pigeons as rodents, and thus, there is a structure that is constructed to control them as people take measures to control them.

On the other hand, some pigeons live among people, and they are useful in indirectly cleaning the rot as they feed on food remains and other human waste material. For that population, eliminating the pigeons would mean that environment becomes dirty, or they get some hygiene associated disease. In other instances, there are animals and people that rely on the pigeons as their source of food. For this group of animals, the elimination of the entire population of pigeons would mean that the community does not have a source of food, which may lead to starvation and maybe death.

A world without pigeons would feel different for different people depending on the relationship they exhibited before their disappearance. People who have never interacted with pigeons would not feel or notice their disappearance. In contrast, those that depend on them would notice and possibly wonder what has come of the world to cause their disappearance, while those that consider them as a nuisance would be glad that the animals are no more. I think the pigeons make the city life lively. Staring at them makes one wonder about their purpose in the world and how city life would be without them. Getting to the city park and seeing pigeons doing their rounds is the first sign that there is life. They give the city meaning.

In conclusion, the elimination of the entire population may lead to the proliferation of other species of animals, or it may lead to the death of others. The effects of pigeons’ disappearance will depend on the relationship that existed between the pigeons and other animals before their elimination. If the relationship was symbiotic or parasitic, then the species left will suffer. Still, if the relationship was that of competing for the same resources, then the left species will have a chance to thrive and increase in population. 

Works Cited

Falk, Dan. “Are We Living in a Simulated Universe? Here’s What Scientists Say.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 7 July 2019,

Klosterman, Chuck. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. Faber & Faber, 2013.

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