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In a famous piece of apocrypha by Plato, Socrates asks his disciples to imagine a group of people chained inside a cave since birth, their backs against a wall. The entrance to the cave is behind them and not visible, but sunlight and firelight from outside filters in, casting shadows onto a wall the prisoners can see.
I was rustled awake by cold, the first time I can remember being woken by something so still and silent. The air inside my car felt crystallized around me, and it seemed that I was unable to move. Eventually, I managed to reach out and turn the key. The engine did not turn over.
Outside, the light was just coming up against the stars. I opened the door and saw the dark, almost black feet of the San Jacinto Mountains where they jutted out into the light blue desert floor like the roots of an ancient tree.
One evening, just at twilight, I woke up on that couch and opened my eyes. The rooftops were clean black edges framing the immutable shape against the deep blue of the impending night. I kept looking at it, trying to memorize every line and precise angle, until it was too dark to see. 
Plato’s cave allegory can be seen as an uncanny description of human interaction in the Information Age.

With alarming ease, we cast the shadows of our own true form the way a ventriloquist throws his voice, the way a fortune-teller speaks of a mark’s certain future.
Matthew Glaser lives in San Francisco. 
* Lazy Load - jQuery plugin for lazy loading images * * Copyright (c) 2007-2015 Mika Tuupola * * Licensed under the MIT license: * http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php * * Project home: * http://www.appelsiini.net/projects/lazyload * * Version: 1.9.7 * */ (function($, window, document, undefined) { var $window = $(window); $.fn.lazyload = function(options) { var elements = this; var $container; var settings = { threshold : 0, failure_limit : 0, event : "scroll", effect : "show", container : window, data_attribute : "original", skip_invisible : false, appear : null, load : null, placeholder : "data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAEAAAABCAYAAAAfFcSJAAAAAXNSR0IArs4c6QAAAARnQU1BAACxjwv8YQUAAAAJcEhZcwAADsQAAA7EAZUrDhsAAAANSURBVBhXYzh8+PB/AAffA0nNPuCLAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC" }; function update() { var counter = 0; elements.each(function() { var $this = $(this); if (settings.skip_invisible && !$this.is(":visible")) { return; } if ($.abovethetop(this, settings) || $.leftofbegin(this, settings)) { /* Nothing. */ } else if (!$.belowthefold(this, settings) && !$.rightoffold(this, settings)) { $this.trigger("appear"); /* if we found an image we'll load, reset the counter */ counter = 0; } else { if (++counter > settings.failure_limit) { return false; } } }); } if(options) { /* Maintain BC for a couple of versions. */ if (undefined !== options.failurelimit) { options.failure_limit = options.failurelimit; delete options.failurelimit; } if (undefined !== options.effectspeed) { options.effect_speed = options.effectspeed; delete options.effectspeed; } $.extend(settings, options); } /* Cache container as jQuery as object. */ $container = (settings.container === undefined || settings.container === window) ? $window : $(settings.container); /* Fire one scroll event per scroll. Not one scroll event per image. */ if (0 === settings.event.indexOf("scroll")) { $container.bind(settings.event, function() { return update(); }); } this.each(function() { var self = this; var $self = $(self); self.loaded = false; /* If no src attribute given use data:uri. */ if ($self.attr("src") === undefined || $self.attr("src") === false) { if ($self.is("img")) { $self.attr("src", settings.placeholder); } } /* When appear is triggered load original image. */ $self.one("appear", function() { if (!this.loaded) { if (settings.appear) { var elements_left = elements.length; settings.appear.call(self, elements_left, settings); } $(" ") .bind("load", function() { var original = $self.attr("data-" + settings.data_attribute); $self.hide(); if ($self.is("img")) { $self.attr("src", original); } else { $self.css("background-image", "url('" + original + "')"); } $self[settings.effect](settings.effect_speed); self.loaded = true; /* Remove image from array so it is not looped next time. */ var temp = $.grep(elements, function(element) { return !element.loaded; }); elements = $(temp); if (settings.load) { var elements_left = elements.length; settings.load.call(self, elements_left, settings); } }) .attr("src", $self.attr("data-" + settings.data_attribute)); } }); /* When wanted event is triggered load original image */ /* by triggering appear. */ if (0 !== settings.event.indexOf("scroll")) { $self.bind(settings.event, function() { if (!self.loaded) { $self.trigger("appear"); } }); } }); /* Check if something appears when window is resized. */ $window.bind("resize", function() { update(); }); /* With IOS5 force loading images when navigating with back button. */ /* Non optimal workaround. */ if ((/(?:iphone|ipod|ipad).*os 5/gi).test(navigator.appVersion)) { $window.bind("pageshow", function(event) { if (event.originalEvent && event.originalEvent.persisted) { elements.each(function() { $(this).trigger("appear"); }); } }); } /* Force initial check if images should appear. */ $(document).ready(function() { update(); }); return this; }; /* Convenience methods in jQuery namespace. */ /* Use as $.belowthefold(element, {threshold : 100, container : window}) */ $.belowthefold = function(element, settings) { var fold; if (settings.container === undefined || settings.container === window) { fold = (window.innerHeight ? window.innerHeight : $window.height()) + $window.scrollTop(); } else { fold = $(settings.container).offset().top + $(settings.container).height(); } return fold <=$ (element).offset().top - settings.threshold; }; $.rightoffold=f unction(element, settings) { var fold; if (settings.container===u ndefined || settings.container===w indow) { fold=$ window.width() + $window.scrollLeft(); } else { fold=$ (settings.container).offset().left + $(settings.container).width(); } return fold <=$ (element).offset().left - settings.threshold; }; $.abovethetop=f unction(element, settings) { var fold; if (settings.container===u ndefined || settings.container===w indow) { fold=$ window.scrollTop(); } else { fold=$ (settings.container).offset().top; } return fold>= $(element).offset().top + settings.threshold + $(element).height(); }; $.leftofbegin = function(element, settings) { var fold; if (settings.container === undefined || settings.container === window) { fold = $window.scrollLeft(); } else { fold = $(settings.container).offset().left; } return fold >= $(element).offset().left + settings.threshold + $(element).width(); }; $.inviewport = function(element, settings) { return !$.rightoffold(element, settings) && !$.leftofbegin(element, settings) && !$.belowthefold(element, settings) && !$.abovethetop(element, settings); }; /* Custom selectors for your convenience. */ /* Use as $("img:below-the-fold").something() or */ /* $("img").filter(":below-the-fold").something() which is faster */ $.extend($.expr[":"], { "below-the-fold" : function(a) { return $.belowthefold(a, {threshold : 0}); }, "above-the-top" : function(a) { return !$.belowthefold(a, {threshold : 0}); }, "right-of-screen": function(a) { return $.rightoffold(a, {threshold : 0}); }, "left-of-screen" : function(a) { return !$.rightoffold(a, {threshold : 0}); }, "in-viewport" : function(a) { return $.inviewport(a, {threshold : 0}); }, /* Maintain BC for couple of versions. */ "above-the-fold" : function(a) { return !$.belowthefold(a, {threshold : 0}); }, "right-of-fold" : function(a) { return $.rightoffold(a, {threshold : 0}); }, "left-of-fold" : function(a) { return !$.rightoffold(a, {threshold : 0}); } }); })(jQuery, window, document);