Category Archives: Philosophy

Minecraftian Slip

There are two types of people in the world  Those that lead, and those that follow.  That is, until you enter the strange world of Minecraft and realize that there are many blocks of gray.  Freud would have a field day in this blocky world full of neurosis.  All the hidden obsessions you push deep inside of you are methodically brought out, block by block.

Block one.  You are obsessive.  Sure, in your daily 3 dimensional world you function fine.  You go to work, perform your menial tasks, then come home to watch reruns of Twin Peaks and eat Pringles.  You’re so relaxed, you don’t care that your shirt is pink because you stuck a red sock in the wash or that there are now Pringles crumbs all over the couch.  Is that gas you smell?  Did you leave the burner on?  Meh, not worried about it.  But then Continue reading

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The Second Coming of Tesla

Life is complex.

We are constantly bombarded with sinful messages from all directions.  Influenced by advertisers and the incessant Joneses, we regretfully covet our neighbor’s new hot tub and jet skis.  No matter how much we try to stay pure, we can’t help but glance at the Maxim magazine in the grocery store checkout.  And as much as we’d like to avoid the all-you-can-eat buffet, not only for our waistlines but for the future of our souls, there are just so many darn birthdays to celebrate.  So what’s the modern Joe / Jane to do?

It’s easy to stay on the straight and narrow if we look to the saintly role model of Nikola Tesla.  When faced with troubles, just ask yourself : what would Tesla do? Continue reading


Our World is too Complex for Us

This is very related to my last post. More and more I am thinking that the number one priority of society NEEDS TO BE directly augmenting the human brain. We are far far too stupid individually to navigate the coming future landscape as we are now. We need to become post humans post haste! We have made our world so complex that no one understands it any more. Even the very brightest of the human race can only actively comprehend the smallest sliver of human knowledge. Our collective intelligence has so far exceeded our singular minds capabilities that there is just NO POSSIBLE WAY any one person can know the right things to do for a group of people as large as a country. Still plenty of people try. Continue reading


I made this rather last minute for the WHY EXPLORE SPACE competition, but because of some unfortunate technical issues, didn’t get it uploaded on time. I missed the deadline by like 10 minutes, but I thought I’d put it up here anyway.

UPDATE: It seems they extended the deadline a day so I could enter. Voting starts Sunday at noon. SO VOTE HERE, I guess.

Japanese VS American Hero Archetypes

No this isn’t about who would win in a fight between Superman and Goku. Specifically this is about a particular mainstream Japanese hero character I see over and over again in Shonen action based Anime / Manga and how it compares to mainstream American super heroes. Of course I don’t mean to say there aren’t characters on both sides that break the mold, only that the type I describe seems interestingly prevalent in modern mainstream media.

Growth Mindset
For me, the biggest difference is that Japanese super powers are based around a growth mindset. The hero must train hard to unlock his hidden potential. Even if he is the chosen one of some kind or come from another planet, it doesn’t come for free, it takes hard work. Most American super heroes were born with their powers or gained it all at once through some happenstance beyond their control. They will usually go through an awkward period of learning how their powers work, but it will be more about discovery than training.

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Post Humans Hate Scifi

By that I really mean, they will hate the science fiction of today. In all likelihood a passive experience like a movie or TV show will be of no interest to them at all. But lets just say it is still relevant, or at least it can be converted into a new entertaining format for super humans. In this case I think the new humans would only be able to, at best, muster some amount of historical appreciation. At worst, they may find it quite stupid and insulting, assuming post humans are capable of being insulted.

It seems to me that most science fiction stories are cautionary tales. They are so often about the failure of scientific advancements to account for the human spirit. I touched on this in an older post. Scifi today has to appeal to the emotions of people today. Continue reading

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Now We’re Thinking with Portals!

Well, hello there. Can you speak? Can you say “apple”? No? Well, let’s just jump through this portal and see what our soul says at the other end.

I see you enjoy playing with the funny physics of this world. Place two portals on the floor and toss a cube into there and watch it bounce out one, twirl in a graceful swimmer’s turn, and dive back into the portal to bounce out again. I also notice you like to place two portals on each of those parallel walls to look at yourself in an unending sequence of portals. You seem quite enthralled with your backside, watching yourself move around and shimmy from side to side. I wonder what Freud would say about that? And sometimes you enter the portal and stand there, frozen in space, unable to move forward or backwards. Is it fear that prevents you from moving forward? Or maybe it’s the comfort of being in the portal itself, a snug cocoon between the future and the not-so-distant past.

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Butterfly Memories

Recently I travelled back in podcast time and listened to an old episode of Radiolab that covered memory and forgetting. It may have been one of the most fascinating episodes I have listened to so far.

Human brains are incredibly fragile things. The other organs, such as the liver and heart, feel solid and strong. They are dense, rich collections of tissue that hold together firm like buckey-balls. But the brain, in contrast, is a very loose collection of neurons and gray goo, seemingly held together by magic. I had heard that the texture was similar to jello, so was quite surprised when I did feel one to find that it was much softer than expected. If it is like jello, it is like jello that is a few minutes shy of completing the firming process and is likely to fall apart in your hands if you try to pick it up. And somewhere in this crumbly wet mess that we call our brains is our soul. And our memories.

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The Node Corporation of the Future

I have long thought that one of the biggest problems with corporations is that they are designed to diminish accountability and personal responsibility, much like the military, like a controlled mob mentality, like the act of multiple people pulling switches to electrocute a singe man. Beyond that, their only driving force is to make money. So the things they do, particularly when they get too large are going to seem evil to an individual person. They will only act in a way that seems moral if that action just happens to line up with their profits. They will only tell the whole truth by coincidence, and when intentionally telling convenient truths, they will be so edited they function as lies. When a company does something that outrages the public, almost none of the people working there feel directly responsible. After all no one did anything wrong, they just signed a piece of paper, submitted a report, kept their mouth shut, felt responsible only for doing their jobs. Even the CEO and board of directors feel more responsible to the shareholders than to their own conscience. To me it seems like they are serving an invisible beast with an insatiable appetite

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Plop Plop Fizz Fizz

You are a conscientious person. You pay your taxes, and vote when it’s convenient and not raining. You always drop your empty soda cans in a blue bin and bundle newspaper with designer twine to set out on your curb for recycling day. You even bought a bike, intending to ride it to work. Think of all the greenhouse gas you can prevent by consuming a few extra calories as fuel for that bike ride instead of sitting in that gas guzzling monstrosity. In fact, you don’t even need to worry about the extra calories you need to consume, as you’ve been doing it for years in preparation.

But alas, there is one thing that you haven’t quite thought about while preparing your living will. How will you be buried? What is the most environmentally conscious way you can depart this earth, minimizing your carbon footprint at the critical moment of one week after your death?

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