Hopefully Paying the Synchronicity Forward.



Synchronicity. I try to stay alert to this phenomenon. First introduced to me by Carl Jung, this idea was the first metaphysical idea the staunch atheist I labeled myself as years ago first grasped onto. It was he crack that brought down a confining paradigm I found myself in.

Synchronicity is basically two or more events that seem connected but don't appear to have a causal relation in the Aristotelian/Modern Scientific sense.  As the human construct we call "years" passed by, I found more idols who also heeded the power and significance of synchronicity, notably Terence Mckenna and Robert Anton Wilson. Both of them, Wilson and Mckenna, believed that this phenomenon presented itself when the individual is following their path, their life's purpose, dancing to their soul's song. (Insert whichever religious paradigm helps you grasp and accept this idea, its a powerful one.)

Today while I was sending an email to a professor, I tried regurgitating this quote from memory. Too lazy to google it, I butchered it. After the email I happened to message a friend which led to a conversation that could possible change the course of my naively predicated life. This phone call had me in some kind of mood, which led me to watch an obscure interview I saved from Reddit which I wouldn't normally watch.

The guy in the interview is spitting knowledge. He's blowing me away, His self-help cliches aren't destroying my bullshit meter. Its a good interview. He drops the quote I tried recalling earlier. Goosebumps. Ah shiiit. Synchronicity. I'm charged up. I finish the hour long interview, smiling hard, three pages or notes in front of me, and eager to find another interview from another multimillionaire investor. I look through the site's archives and find one from almost a year ago.

10 minutes in, a totally new guy recants the same quote. No. This is too much. The universe, she's done whisper. She's screaming. SHe's Eddie Mercurying all over my prefrontal cortex.  The path I'm on, the mood I'm in, I need to get ready. These boots are about to get worn. I best sharpen my machete. This path is getting made.

The first thing this man spouted that summoned my pen to write was what he called the four stages of attitude. My bullshit meter twinged a little as he labeled the stages;

Level 1: To me
Level 2: By me
Level 3: Through me
Level 4: As me

But as he went on to explain them, they made sense. The lowest level is the "to me" stage. Its victimhood. Its the people who experience the world as happening to them. They have no power. Their weak. This is most people. Most people have valid reasons to consider themselves victims. Regardless, this attitude will lead you to an unfulfilling and despondent life. You and only you are responsible and capable of changing your perspective. Just do it. (Nike, contact my lawyers.)

The stage are the people who through sheer will, bend reality to their desires. They work hard. They watch Fox News...

Level three are the faithful. They believe in a higher consciousness and that since they are living according to their perceived true calling, they need only have faith and the world will allow them their dreams and aspirations. (Must be Nice).

Level 4 is Buddha. No one is there. No one I've met can stay there. I've glimpsed it, never sober. Its the perspective where one truly understands and feels an unbroken bond between themselves and all other. There is no other. Language begins to break done.

You're probably at level one. If you're my peer and you're reading this due to my shameless facebook or twitter post, you're young and broke. Its easy to see life as happening to you. That is a perspective. You have the choice to change. You know you can eat better. You can save money in all kinds of ways. You can work out. You can get the degree. You can make your partner happy. You can do.

But you sleep in. Eat shit. Bitch and complain. Drink when you can. Smoke when you can. Binge on Netflix and hulu. Passively letting life sodomize you. There is no time like the present to change your habits, subsequently your life. In fact, you will only ever have the moment.

Well, I'm rambling.


Indra's Net


We don't understand that we live in magic.

Just know, just in the fucking 6 hours I've been awake, I've been exposed to a greater diversity of information, both beautiful and disgusting, then my great grandparents could have experienced in a year.

We sit in front of these teleportation devices. We have labels for them, we call them "computers," and these labels seem to stifle the awe these machines should elicit in us. I am, in a literal sense, able to teleport my conscious mind almost anywhere within the electromagnetic web that connects these devices.

The internet is the physical manifestation of hundreds of collective LSD journeys. Do some treasure hunting, Silicon Valley, 1960s...

There is a Buddhist myth I've heard told by Alan Watts, Robert Anton Wilson, and Terrence McKenna. It talks about a Goddess named Indra who had an infinite cosmic net. The vertical strings represented time, the horizontal strings space/location. At each intersection of the space and time strings, there is a pearl. This pearl represents possible realities/perspectives/conscious beings. When the goddess looks into any pearl she sees not just that pearl's reflection, but the reflection of every surrounding pearl in that pearl's reflection. The beautiful thing about myths is the reader can choose to let the symbols represent whatever they want them too. For this, this represents the infinite possible perspectives there are of reality and that our perspectives are both explicitly and implicitly altered by the consciousnesses around us.

Where in the past your pearl's reflection was limited to your physical location, we now have the opportunity to bend Indra's Net. We have the choice which cosmic conscious perspective pearls we wish to be reflected in our cosmic eye.

Those fucks on facebook and twitter probably aren't the pearls you want around you.






All men are mortal, therefore Socrates


(Listened to "Shine On" while writing)

Each sentence is a string, either constraining you to the floor or rescuing you from your abyss. With each chosen word, the writer hopes to sculpt the readers perspective. Further and further we leave that Platonic place that existed between the title and the first letter of that first sentence. Aggressively or seductively, lovingly or complacently, the writer hopes to lure you into their reality tunnel. Its easier to not dwell on the magnitude of it all.

The written word when written well is magic. Words are magic. A well selected assemblage of symbols can give the creator immortality. Or at least the kind that brings ambitious young domesticated primates peace at night who would do well not to read Ozymandias. I am one of these foolish ambitious young domesticated primates and so I enjoy reading the works of other such monkeys. It is the least I can do, playing my tragic part in the prolonging of these dead primates futile dreams of immortality by assimilating their ideas into my own ocean of synaptic connections.

The human experience is such an absurdly beautiful tragedy. We spin on this orb through the Void knowing we will die, living in almost a perpetual state of fear with brief but orgiastic glimpses of the divine, all while we pretend we understand our plight, sporting a mask of maturity, understanding, and control. Born into a cult we seemingly cannot escape amongst a psychotic collection of cults, we think ours the best. Murcia!

Other than sex, sports, and the rare illuminating conversation, my favorite way to ignore the absurd around me is talking with these demimortals. Lately, its been Robert Anton Wilson. I haven't enjoyed another primates symbol collection this much since Nietzsche. This primate's sense of scope and humor mirror what I hope my own will be. I find it no coincidence but rather synchronicity that he too, amongst many other dead primates who enjoyed writing, started his consciousness expanding perspective with peyote (Huxley, Shulgin, Leary). I hope one day I'll be able to try those the little black buttons.

The written word's significance is dissolving in our current generation. Many disagree and I understand that, but here is how I see it. The most noble purpose I can think of as to why a writer writes is to pass along an idea. Hopefully an idea that benefits the majority of unconscious slave monkeys robotically reacting to life. Most of these slave apes don't fucking read. You can see the dilemma.

I'm not trying to write a manifesto or a magnum opus, but I think a new perspective on how best to spread good ideas is required for the ambitious domesticated primate. I'm worried about nothing though, maybe nine people will read this, and thats okay. I just like writing.




*If you're part of the 50% of American's who'll read more than 0 books this year, check out "Prometheus Rising" by Robert Anton Wilson.  

Our parents think we're dumber than them.


Our parents generation thinks we’re the dumbest yet. 




(maybe there is some truth to what he's saying because my dumbass can't find a high resolution picture of his book.)

The youth being the worst yet is not a new idea.

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”



-Socrates, over 2,000 years ago

We aren’t dumber. We’re just the first generation to be cognitively raped by technology, by Quality.  
The education system is Stone Age drudgery compared to the dopamine inducing rewards the Internet, social media, and sex offers the youth. Our brains have never been as stimulated as they have been the last decade (asterisks for hippies on the west coast during the late 60s).

Our generation is shying away from the surface level dullness of mathematics, mechanical and analytical sciences, and logic itself. This perceived dullness is caused only by a lack of understanding. Science is beautiful bro.




Instead, we want to make music, make art, be popular, be powerful, and be perceived as attractive.

Our abandonment of logic leaves us susceptible to the most ridiculous and idiotic systems of thought. Nearly every version of the Illuminati I’ve heard explained by peers calls forth the strongest urge in me to slam my face into an unforgiving surface, permanently shattering my teeth, jaw, and shearing the flesh from my skull.


Logic muthafucka, do you speak it? 




I’ve no solution to our problem. I do think identifying it is a start. Okay I do have one suggestion as to where to start. Stop listening to 2-Chainz.




Love and Ambition



My perspective is little removed. If I were an expert I would know my audience and be able to write to their point-of-view.

Not an expert.

It feels like I write to an audience, but with a little investigation and honesty, I know I'm writing to myself with the knowledge that anyone can read it. This unique situation creates an interesting psychological atmosphere. I wonder how honest the more removed areas of my awareness allow my present self to be.

That rant was meant to set up a point, but now I'm wondering if I should pick a girl to focus on. Focus on her perspective. Direct this little issue I want to flest out at her. But who?

I read a passage in PIKHAL where a Jungian psychoanalysis described an anima women.

"she's a person who, when she's attracted to a man, intuitively senses what's lacking in his emotional life, and she has a compulsion to become whatever that man most needs in a woman. She probably convinces herself each time that she's truly in love, but I doubt she's capable of what most of us would call real loving. The Jungians have a term, 'anima woman.' The anima woman lacks a solid identity; like many great actors, she borrows - she takes on - a sense of wholeness from playing the part. In this case, it's the part of the muse, the inspiration, the adored dream-woman. She fulfills a fantasy, and you can imagine the tremendous emotional rewards there are for her in such a role..."

I think I'm the male version of this.

Memorize anything in minutes!



Are you interested in being able to memorize the order of a deck of cards in under a minute? Do you want to impress that beautiful math obsessed hourglass-figure female neighbor who only puts out if you can recite the first 20 digits of pi? Are you tired of sensationalistic web titles obviously whoring out for page views? If you answered yes, fuck yes, and hell no, this blog post is for you!

Like other websites with similar titles, allow me to disappoint you. You can accomplish the above feats with the techniques I'm about to show you but only with dedication and practice, and well, its 2013 and that one reality show you like that obviously isn't scripted is on tonight. So for the practical, this little trick will allow you to memorize whatever it is you want to or have to in a drastically shorter time and it can even be a little fun for the nerdier amongst us. 

For memorizing numbers, step 1 starts with learning the Major System and using Chunking. The Major System is a Mnemonic technique that matches varying consonant with numbers 0-9. You then chunk the numbers in groups of 3 or 4 and allow the consonant sounds to create a word.

NumeralIPAAssociated ConsonantsMnemonic
0/s/ /z/s, z, soft c"z" is the first letter of zero. The other letters have a similar sound.
1/t/ /d/t, dt & d have one downstroke and sound similar (some variant systems include "th")
2/n/nn has two downstrokes
3/m/mM has three downstrokes and looks like a "3" on its side
4/r/rlast letter of four, also 4 and R are almost mirror images of each other
5/l/lL is the Roman Numeral for 50
6/ʃ/ /ʒ/
/tʃ/ /dʒ/
she, vision, chew, geea script j has a lower loop / g is almost a 6 rotated
7/k/ /ɡ/k, hard c, hard g, hard "ch", q, qucapital K "contains" two sevens (some variant systems include "ng")
8/f/ /v/f, vscript f resembles a figure-8. V sounds similar.
9/p/ /b/p, bp is a mirror-image 9. b sounds similar and resembles a 9 rolled around
UnassignedVowel sounds, w,h,y,xThese can be used anywhere without changing a word's number value
* courtesy of the University accepted source dump known as Wikipedia

(Dont let the chart scare you away, this technique isn't necessary and the easier and more applicable parts are coming.)

 Now you may be wondering, "Silver Screen with which I stare into for more than 8 hours a day, why do I want to turn numbers into words?" I'll answer that, apathetic, falsely diagnosed ADHD youth, "To make words, sweet, short, text friendly words."

So whenever you want to memorize words, be it for your job at roadhouse (shout out to the Ashley for getting dat job, YUUHH) or that final that you've probably already taken (my bad), use the Method of Loci. Basically, use a familiar location or the one you're currently in, and create ridiculous images with the words you want to remember, and place it in a spot in whichever location you chose. Say you want to memorize some Noble gases. I'd use my house as the loci (location). I'd imagine a helium balloon in my entrance, a stripper club friendly neon light in the living room, the Pokemon argon (Pokemon reference, hello ladies) in my dining room, and a spear of kryptonite impaling Superman in my kitchen. I'll stop there, chances are either you get it, or more likely, you stopped reading this awhile ago in which case this sentence is pointless.

TL:DR version:
Create wacky thus memorable images with the words you wish to memorize.
Place the images into spots along a path within a location. 
Donate to my broke ass.

Books to read if you're really interested:
The 4 Hour Chef
Moonwalking with Einstein

Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna



Terence McKenna is a modern age shaman. He was one of the figure heads birthed by the awakening 60's. He had a grasp of the human language few compare to. Yet language didn't imprison his thoughts, and he had some controversial thoughts. One being the Stoned Ape Theory. This book is his argument in favor of this theory. In his mind, this book traces human history as it evolved side-by-side with plants. 

Rating: 9/10

Quotes

"The psilocybin intoxication is a rapture whose breadth and depth is the despair of prose."


"The collectively designed cultural environment in which we all live is the objectification of our collective linguistic intent."

"An ecstatic experience transcends duality; it is simultaneously terrifying, hilarious, awe-inspiring, familiar, and bizarre."

"Monotheism exhibits what is essentially a pathological personality pattern projected onto the ideal of God: the pattern of the paranoid, possessive, power-obsessed male ego."

"The so-called need to control and dominate others is psychologically a function, not from a feeling of power, but from a feeling of powerlessness."

"The strongest argument for the legalization of any drug is that society has been able to survive the legalization of alcohol. If we can tolerate the legal use of alcohol, what drug cannot be absorbed into the structure of society."

"Men who follow such concerns that are not following the accepted canons of male behavior within the dominator model are often assumed to be homosexual."

"It is this a kind of happy coincidence that the subjected effects of ingesting cannabis and the care and attention needed to produce a good resin strain both conspire to accentuate values that are oriented toward honoring an preserving the feminine."

"Let us be absolutely clear, sugar is entirely unnecessary to the human diet; before the arrival of industrial cane and beet sugar humanity managed well enough without refined sugar, which is nearly pure sucrose. Sugar contributes nothing that cannot be gotten from some other, easily available source. It is a "kick," nothing more. Yet for this kick the dominator culture of Europe was willing to betray the ideals of the Enlightenment by its collusion with slave traders. In 1800 virtually every ton of sugar imported into England had been produced with slave labor."

"This drug was the first of a growing group of high-technology drugs that deliver the user into an alternative reality by acting directly on the user's sensorium, without chemicals being introduced into the nervous system. It was television. No epidemic or addictive craze or religious hysteria has ever moved faster or made as many converts in so short a time. "

"Indeed, we cannot even be certain whether science, the epistemic tool upon which we have come to depend most heavily, is up for this task (Exploring the psyche)."

"The familiar feeling of "fight of flight" is often a feature of the first wave of somatic feelings associated with the hallucinogen. One must discipline the hind brain and simply wait through this turmoil within the animal body."























Step One: Das Body



I've been struggling lately. Its not a unique struggle. There are plenty of much less fortunate kids my age facing the same situation; about to graduate college and trying to find their way in this economy. I get easily overwhelmed thinking about how many possible paths my life could take depending on how I act every day in the following couple of months. I can't dwell on it though. Its too heavy.

Fucking money. There are the things I'd like to do, and there are the things I'd be able to stand doing to make money. This is what I've been mulling over almost everyday since the start of this semester. What can I do to make money? Can my degree get me any work in my field? These are questions ignoring the deeper questions of what do I want to devote my life too? How can I contribute to mankind? How can I afford car insurance...

I think I've made up my mind as to where to start. I've had many inspirational thoughts as to what to devote my life too. Almost all drug induced. Today though, I had one of these thoughts sober. I'm going to devote the next couple of years of my life to understanding and playing with the human body. I'm going to try my hand at personal training. Without getting to side tracked, I think our psychologies are more affected by our relationship to our bodies than almost any person recognizes. I also have a feeling therapy could be drastically improved if the counselor and patient workouted together, but thats an entirely other subject.

Now there is the finical aspect of this pursuit. I want to do this on my own. I think I'll need to start another blog specifically for this endeavor. Also, I'm sure a smart person in a boardroom somewhere has thought of this, but I think social media changes the amateur entrepreneurial game. Most of my peers are entering the age where they have a little bit of money to spend and some of services to offer. Why are we not asking and paying our friends to provide services for us? We get to support our friends, we know we won't be getting cheated, and well, no taxes...

For the next month or so I'm going to start doing the research. Once that time comes, if you trust me, let me train you. Starting out I'm not going to charge any money, but my broke ass will be accepting donations. Be my ginny pigs. And if you have services you can offer, I'm willing to return the favor.


Tripping Down the Rabbit Hole




I let my head roll back. Weed has never been the same since falling down that psychedelic rabbit hole. Two inhales and I was seeing pulsating waves beneath my eyelids. Because of this I’ve drastically cut down on how frequently and how much I smoke. Tonight was an exception.

Then the revelations started. One of my favorite feelings induced by cannabis is the awe generated from what feels like novel and profound insights. Desperately as I may try to capture these revelations with words or voice recorder, the magic of the moment is never resurrected. The first insight was “I can see their psychologies.”

I’m a psych major so psychological verbiage saturates my linguistics. If I were this or that, I’d use words like soul, consciousness, or aura as a substitute for psychologies. What prompted the revelatory statement “I can see their psychologies” was my being overwhelmed by the visual stimuli that was the room and its occupants, which caused me to close my eyes and rest my head back on the couch.

Weed distorts time, and after an immeasurable amount of time, things became interesting. There is a phenomenon known amongst smoking groups. Once a particularly large amount of weed has been distributed and assimilated, there is a collective silence. Every person is experiencing flow, completely immersed in their own thoughts. The first person to break out of their blissful flow and become self aware sets the tone for the rest of the group. The way I perceive it, the secure member will see his fellow smokers in their individual universes, let them be, and return to his thoughts. The insecure member will become begin worrying if he looked stupid or whatever other negative thoughts infest his perception, and in this self doubt, will start looking at others to find something to mock or ridicule. Thus begun das giggles.

I, like most humans, have self-doubt, insecurities, and all those wonderful psychological angels. So normally, when the giggles begin and my flow is destroyed, my first self-aware thought is to assess my goofiness and correct it. Not tonight.

To make a long and more revealing than I care to reveal story shorter and less revealing, I was being mocked by a few of the members. It is admirable to be hurt by peoples mocking and to not allow it to show or impact you further. This was not the case. I was another level up. I knew exactly what was happening. I was completely aware of their intentions. And I was completely unmoved by it. I was actually enjoying it. I can’t recall another time in my life where I was so aware of another persons wish to belittle little me, and it have no affect. This was rather nice.

(Although, to be fair, the very fact I feel compelled to write this and proclaim so adamantly that it did not bother me may beg a question or two.)

So my friend and I left the gathering and drove home where I proceeded to politely cross some psychological boundaries I, now sober, think may have been too forcefully crossed.

Psychology is a weird field of study. I like it because I have a knack for it or at least I think I do. I may have more of a knack at arguing, and psychology being the soft science it is, may leave room for lazy would be lawyers.

This passion and aptitude for psychology also makes retrospective drugs so much more exhausting than I think these trips are for others. After the brief social gathering, ride home, midnight run, and hour in front of a mirror playing with ligaments, my mind was fucking drained.

I don’t think weed will ever be the same for me since last semester. I think this is good. I enjoy the drug and the perspective it brings. It’s a good place to visit rather than live. 

Psychedelic walk



Schools been stressing me lately.

As I was walking from class, on a whim, I tried to see the world as if I were peaking on mushrooms. I imagined the boarders of buildings waving as if they were mirages. I pretended I could feel tree's talking, telling me how nice it is to be. I focused on how all solid objects are mostly empty space, how all solids are vibrations.

I looked up at the sky. Realized that blue cocoon is a illusion, that beyond it, the real ceiling is blackness. I realized that there is no ceiling. How we are one of a jumble of plants circulating around a star, which circles around a body of stronger mass, how that body of mass circles around another. I tried to picture a cosmic twist of infinite bodies of decreasing mass circling each other creating a universal dance beyond perception. Okay, they're not technically circles.

I looked at people. Only then did I become self-aware. I had walked most the length of campus stupidly staring at buildings, trees, and the sky. I didn't realize the expression on my face. Once I started looking at my fellow conscious flesh sacs, the psychedelic feeling would end. Our collective self-consciousness, false bravado, misplaced anger, stress ladened eyes, artificial smiles... litered their faces.

I had to look away.

The awe returned. I walked a few more minutes. Now I'm here writing. I want to help people.

The fact is, whether my observations be true or not, they are projections of my self unto these strangers. Those are qualities I see because I feel them too. I want to help people, but it starts with helping myself.

Writing helps. 

A thought March 8, 2013



We all think we're crazy. Our definitions of crazy vary. My crazy is masculine. He refutes. He's always somewhere within conscious-shot, ready to argue any thought, be it positive or negative. His crown is my complete belief that there are no absolute truths, which he happily points out that such a claim is a paradox. And so the black hole spins.

Well, another mini-epiphany struck while I was coming home from the gym tonight. I've established my staunch stance on absolute truths and I've talked about how we can create our own beliefs. I'm deciding to start. After I thought about fleshing out this idea, while in the shower, I thought about waiting until my experience next week, but I decided against it. Just more excuses. I'm not laying cement, but foder. I think I'll be bringing some foreign nutrients to the soil come next weekend.

So, my current metaphysical beliefs. (hahaha, I've spent a great deal longer and wrote a great deal more than I had expected too and got wildly off topic, this is going to be difficult for me.) Formal logic aside, I'm choosing to believe that whatever I believe will be as true as I am capable if believing it. Therefore, I'm choosing to believe that there is a Godhead version of all of us who chose this location is time/space to play a game in.

This idea is heavily influenced by Alan Watts. We basically gave up the knowledge of our Godheadness and created this universe to enrich with our trillions of conscious fragments. The course of this game has been a growth from less complex to more complex. We are pretty close to the end of game, in the perspective of the whole of time.

Basically, we're Godhead and we're afraid to admit it.

I'm going to stop here for now...

Another Perspective





I haven't written in awhile. Life seems busier then it has ever been before. This may always be the case. But today has been special, so I think it'd be best to end with one of these.

I've be on this stint for awhile now, that there is a shared reality most sane people accept but that this reality offers only a few answers, begs more questions, and doesn't withstand most philosophical questions. I'm talking about the collectively observable world, the one that can be scientifically tested. A reality that can only be measured by a few 'hard' sciences. But don't look to closely at water dynamics or light or gravity or time, because when you do, even this sliver of shared reality begins to shake.


I'm convinced every single human who has ever lived has had a unique and irreplicable perception, experience, and thus truth about life.

I'm rambling, the point of this post is that I'd like to offer a particular perspective. I've thought about this perspective before, and I may have hinted at it in other posts. Its not an original idea, I think I picked it up from an Alan Watts lecture. It seemed to be on my mind today. I was on the way from the gym and I was hit with that feeling of awe that causes goosebumps. I hope you know the type. The casual thought was what if this life and all contributing factors, i.e. the world, the laws of nature, humankind, this location in time/space, was something I chose.

The way my mind works, the first four thoughts after writing that sentence are rebuttals. I'm going to ignore those for this post.

There are two logical reasons why this idea lingers with me. The first is my luck. I have access to a abundance of food. That puts my luck in the upper half of mankind. I am without any major or even mild illnesses or handicaps. Top ten percent. I live in a 1st world country, own a car, about to have a degree, and I'm relatively intelligent. Top maybe two or three percent. Now, a less quantifiable variable, and maybe controversial, is that I'm a tall, white, average weight male. The science is out there that on a subconscious level, in the culture I live in, there is a statistical significant chance I will be offered the job, given the raise, trusted, accepted, and forgiven more often then other gender/race/body-type combination. I am lucky.

The second, a more profound, and a less egotistical logical reason why this may have been a reality some ethereal me chose is the time we live in. We are living at that point on an exponential line graph where the line starts fucking exploding nearly vertical. The line is technological growth. Life has been on Earth for millions of years, varying types of humans for 100,000. We've had civilizations for maybe 10,000 (interesting debates over this timeline are out there). The industrial revolution was less than 500 years ago. 50 years ago there was no internet. More information was generated last year than the entire collected human-race has created and kept in our history. That data will only multiply.

We literally may be the generation bridging the old world, the world before whatever technological singularity is to come, and the world after the singularity, a world who's following generations will be unable to grasp the primitivity we lived in. The more wealthy amongst our generation may very realistically shop on the moon, stay in a hotel on mars, live in a computer game indistinguishable from real life, where they are gods, and live far longer than our natural life allows.

If you believe in reincarnation, being our age in 2013 is the best evidence you've got.

So what if I chose this life? To really give into the idea makes my spine tingle. What am I going to experience? What if the unique perspective you experience, is a life the GodSelf you chose?

Don't let some shitty metaphysical system cap your imagination. Atheism is no better than Christianity, Islam, or Judaism in this regard  Fuck the boundaries these systems impose on truths no one can claim. Playing with what could be is a little maddening, but ultimately thrilling.

Synchronicity has been abundant today. I'm not sure whats causing it, if anything causes it, but I've had a day like no other. I love every one I have a chance too. I hope this post did something for you. It didn't turn out as I expected but whatever.

Goodnight. 

My weekend with 8 grams of Mushrooms.

(I will probably revise this tomorrow, I'm just glad to have gotten it out.)

Its been 11 hours since I grounded up 5 grams of fungus and soaked them in orange juice. I still feel out-of-focus but I really want to get this experience out of my mind.

Saturday

My trip started saturday evening. I was trying to do homework but the allure of tripping on the mushrooms I had just come into possession of sapped my motivation. I took about 1/3 of what I was told was 8 grams of mushrooms. I ate them raw and washed it down with water. I read that setting is a major factor on the direction a trip will go, so I put a Carl Sagan playlist on my 46 inch television and let it buzz in the background while I futilely attempted some homework while the mushrooms metabolized.

45 minutes in I felt a hollowness forming in my core while my extremities began to numb. It was nice. A phrase I would use to describe it was that I felt "stoned." I set my homework aside, closed my eyes, and just allowed the experience to unfold. The hollowness gave way to a warm buzzing feeling. I felt alive. The music that accompanied Sagan's voice was richer than I was use to. I loved it.

I found myself laying sprawled across the floor, staring at my ceiling. I could see movement. No hallucinations, but a flow, like currents mingling with one another, dancing across the ceiling. How long I laid this way, entranced by the dance, I don't know. The clock said 8:43, but I didn't know what that meant.

I started doing yoga. I had energy that needed an outlet. The yoga gave way to various exercises that ended in dancing. I was fucking dancing. For hours. I was so happy. The dance was waltz like. In my mind, I danced with every girl I had ever made love to and every girl that I wished I had. My mind was so clear. I could feel where their curves would be, how their weight would shift, how dancing is a kind of fourplay. I entertained how almost everything we do before sex is fourplay, but the illusion of romantic love was nicer.

As I danced, my mind churned. I wish I could recall more clearly the thoughts I had, but tragically I can't. I remember laughing, laughing often. Life is full of paradoxes  I understood Alan Watts's idea of "The Cosmic Joker." I like the idea of sitting outside the system we call life and mocking it, but that is a luxury I don't want for myself. Its a kind of enlightened snobbery.  I want to understand the rules that govern the system, exploit them to get the power to change them. But this is a digression I'd like to keep to myself for the time being.

This night cumulated with me crying tears of joy caused by the glory that is The Office. I sat, pupils the size of quarters, mouth full of processed awfulness, laughing from the deepest part of my belly, tears spilling out, so god damn happy. As I tried falling asleep, I watched the first part of a documentary called "A Radient Child." I didn't know it, but I was sowing a setting I would be reaping the next day.

Sunday

I woke up 5 hours later, and robotically put on a documentary about fractals. I slipped in and out of consciousness while the hour long video hummed along. As it ended, I made my way to HEB for food. I knew I would not be driving the rest of the day, and that food would be precious. I had also downloaded all of Bach's work, along with some other instrumentals. I wanted to experience them in the altered state.

I grounded up the rest of my mushrooms. As I churned them out, the pile grew to an intimidating size. I was a little anxious. This would be the most mushrooms I hand ever taken. I soaked them in orange juice. After setting the setting with some Joe Rogan, I gulped down the tonic.

I started watching "Anima" as my body assimilated the fungus. My memory here starts to falter. I can't help but think its defense mechanism. I glimpsed madness, but more on that later.

About 45 minutes after drinking, I was feeling disappointed. I wasn't hallucinating, I felt a little stoned but nothing mystical or transcendent. I have a little concoction of 'smart drugs' I take every morning, which I hadn't taken this morning, and so I went to the kitchen and consumed that as well. Shortly after my body broke that down was when my mind just...I don't know.

This will be hard to explain.

I found myself, again, in an X, facing the ceiling.  With Anima providing context, I cried like I cried the first time I took mushrooms. Its a different kind fo crying. I didn't feel sad. I didn't have any of the physiological queues that prelude crying, I just laid their stoic, water flowing from my eyes. It felt good. I found I could control it, and so I made it continue. How long this lasted; long enough.

I don't know when it started. The best I can describe it, is that my mind began offering counter points to all the systems we as humans give meaning to in order to function. Fuck, its hard to articulate. I read a lot of philosophy and the tome I'm shoveling through now, "Godel, Escher, Bach," was weighing on me. I got down to the crux of it all, why is being alive meaningful. This question is almost comical when associated with a college student doing drugs, but I wasn't laughing. I wouldn't call it a "dark place" but my mind lost its filter. I felt I was "losing my mind" because my mind was recalling so much information that it was paralyzing.


I can't remember the details, but I came to a point where I thought I was going to die. No panic, no pain, nothing physical.  Just that the inability to filter out all these ideas would cause my mind to just shut off. I was sitting on my back porch, enraptured by the visual acuity mushrooms give you, when I glanced down at some fungus growing into a dying piece of wood we'd call a pillar. The image and clarity of the mushroom summoned thoughts of Terrence Mckenna,  mushroom connoisseur and someone I admire, and his mushroom shaped brain tumor...my thoughts were getting out of control.

So I went for a run. And the god damn world became so fucking beautiful I could barely process it. The weekend rain had rejuvenated the organic life in my neighborhood. Every house was exploding with color. I could see individual blades of grass. I could run in almost a musical way. I was in love with the moment.

The sky was stupefying.  It made me want to be a god damn painter. I lack the vocabulary to describe the magnificent colors that splattered the Texas skyline. The rain clouds melded with fluffy white masses, with the setting sun radiating behind them. It was sexual how beautiful it was.

This lasted for hours. I don't know how long I ran, maybe 5 miles. The energy mushrooms gives me is something I'd like to study and utilize.  I had never run that long without stopping before. I never got short of breath either. I may have been more in sync with my body. I'm not sure.

Again, as if I were caught in a strange loop, I ended up on my back, laying in my driveway, peering up at space. It was night now, and the soft orange glow each porch light gave just made my happy. I laid there for maybe 30 minutes, just laying there, my mind at peace. It had been a good trip.

Now

Its almost 1, 13 hours since I took the 5 grams and my pupils are still dilated. I'm not tired. I'm not sore. I'm still a like shaken by what I experienced midway through the trip today. I'm not sure what happened  My mind doesn't seem to allow me to revisit those thoughts. I'm not worried. I don't think it was a bad trip. I want to go further. I think I enjoyed the madness in retrospect. I love you. Thank you for reading.



The Last Question




By Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was the most prolific science fiction author of all time. In fifty years he averaged a new magazine article, short story, or book every two weeks, and most of that on a manual typewriter. Asimov thought that The Last Question, first copyrighted in 1956, was his best short story ever. Even if you do not have the background in science to be familiar with all of the concepts presented here, the ending packs more impact than any other book that I've ever read. Don't read the end of the story first!

This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written.

After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won't tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you.

It is a curious fact that innumerable readers have asked me if I wrote this story. They seem never to remember the title of the story or (for sure) the author, except for the vague thought it might be me. But, of course, they never forget the story itself especially the ending. The idea seems to drown out everything -- and I'm satisfied that it should.


The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five-dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way:

Alexander Adell and Bertram Lupov were two of the faithful attendants of Multivac. As well as any human beings could, they knew what lay behind the cold, clicking, flashing face -- miles and miles of face -- of that giant computer. They had at least a vague notion of the general plan of relays and circuits that had long since grown past the point where any single human could possibly have a firm grasp of the whole.

Multivac was self-adjusting and self-correcting. It had to be, for nothing human could adjust and correct it quickly enough or even adequately enough. So Adell and Lupov attended the monstrous giant only lightly and superficially, yet as well as any men could. They fed it data, adjusted questions to its needs and translated the answers that were issued. Certainly they, and all others like them, were fully entitled to share in the glory that was Multivac's.

For decades, Multivac had helped design the ships and plot the trajectories that enabled man to reach the Moon, Mars, and Venus, but past that, Earth's poor resources could not support the ships. Too much energy was needed for the long trips. Earth exploited its coal and uranium with increasing efficiency, but there was only so much of both.

But slowly Multivac learned enough to answer deeper questions more fundamentally, and on May 14, 2061, what had been theory, became fact.

The energy of the sun was stored, converted, and utilized directly on a planet-wide scale. All Earth turned off its burning coal, its fissioning uranium, and flipped the switch that connected all of it to a small station, one mile in diameter, circling the Earth at half the distance of the Moon. All Earth ran by invisible beams of sunpower.

Seven days had not sufficed to dim the glory of it and Adell and Lupov finally managed to escape from the public functions, and to meet in quiet where no one would think of looking for them, in the deserted underground chambers, where portions of the mighty buried body of Multivac showed. Unattended, idling, sorting data with contented lazy clickings, Multivac, too, had earned its vacation and the boys appreciated that. They had no intention, originally, of disturbing it.

They had brought a bottle with them, and their only concern at the moment was to relax in the company of each other and the bottle.

"It's amazing when you think of it," said Adell. His broad face had lines of weariness in it, and he stirred his drink slowly with a glass rod, watching the cubes of ice slur clumsily about. "All the energy we can possibly ever use for free. Enough energy, if we wanted to draw on it, to melt all Earth into a big drop of impure liquid iron, and still never miss the energy so used. All the energy we could ever use, forever and forever and forever."

Lupov cocked his head sideways. He had a trick of doing that when he wanted to be contrary, and he wanted to be contrary now, partly because he had had to carry the ice and glassware. "Not forever," he said.

"Oh, hell, just about forever. Till the sun runs down, Bert."

"That's not forever."

"All right, then. Billions and billions of years. Ten billion, maybe. Are you satisfied?"

Lupov put his fingers through his thinning hair as though to reassure himself that some was still left and sipped gently at his own drink. "Ten billion years isn't forever."

"Well, it will last our time, won't it?"

"So would the coal and uranium."

"All right, but now we can hook up each individual spaceship to the Solar Station, and it can go to Pluto and back a million times without ever worrying about fuel. You can't do that on coal and uranium. Ask Multivac, if you don't believe me.

"I don't have to ask Multivac. I know that."

"Then stop running down what Multivac's done for us," said Adell, blazing up, "It did all right."

"Who says it didn't? What I say is that a sun won't last forever. That's all I'm saying. We're safe for ten billion years, but then what?" Lupow pointed a slightly shaky finger at the other. "And don't say we'll switch to another sun."

There was silence for a while. Adell put his glass to his lips only occasionally, and Lupov's eyes slowly closed. They rested.

Then Lupov's eyes snapped open. "You're thinking we'll switch to another sun when ours is done, aren't you?"

"I'm not thinking."

"Sure you are. You're weak on logic, that's the trouble with you. You're like the guy in the story who was caught in a sudden shower and who ran to a grove of trees and got under one. He wasn't worried, you see, because he figured when one tree got wet through, he would just get under another one."

"I get it," said Adell. "Don't shout. When the sun is done, the other stars will be gone, too."

"Darn right they will," muttered Lupov. "It all had a beginning in the original cosmic explosion, whatever that was, and it'll all have an end when all the stars run down. Some run down faster than others. Hell, the giants won't last a hundred million years. The sun will last ten billion years and maybe the dwarfs will last two hundred billion for all the good they are. But just give us a trillion years and everything will be dark. Entropy has to increase to maximum, that's all."

"I know all about entropy," said Adell, standing on his dignity.

"The hell you do."

"I know as much as you do."

"Then you know everything's got to run down someday."

"All right. Who says they won't?"

"You did, you poor sap. You said we had all the energy we needed, forever. You said 'forever.'

It was Adell's turn to be contrary. "Maybe we can build things up again someday," he said.

"Never."

"Why not? Someday."

"Never."

"Ask Multivac."

"You ask Multivac. I dare you. Five dollars says it can't be done."

Adell was just drunk enough to try, just sober enough to be able to phrase the necessary symbols and operations into a question which, in words, might have corresponded to this: Will mankind one day without the net expenditure of energy be able to restore the sun to its full youthfulness even after it had died of old age?

Or maybe it could be put more simply like this: How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?

Multivac fell dead and silent. The slow flashing of lights ceased, the distant sounds of clicking relays ended.

Then, just as the frightened technicians felt they could hold their breath no longer, there was a sudden springing to life of the teletype attached to that portion of Multivac. Five words were printed: INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

"No bet," whispered Lupov. They left hurriedly.

By next morning, the two, plagued with throbbing head and cottony mouth, had forgotten the incident.


Jerrodd, Jerrodine, and Jerrodette I and II watched the starry picture in the visiplate change as the passage through hyperspace was completed in its non-time lapse. At once, the even powdering of stars gave way to the predominance of a single bright shining disk, the size of a marble, centered on the viewing-screen.

"That's X-23," said Jerrodd confidently. His thin hands clamped tightly behind his back and the knuckles whitened.

The little Jerrodettes, both girls, had experienced the hyperspace passage for the first time in their lives and were self-conscious over the momentary sensation of insideoutness. They buried their giggles and chased one another wildly about their mother, screaming, "We've reached X-23 -- we've reached X-23 -- we've --"

"Quiet, children." said Jerrodine sharply. "Are you sure, Jerrodd?"

"What is there to be but sure?" asked Jerrodd, glancing up at the bulge of featureless metal just under the ceiling. It ran the length of the room, disappearing through the wall at either end. It was as long as the ship.

Jerrodd scarcely knew a thing about the thick rod of metal except that it was called a Microvac, that one asked it questions if one wished; that if one did not it still had its task of guiding the ship to a preordered destination; of feeding on energies from the various Sub-galactic Power Stations; of computing the equations for the hyperspatial jumps.

Jerrodd and his family had only to wait and live in the comfortable residence quarters of the ship. Someone had once told Jerrodd that the "ac" at the end of "Microvac" stood for ''automatic computer" in ancient English, but he was on the edge of forgetting even that.

Jerrodine's eyes were moist as she watched the visiplate. "I can't help it. I feel funny about leaving Earth."

"Why, for Pete's sake?" demanded Jerrodd. "We had nothing there. We'll have everything on X-23. You won't be alone. You won't be a pioneer. There are over a million people on the planet already. Good Lord, our great-grandchildren will be looking for new worlds because X-23 will be overcrowded." Then, after a reflective pause, "I tell you, it's a lucky thing the computers worked out interstellar travel the way the race is growing."

"I know, I know," said Jerrodine miserably.

Jerrodette I said promptly, "Our Microvac is the best Microvac in the world."

"I think so, too," said Jerrodd, tousling her hair.

It was a nice feeling to have a Microvac of your own and Jerrodd was glad he was part of his generation and no other. In his father's youth, the only computers had been tremendous machines taking up a hundred square miles of land. There was only one to a planet. Planetary ACs they were called. They had been growing in size steadily for a thousand years and then, all at once, came refinement. In place of transistors, had come molecular valves so that even the largest Planetary AC could be put into a space only half the volume of a spaceship.

Jerrodd felt uplifted, as he always did when he thought that his own personal Microvac was many times more complicated than the ancient and primitive Multivac that had first tamed the Sun, and almost as complicated as Earth's Planetarv AC (the largest) that had first solved the problem of hyperspatial travel and had made trips to the stars possible.

"So many stars, so many planets," sighed Jerrodine, busy with her own thoughts. "I suppose families will be going out to new planets forever, the way we are now."

"Not forever," said Jerrodd, with a smile. "It will all stop someday, but not for billions of years. Many billions. Even the stars run down, you know. Entropy must increase.

"What's entropy, daddy?" shrilled Jerrodette II.

"Entropy, little sweet, is just a word which means the amount of running-down of the universe. Everything runs down, you know, like your little walkie-talkie robot, remember?"

"Can't you just put in a new power-unit, like with my robot?"

"The stars are the power-units. dear. Once they're gone, there are no more power-units."

Jerrodette I at once set up a howl. "Don't let them, daddy. Don't let the stars run down."

"Now look what you've done," whispered Jerrodine, exasperated.

"How was I to know it would frighten them?" Jerrodd whispered back,

"Ask the Microvac," wailed Jerrodette I. "Ask him how to turn the stars on again."

"Go ahead," said Jerrodine. "It will quiet them down." (Jerrodette II was beginning to cry, also.)

Jerrodd shrugged. "Now, now, honeys. I'll ask Microvac. Don't worry, he'll tell us."

He asked the Microvac, adding quickly, "Print the answer."

Jerrodd cupped the strip or thin cellufilm and said cheerfully, "See now, the Microvac says it will take care of everything when the time comes so don't worry."

Jerrodine said, "And now, children, it's time for bed. We'll be in our new home soon."

Jerrodd read the words on the cellufilm again before destroying it: INSUFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

He shrugged and looked at the visiplate. X-23 was just ahead.


VJ-23X of Lameth stared into the black depths of the three-dimensional, small-scale map of the Galaxy and said, "Are we ridiculous, I wonder in being so concerned about the matter?"

MQ-17J of Nicron shook his head. "I think not. You know the Galaxy will be filled in five years at the present rate of expansion."

Both seemed in their early twenties, both were tall and perfectly formed.

"Still," said VJ-23X, "I hesitate to submit a pessimistic report to the Galactic Council."

"I wouldn't consider any other kind of report. Stir them up a bit. We've got to stir them up."

VJ-23X sighed. "Space is infinite. A hundred billion Galaxies are there for the taking. More."

"A hundred billion is not infinite and it's getting less infinite all the time. Consider! Twenty thousand years ago, mankind first solved the problem of utilizing stellar energy, and a few centuries later, interstellar travel became possible. It took mankind a million years to fill one small world and then only fifteen thousand years to fill the rest of the Galaxy. Now the population doubles every ten years --

VJ-23X interrupted. "We can thank immortality for that."

"Very well. Immortality exists and we have to take it into account. I admit it has its seamy side, this immortality. The Galactic AC has solved many problems for us, but in solving the problem of preventing old age and death, it has undone all its other solutions."

"Yet you wouldn't want to abandon life, I suppose."

"Not at all," snapped MQ-17J, softening it at once to, "Not yet. I'm by no means old enough. How old are you?"

"Two hundred twenty-three. And you?"

"I'm still under two hundred. --But to get back to my point. Population doubles every ten years. Once this GaIaxy is filled, we'll have filled another in ten years. Another ten years and we'll have filled two more. Another decade, four more. In a hundred years, we'll have filled a thousand Galaxies. In a thousand years, a million Galaxies. In ten thousand years, the entire known universe. Then what?"

VJ-23X said, "As a side issue, there's a problem of transportation. I wonder how many sunpower units it will take to move Galaxies of individuals from one Galaxy to the next."

"A very good point. Already, mankind consumes two sunpower units per year."

"Most of it's wasted. After all, our own Galaxy alone pours out a thousand sunpower units a year and we only use two of those."

"Granted, but even with a hundred per cent efficiency, we only stave off the end. Our energy requirements are going up in a geometric progression even faster than our population. We'll run out of energy even sooner than we run out of Galaxies. A good point. A very good point."

"We'll just have to build new stars out of interstellar gas."

"Or out of dissipated heat?" asked MQ-17J, sarcastically.

"There may be some way to reverse entropy. We ought to ask the Galactic AC."

VJ-23X was not really serious, but MQ-17J pulled out his AC-contact from his pocket and placed it on the table before him.

"I've half a mind to," he said. "It's something the human race will have to face someday."

He stared somberly at his small AC-contact. It was only two inches cubed and nothing in itself, but it was connected through hyperspace with the great Galactic AC that served all mankind. Hyperspace considered, it was an integral part of the Galactic AC.

MQ-17J paused to wonder if someday in his immortal life he would get to see the Galactic AC. It was on a little world of its own, a spider webbing of force-beams holding the matter within which surges of submesons took the place of the old clumsy molecular valves. Yet despite its sub-etheric workings, the Galactic AC was known to be a full thousand feet across.

MQ-17J asked suddenly of his AC-contact, "Can entropy ever be reversed?"

VJ-23X looked startled and said at once, "Oh, say, I didn't really mean to have you ask that."

"Why not?"

"We both know entropy can't be reversed. You can't turn smoke and ash back into a tree."

"Do you have trees on your world?" asked MQ-17J.

The sound of the Galactic AC startled them into silence. Its voice came thin and beautiful out of the small AC-contact on the desk. It said: THERE IS INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

VJ-23X said, "See!"

The two men thereupon returned to the question of the report they were to make to the Galactic Council.


Zee Prime's mind spanned the new Galaxy with a faint interest in the countless twists of stars that powdered it. He had never seen this one before. Would he ever see them all? So many of them, each with its load of humanity. --But a load that was almost a dead weight. More and more, the real essence of men was to be found out here, in space.

Minds, not bodies! The immortal bodies remained back on the planets, in suspension over the eons. Sometimes they roused for material activity but that was growing rarer. Few new individuals were coming into existence to join the incredibly mighty throng, but what matter? There was little room in the Universe for new individuals.

Zee Prime was roused out of his reverie upon coming across the wispy tendrils of another mind.

"I am Zee Prime," said Zee Prime. "And you?"

"I am Dee Sub Wun. Your Galaxy?"

"We call it only the Galaxy. And you?"

"We call ours the same. All men call their Galaxy their Galaxy and nothing more. Why not?"

"True. Since all Galaxies are the same."

"Not all Galaxies. On one particular Galaxy the race of man must have originated. That makes it different."

Zee Prime said, "On which one?"

"I cannot say. The Universal AC would know."

"Shall we ask him? I am suddenly curious."

Zee Prime's perceptions broadened until the Galaxies themselves shrank and became a new, more diffuse powdering on a much larger background. So many hundreds of billions of them, all with their immortal beings, all carrying their load of intelligences with minds that drifted freely through space. And yet one of them was unique among them all in being the original Galaxy. One of them had, in its vague and distant past, a period when it was the only Galaxy populated by man.

Zee Prime was consumed with curiosity to see this Galaxy and he called out: "Universal AC! On which Galaxy did mankind originate?"

The Universal AC heard, for on every world and throughout space, it had its receptors ready, and each receptor led through hyperspace to some unknown point where the Universal AC kept itself aloof.

Zee Prime knew of only one man whose thoughts had penetrated within sensing distance of Universal AC, and he reported only a shining globe, two feet across, difficult to see.

"But how can that be all of Universal AC?" Zee Prime had asked.

"Most of it," had been the answer, "is in hyperspace. In what form it is there I cannot imagine."

Nor could anyone, for the day had long since passed, Zee Prime knew, when any man had any part of the making of a Universal AC. Each Universal AC designed and constructed its successor. Each, during its existence of a million years or more accumulated the necessary data to build a better and more intricate, more capable successor in which its own store of data and individuality would be submerged.

The Universal AC interrupted Zee Prime's wandering thoughts, not with words, but with guidance. Zee Prime's mentality was guided into the dim sea of Galaxies and one in particular enlarged into stars.

A thought came, infinitely distant, but infinitely clear. "THIS IS THE ORIGINAL GALAXY OF MAN."

But it was the same after all, the same as any other, and Lee Prime stifled his disappointment.

Dee Sub Wun, whose mind had accompanied the other, said suddenly, "And is one of these stars the original star of Man?"

The Universal AC said, "MAN'S ORIGINAL STAR HAS GONE NOVA. IT IS A WHITE DWARF"

"Did the men upon it die?" asked Lee Prime, startled and without thinking.

The Universal AC said, "A NEW WORLD, AS IN SUCH CASES WAS CONSTRUCTED FOR THEIR PHYSICAL BODIES IN TlME."

"Yes, of course," said Zee Prime, but a sense of loss overwhelmed him even so. His mind released its hold on the original Galaxy of Man, let it spring back and lose itself among the blurred pin points. He never wanted to see it again.

Dee Sub Wun said, "What is wrong?"

"The stars are dying. The original star is dead."

"They must all die. Why not?"

"But when all energy is gone, our bodies will finally die, and you and I with them."

"It will take billions of years."

"I do not wish it to happen even after billions of years. Universal AC! How may stars be kept from dying?"

Dee Sub Wun said in amusement, "You're asking how entropy might be reversed in direction."

And the Universal AC answered: "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

Zee Prime's thoughts fled back to his own Galaxy. He gave no further thought to Dee Sub Wun, whose body might be waiting on a Galaxy a trillion light-years away, or on the star next to Zee Prime's own. It didn't matter.

Unhappily, Zee Prime began collecting interstellar hydrogen out of which to build a small star of his own. If the stars must someday die, at least some could yet be built.


Man considered with himself, for in a way, Man, mentally, was one. He consisted of a trillion, trillion, trillion ageless bodies, each in its place, each resting quiet and incorruptible, each cared for by perfect automatons, equally incorruptible, while the minds of all the bodies freely melted one into the other, indistinguishable.

Man said, "The Universe is dying."

Man looked about at the dimming Galaxies. The giant stars, spendthrifts, were gone long ago, back in the dimmest of the dim far past. Almost all stars were white dwarfs, fading to the end.

New stars had been built of the dust between the stars, some by natural processes, some by Man himself, and those were going, too. White dwarfs might yet be crashed together and of the mighty forces so released, new stars built, but only one star for every thousand white dwarfs destroyed, and those would come to an end, too.

Man said, "Carefully husbanded, as directed by the Cosmic AC, the energy that is even yet left in all the Universe will last for billions of years."

"But even so," said Man, "eventually it will all come to an end. However it may be husbanded, however stretched out, the energy once expended is gone and cannot be restored. Entropy must increase forever to the maximum."

Man said, "Can entropy not be reversed? Let us ask the Cosmic AC."

The Cosmic AC surrounded them but not in space. Not a fragment of it was in space. It was in hyperspace and made of something that was neither matter nor energy. The question of its size and nature no longer had meaning in any terms that Man could comprehend.

"Cosmic AC," said Man, "how may entropy be reversed?"

The Cosmic AC said, "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

Man said, "Collect additional data."

The Cosmic AC said, 'I WILL DO S0. I HAVE BEEN DOING SO FOR A HUNDRED BILLION YEARS. MY PREDECESORS AND I HAVE BEEN ASKED THIS QUESTION MANY TlMES. ALL THE DATA I HAVE REMAINS INSUFFICIENT.

"Will there come a time," said Man, 'when data will be sufficient or is the problem insoluble in all conceivable circumstances?"

The Cosmic AC said, "NO PROBLEM IS INSOLUBLE IN ALL CONCEIVABLE CIRCUMSTANCES."

Man said, "When will you have enough data to answer the question?"

The Cosmic AC said, "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

"Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

Man said, "We shall wait."


The stars and Galaxies died and snuffed out, and space grew black after ten trillion years of running down.

One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.

Man's last mind paused before fusion, looking over a space that included nothing but the dregs of one last dark star and nothing besides but incredibly thin matter, agitated randomly by the tag ends of heat wearing out, asymptotically, to the absolute zero.

Man said, "AC, is this the end? Can this chaos not be reversed into the Universe once more? Can that not be done?"

AC said, "THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER."

Man's last mind fused and only AC existed -- and that in hyperspace.


Matter and energy had ended and with it space and time. Even AC existed only for the sake of the one last question that it had never answered from the time a half-drunken computer [technician] ten trillion years before had asked the question of a computer that was to AC far less than was a man to Man.

All other questions had been answered, and until this last question was answered also, AC might not release his consciousness.

All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected.

But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships.

A timeless interval was spent in doing that.

And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy.

But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No matter. The answer -- by demonstration -- would take care of that, too.

For another timeless interval, AC thought how best to do this. Carefully, AC organized the program.

The consciousness of AC encompassed all of what had once been a Universe and brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.

And AC said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"

And there was light --

In response to "Poetry and Ambition"



I found Poetry and Ambition to be one of the most memorable essays I have ever read. I would do myself a great injustice not to revisit this work many times. Hall litters the pages with so many quotable one-liners you’d think he was writing poetry. Maybe that’s how good prose is supposed to be.

“If your goal in life is to remain content, no ambition is sensible.” Wow. Has ever a truer and more useful line been transcribed? I know too many peers who would read this sentence and assimilate it 180 degrees differently than I. I live in an area where the populace, if over 18, are mostly content to fall into the cycle of partying until parenthood, working until retirement, and retiring until death, the entire time harboring soul crushing debt, stress, and passionless relationships. They have no ambition. They are content. I gladly sacrifice my contentedness to chase my ambition. Even admitting that, “Ozymandias” rings in my mind as a warning. That poem is forever the mass, rope, and crew, saving me from capitalism’s siren song.

The piece of advice that infected me virally, and subsequently will always dwell within me, is that one should set an impossible goal. Shoot for the stars and land amongst the clouds. I have such a goal. Such a goal gives life a purpose. A purpose eliminates boredom. If one is ever bored, one has not discovered their goal. I have not been bored for almost 3 years now. However, alleviating boredom bares a new symptom, a kind of anxiety in rest. Since establishing an impossible goal, allowing for a purpose to be born, resting from pursuit of that goal brings guilt. I’m in a phase of my life where I’m trying to cope with this unpleasantness. My current hypothesis is falling in love.

I’d like to say that the selections in this class have exceeded my expectations. Now, I’m not sure if that says more about my ignorance than your teaching skills, but I mean it as a compliment, so I hope it is received as one. I am thoroughly enjoying this class.

“Debate”



“Does God exist?”

I sat mesmerized, along with 3,500 other spectators. People had their phones out, some recording, others updating statuses and tweeting. We were living history. There may have only been a couple thousand here in person but by the end of the night there would be millions of witnesses. It’s a little crippling to think about how fast we are blundering ahead technologically. Here we were, witnessing a discussion on the oldest questions humanity has yet to answer, while simultaneously sending binary code hundreds of miles into outer space where floating machines reflected these codes to almost anywhere on earth, all to be collected by a “cloud” where any person could access the translated code through text, pictures, or videos. How this works, I have no idea. For me, the God question is an easier one.
“Before I attempt to answer, the terms need to be defined. First of what you mean by God. What God are we talking about? The New Testament God, Old Testament God, Islam’s God, Odin, Zeus, Apollo, Rah, Osiris, Quetzalcoatl, Einstein’s God? Is he all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, is he even a he?”
“For the sake of audience understanding and brevity, lets define God by the modern Christian model.”
This was the first debate I had seen since coming to the University. I considered myself lucky to have gotten into one of the top religious philosophy programs in the country. My grades would have made me a debatable admission to a community college but apparently my entry essays had impressed the people whom required impressing. I admit I used my mother’s multiple military deployments and father’s abandonment as pillars of pathos. I like to think Aristotle would have been proud.
“So now what do we mean by exists? Webster has exists as “Having an objective reality or being.” Do you dare argue that God exist objectively?”
“You are simply finding definitions that work in your favor, the very next definition offered is “Being found, esp. in a particular place or situation.” Using this definition, I have, along with hundreds of millions of others, experienced God in particular places and/or situations.”
On stage were three intellectual giants. The mediator was the dean of the philosophy at the University. He was remarkably young looking for a philosophy professor. He looked about 40. He had the pigment of someone who spends too much time in a room only lit by a computer screen yet it looked as if two blue supernovas were exploding behind his irises. You could see the wrinkles starting between his brows too; they reminded me tributaries emptying into a gulf or sea when seen from above. I looked forward to acquiring those wisdom marks. Since I replaced the absence of my father with role models like Da Vinci, Socrates, and the like, old age was something I looked forward too, and those furrowed brows.
“So the Christen God is the one we will be debating over tonight? Allow me to tell a story. There was a boy born by a virgin mother who herself was impregnated by a God. Her son was referred as the ‘only begotten son’ and whose birth was announced by angels and heralded by the morning star. He partook in a coming of age ritual at age 12. Between age 12 and 30 there are no historical records regarding his life. He was baptized at age 30. His baptizer was later beheaded. He took to the desert and then a high mountain where he was tempted by his evil counterpart. He traveled with 12 disciples, walked on water, casted out demons, healed the sick, cured the blind and revived a dead man. He delivered a sermon at the Mount, was crucified, along with 2 thieves, was then buried in a tomb only to revive 3 days later. This is the story of Horus, an Egyptian God. Written between 2700-2300 BC.”
The man speaking was on the dean’s right and was an Englishmen. I had Googled both debaters before the match and this man’s name offered over 8 million hits. He had written four books, all of which were secular and anti-theist, more than 100 published articles, and had graduated from Cambridge, with a PhD in literature. He had spent the last eight years in the Middle East attempting to spread rationalism among the academic youths in response to the drastic rise in fundamentalism after the US invasion of the region.  Cognitive dissonance is a powerful tool and helps Americans ignore the impact their reckless government has had in aggregating hatred due to their involvement in the Middle East. This is beside the point; I blame the Chomsky interview I watched before the debate for that little outburst (Chomsky is someone you should read up on).
“Even my opponent believes in evolution. Not to is to deny the credibility of the system that brings you electricity, the internet, GPS, television, and the like. All those toys you take for granted and that you have no idea how they work, were produced by the same scientific method that brought you the age of the earth, the universe, and the origin of species.”
“Can you explain to me where evolution began? How something came from nothing? Isn’t one of science’s fundamental laws, God's law, which something living cannot come from non-living? I believe that is called spontaneous generation and was quite popular among the serfs in the dark ages. I’d go so far as to say that you are above such fallacies.” That earned some snickers.
On the dean’s left was the preacher. His name yielded more than 20 million results on Google. He was the leader of the largest church in the United States, and wore a suit that proved it. He looked flawless. He had perfectly straight, gleaming teeth, a full head of hair neatly combed and gelled, a watch that I’m sure was his proof for an intelligent designer, a designer who I’m sure did not give his work for free, and his shoes were made of some scaled creature. His God did grant him domain over animals. He was quite polite so far but his face betrayed his demeanor. His face was so flushed it seemed like a rubber band was lassoed around his neck. I did not know if it was from embarrassment or anger.
I noticed that the Englishman was coughing a lot. I had read an article online that said he was sick with some chronic illness. I couldn’t help but find it ironic that the God denier had some horrible illness while the preacher seemed an exemplar of health.
“I do not claim to have that answer. What you are implying is the God-of-the-Gaps argument. When we did not understand the sun or the stars, our answer was God. When we did not understand bacteria and microorganisms, it was God. When we did not understand gravity or electromagnetism, we claimed God. Scientific understanding has pushed back the border of God’s domain. I have faith, yes faith, that science will continue this trend for as long as we can maintain our fragile existence.”
“You may understand it sir, but I need to make that point apparent to the audience.  Science and philosophy both are constructed upon a foundation of faith. You have faith that reason is the ‘true’ way to perceive the world. Also, that empirical evidence and empirical analysis is the best way to view the world. Both sides need and rest upon faith. I think this is a concept many atheists either do not realize or ignore.”
That snatched my attention like a cerebral whip lash. I had never thought about that. I had assumed that faith was a trait of the weak and illogical, but I had been assuming that logic was the correct way to think, a faith in logic. I didn’t like having my heuristics challenged, but that was why I came here, to this school and this debate.
“Let us assume science and reason are good ways to measure reality. That mathematics can explain the universe, that the universe has rational underlining laws. Once adopting this view, one quickly realizes the remarkably small chance of our existence. If we were to change gravity by a millionth of a percent, we would not exist. If water was slightly more polar, if this or that force was altered at all, if Jupiter did not existed as it does, to shield us from asteroids, if all these variables were not as they were, we would not exist. That to me demonstrates an intelligent designer.”
“The Fine-Tuning argument allows for a very interesting alternative view, one which is equally true in every aspect as your assumption that this intelligent creator is your Christian God. You may not be an avid computer science follower, but computers are making exponential progress. A dumbed-down and user friendly reference to my alternative proposition is the movie “The Matrix.” It pains me to have to refer to this idea as oppose to Descartes, but the audience is surely more informed on the plot of “The Matrix” than the philosophical underpinnings of Descartes Demon analogy or Dream Machine. To sum, all that is perceived reality could be an advance computer running a program that entails all of our physical laws. Interestingly, on the quantum scale, this hypothesis amasses further evidence. According to quantum properties, the universe acts as a hologram and the tiniest particles appear to be pixels. I do not have time to expound on this but I encourage the audience to research my claims. Every attribute one can give to a God, can be pinned onto this program, the computer, and the programmer, if one is needed.”
I thought it interesting that the program, computer and programmer made a neat trinity. I was actually sweating. My girlfriend told me afterword that my eyes were dilated for most of the debate and that she was rather jealous because she thought that look was only for her. I forgot she was with me. The fine-tuning argument bugged me. If anything was different and we didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be here to measure it.  
“If there is no God, how do you explain morality? Good and Evil? Right and Wrong?”
“I find it quite insulting, and I’m sure the audience will agree with me, that you and the like assume that without an all-powerful God…”
                  I began to become aware of my body. I could feel my socks wrapped around my toes, the tag scratching the back of my neck, my wisdom tooth rubbing against my gums. I was uncomfortable. Suddenly my stomach dropped like I had just left the top of a hill in a car doing 60, that weightless feeling that is a little scary but mostly enjoyable. Before my stomach had landed I had a warm fluidly sensation start at the base of my spine and wash upward engulfing my brain and existing through my eyes as my stomach came back to earth. The moment my stomach landed it purged itself on the chair in front of me. I don’t remember making it out of the auditorium but I would find out online later that night. My classmate’s phone’s had excellent battery life.
                  All I could focus on was the pointlessness of the debate. These two men developed their lives around ideas that could never be proven. They were arguing century old problems that were rooted in language; a device that itself is a rigid and crude prison to human imagination and creativity. God is a word that has become so saturated with different meanings to render it a useless word when used in any way other than subjectly. And atheism seemed to be a group that met many of the requirements of religion, whose purpose was to discredit all other religions, albeit with reason and not crusades.  Convictions are more harmful to truth than lies, and debates on religion to be nothing but convictions. What was the purpose of my pursuit in philosophy? What was my purpose at all? I was having an existential crisis.
                  She checked her phone. She had lost track of time reading the blog article. Her list of questions, she thought, would be enough. Grabbing her bag she hurried toward the auditorium. On her computer screen was an old blog entry of one of the debaters that were coming to the University that night.
The title of the discussion that evening was “Does God Exist?”