One Easy Method To Determine If You Are Living In A Simulation

Occasionally, we run into people who remind us of someone else. You know you’ve never really met them, even though they look identical to someone else. But it can’t be. The doppelganger you know lives across the country. Or they’re dead. Or they joined that cult group and haven’t been seen outside in over a decade

Jay-Z and a photo from Harlem, 1939

Jay-Z and a photo from Harlem, 1939

Besides, this mysterious identical twin from another mother doesn’t recognize you.

Or do they? It almost seems as if they have stolen a few glances at you too. Like you remind them of someone from their past. If only one of you had the courage to approach.

But you should approach them. I’m going to tell you why? I’m going to give you a method that will prove to you finally if we are living in a simulation.

It’s Dangerous To Go Alone. Take This.

Did you ever play “The Legend of Zelda” on Nintendo? Did you ever wonder if Link, the sword-wielding hero, knew his universe was just a computer-generated simulation? I doubt he did, but he could have figured it out if he thought for a moment.

Everyone Link encountered on his adventure looked just like everyone else, whether they were giving him a magical weapon or trying to sell him a potion.

Sure, maybe they had a different colored tunic, but, for the most part, the people of Hyrule were all the same. They were Xerox-Humans.

This is because a simulation requires so much computer memory to run. Some source code must be repeated. Imagine the memory size of a computer that can generate an entirely original universe that is 14 billion light years across. That would be a god-like machine.

Something must be repeated. Outer space must be mostly empty. Water must all look the same. Some people will be copies of other people. It saves memory.

simulation1Next time you encounter a person who reminds you of someone else, do the following in this order.

  1. Find a notebook and a pen
  2. Approach the Xerox-Human
  3. Ask them the following questions.
    a)   When you were a child, there was a monster under your bed you were terrified of. You were the only person who could see it, smell it, hear it rustling in the dust beneath you at night. What did you name it?
    b)   When you were 12, you wanted to kiss that one kid in your class. You never got the opportunity. You didn’t even know what kissing was. But your heart beat increased when you thought of it. Your chest felt funny. What was the name of that kid’s pet?
    c)   The first time you stole money from your mother, you had to be sneaky. You had to lie; to “act cool” because she was going to discover the heist. Even though she never accused you, she suspected you, secretly. You had to appear extra normal and extra loving and extra obedient for fear she would one day approach you saying, “I’m missing a twenty dollar bill”, and then stare at you silently. What did you purchase with the stolen money?
  4. Write down all of their answers in case you forget and save them for comparison, because when you encounter their doppelganger, you’re going to ask them the exact same questions.

The Logic

If you were going to design an entire universe with living beings filled with sexual hormones and free will, there must be some very specific-yet-mundane details you wouldn’t need to program. You wouldn’t even want to program them. Because no one is ever going to ask about these memories. They were just programmed to give the simulation avatar background and color. But the great coder in the sky didn’t anticipate you, a divergent program capable of pattern recognition and hyper data sleuthing. The great coder could write a big database of memories and then give them to all the models of a particular design. Just like the steering wheels of Chevrolets rolling off the assembly line.

If the answers are the same, voila, the universe is actually in some type of larger computer.

Of course, there is one snag. This person may be off put, or wonder why you’re suddenly asking them so many weird questions.

If this happens, just shout at them “Control! Alt! Delete!” This will temporarily freeze them up as they reboot and you can make your cool exit.

Well done. Life in a simulation is weird.

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The Future of Angry Mobs and the End of Pitchforks

I don’t join angry mobs too often. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, but it just doesn’t happen regularly. But if I did, I probably wouldn’t grab a pitchfork. Or even a torch.

When we talk about angry mobs, why are these still the tools and implements we envision?

I think it’s time for an upgrade, at least, technologically, to our concept of angry mobs. Most people wouldn’t even know where to buy a pitchfork or a torch.

I’m sure as long as there is government corruption, inequality, suffering, or injustice, there will be angry mobs. So, these aren’t going away. But why hasn’t our definition changed?mob1

Here’s a quick list of things I think you should take if you find yourself joining an angry mob in the future. If you can think of other things, please add in the comments below. Leave your pitchforks and torches behind:

 

  1. Logic 101 – A textbook on constructing a logical and rational argument without emotion and fallacies. It’s easy to get caught up in the crowd and the momentum. But make sure you don’t end up losing the focus in the sea of energy. If someone confronts your angry mob and asks you probing questions, this textbook will keep you from calling them bad words and making ad hominem arguments or appealing to emotion.
  2. A list of demands that were democratically voted upon, appealed, amended, ratified, and adopted. You want the group to know what it wants. In some recent protests, the media interviewed 10 different people regarding the point of the protest, and 10 different people said 10 different things. Make sure everyone knows the talking points and why you are all joining together. The press of the opposing side is looking for cracks in your group. Don’t offer them any.
  3. A knowledge of yourself. How do you fit into this movement? Who are you beyond it and outside of it? If you’re going to say things like, “This movement is the first thing that has given my life meaning and direction,” you won’t seem like a credible witness. Make sure you know who you are, why you’re there, and how you and the mission fit together, even after the protest ends.
  4. Don’t speak in statistics. They’re hard to remember, hard to get right, always mutating, difficult for your audience to get the full picture, and easily disprovable by the other side. Tell stories that are easy for your audience to envision. Don’t speak in numbers.
  5. An understanding of Systems Theory and The Law of Unintended Consequences – Systems are complex. Government, policy, enforcement, etc. . . . are hard to understand, even for PhDs. You need to know that no mob2“wrong” has a simple solution. To stop X, do Y. Well, yeah. Sort of. Adopting a new policy, or rescinding an old policy, will cause unforeseen waves. Who will those waves impact? Are they the predetermined target? If not, can you maybe think of a better demand or policy?
  6. Who are you leaving out? To join an angry mob, at least in North America, means you are likely in some position of privilege. You may not be the richest person in your apartment complex, but you have a day off from work. You have transportation. You’re connected enough to know about the gathering. You made signs and packed a lunch. Etc. . . . . . So, look around your angry mob. Who didn’t make it? Why didn’t they make it? Can you be their voice?
  7. A theme song – Do you want to gather with hundreds of other people with a shared goal and not have a marching tune? Not me.
  8. Misc: granola bars, bottles of water, suntan lotion, bail money.
  9. And for f%$k sake, keep it peaceful.

I hope this list helps you next time the citizens of your little burg are gathering.

If you can think of anything else, I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments.

Until then, Happy Angry Mobbing.

Posted in Cultural Commentary, Futurism and the Tomorrow Mill, In the News, Politics | 2 Comments

Greetings Earthlings

The world is at a crossroads, where divergent forces are fighting for their share of input and power and hegemony.

I know. I know. People have been saying this for over one thousand years.
“We’re an important generation.”

“We are unique.”earthling1

“These are important times in which we live.”

And I hate to suffer from generational echolalia, but people, I feel these are important times that may determine the course of the world for many, many years to come.

There’s going to be a lot of debate. What advances should be made? Who gets the benefits? Why them and not me? On and on.

Okay. That’s fine.

But during these important times, I implore that we keep one thing in mind.

Whatever country you come from, whatever political ideology you feel defines you, whatever your national identity, whatever economic system you think will triumph over all the rest and save us from ruin, whatever god or gods or lack of gods you feel are benevolently watching over us, first and foremost, we are Earthlings.

earthling2We are all inhabitants of this tiny planet. And there are a lot of us. And more coming. And all of these diverse ways of life have sprung forth from Earthlings. We may think or feel or experience the world differently.

And that is fine. It’s one of the reasons why evolution is such a powerful force. We’re here because our ancestors’ genes had the decency to diversify and allow us the abilities to adapt and change.

So, let’s honor our ancestors’ genes. If you’re traveling, or shopping, or just working out at the gym.

Let’s all just be Earthlings first and all those other qualifiers second.

See you around somewhere on this tiny, blue ball.

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What Now? A Listicle

The 2016 election is over and we’re all waking up to a new reality in America and probably the world.

I don’t know what lies ahead. No one does.

My friends and I are all asking ourselves what can we do now? Perhaps you are asking the same question.

listicle2There will be much debate about this in the future. And yes, there are many battles to come.

But for now, I made a listicle. It’s a little out of the ordinary for this blog. But these are out of the ordinary times.

Here’s some things you and I can do today to continue on our quest to make tomorrow better for all people.

Join me.

 

  • Call out science denial

It’s becoming quite in vogue to admit you don’t believe in science. I’d like to see this trend come to an end.

Join me in telling people who are self-proclaimed “science skeptics” that we have built our modern world upon observational phenomenon. It feeds us, keeps us warm, and helps us live longer. All thanks to science. The same scientific “theories” that deniers are skeptical about are the exact same scientific theories that make planes fly, make GPS work, and inform us that smoking cigarettes is bad.

Tell science deniers the truth. They’re not skeptical about science. They’re just too lazy to take in new information and change their minds because it conflicts with their skewed point of view.

 

  • Call out all forms of inequality

This means both expressed or embedded within the culture.

 

  • Be kind

We’re all on this one planet together, one tiny sphere floating alone in the infinite, cold, harsh, void of space. If we don’t stop seeing other people as the problem, we’ll perish. All of us. So, remember, treat everyone like a fellow human. We are all individuals and worthy of it.

We all just got here to this amazing planet. We’re all trying to figure it out.

 

  • Make your spare time about something besides you

Donate. Give. Volunteer. Make an impact. Mentor. Listen. Help. Receive (because that is the other side of giving). Think. Read. Dream. Invent.

The road to tomorrow is full of ups and downs. Some of the battles you will win. Some of the battles you will lose first before winning them later. Remember that sadness, confusion, anger, and failure are all part of the journey to a better tomorrow. Don’t let those feelings become too defining. Recognize them, put them aside in a compartment, and fight on.

 

  • Take care of yourself

We need you. We need your intellect. We need your insight and problem solving. Humanity is facing some of the biggest problems it ever has. And we want you around to help the rest of us through this puzzle.

 

  • Take care of the planet

Earth may be the only planet we ever get. At least, it will be our only home for a long time. listicle1We need to take care of it. We need to realize that what is good for someone’s bank account may not be good for the overall planet.

Stand up for Earth. This doesn’t make you a crazy environmentalist. This makes you intelligent.

 

  • Make the world a slightly better place everyday

Easy enough. When you see a wrong, no matter how small, correct it.

Thanks for reading. I’m sure there are many other things I’m forgetting. Leave a comment if you can think of something else that should be on the above list.

It’s short, but full of stuff we can do every day, right now, today, to continue working toward that great future we all want to live in.

This blog post is more of a band-Aid than a cure. I don’t know how to fix the world. I don’t know what challenges lie ahead, but I do know they’re coming.

We won’t succeed if we give up.

So, let’s give up on giving up.

Get up.

Get going.

Get ready. It’s going to be tough. I hope to see you there. We’re all in this together.

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Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – A Challenge to All Flat Earth Believers

I get it. Lie detector tests are bunk science. You can trick one. They detect other indicators of a lie, but they don’t actually detect a lie.

flat1There are volumes written about their usefulness. I’m on the fence too. They can’t be 100% effective, so why even have them? Every person’s reactions to questioning are are unpredictable when hooked to a weird, briefcase-sized graphing machine.

Some psychological journals say lie detector effectiveness is about 20-70%. Other staunch proponents, like police departments, say they are 90% effective.

I have no idea. Enough about their accuracy. This debate has gone on for decades. It will be going on long after I post this.

But I still feel there could be a good use for these devices online.

Put Up Or Shut Up

It’s recently come to my attention that there is a Flat Earth movement online. There is a stupendously small amount of people who profess the world is flat. They say if the rest of us would just open our eyes and look, we would see the evidence for ourselves.

Decades ago, the Flat Earthers would’ve just sat alone in their bedrooms in relative obscurity. Today, the internet has connected them and given them a community and a voice.

I’m not even going to mention the countless reasons why any thinking human can see the Earth is round. And I definitely don’t want to tackle the Flat-Earther claims point by point. You can read them yourself if you’re interested. But I warn you, once you read a few, you’re going to get a migraine at the least.

The sad part is many of these Flat Earthers produce videos and blog posts. They “debunk” the claims of NASA and science, saying the spherical Earth is just a hoax to control the weak minds of the average citizen. Although, not one single purpose comes to mind as to why a government would want its citizens so in the dark about the planet they live upon. But, when you start asking questions of common sense, you’re already outside the realm where Flat Earthers dwell.

People watch these preposterous videos and congratulate their creators in the comments flat2section for helping us see the “truth”. Oh, how our eyes have been blinded by science, the government, and made-up space agencies.

So, here’s my proposal. I’m not actually convinced that all of the Flat Earthers are sincere. I think they’re hoaxing us too.

From now on, Flat Earthers, if you actually want me to listen to your outrageous claims, you need to post a picture of yourself holding the results for your polygraph test. And yes, they need to indicate that some of the questions asked of you were about the Flat Earth, and you better have passed those questions.

Because, let’s face it, anyone can make a YouTube video. The video can be outrageous. It can be full of ignorance and misinformation. But the creator doesn’t have to believe a word of it.

I think the word is “Troll”. These Flat Earthers are trolling us. Don’t engage with them. Don’t encourage them. Don’t dispute their “claims”. Because, they don’t care if they’re right or wrong. They’re looking for reactions. And the more uproarious the critics, the better these trolls feel. Their job is just to rile you. Not inform you.

So, Flat Earthers, if you had any integrity, when you post your next Flat Earth video, you will include a picture of yourself holding your polygraph results.

And if you want to be over the top, post a video of you taking your polygraph with a respected lie detector expert.

If you think a test is too expensive, we’ll crowdfund the payment for you. I’ll even chip in.

I just need to know. ARE YOU FOR REAL?

If you pass, if you sincerely hold these beliefs, if you are truly misguided in your thinking that the Earth is flat, then we can talk. We have something real to debate. I’ll be interested in listening.

But until you prove you’re not a troll, shut the hell up. You’re polluting the internet, the round Earth’s greatest invention, with your ignorant twaddle.

Until then, I’ll remain in orbit.

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50 + Infinity Shades of Grey

Dear Humans,

We’re entering into a time when the world is becoming more binary. It’s this or that. A or B. One or zero.

There is never a between in a binary world.

The systems that govern our lives will basically be computer automation. Algorithms. On or off.

binary1The binary world is slowly taking over our previously human society. The choices of homo Sapiens were once the only ones that mattered. This is no longer true.

Please Remember the Grey

This is what we humans do best. I call the “grey” the infinite choices that lie between any two points on a number line. The “grey” is what comes between the 1s and 0s. The nuanced meanings that a computer will never be able to grasp. The subtle hints only a human could pick up on.

Artificial intelligences [AI] will be ruled by their binary programming. To AI, there is no grey.

But going forth into the future, seeing the grey may be one of the few things that humans will do better than computers. Computer programs will be either “this” or “that”. That’s all. They’ll appear brilliant. They will seem to have super intelligence. But that’s because they can run through a complicated algorithm in less than a millisecond. They can choose thousands of “A or B” scenarios before a human can even read a short sentence.

So, remember, stop the knee jerks. Stop the obvious reactions. Stop giving canned affectations. Stop being predictable. Drop the false outrage. Because, it’s exactly that: false.

AI will be able to do all of those things just fine. And even make it look quite authentic and random and arbitrary. That will be the beauty of AI.

Drop all thinking that labels something as “this” or “that”. You’re probably wrong. And binary2sadly, when you think in that binary way, you are thinking exactly like a computer. But a world run by AI won’t need more binary thinking. It’ll need more human thinking.

Gladly, AI will never be able to see the meaning between the choices. The complexity and messiness of life. Giving someone a second chance. Forgiveness. That sometimes even the best of intentions fall flat on their faces and fail the ones who they were meant to help. On and on, I could go on.

Just remember to read between the lines, the grey between the binary choices. That’s the only job that will be left for us humans to do in a world run by Artificial Intelligences.

Good thing, we do it so well.

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It’s Time To Give Artificial Intelligences A Job

The problem with human minds and brains is they have many blind spots. And much of the time, they lack the cognitive powers to recognize their own shortcomings. So, we’re doubly blind.

One of the best uses for Artificial Intelligence [AI] I can think of is that it will help us find alien

life forms. Humans can’t even think up all the ways and methods that we’re failing to think up regarding the search for aliens. In other words, we don’t even know what we don’t know.

Boy with hands covering eyes playing hide and seek

Boy with hands covering eyes playing hide and seek

In our search for other intelligences, we tend to only look for other beings that would think like us; are evolved like us; carbon-based and water and oxygen dependent. Perhaps that is how intelligent life out there actually is and how it must evolve. But I doubt it.

AI To The Rescue

Artificial Intelligence and machine brains will be the closest thing we have on this planet to alien intelligences. If we need brains that think differently than humans to locate life that thinks differently than humans, perhaps AI will reveal some new paths?

If intelligent beings really do leave footprints across the universe, maybe listening for radio waves might not be the best way to find these traces. Well, listening for radio waves is just fine. But there’s likely hundreds of other “footprints” we could be looking for if we only knew where to begin.

Job Offer

If you are involved in the search for intelligent life around the universe, and you post a job ai1offer, be open minded. Perhaps one of the applicants will be a computer software mind. It won’t much care for office politics or popularity contests or fashion.

But it will give you insight into intelligence possessed by beings other than Homo Sapiens. It may show you how other creatures elsewhere might think. And those insights will be priceless.

As long as we search for alien life forms that are exactly like us, think like us, possess our exact technologies, and evolved like us, we may never find them. Because real aliens are probably vastly different from us in both corporeal and philosophical systems.

All we need are some new ideas. Hurry up, AI. The universe is so lonely. It’s like a giant hide and seek game out there in the cold vacuum, and our friends likely have a massive head start.

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