Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Android Song

Wouldn't it be nice if we were androids
Then we wouldn't have to die at all
And wouldn't it be nice to live forever
In the kind of mechanism where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can transfer our consciousness and live forever

Wouldn't it be nice if we could stay up
And never have to sleep again, ooh, ooh
And after having spent our life savings
Transfer our thoughts before we're through

Happy times together we'll be spending
I wish that every one was never ending
Oh wouldn't it be nice (to be an android)

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
(run, run the program)
Baby then there wouldn't be a single funeral we'd have to go to
We could be eternal
(we could be eternal)
And then we'd be happy
(and then we'd be happy)

Oh wouldn't it be nice to be an android
(ba ba ba ba ba ba ba beep)

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to die without it
But let's talk about it
Oh, wouldn't it be nice (to be an android)

Good night my baby
Is something we'd never have to say again my baby

by Soph Laugh

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Handy Dandy Hand Gesture iCase

"I once caught a fish, this big."

Most people gesture with their hands when speaking. Even when talking to ourselves, we move our fingers and hands about in swirling motions that indicate, "I mean business." 

"I mean business."

With all this hand gesturing moving about, it can be difficult to know just what to do with our hands when we're not directly engaged in the act of speaking. But no worries... because thanks to the 


You'll never again have to worry about what to do with your hands when you're not speaking!


Simply slide on the very uncomfortable metal chain directly around your neck so that the hand forceps rest directly in front of your mid-region. Now, slide your fingertips into the cold metal pouches while simultaneously sliding your thumbs into the one-size fits all thumb rests. 


You'll never have to worry about making those ridiculous, annoying hand gestures ever again!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Exciting New Technology: BOOK

Facebook Gossip

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, 
and that is not being talked about.
~Oscar Wilde

What is it about gossip that is just so very tantalizing? Is it a natural human instinct to look to others for information, the sheer curiosity about the lives of others that helps us modulate our own thoughts and actions, or the simple escape from our daily reality, an opportunity to enjoy some juicy drama without the emotional entanglements, that captivates our interest - as well as our time - so intently? 

In ancient times, sacred information, such as gossip, was way to let another person know that you believed them worthy of keeping a secret - an interaction between people which builds trust. Of course, sharing confidential information with thousands of "friends" on Facebook isn't exactly secret sharing, it's more akin to what happens when you're tired of talking about the weather or sharing jokes and quotes that leads one to share something about our their life, just to have something to say and/or talk about. 

Seemingly, people feel important when we let them in on what's happening in our private lives. Our personal likes, dislikes, and interests become part of our social identity. Even our eating habits, recipes, family travel pictures (the ones only relatives used to have to endure), and pets are fair game for sharing and commenting upon. 

Gossiping on FB is like having a few thousand of your favorite friends 
over for morning tea or coffee...and a little chat!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Funny French Library

"I prefer an interesting vice than a virtue that bores." 

Humor unleashes this sort of metaphysically-drawn line between the reality for which we allow and the reality for which we delight in imagining. Humorous thinking breaks down the barriers that shield us from forming new ideas, or images and concepts of external objects and flights of fancy not present to our general senses. When we're in a humorous mood our mind gets more resourceful, its ability to be creative and imagine things, that until now did not exist in this dimension, increases a thousandfold.

"It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right."

There's something inexpressibly charming about reading a humorously told adventure story; no doubt, the pleasure lies in the fact that it isn't lasting. 

But for those few wonderful days while we suspend reality and give value to what we're reading or experiencing, we can simultaneously unleash the latches that bind our minds to a more pragmatic reality and harness and bring into action, should we choose, a humorous, delightfully sensational adventure of our own making. 

We never exactly know what lies beyond the doors we close off in the name of seriousness. We don't know the sensational adventures we might otherwise experience until we release ourselves from the world of "have to" and "must do". Because we're so entrenched in the reality of the circumstances into which we're born, we rarely integrate what we've seen, read, or imagined and how it's changed us until we return home or to our usually scheduled programming. 

When we get back, the fruit of our adventures stay with us. They change us. We laugh, we sing, we move about more freely, less encumbered. We return and purposely seek out that which lit our insides on fire... that which released us, giving us permission to take flight. 

Exploring the world in search of good humor has served as a gateway to all the other worlds just waiting for me to walk through the proverbial wardrobe door... whether I'm reading adventure stories or going on an adventure of my own, whatever the seasoning of my inquiry, it is through that lens that I soar through the door... toward a new world, with new hopes and new dreams, new challenges and new adventures awaiting me. 

It's funny, you know... how our thoughts, humorous or otherwise, lead us closer to the lives we rarely give ourselves permission to imagine...

As a species, I think most of us have mastered the art of doing for others... it's doing for ourselves that brings a good book to life. 

"It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Overcoming Adversity

"You see a mouse trap, I see free cheese and a challenge!"
According to the mouse from the game, Mouse Trap.

Spooky Reincarnation

Entanglement is responsible for what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance," but few consider the concept's relationship to reincarnation. 

Consider, if you will, the state for two quantum bits |01> - |10>. In this state, if you look at the first qubit and find that it is 0, then the second qubit is 1. Similarly, if you look at the first qubit and find that it is 1, then the second qubit is 0. That is, the two qubits are the opposite of each other. The two qubits are made up of nuclear spins, so that when you measure the first spin along some axis and find that it is spin-up, the second spin will be spin-down. 

So far, that's not too overly complicated, right? The two spins rotate in the opposite direction, no matter which axis one chooses to measure their rotation about. Anyhow, the problem is that before the measurement of the first qubit, both qubits are in a completely indefinite spae. Measuring the first quibit puts it in a definite state, |0> or |1>. This is not surprising, as measurment is supposed to determine the state of the thing measured. 

What's surprising is that measuring the spin of the first particle about some axis also puts the second particle in a definite state of spin about that axis; that is, if you choose to measure the first spin about the vertical axis, then after the measurement the second spin is in a definite state of spin about the vertical axis. If you choose to measure the first spin about the sideways axis, then after the measurement the second spin is in a definite state about the sideways axis. 

Somehow, it appears that measuring the first spin does something to the second spin as well. And the first particle need be nowhere near the second particle. After entanglement, one particle could be kept here on Earth and the other particle sent to Alpha Centauri. 

How can measuring something on Earth simultaneously affect something on Alpha Centauri, which is some four light-years away from us? No signal can possibly arrive there in less than four years, let alone simultaneously. 

That's what Einstein meant when he called the effect of entanglement "spooky action at a distance." 

Now, like I said, few people (I leave open the option for the possibility though I'm the only one I know who talks about it) think about entanglement with respect to reincarnation. In my mind, it works a little like this... 

Imagine growing up in a nice, loving, prominent family in Austria, with BIG DREAMS finding their way into nearly every discussion. Then, one day, you're shipped off to France, Frenchified at the border, married shortly thereafter; you begin adjusting, living, learning, loving, growing, playing, eating, and shopping for shoes! 

You live your life, things happen, some good, others not, time passes by, you develop interests, habits, preferences, likes and dislikes, fears and attachments, frustrations and rebellious attitudes, then things take a real rotten turn for the worse, and keep getting worse until it all ends, sadly, painfully, and mournfully... except for the idea that you're headed for Heaven because you were a loving, giving, affectionate spirit who delighted in the happiness of everyone around you - and you really, really, really LOVED children! ڿڰۣ  

Then... silence. Everything goes black. After what feels like some time, you gather enough of yourself to float around... you go to see the ocean, soar above the mountain tops, and dance on the water. But you're alone, you miss your friends and family, so you look toward others... then almost instantaneously, you wake up, you're an infant being lifted up out of a sink filled with warm, soapy water, and placed onto a cold counter, bundled up into a warm, slightly thin towel, and nestled in your grandmother's arms. 

You don't look like yourself anymore, but you like the new look. Slowly but surely, you begin unfolding yourself, like a tender rose petal blossoming to greet the spring. You develop interests, habits, preferences, likes and dislikes, fears and attachments, frustrations and rebellious attitudes. You take-off in search of new adventures, you make new friends and meet new people. You're ushered into a whole new world... it's all encompassing, but it's not enough. You want more, so you leave again...

You delight in your newfound freedom, armed with the knowledge of poetry, philosophy, politics, and business, you begin experimenting with it all... you create, you build, you take off again on new adventures, naturally and most joyously, taking your children with you.

Then things take a real rotten turn for the worse, you lose important people in your life, meet new important people, and move on again... until:

Something happens, a trajectory hits you like a ton of bricks... it feels as if the weight of the entire cosmic universe is on your shoulders. You stand to face it.

But, this time, an awful story is averted. Certain qubits drop off, losing their entanglement with that trajectory. One qubit might be spinning somewhere off in the universe, but there's not enough shared qubits to spin the ones in your physical possession. Destiny changes...

You get a second chance! You delight, laugh, marvel, and celebrate joyously. You explore and take your friends and family along for the ride. Suddenly, an old friend you didn't know you had seeks you out. 

Instantly, you know one another: likes, dislikes, preferences, quirks, and inside jokes. You laugh and sing and draw again... 

Tragically, your beautiful little boy comes down with a serious health concern. You panic. Memories and feelings flood your mind - you can't breathe. No one has an answer, not even the so-called specialists. 

Your own healing experience tells you that there are ways to correct certain trajectories. Your limited understanding of quantum physics tells you it's possible. You take off in hot pursuit of a possibility from a once-forgotten dream - back to a place deeply entrenched in your life, a place that haunted you, a garden that soothed you...

You read one letter and stop. It can't be. It's not possible. But somehow, it is. Somehow, it makes sense in a dreamlike, imaginary quantum thought experiment. 

You delve further. Nervous, embarrassed, intrigued... if each spin registers one qubit, no more, no less, two spins are always spinning in the opposite direction, no matter which axis we choose to measure, more than one bit of information seems present. There's more than one bit of information in each qubit. Entanglement may not involve action at a distance, but it's certainly connected. 

There's nothing impossible about this kind of connectedness. It is just that in the classical world we must share a bloodline to be related to other people. In the quantum version of reincarnation, in the quantum version of the story, the two entangled lives (spins) share quantum bits and are capable of giving multiple answers to an infinite variety of questions or experiences corresponding to the infinite set of possible axes that connect them, about which they can be measured. 

Spooky, indeed.

This article is for entertainment purposes only. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bicameralism for Kids

Bicameralism (the philosophy of "two-chamberedness") is the idea that the human brain is made out of two separate parts that have their own thoughts, experiences, and senses to perceive the world. 

Julian Jaynes, who must have gotten a good score on the SAT because he went to Harvard, McGill University AND Yale, wrote a book about this concept in 1975 and called it The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (I think he might have also won an award for the dumbest title given to a smart idea)

In this book, he explained how early humans were pretty much just going with the flow, doing things without really giving them much thought....

That is, until an emergency or new experience came their way. Then, the quiet them (the left-side of their brain) that went along with things - making fire, hunting, eating, going to the bathroom - heard a voice, a voice they didn't recognize. 

Now, some people thought this voice was coming from outside their heads. "Is that you, God?" 

But others weren't so sure. According to Bicameralism, the voice they heard was the right-side of their brain! The smarty pants of their brain, what Jaynes called their "silent" side. In the face of danger or something new and totally cool - look, fire! - the other side of their brain all of a sudden spoke up and said, "Fire's hot, dummy...don't touch it!" 

So, there you have it, kids! Bicameralism is basically the idea that the voices in our heads are perfectly natural, normal even. 

Somehow when we're being formed in our mother's wombs, the universe takes some pretty dull material (earth and some left over particles and chemicals) and shapes it into this Zombie-like brain... which I like to call our biological mechanism. This biological mechanism is like our Inner Zombie.

And we all know what Zombies want: healthy brains - so much so they might mistake one for a sandwich and try to eat it! Yuck!

Since the Zombie part of our brains don't think, and because our Zombie brain has a big appetite, it goes around mindlessly looking for food, mindlessly reading this post, mindlessly driving down the road - all the while thinking about other things. Essentially, our Zombie brain is on automatic pilot until something important comes up...

That's when the conscious side of our brain send a message through the corpus callosum, the part of the brian that connects both sides or cerebral hemispheres, and says, "Hey, you're lost in the woods, pay attention, dummy!"