Several months back I stumbled upon a Youtube channel called exurb1a. Little did I know that this exact channel would be the cause of my existential dread and a source of a good laugh about it.
I’d like to make a small disclaimer before going on about his videos and books: there is an ongoing controversy surrounding this British Youtuber, any of the claims of the accuser have not been proven yet. Finding out about these accusations have not changed my views on his works. After all, there is a saying which became popular about the controversy surrounding Picasso: “Hate the artist but not the art.”
One gets a very mixed feeling of individual hope and universal doom while watching Exurb1a’s videos. On one hand, most of his videos acclaim how miniscule a human life is and how meaningless every single action is. On the other hand, he finds freedom in insignificance and hope in humanity’s baby steps in progress. In his video ‘A Guide to Worrying’ he acknowledges that no one really cares about what you do, and that is liberating because no one would shame you for your failures. In that video I can always find courage to try things that I want to without worrying about the pressures of failure. Another video titled ‘And Nothing Can Ever Ruin This’ examines a seemingly perfect relationship from its beginning to its bitter end. Exurb1a concludes that every relationship that feels unique and special is just a repeating cycle. Exurb1a also touches subjects such as the beginning and the end of the universe, AI, happiness, youth, regret, reality, and science; and he does so while combining exceptional sense of humor with profound insights.
A while back I also found out that Exurb1a publishes books. I’ve decided to download (apparently, there is no shipment from amazon) one of his earliest works ‘A Bridge to Lucy Dunne’. It is a collection of short stories, generally about the future and AI. However, the one that has the same name as the title of the book especially amazed me. It is a story, which has another story in itself, and that one too has another story. In the end, they all intertwine to make one beautiful masterpiece that displays Exurb1a’s skills with the language and imagination.
I would like to conclude the article with one of my most favorite quotes from Exurb1a:
“Birth, death, the silly bit in between. If none of it has any ultimate significance.. if on a cosmic scale, none of it matters.. does that really f*cking matter?
We won’t last forever, but while we’re here, what a silly decision it would be to waste our day out, in the cosmos”