‘Dark Matter’ and Our Unlived Lives

Eddie Ejjbair
2 min readMay 30, 2024

Film and television are not just forms of entertainment, or education for that matter. They can also shed light on the desires and anxieties of a particular time. A few years ago, for instance, there was a slew of shows (Black Mirror, Red Rose) that centred on people forced to do what their phones said. This, no doubt, reflects an anxiety (at a societal level) regarding how our devices affect our autonomy. More recently, there’s been several films/ TV shows featuring multiple timelines, most notably Everything Everywhere All At Once, and Apple TV’s Dark Matter (and to a lesser extent the films surrounding the Marvel multiverse). This is, in many ways, an exploration of what we’ve gleaned from quantum physics, but I would argue that it has more to do with the way we live our lives.

We live in an era of unprecedented personal freedom. Everyone is taught, from a very young age, that they can be whatever they want. What they are not told, however, is that what they choose will come at the expense of an infinite amount of other choices, equally as fulfilling, or, perhaps, even more so. You can be whatever you want, but you can’t be everything you want.

These options lead to what Barry Schwartz calls ‘the paradox of choice’, whereby an abundance of options requires more effort to choose and can even leave us feeling unsatisfied with our choice. This happens at…

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Eddie Ejjbair

‘Gradually it’s become clear to me what every great philosophy has been: a personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir’