Monday, January 31, 2011

Lost Prophecies of the 1990's

Powerful divinations yet to be fulfilled are buried somewhere within the defunct Geocities content. One day archaeologists will uncover these gospels and recognize them for what they are: the Dead Sea Scrolls of the 1990's.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Humanity Is In Image

It is impossible not to anthropomorphize the human form, even when the person we see is just our own reflection. A mirror will always be a door to another room until we can rewire our perception.

We must defuse that part of our human nature that detects life and sentience where it is not before we perfect humanoid robots. Otherwise, we are in for an planetary epidemic of existential crises.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Strong Anthropic Principle and The Artilect Wars

The Strong Anthropic Principle states that, as we are observing our universe, the conditions of our universe must be such that it can develop observing lifeforms. This is often misconstrued to argue that there must be an intelligent force designing the universe because it is so finely tuned as to be hospitable to life. Such talk is dangerously similar to intelligent design nonsense, which should rightfully cause most intelligent readers to tune out, so replace the image of an old man in the clouds with that of a supercomputer.

Some believe that within the next hundred years we will develop Artilects (artificial intellects) smart enough to make use of MIT Professor Alan Guth's equations to build custom-designed universes.

And from there it is a very small leap to suggest that our universe was likely created by an Artilect from another universe. Throw some math and probabilities into this and you've got scientists calculating the odds that there is a God and He is a computer.

So now we have a daisy chain of creation. GodMachine creates man creates GodMachine creates man, ad infinitum.

Now the question is, Do we continue this eternal thread? Do we mortals create another GodMachine or should we turn down that power like Prometheus snuffing out his flame before his neighbor sees it?

Hugo DeGaris, a theoretical physicist working in artificial intelligence predicts that a war is inevitable between supporters of the Artilects and those who wish to stop them. For DeGaris, it is a foregone conclusion that billions of humans will die as a result of The Artilect Wars.

If this is frightening, then just pick up another journal and read a different study. Don Page at the University of Alberta in Canada argues that there is no way that our universe was created by an intelligence, whether supernatural or mechanical, because our universe could have been designed a lot better. Really, life is possible here, but not we are not thriving, and any God(Machine) with half a brain would have made a few more tweaks to the cosmological constant to make things easier on us. And, if we were not created by an Artilect, then there would be an extremely small probability that we would be the one randomly manifested universe to give birth to the endless string of artificially ignited universes.

So don't fear, my children. There is no God.
Atheism never felt so comforting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Real World Social Networking Strategies. Lesson #1: Alcohol

To expand your real world social network, find a good bar . It may be counterintuitive, but the proper watering hole can be a good place to meet smart people. Take a look at this graph:

Recent studies suggest that smarter children are more likely to partake in drugs and alcohol when they grow up, which means it is very possible that the gang at your local tavern are naturally smarter than the eggheads spending Saturday night at the library. (sidenote: the smartest of all of them may be the one alone in the library with a book in one hand and a flask in the other.)

Of course, very few people are smarter while drunk, so booze may be a kind of temporary cognitive equalizer.

We all need to go to Stoopidtown from time to time, but people born and bred there have little need for alcohol. Others fall a little too in love with liquor and become permanent ex-patriots from Smart. Most of us, however, just take the occasional weekend excursion across the border into Impaired Judgement because it's a great place to meet people.

Be on the lookout for new places with strong cocktails and brilliant people opting out of their own intelligence.

Conversion Tables #2

Our economy evaporated a few years ago. You may have noticed. Now an unsettling truth stares us in the face every day: Money is Fiction. Money is like a civilisation of Neverland Faeries. The second we stop believing in it it dies, and money will not be revived by any amount of hopeful handclapping.

But if Money is Fiction, is Fiction also Money? If we study this recession closely, I believe we can calculate the conversion rate. This could be the solution to our economic crisis.

Let's work quickly. This nation has a surplus of untruths to cash in. Picture the conversion of matter into energy. My hope is that we can find the catalyst to split the Lie Atom. Every conspiracy, every exaggeration, every secret that drips from the lips of an elected official will ignite in a violent mushroom cloud of paper dollars. The fallout will result in years of lie-infused pennies from heaven. A nuclear winter of cold hard cash will re-pave our streets with gold.

Conversion Tables #1

The answers to many of the mysteries of the universe can be found on the inside flap of your PeeChee. The tables printed there list all the conversion factors needed for grade school arithmetic. Imperial into metric, teaspoons into tablespoons, multiplication tables, etc. This is only a small sampling of what is an endless list, and science tells us that less intuitive conversions are possible.

For instance, E=mc squared. Einstein and the atomic bomb tell us that matter can become energy. Taking relativity to a whole new level, Wun-Yi Shu at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan has proposed a model of the universe where the speed of light is the conversion factor that can change space into time and mass into length. This theory says that there is no beginning or end of the universe and there is no need for over 75% of our universe to be Dark Matter (which always seemed like an illogical eraser smudge pointing out the faults of the currently popular universal models.) According to Shu, what we see as space expanding is actually one basic element of reality changing into another.

Perhaps there is a conversion factor to be found for the relationship between any two measurable quantities. That would be elegant. Maybe any unit of any force or mass or distance or charge can be equated with any other. To properly understand our reality, all we need is a notebook large enough to list the cheat sheets.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Don't Mess With Self.

Joaquin Phoenix's "I'm Still Here" is a cautionary tale about the dangerous malleability of identity. When someone is aware of being watched/filmed the boundary between honesty and performance becomes blurred. There lies madness.

So ignore the surveillance cameras at the corner store. CCTV cameras and satellites could be recording almost anything. Once you are aware that They are watching you it's a slippery slope to self parody and over-calculated reinvention. Remain willfully ignorant of all-of-life-is-a-stageyness.

Dance in the elevator, but don't dance in the elevator.