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Sunlight is easily the steadiest factor in all of nature's chaos. Ever sending us 3.17 * 1024 joules per second, ever pushing 4.53 * 10-6 N/m2 of pressure down upon our heads. The light varies so little over time, as abundant elements are eventually consumed and ejected away, changing more slowly than we can measure even now, periods taking longer than our race has existed to see. This same light, same shade, same intensity, shone on dawning society; even after we had harnessed fire and built structures in which to live, we still opened our homes to it and let it fight away the darkness. Finally we figured out the glass window, a fused and stable state of silicon to place between ourselves and nature's elements, another way to receive life from the sun.

Lately this silicon has been pressed into an entirely different task. Doped and molded it transforms a stream of electrons into a burst of photons, billions of times a second this silicon lights our rooms and faces with each weak flashbulb burst. A pattern of these tiny flashes together makes a scanline, a pattern of scanlines stacks horizontally into a screen. The screen itself flashes more slowly: thirty, sixty, eighty times a second. Bursts so fast they don't register as a individuals entities, so slow they flicker when we move our heads, shuddering movement always at the edge of consciousness.

Now instead of seeing light reflected directly to our eyes of whatever is in front of us, we view copies of copies of copies of photons. Through a camera lens and up to a satellite, or across yet more modified silicon and speeding on fiber and copper to our homes, this vision robbed of stability comes at light speed. And regardless of headaches or eyestrain or the ever-so-slight possibility of a seizure we stare into its stop-motion visage, content with whatever solidity our persistence of vision can provide.

Thus we trade an actual window upon what is just outside our doors, our true environment, for one that can display the entire world. Living in basements, decorating with dark curtains or staying up late into the night, we escape the glare and visual noise from real windows, the constant non-pattern of sunlight. Clear, crisp, clean windows of glass are slowly replaced by the false, flickering simulacra projected by cable boxes and operating systems.

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