Monday, December 15, 2008

Was Jesus a Buddhist?

Witness Luke 17:21
...behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
One interpretation is the modern notion that heaven is actually a place on earth or a state that one can achieve. But other than a modern notion we have certain older concepts.

Also see Luke 17:33
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and
whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
There's another buddhist (also taoist) idea shown in many examples that, in general, the harder you try the more easier you fail. To attain or succeed in your endeavor you have to stop trying. See this, especially
he alone fully elucidated clinging to the "self" and its resultant suffering.
just a seed of a much deeper and more interesting subject

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Annihilation and the Apotheosis

Gazing inwardly towards totality
Is at first
Gazing outwardly towards Oblivion

Less than insignificant yet supremely glorified
Troubled not in the passing of self
For the self binds the boundless

Nothing lasts forever
Therefore to endure
Become nothing

Become but a grain along an infinite shore
And the shore will become but a grain in your infinite self

From this way approaches annihilation
From this way approaches apotheosis

Monday, November 10, 2008

Joe the Republican

I don't really care about their economic, foreign, education, or
health policies as long as they're against the same things as me.
I feel this sentiment accounts for quite a bit of what votes the republicans did manage to get.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Not Unfirst Non-nothing

First there was nothing. That's not exactly right. There was no first
and there was no nothing. There was no first because there was no time
for any occurrence to be considered temporally relative to another.
There was no nothing because the first thing you think of when you
think of nothing is an empty space with nothing in it. There was no
space for there to be nothing in either.

Now, it turns out, when there's no nothing and there's no when even
then, it's really easy for stuff to happen. This seems
counterintuitive. You may think of it as maybe it took a trillion
years for anything to happen, but there's no difference there between
a trillion years or an instant or an eternity. So in this
pseudo-eternity-instant of non-nothing, that conceptualization that's
only there to separate the is that we know from the is-not that we
cannot know, is-not became is. Now all of a sudden we have something.
Except it's still not space and it's still not time, but it is
something and not non-nothing.

Now that we have something (again "now" is incorrect), it gets real
uncomfortable existing without anywhere to exist. So in effect
something decided to separate the is-not from itself in order to give
itself a substrate within which to exist. Now this substrate with
something in it was all that was and finally words like "Now" and
"was" have some meaning. Since there was a place to be, this meant
that something could move about within this substrate that is the
precursor to what we call space. But just like something needed a
substrate to differentiate is and is-not, in order to move there had
to be a substrate to differentiate was and was-not.

It turns out that these two substrates came together and you could not
get the one without the other. Moving something from here to there
also required moving something from then to now. So now we have a
something, a somewhere for it to be and a somewhen for it to happen.
Except it was a rather dull thing and not much did happen. Things
stayed this way for quite some time. Rather longer than you or I can
probably imagine, but at least it was a time instead of a non-time so
we that we might have the ability to attempt to imagine it now.
Luckily, for all the size of space, the is-not from whence it
originated was bigger still. And in this is-not many such spaces
sprang up here and there and then...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Here is your Sign Good Sir

I never did understand the purpose of signs during an election. Commercials sure. But what the hell is the point of a sign? Maybe it's a good way in local elections for the candidates to get their names out, but who doesn't know who's running for the presidency?

"Oh hey guys! There's a sign for McCain! Let's vote for that guy!"

"Yeah that's a kickass sign! Let's do what it says."

I guess the smaller signs put up in individual yards can give some indication of the local voter climate and may sway the vote of the easily influenced.

Also pissing me off this election season:

"Oh I like Palin. I like the way she talks!"

Oh fuck YES! Let's vote for someone because of the way she talks. Nevermind that she's an idiot with no pertinent experience. I actually heard someone say they liked her for that reason. This same person suggested that Obama was the antichrist. To this I responded that we should definitely then vote for Obama. This was met with some exasperation. To suggest that we vote for Obama is one thing, but to do so in the face of his claim to the title of antichrist was disturbing apparently.

I suggested then that if the prophecies of the bible were to come to pass, the antichrist would have to come to power and thus our vote could speed his arrival and thus the rapture. This was met with a certain amount of consternation and then guilt over not quite being dedicated enough to help god out with the whole end of days thing. I could have pressed my point, but I left it there for him and his colleague to stew in. I think some sort of squirmy justification for their views was offered, but I think it sounded as hollow to them as it did to me.

So 538 is projecting a 98.9% likelihood of an Obama victory. I usually feel safer with good bets than sure things though.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


So I tiled my office...

Yes. This is the sort of thing I do all day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dead Body in the House

aka, a crazy moose is loose in the hoose

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Some Things I Saw

But unfortunately wasn't able to capture on film.
  • Toad Suck Park
  • Kickapoo Casino
  • Elko: Home of Cowboy Poetry
  • Drunkard Brethren Church
  • Brass Armadillo Antiques
Also, some ideas are percolating...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Day Blog

If you happen to be reading this and don't know, I also have been keeping another blog lately. Well, I have been dabbling in that great and distinguished art form know as the web comic.

Moustache Punch

It's very classy.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's a Trap!

So it turns out that all these plans of selling cheap notebook computers to developing countries in order to help them become self-sufficient through educating themselves is really a plot to get the kids addicted to video games so they'll spend less time procreating and thereby solving a lot of the population problems. It's true. I read it on the internet. And well, I guess you could kill two birds with one stone.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have a creative urge. I wish to make something that has never existed. Music, I think.

And I wish to profit from this creation.


Yet, I am not exactly musical and the odds of becoming super rich from this endeavor are slim at best. But I have an idea.

Between each data packet transmitted across the net is an ever so slight - from our perspective of time - pause. And what is it that happens during that pause? Why a complete copy of my as yet untitled work.

My work will be complete and utter silence. It will be encoded and transmitted between each and every transmission across the world's digital network of networks. And therein lies the catch. The secret to my fortune. Upon copyrighting this work, I will be within my rights to sue everyone found transmitting my work without permission. Which will be everyone transmitting any data non-instantaneously across the net. A limitless number of people to sue for a limitless number of infringements each. Silence.

What about John Cage you might ask. Isn't this just a rip-off of 4'33"? No. It isn't. First of all the length is different. Second of all, his recording was of himself not playing, so there was some ambient and background noise, however slight. Mine is different. It is the complete and utter absence of sound, of data. It's a concept album, really.

And while you might say, "Well, any idiot could have done that," I will respond with "Well, of course, but not just any idiot did this. I did."

I see you're reading this blog post. You might want to call your lawyer.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Night at the Improv

"Ah! So here we are! It's so fulfilling to be a couple of successful young doctors!"

"Yes. Yes it is. It's too bad we're trapped in this ice cave though..."

"Yes. Sorry about that. That was really my bad."

"No, no, no. Not at all. I mean, it's not like you could have seen that huge gaping hole in the ice. You know. While we were tethered together and you were in the lead."

"I said sorry. So how do we get out of here?"

"Hmm, yes. That is a pickle. Did you bring the rocket boots?"

"The rocket boots?"

"Yeah, the rocket boots."

"I left them in the car..."

"For the love of Pete!"


"You sir! are a moron."

"Hey! At least I'm not the one who slept with my sister!"

"What? I didn't sleep with my sister!"

"No, my sister!"

"Oh sure! Bring that up now! 'Oh Oh! What should we do while trapped in an ice cave. I know! Let's bring up who did or didn't sleep with my sister!' That's you. That's what you're like."

"Hey! I'm not the one who forgot the rocket boots!"

"Yes you are!"

"Oh yes. My bad. Maybe we could use this grappling hook and rope here."

"Oh yes! Great idea! Why didn't you say that earlier?"

"Oh I don't know. Maybe it was because someone was going on about rocket boots!"

"Okay, okay. Look I'm sorry."

"I'm not a moron you know."

"I know, I know. You're not a moron. You're very smart."

"I did bring a rope and a grappling hook."

"Yes, that was a great idea."

"Thank you."

"So how do you use it?"

"Oh like this."

"...That rope is like ten feet long! Why the hell would you even pack a grappling hook with ten feet of rope? Were you going to sneak up to the second story apartment of the ice cave?"

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe I grabbed the hook you used to climb up to my sister's apartment. Huh? Maybe that's it."

"I used the stairs Frank."

"You son of a bitch..."

"Focus, Frank! Focus! We have to get out of this ice cave! You can kill me later."

"Oh. Well, would you look at that! I did pack the rocket boots after all! I'm such a silly goose!"

"Oh thank god! We're saved!"

"Oh yes. You thank god while I fly out of here."

"Don't you leave me down here you bastard!"

"Oh, just use the stairs!"



Colbert seeded this idea here

Friday, July 04, 2008

Genetic Origins of Humor

Okay, so now I know where my sense of humor comes from. After a totally unexpected comment from my dad, I realized it must be genetic. I guess it could also be environmental since I was raised by him too. So anyway, apparently the Seattle Supersonics are moving to Oklahoma City. I mentioned this in passing after reading the short article in a copy of the local paper about the move. He asked where to. I told him. He said, "I wonder if they'll change the name."

Then he said, "OH! They should call them the Oklahoma City Bombers!"


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Defining Spirituality without the Spirit

It seems to me that the religious often try to claim a monopoly on spirituality and that anyone else is therefore heathen or pagan. Then there's another classification often termed "spiritual, but not religious". These folk are usually much easier to get along with, but still have no corner on spirituality. One thing that, in general, unites these two groups however is the belief in some god or gods or generic higher power that somehow guides or cares or does something or other for the universe. I think though, that it is possible to be spiritual, even from a completely secular viewpoint.

In order to do this, spirituality isn't defined by that magic sparkly thing that many people imagine to exist somewhere in their bodies or perhaps in another dimension. It's not that part of man that communes with the divine. No, the spirit is simply that part of a human that makes the ticking. Of course this can be boiled down to purely physical processes, but somewhere in all this, sentience and cognizance emerge and bring with them the spirit. This spirit is the driving force behind the human will and the human heart. It too is a metaphor - a thing that doesn't have a physical presence other than in the operation of the human brain. That is, it exists as a self-describing idea that travels the neural roads of the mind. The spirit is the resulting evaluation of our intellect, our emotions, our thoughts, and our desires. I'm just not sure on the exact formula - it probably involves integrals.

If then we are not to satisfy the spirit through communion with the divine, then how should we provide what it seeks? (This is left as an exercise for the reader [and the writer])

Taking care of our spiritual lives can then become a matter much different than religious experience, but perhaps similar to the spiritual who just don't like to go to church, or temple, or synagogue, or whatever. It comes from somewhere in our conscience not completely understood and therefore a little mysterious. The unknown and wondrous nature of our own being and this realization is worth quite the same to me as the sense of the divine felt by others. Discovering this anew each day and seeing it in others and in nature can make for a full spiritual life.

One thing missing here is that sense of continuation that all souls seem to desire. Too few people are willing to admit their own ephemerality and thus cling to stories told them to feel better about the unpleasant inevitability of death. Realizing and embracing this inevitability however, can make each day more precious and bring a new perception to the beauty of everything. When we see the fleeting nature of the world, we see that we must appreciate that we're here to enjoy it while we're still here. That's a bit of an anthropocentric view, but how else should I see the world? Can I honestly see it any other way? This is not, however, an argument about humanities' treatment of its environment. If it were however, I might mention that most religious types honor their places of worship. Perhaps I should be no different in this respect and regard the whole world my temple.

And of course, if it comes right down to it, spiritualism can be applied using another definition for spirit. Just so long as you don't drive while in the spirit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Classics

I have a theory about the classics of literature that attempts to explain the reason why most are boring to the point of narcolepsy. It distills down to a conspiracy either out of a haughty pretension or a malicious sense of humor. Also note that this theory may isomorph to any fields where certain works are said to be "classics".

The first supposition goes that in order for the experts to remain experts they all have to agree that the best examples of great literature are those which are so dense and unreadable that the laymen would never be able to muddle their way through them. This ensures that the uninitiated will not be able to easily usurp the experts. This also gives the experts a feeling of vague superiority for their virtuous march through the classics just defined on the basis of said march.

But because they're classics everybody who reads feels obligated to make the attempt at reading them. When they unsurprisingly fail, they feel guilty and more importantly inferior to the experts who not only read, but analyze and even define the classics through the analysis. Twain once said that a classic is a book that everyone wants to have read but that no one wants to read. Twain was an observant fellow.

The other theory, or perhaps a corollary as they are not mutually exclusive, suggests that experts are merely playing a tremendous and well orchestrated prank upon the average reader. "Gentlemen!" a literature professor at a prestigious university might inquire, "which book shall we foist upon the masses this year?" This literati might then all go about writing deep analyses (reviews are only for recent works and in any case are not up to academic standards) and start covering them in their upcoming classes. Suddenly we have a new classic solely on the basis of a small group of people who wouldn't know taste from touch, at least not taste as it relates to the average reader.

I honestly believe this is how classics are born, it is only a question of intent as to whether the elite are pranking themselves or pranking us. My new philosophy of books is to read what I like or am interested in and ignore the rest no matter how classic. Besides, enough unread classics already sit on my bookshelves always ready to impress anyone foolish enough to be suckered in by this prank.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I Got Revisionism

If we don't kill ourselves, we may be on to something.

Despite all the atrocities of mankind towards itself and its environment, there is still reason to be optimistic. That we are still here seems reason enough to rejoice. Despite the possibility or perhaps even the likelihood of our imminent self destruction, it is still a wondrous occasion that we haven't already done so.

Despite the fact that our progress has cost millions of lives due to reckless expansionism and related evils, we still find ourselves in a better position for having progressed. Perhaps we got where we needed to be for all the wrong reasons. And although, man may be greedy and would kill millions for as many dollars, evolution has been no kinder over the centuries. There is no room within the gene pool for the weak and the fact that this even now seems gruesome to any of us should be proof enough of our progress.

We are far enough along that we can thumb our nose at evolution and say, "To hell with you, we're going to take care of our own." While this may not be the sentiment of all or even most of our population, that it is there at all is a hopeful sign. No longer are the weak immediately weeded out of the pool. In fact, we may soon not only keeping them in the pool but weeding out the weaknesses as well.

Hope springs eternal. Live well. Help others. That is my wish and my hope and my desire. For myself and for mankind.

Of course there are other things out there vying for the title of destroyer of mankind. If we're going to survive them too we're going to have to stick together.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Virtual Machine

This probably isn't a unique or original observation but it strikes me that the mind, that metaphysical entity separate from the brain, could be viewed as a virtual machine that runs on the hardware of the brain.

In computing technology a virtual machine is a piece of software that simulates hardware and is in turn ran on hardware (or theoretically on another virtual machine) in order for other software to run on it without knowing that it really isn't natively running directly on the hardware. Java works this way so that any application written in Java only has to have the virtual machine written for any particular hardware/OS platform and the code is almost completely independent of the hardware (sometimes you have to deal more directly with the hardware or with idiosyncrasies of the OS that don't translate).

Lately, hosting multiple virtual servers on a single real machine has been all the rage in the IT field. It certainly makes a lot of things easier. Hardware malfunction? Restart the same server on another physical machine. Configuration also becomes much easier when you can simply duplicate a machine and all its settings by copying a file. Plus you can get multiple servers running on a single piece of hardware.

The point here, is that I'm thinking this is a good metaphor for the whole brain/mind issue. Philosophers and scientists are always talking about what makes a mind and is there any difference from the brain. We all can pretty much agree that the brain is the collection of neurons and tissues, etc. in biological organisms that controls a lot of what goes on within those organisms, including, ultimately, thought. But there's a lot of debate about whether the brain and the mind are the same thing. Is there a soul and does that affect anything? Is the mind an emergent property that cannot be completely described by the hardware it runs on? Is the word quantum involved in here anywhere? Because if it is, things will surely get difficult.

I'm not even going to enter into the debate of soul and spirit and what have you, because I frankly don't think you need them to explain anything. Even if there are unknown properties of the brain there is no indication that we will ever need to stoop to the explanation of a soul to explain it.

So if the brain is the hardware then perhaps the mind is simply the program that is running on that hardware. Except it's not any old program, it's a meta-program and can host other programs. Thinking of the brain in this way then, we have certain applications running natively on the hardware of the brain such as our metabolism and other involuntary processes. Since I'm not a brainologist I won't stumble into this territory any further. And since I'm lazy, I won't do any research about it either. Suffice it to say there are some things your brain is doing of which you are not aware. I think any brain scientist would probably agree with that.

These then would be the system applications and not running around in user or interactive land such that we know nothing about them consciously. But what about a thought or a fantasy or conversation? All of these things we agree happen in the brain, but we are aware of them and exert some form of control over them. Yet we don't know what happens in the hardware when we say the word, "nonsense" for instance. Now of course, we can scan the brain with some device and have someone say "nonsense" and see which parts light up, but we don't know that within ourselves and more important and to the point, we don't have to know it to do it.

So we have this level above the system or kernel space where we sort of know what's going on. This is what people generally refer to when they refer to the mind, I believe. Synonymous with consciousness. Within this mind or consciousness we have the thoughts and processes of which we are aware. Walk down the street. Eat that cookie. Compose this thought. These are all finite processes running on the virtual machine that is the mind.

Why then must this be a virtual machine instead of simply processes running along side each other in the same address space? In our conscious mind we really have no way of knowing just what else is going on, so we are effectively isolated in a higher-level abstraction where we now somewhat know what is going on.

Virtualization is itself, in effect, the process of wrapping up a set of functionality and representing it on the platform at a higher level of abstraction where it can't access anything else running on the physical system. Considering this is only an analogy, I think it works pretty well from this point of view.

So what does this say for science fiction fans? Can we then run the mind of one person on the brain of another. I would say that that is taking the metaphor too far. You are, inasmuch as you can contemplate the concept of you, your hardware. Your brain is you, so it doesn't really make sense to try this operation. If you were in someway able to run your mind on another brain, you would have effectively converted that brain into you in the process. So I am saying nothing about the impossibility of copying a brain, except that if you do such a thing it wouldn't be a transfer of consciousness, it would be a copy of consciousness. There would be two of you.

Of course this whole concept, much like the mind, is merely an abstraction there to help us picture what is going on.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Everything Zen

Zen master Flex awoke early that morning to walk his duck Roy before breakfast. Just after clearing his dishes, a young disciple delivered the message that a wanderer was in the courtyard seeking an audience with the master.

"Tell him I will be in the garden tending my peppers."

"Yes, master."


"Yes, master Flex."

"No, just flex."


"No! Flex!" With this, the master began straining and gesticulating his instruction.

The disciple walked away confusedly. He was new.

Shortly, as the Zen master was tending his peppers, a young man arrived and reverently bowed before Flex. Flex said nothing as he continued pruning damaged leaves and the young visitor continued carefully inspecting the dirt before him.

Flex continued to prune. The visitor continued to bow.

Flex finished at one plant and turned towards the visitor. "Well, get up then."

"Yes, great master."

Another awkward pause ensued. Flex began pruning another plant of its dead leaves. The visitor continued standing quietly in calm abeyance. After finishing with several more plants, Flex turned again to notice the visitor standing precisely in the same position and posture as several minutes prior. "Ah still here, eh? Jolly good." he said as he moved around the young man towards the plants behind him.

The next morning when Flex arrived in the garden, he nearly stumbled over the supplicant. "Good gracious man! Have you been bowing there all night?"

"Yes, wise one." he humbly responded.

"Well, get up then. Let's go have some breakfast."

"I have taken a vow of hunger until I gained your audience."

"Well, now you have, you must be starving."

"I humbly thank thee," he said as he proceeded to bow again.

"Enough with the bowing. What is it you want man?"

"I seek to earn shelter here. To learn at the feet of the master. To learn the secrets of the cosmos."

"The master eh? I don't think we have anyone here like that. Maybe you're at the wrong place."

"No. It is here which I seek."

"Hmm. You may be looking for that other temple down the road. Can't miss it. Big spiky things shooting out all over. It's quite impressive.

"I will study here. I am determined. I will do whatever it takes."

"I'm afraid you've got the wrong place chap. We don't have any cosmos secrets anyway. You'd best be moving along."

"I was warned to expect a test. I am ready."

"Oh so it's a test you want? All right then. What's the fundamental particle of matter?"

The stranger paused. "I'm sorry. I don't quite understand."

"Well, come on then. You said you wanted a test and to learn about the secrets of the cosmos, so it doesn't get any more basic."

"I have failed this test then. Tell me what I must do to amend."

"Oh, so you don't know then?"


"Hmm. Well that puts us right out then doesn't it?"

"That was my one chance?"

"I'm afraid so. I was really hoping you knew too. Then we would have some cosmos secrets. Of course that would only encourage folk to visit."

"Then I will sit again at the gate and await forgiveness until I may be allowed to enter."

"Hmm. So you're pretty serious about this eh?"


"Well, come in then. Let's get something to eat."

"I can join you and study here?"

"Sure. If that's what you want. Don't know what you're going to study though, we don't even have any books."

"Ah." the initiate almost chuckled. "The master is wise."

"Master? Oh that's right. I'm master this week."

"I do not understand. This week?"

"Yeah, sure. We switch around every week. Last week I was the latrine scrubber."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Breaking News...

Contrapositive to the common adage that children should be seen and not heard, many folk on the internet should be heard and not seen. In fact, most of them shouldn't be heard either.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


"Karma had a sense of justice that her younger sister Serendipity lacked."

So begins a piece I was working on. Isn't that deep? Hemingway I believe once said something like: Write without symbols. Make a man a man and a tree a tree. Write them well and let people draw out their own symbols. They'll surprise you.

I on the other hand, appear to enjoy applying blunt force trauma directly to the skulls of innocent readers with the handy dandy Mallet o' Symbolism™. I at least subconsciously realized this when naming this blog "Plot Device". It was my up front admission of being a hack. If it's not short and gimmicky, I probably didn't write it. I'm trying to decide where to go from here. Should I continue with the gimmickry? Should I write a bit more subtly and plainly, hoping in the process to improve my writing skills towards the literary? Should I turn more towards the expository with essays on my thoughts? Or should I just totally sell out whatever "values" I had in my writing and do pure comedy here regardless of whatever cheap tricks I pull?

These questions of course take far too seriously something which should be handled with levity. I will write what comes out and try not to overanalyze. Sometimes a blog really is just a blog. I think Freud said that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


#include <physical_laws>
#include "constants.h"
#include "cosmic_events.h"

void* universe;

int main(int argc, char** argv)
//given our time slicing, this may need to be a custom bit length
long int current_instant = 0;

register_callback(BIG_BANG, argv);

//probably needs high end system -> hard realtime constraints

current_instant += 1;
recalculate_cosmological_constant(); //haha "constant"

return -1;

foreach (boson b in universe)
if (b.observed)
if (b.dimensional_radix > 4)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Somewhat Damaged...

Alternate title: "Oh hai! I fiksed yor ipod!"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Better World

You can't build a better world for people, people have to build a better world for themselves. Granny Weatherwax said that or something like it. Of all the inequities in the world, the Bible comes close in nailing down what I believe to be the root cause: selfishness. From selfishness comes greed and from greed comes the proverbial love of money. It's pretty easy to come up with situations where love of money isn't the cause of evil but selfishness is harder to factor out.

If I could pull out selfishness from the spectrum of human behavior, would I?

There's a reason that selfishness is such a base behavior: it's beneficial to the survival of the individual of the species therefore the selfish survive and procreate and pass on their selfish ways. Lately, humanity has turned evolution on its head somewhat. Where someone, say, with poor vision might have had difficulties surviving in the past, today it's a non-issue. Not only can we correct the problem, but we don't even really need to. Not every person has to be able to track down his own food anymore. So this previously "poor" genetic material that would not have been as likely to replicate can now "pollute" the pool and we could end up going backwards.

If you take away selfishness, at least at some point in the indeterminate past, we would not be where we are today. This position I refer to includes the good of where we are today along with the bad, technologically, culturally, intellectually, etc. The question is, do we still need this trait? Or more broadly, is it possible that we could someday do without it? As an aside, I offer that the oft expressed discontent of humanity has also been crucial to our progress.

Selfishness has gotten to a point in our society where a select few can govern and control the masses for their own benefit. The super rich got that way through the exploitation of the anyone lower in the food chain, which turns out to be everyone. Some people just feel the effects more severely. I can't fix this myself and neither can you. The question is, will we fix this?

There are various signs that point towards optimism even amongst all the problems we face as a species. The greatest hope I feel is the increasing interconnection between practically everyone on the planet. The level of communication is coming closer to truly putting power in the hands of the people. All the people. Free access. It has never really been feasible to do this, but maybe soon it will be. Those in power are legitimately worried. I see attempts to stop this access and most folk don't even see the war that's going on. They rely on the old media for their information and thus have more difficulty seeing with open eyes. But the times, they are a changin'.

In the end, a species is a self-correcting mechanism. While the selfishness is beneficial, the species can thrive. If not, it may disappear. We're taking some of this power into our own hands now, but the effects will be the same as if they had arisen naturally. We're speeding up the process of evolution. Not all species survive. In fact, most don't. You'd better start swimmin'.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fixer Upper

A Little Dark Matter Will Go a Long Way

Your universe is a hack. See, it's not really all that well put together. From time to time it needs maintenance. Things fall part. Like galactic clusters. They do that when local laws of gravity get rescinded. So, this universe being in the rundown part of totality, it needs special attention. It was advertised as a nice fixer-upper universe and came greatly marked down off normal universe prices. But really what are you saving once you figure in all the labor?

We had to import several quintillion quadric light-years of matter to build a set of struts to hold the universe together in such a way that in today's buyers market helps move universes. We formed these struts out of massive particles far more dense than average matter and not generally found naturally occurring. We had to ship in the matter in normal varieties and compact it into what we like to call ultradense noninteractives. We didn't want all this extra matter warping anything past the space-time curvature and thus gravity, so it's almost completely invisible to any sort of electromagnetic based scans. That was also convenient so the indigenous species of this universe didn't all of a sudden over the course of an eon notice bars the length of a thousand galaxies stretching all throughout their universe in a spindly web of containment.

We understand that this new unnatural phenomenon has confused some of this universe's more backwards races that are advanced enough to know about space-time expansion and collapse but not yet advanced enough to be able to detect our ultradense noninteractive particle struts. Apparently there is some serious debate among them as to whether their universe will ultimately either expand infinitely at an ever increasing rate or eventually contract and collapse in upon itself. There are several variables involved they are unaware of, and depending on future activity, will alter the outcome. Honestly, we don't really care, as we plan on fixing a few cosmological constants and altering the ambient background radiation to lavender before moving on and selling this universe at a nice markup for all our hard efforts.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Unnatural Love

Jonathan was, strictly speaking, human. He was of mixed parentage and in his day and age that meant a certain level of hostility was reserved for him by a certain portion of the population less open minded than his parents. They had found love in each other despite their differences. They made it work, they said, not in spite, but because of their differences. Some kids made fun of him, but most of the derision actually came from adults: those from the previous three generations too stuck in their on notions of right and wrong to see love for what it was. That's what his parents had always said when he asked them about it.

Sometimes Jonathan would ask his mother why people treated her they way they did just because she was different. Usually, just before bedtime was his time for philosophizing on the inequities of life. It seemed the best time for such serious matters. It seemed the most likely method to earn him a few moments respite from sleep. Despite his protests, his mother would tuck him in and assure him that everything would be okay. She kissed him on the forehead and sang the first verse of a song about the new and verdant forests growing on the ancient landscape of Mars.

Jonathan's father was human but his mother was a robot. His father donated the genetic material to serve as the basis for Jonathan and his mother took creative license with the material; added a few mutations here, fixed a couple recessive genetic defects there, snuck in a foreign feature or two. He was incubated in a tube, a small one at first graduating to larger size until birth. His parents, progressive as they were, thought the tradition of birth was important. So, the tube incubating Jonathan was carried by his mother in an abdominal cavity until he was ready to be born.

Jonathan's sister, Ada, was a sentient isomorphic software written by his parents and downloaded into the latest hardware on the market, several generations the better of her mother. There was always a rivalry there between them; him the "natural" and more easily accepted in the world and her the superior in every other way. Some people would make fun of her and say she had no soul. This often made her cry, but Jonathan always took up for his little sister. He never made fun of her despite his attempts to always outdo her. She looked up to him and how he could always remain so calm in difficult social situations. Secretly, she envied his soul.

They were the prototypical family for the new century.