Reality Checkpoint – Unusual Wikipedia Monday

Do you know that feeling, when you look around and you wonder, what’s real and what’s not? Is that really a man or is it a troll? Is that over there somebody waiting or is she a secret agent, a spy? Do we all live in the matrix and wait for Neo to save us?

Well, even if you haven’t wondered about stuff like that, somebody else than me obviously has or the Reality Checkpoint wouldn’t exist.

This wonderful lamp post, exactly in the middle of the crossing of two paths is in Cambridge, England.

[I wish I knew about it already in 1998, when I was there on a Learn-English-trip, but I probably wouldn’t have appreciated it then anyway. I was much too occupied with trying to decide whether I should tell my crush that I was in love with him, or not. Though I bet that a Reality Check would have helped with that question as well.]

Anyway, there are three theories as to how the Reality Checkpoint works. [quoting wiki]

  • It may mark the boundary between the central university area of Cambridge (referred to as the ‘reality bubble’) and the ‘real world’ of non-academic locals living beyond. One is warned to check one’s notions of reality before passing.
  • It may be because the lamp post forms a useful landmark for people crossing the park at night — perhaps drunk or in the fog — since it is the only light for hundreds of yards.
  • It may be because the lamp is situated in the middle of two walking paths that intersect. Anyone walking not tuned in to “reality” will likely collide with the lamp, hence “reality checkpoint”.

Personally, I think that the third theory is the most likely, but my poetic soul tends to a forth, more Gaiman-esque possibility. [I’ll let you decide what that could look like.]

What do you guys think?

[On a related, but nevertheless side-note: Cambridge-based artist Logistics has a new album titled Reality Checkpoint. You can listen to it here. I haven’t done so yet and am at work right now, so I can’t tell you, if it’s good or not.]

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