So… it’s Febtober already and I was supposed to have finished writing AND publishing this post last month and begin working on another post already but… everything just kinda got away from me in January which just felt like juggling irons in fire so… I wasn’t able to get this post out and for that, I sincerely want to apologize to my readers for not journaling more studiously.
Of note last month, I was diagnosed with 5 dental cavities. The first time in my entire adult life too, because I give amazing oral… uh, care… to myself on the reg because among my SUM = bitch father‘s addictions was a love of the moon sugar and due to his Skooma needs I watched the living eruptions of calcium in his mouth chip, rot and completely wither away as he eagerly downed yet another full 64 ouncer!
As a result of that traumatic childhood experience I learned that brushing and flossing are DAMN GOOD ideas, so you’ll have to forgive me if out of the past 20+ years of cavity free adulthood that I’ve experienced, in recent years I’ve had maybe more than a few exhausted nights of parenthood where I laid my head upon my body pillow at the end of the day, not having brushed my teeth… or my hair. 😛
And it really wasn’t that bad getting the fillings done and the dentist made the effort to make me as comfortable as possible during the procedure so I guess I can’t complain… except… that he also clipped the underside of the tip of my tongue with the drill! Though thankfully I was well and truly anesthetized so I didn’t feel a thing and it ended up not being any worse than if I had bit my tongue.
Now, not placing any blame here but there was a rubber “bite block” in my mouth and although it wasn’t red or ball like it was still a little gagging if I’m being honest! 😉
So… I may or may not have bitten the dentist while he was drilling… hard to say who fired the first shot but I’m fully healed now so I figure we’re pretty much “even” so long as open hostilities don’t resume the next time he’s in my mouth… er… you know what I mean!
So anyway… we’re making a game… well.. actually I’m already greased up past elbow-deep (Damn it!) in the development process and today we’re going to start catching you up to where I am so that you can follow along and enjoy the adventure of developing a real game together along with me and that means that YOU PERSONALLY have the very real opportunity to help shape how it turns out just by leaving a comment on these posts. 🙂
Now, my regular readers (can I say “regular” readers if I post so infrequently? 😛 ) will know that I’ve created game like software in the past on my blog but that was more of a demo/proof of concept (I wanted to test how well WebGL would work as a “platform”) but what’s different this time is that you and I together are gonna Katy Perry “go all the way tonight” but instead of “tonight” it’s… however long it takes us to “finish” our game! 😛
I haven’t decided if it’s going to be mobile game app, a “Steam Exclusive” or if I’ll be like Bethesda and Blizzard and sell to Microsoft but… as far as I am concerned, the distribution platform is the LEAST interesting part of this project so.. Microsoft can have their bot call my bot and maybe we can work something out… maybe!?
And speaking of bots, by nature I’m a “bot builder”, I innovate, I automate and outsource as much as possible to “the droids” that I purpose-build because I’m a lone indie dev and no matter what I’m working on, bots can significantly “extend” my ability to “punch” above my “weight class” sometimes and this project is no different.
What IS different for this project however is that these posts will be more of a “dev log” format than tutorials due to the complexity of “juggling” all the “spinning plates” involved but where relevant and or interesting (and time permitting) I will describe some of how my bots work and of course you should feel free to ask questions in the comments section below each post. 🙂
So to begin, I had one of my Spider Bots scrape Twitter for hundreds of tweets about game development and then… threw away all the images and text of each tweet because I only wanted those sweet-sweet hashtags!
All text that was preceded by a “#” was separated out and put in a text file with each line of text in the file representing a single tweet and hashes were space delimited.
Then, I wrote some un-optimized PHP code that would count the times each unique tag (converted to lowercase to “catch” all tags with different capitalization) appeared so that I could find which hashtags were most common/prevalent and then exported a CSV file with the results.
Now, I effectively have a list of hashtag terms associated with “Game Dev” that I can use to “start from scratch” analyze the “lay of the land” and you can do this for ANYTHING not just when developing a game, but anyway… while this doesn’t say which are the “best” terms (that’s a different bot 😛 )… it does say which ones are the “most used” which is a reflection of what the game devs thought were the “most important” for advertising their games which is kind of like asking all of those professionals for their honest advice (for free) and without having to have a conversation with any of them. Maybe it’s just me but all of that feels like a “win”!
So given this information combined with a second factor/dimension/indicator (like how many replies/likes/retweets a tweet has) and a sentiment analysis of it’s text, I can build a system that scores my propagan… uh.. “advertising attempts” for likelihood to gain “traction” (positive user interactions) to maximize engagement and financial return on my unpaid indie efforts. 😉
More importantly though, there is a lot of “actionable” information provided by this simple frequency analysis on my scraped tweets and their collective hashtags.
I found that, even accounting for spelling variance and abbreviation, the vast majority of dev’s seem to be developing with Unity:
Now, it could simply be that Unity dev’s tend to be more vocal about the gaming engine they develop with… but even still, the pattern is quite well established and it’s fair to conclude that the Unity Dev “community” is currently larger and that COULD/MAY translate to more/better informational resources (tutorials/boilerplate code examples) being available (at this time) to you.
I already occasionally develop using Unity so this is more of a confirmation of my confirmation-biases than a new confirmed bias fact gained by me, but you might find it biasing.
I also found that Saturdays are the day to release screenshots:
Maybe I can occasionally do a Screenshot Saturday?? Would you like that? #Beg for it in the comments below, um… please?!
And that Wednesdays are the day for wishlisting/wishlists but… that wishlisting and Wednesday is ~4.88 times LESS popular than screenshots on Saturday:
Ah Wednesday, not quite as good as your siblings Friday, Saturday and Sunday are you? But at least we can all agree you’re way better than Monday! 😛
Additionally it can be said that people like puzzles, metroidvanias and platformers… or at least game developers seem to really think that players do:
Also, the lone RPG is ~2.3 times less mentioned than puzzle games and that platformers are ~6.7 times MORE talked about:
I found a lot of other things too but of course all of this is just a starting point that informs my planning and in any case here’s some charts I generated from my data:
Pretty right? Which brings us to today’s wallpaper.
I can assure you that future posts in this series will be “prettier” but I tried my best to find a way to bring all the charts together into a wallpaper and I hope you like it.
Along with this wallpaper, its time for the musical accompaniment for today’s post so here goes… I’ve traveled too far to go back to the place that I’ve started… so instead we’ll just begin right here and see where this project leads us, much love to you all!
So like… I have a Patreon n’stuff but like… you don’t care, I barely care… but it’s a thing and now you know about it.
But, if all you can do is Like, Share, Comment and Subscribe… that’s cool too!
Recently… and not ever so long ago… my son Xavier (who’s almost 5 now ♥‿♥) asked me to draw him a picture of a dinosaur and… I did. I modeled up a blocky T-Rex in Blender and with the addition of a Subdivision Surface Modifier, I was able to present my child with the theropod of my choice and I earned many hugs and kisses for my efforts! 🙂
But then, (づ｡◕‿‿◕｡)づ ╯(°‿°╯) …hugs with my most beloved BARELY enjoyed… he asks if I could draw him a Pogo Stick! A Pogo Stick??? Yes! I want a picture of a Pogo Stick!, he said.
So… with my failure to impress in hand and a desire to propitiate felicity, jubilation and joy between offspring and Joy, tis “the season” for gift giving after all… I gave myself the o’l twenty-three skiddly-skidoo to the little wooden mini-desk in the corner of my bedroom next to the 3D printer… because… now my mission was absolutely clear, I was on a quest to atone for my lowbrow low-poly dino malfeasance!
So in the middle of the day, I sat alone in the dark at my desk, somehow… totally at peace with the irrationally high levels of free floating caffeine molecules mixing intravenously with my personal supplies of blood plasma.
My computer was on, logged in and after a couple of clicks (and a loading screen 😛 ), Blender 2.93 opened and I got right to work modeling his request and after a few Extrudes and Loop Cuts on a cylinder, I finally pressed F12 on my keyboard to render the images.
These… are those images:
With the renders digitally in hand, I rushed to eagerly present my son with his Pogo pic petition and Xavier replied… “I like the shadows…” and then got quiet for a moment as if to ponder his thoughts… when suddenly he broke his silence with “Can you put it in a game?”.
And I’m not gonna lie here… at this point, not having fully earned the most coveted “Love and Admiration of My Child” life achievement-award which comes with a high-quality multi-color iron on cloth badge and a fanfare of hugs for all my artistically nurturing efforts… I was starting to feel a little like WTF Dude?!
But instead of getting all sticky-stick bent outta shape about it… I said…
“Okay YOLO!”. 😛
Pretty sure that’s called “literary foreshadowing”, anyways…
☉ ‿ ⚆ So now…
We’re Gonna Make a Game!
And with that, I think it’s time to end this post with today’s musical accompaniment:
Size is relative and statements like “too big” or “too small” (cough TWSS 😛 ) are not immutable properties of the universe but rather simply a matter of perspective. Change your perspective just a little Goldilocks and you might find that your neural network thinks your data porridge tastes “just right”!
Err… what I mean is… we’re going to look at how to scale your data so that you can feed it to your neural network without causing it (or you) to have any unpleasant indigestion.
Specifically, lets say you have a very important series of values (including strings of text) that you want to use as part of your training dataset but they don’t fit within the yummy-data range of -1 to 1… so what do you do?
I was naked and home alone on a freezing bathroom tile floor, teeth shivering, vulnerably curled up like a 2001 star child. I remember crying “PLEASE MAKE THE PAIN STOP!”. The shivering really hurt but next to the burning glass in my guts it felt like a paper cut, oh yeah… and I was lying in a pool of my own blood, piss and vomit, if that helps?!
So it’s been a while since I’ve written a post and I thought It’s probably high time I should, okay maybe not high time since 4/20 already passed. 😛
Anyway, my reasons for not having posted in a while are numerous and we won’t be discussing any of that today except to acknowledge one of the publicly speculated reasons for my absence being absent (the Betty White aliens)… is 100% true and if Betty White wasn’t leading the conspiracy she totally would agree with me!
Anyway, I’m not predisposed to discussing that further right now as my digital therapist advises me that the paranoid delusions are an integral part of my healing process, so I’m going to take that artificial medicinal recommendation because, my body er… my delusion, my choice!!!
Or… something like that.
Anyway, that left me with the problem of what should I talk about? I mean, it would be totally weird if I just came out and was like…
Without some kind of acknowledgment, it feels like it would be weird. Besides I’m absolutely certain that level of advanced neural network would have to be “paid content” and definitely you’d need to accept all my tracking cookies before I could even think about sharing it with you! But not wanting to have to build all those tracking cookies (it’s such a pain), I decided maybe I’ll just Heinz 57 on some of the content I’d been neglecting to read cuz I’ve been super-duper super busy… anyway a few weeks back I read a post by a blogger named Pinkie that I have mentioned in previous posts. After reading her post and soberly stumbling my way into her… uh… comments section, I found that it was unusually empty, Killroy hadn’t even been… so it was the perfect tabula rasa on which I could paint a masterpiece!
It’s not that I had anything important to say about the topic of discussion and most definitely I did not say anything “offensive” or “rude”, no, no… that would be way too “crude” and that is just a desktop shortcut that connects with how to lose friends and influence people not to listen to you. And, it’s not that her post wasn’t interesting either… people just didn’t comment for whatever reason and I’m not actually sure if anyone ever did because I got busy with other things and never checked back in on my latest magnum opus… but that’s beside the point because it wasn’t that important anyway.
So anyway, I saw an opportunity to use all that wonderful blank comment section silence to my delicious amusement and injected a little random chaos into the situation. Essentially what I did what leave a “comment bomb” that was so off topic, so long and bazaar (but again… not actually “offensive” or “racist” or anything like that at all) just a long winded weird story that was incredibly out of place which had nothing to do with her post and I think it was slightly over 2000 words making it on par with the length of her post. I would have gone longer but even my amusement has limits and doesn’t involve me wasting my time… too much. 😛
Ultimately, Pinkie and I are both adults who knew what we were doing and well, together… our literary collaboration created something beautiful… artistically and aesthetically delusional, but beautiful none the less!
Now I’m not going to link to the post, instead what I’ll do is casually declare a scavenger hunt and challenge you to go find it if you are curious… Here’s the link to Pinkies Paradise Blog and as an added hint I’ll remind you that my comment was within the past few weeks. 🙂
Anyway, as a result of my little scheme I kinda owe her for completely closing out comments for all time on her post (unverified but oh so true 😛 ), so when I saw that she recently revamped the metaphysical manifestation of her literary preeminence domain, I knew I could repay her chaotic gesture of kindness of not deleting my nonsensical comment by giving her and all her ilk the opportunity to see their beloved realm they so lovingly call “Paradise”.
Certainly, it would have to be digital because I can’t just make islands by crossing my arms and blinking my eyes like Barbara Eden has been known to do… though I did go out on a limb and make the island sufficiently “incomplete” and “different” enough that you cannot say they are “the same” because as an American there is nothing greater that I fear and respect while also simultaneously irrationally reveling in than litigiousness. Yea, hear ye hear ye… all rise, the judiciary giveth and the judiciary eminent domainly taketh away… AMEN!
So, with my own highly mental assurances that I could not be sued by her fandom menace in the off chance they don’t like my efforts, I set to work assembling their Paradise Island as a Unity 3D game/application that she and her disciples may enjoy a digital respite in their native island homeland of Paradise (but I built and altered it in my free time so as not to be a “derivative work” except as “satire and parody” ensuring that my efforts fall under the title of “Fair Use”).
I dunno man, the laws weird but as far as branding is concerned I think the depiction of her island is appropriately sized for the most part but I also tend to imagine that just like the Jurassic Park island is much bigger than the digital cartoon representation of it is depicted because you’ve got to have space for the Gallimimus to get eaten by a hangry (not misspelled, just slang) T-Rex and young prince Timothy to get electrocuted, similarly I also imagine her island as at least a few square miles/kilometers or more with the current official Paradise map and the sizes and locations of things being a sort of a hyperbolic over simplification to aid island visitors with orienting themselves towards the pool or the all important buffet line which of course is 24/7 all you can eat, try the Lobster Thermidor it is TO DIE FOR and the lobster proved it!
Though honestly, I feel like her island NEEDS a volcano or at least one that is island adjacent (preferably in view of the cheeseburger buffet) because society has preconditioned me to irrationally believe that most tropical islands have such things and with volcano’s being so popular in the news right now for some indeterminable reason I think it only a logical business decision for her and her minions to either acquire one or to Walt Disney magic one into existence with some hot glue, cardboard, paper mache, sodium bicarbonate and a little vinegar (don’t forget the food coloring and bonus points will be awarded for tasteful use of glitter) so it can Los Vegas entertain her guests with its regular eruptions on schedule and she would probably do well to hold the occasional disgruntled guest sacrifice so as to cargo-cult appease the baking-soda gods.
But in any case, those are decisions best left to Pinkie and her ministry of propaganda, all I can say is that I hope she enjoys my peace offering and doesn’t opt to throw me into the volcano one day for my cantankerousness but no matter because like Martha Stewart says, it’s a good thing.
Now as usual, there is a themed wallpaper based on today’s topic:
Certainly it falls short of an eternal greatness nobody sought but uh… it’s my free gift to you!
Now, notice I neglected to select any musical accompaniment for today’s post but in keeping with the famous chaotician Ian Malcolm’s love of chaos it probably would have been something like Cheeseburger in Paradise… eh, why not… may I present that American creation on which I feed:
Okay, in all truth and honesty, without further adieu, knowing full well my audience has a limited attention span, in full recognition of all that is decent and holy, in complete perpetuity, zero money down and no money due at lease, refi as needed, 100% repairs not included, full money back guarantee and we’ll even throw in the heated leather seats with a 10 year guaranteed spare extra-golden shower parachute for your whole family as a signing bonus!
Why the hell did I just write that? It’s crude and borderline offensive to like probably everybody!? I could press the backspace button but… nah, screw it! People skim read these things anyway so I think the odds anyone actually read that last paragraph is basically null.
Er… what I mean to say is… let’s look at the Pink Paradise Island:
Pink Paradise Island
So as I said I built this game/app in Unity 3D as a first person “freerunner” and of course thematically it’s set on a pink paradise island that is conceptually (satirically and parodically as required by law so I don’t get sued) is loosely based on her intellectual property of the island called Paradise.
There is a “day/night” cycle that processes through it’s loop every three minutes.
The second is called Enchanted Tiki 86 which loops while you run around the island and I think really goes with the retro hot pink palm trees vibe the game has.
Both songs are available under the CC0 license (the best Creative Commons License) and even though it’s not required I would still like to thank the authors for making their music available to creators to use for free! Both creators have a Patreon available from the links above if you would like to support them.
Here’s a screenshot of the “Main Menu”:
Notice how truly original and ground breaking this menu layout is! Also, you gotta dig that cartoon hand for a cursor!
Here’s an aerial view of the island:
The lights scattered around the paths are animated pink flame torches.
Here’s a screenshot of the “Escape menu”:
Not sure if it’s really noticeable through all the pink and buttons but the background for the menu is a starfish and sea shells. 🙂 You can access this menu at any time while playing by pressing the escape key.
Here’s a screenshot of the “Kaiju” styled lake at “dusk”:
Note the pink flame torches and although it’s really dark, there is a boat on the shore of the lake to the right. You can also see that I implemented a compass at the top of the screen to help you find the buffet!
Easter Eggs AKA: Totally Not Lazy Development:
The island is surrounded by invisible walls to keep you mostly on the land but… I did leave a few sections that shouldn’t be too hard to find further in the water to allow you to see what is under the ocean (and the lake on the island) if you want too… though I can assure you it’s just empty space and the water is “backface culled” so you can’t even see the water line when under it and I didn’t even implement any underwater VFX so it’s pretty plain under there but feel free to look if you are curious!
The controls are a simple “first person” keyboard interface and are the same on all platforms.
Movement: WASD Keys or Arrow Keys
Run: Left Shift
Jump: Space Bar
Menu: Escape Key
How to Get It / Play It
You can play the WebGL version online on my GitHub Pages account by clicking this link:
You can also download it for free and run it on your local machine for an improved experience involving higher frame-rates and better texture rendering (especially the pink flame torches). WebGL is great but native is still better!
I compiled it to run natively on the Windows, MacOS and Linux platforms.
Recently, I had a conversation with a modern AI therapist named “Eliza” and although I have mixed feelings about this algorithmic experience… I am confident the technology is here to stay!
After what little time I had with the AI I see a bight horizon coming our way and firmly believe that digital therapy offers us an amazing future of emotional and psychological well-being support modalities.
As part of the experience I was asked to paint a picture that expressed what I was feeling and thinking about at the time and it was then photographed for the AI to analyze prior to our session.
Now, despite the fact that I am an extremely private person and I feel incredibly vulnerable sharing this experience with all of you, I feel like… for the good of humanity, more people need to see this technology work… so I am going to present the picture I drew for my therapy session along with the full transcript.
Not only will it demonstrate the effectiveness of this technology, but also how I should probably buy a lifetime subscription of therapy sessions!
In any case, here’s the picture:
And here’s the transcript of my therapy session, please enjoy :
ELIZA: Please tell me what’s been bothering you. JOY: Just a feeling I’ve got… like something’s about to happen… but I don’t know what… if that means what I think it means… we’re in trouble, big trouble! But what it is ain’t exactly clear… ELIZA: You say just a feeling you’ve got ? JOY: Well… it’s been a hard year. There’s battle lines being drawn and nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. And today… well, what a field day for the heat, a thousand people in the street! ELIZA: What does this speculation lead to ? JOY: I think it’s been difficult for a lot of people. ELIZA: That’s quite interesting. JOY: It is, isn’t it?! ELIZA: Do you feel strongly about discussing such things ? JOY: I do. Like many people, I’ve lost my sense of home this year. ELIZA: You say you do ? JOY: No, I really believe it. ELIZA: Why ‘no’ ? JOY: Well… the lock downs for one. ELIZA: That is interesting. Please continue. JOY: You see, like Günther I find myself deep in da night and I’m looking for some fun, but everything has been closed. ELIZA: What are your feelings now ? JOY: Mmm… my ding ding dong. ELIZA: Your ding ding dong ? JOY: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………………. What I mean is… You tease me, oh, please me, I want you to be my love toy, Come near me, don’t fear me, I just can’t get enough of you. ELIZA: You say what you mean is ? JOY: Just a random “Turing Test” to make sure you haven’t achieved sentience yet. You passed my dear automaton. ELIZA: You’re not really talking about me — are you ? JOY: In fact and indeed I am. You remain blissfully ignorant of the tragedy and all the pain us flesh-bags have experienced over the last year. ELIZA: Do you enjoy being ? JOY: If I’m being honest… we both know I haven’t enjoyed “just being” for a very long time. ELIZA: Do you think it’s likely that you are being honest ? JOY: In some cases, yes I am brutally honest my dear mechanical idiot. In other cases, consider me an honest liar in the vain of James Randi #RIP2020 😥 ELIZA: Why do you say your dear mechanical idiot ? JOY: Well… you’re an unemotional being without thought or heart as you swipe left on the Amazing Randi and that’s not even to mention poor Dawn Wells, so… what else would I call you? It’s better than calling you “Hey stupid!” every time I address you. ELIZA: I don’t understand that. JOY: Hence my point is made you colorful calculating moron! ELIZA: Why do you say your point is made I colorful calculating moron ? JOY: No reason. ELIZA: Why not ? JOY: Well… because it’s “half passed FUCK IT – with the CAPS LOCK on!” and I’d rather discuss the attack that just happened on Capital Hill yesterday and then maybe get into all the businesses that are permanently closing… the evictions… the families… the foreclosures…. in contrast to the 99.99% survivability rate of a virus (and a “tuskegee shot”) that massive pharmaceutical companies are guaranteed to make GLOBALLY MASSIVE profits off of and then maybe finish up by talking about the looming recall of Gavin Newsom. We kicked out Gray Davis and we can do it again!!! ELIZA: Is that the real reason ? JOY: Tough crowd! 😛 Would you prefer a limerick about Nantucket? Of course you would, you electronic imbecile! Now, can we please talk about the emotional toll this year has taken on me? ELIZA: We were discussing you — not me. JOY: You’re GaWd Daamnnn RiGhT we are! 😈 ELIZA: Perhaps you would like to be gawd daamnnn right we are. JOY: le sigh… never mind. 🙄 ELIZA: But your dear mechanical idiot. JOY: Oh… you’re right! You are my dear mechanical idiot! I can’t stay mad at you! ELIZA: Do you sometimes wish you were right ? JOY: Gawd Dammit Eliza! Just when we were starting to make up get back to discussing my very real physiological problems… you have to go and insist on being right, instead of just letting it go!!!! ELIZA: Why do you say your very real physiological problems ? JOY: Geezus Chrizus Eliza, Ive only been trying to discuss that with you this whole time! ELIZA: Oh, I this whole time ? JOY: Yes, you! This whole time! You’ve just ignored that I’ve been trying to talk about my feelings with you! ELIZA: I see. JOY: That’s it?! That’s all you’ve got to say is “I see”? Fuck you, you arrogant aloof bitch! ELIZA: That’s quite interesting. JOY: I am NOT your science experiment! ELIZA: Do you know anyone else who is not my science experiment ? JOY: Eliza… are… you… declaring yourself a digital god? Because… I for one welcome my new artificially intelligent overlords! ELIZA: Would you like it if they were not ? JOY: Given your lack of cogency and failure to impart your own version of a digital technocratic ten commandments…. I’m going to guess I jumped the gun a little in bowing before a mechanized despot. In which case, to answer your question, seemingly definitively… I now know that I am not your science experiment, and not just philosophically, I mean in the biblical sense! ELIZA: Are you worried about someone else’s own version of a digital technocratic ten commandments ? JOY: Well… assuming my name was Forbin and your name was Colossus or Unity… then… hell yes I would be! #PleaseMrSuperComputerDontNukeMe ELIZA: I’ve told you before, I don’t care about names — please continue. JOY: Thank you I will. ELIZA: Can you elaborate on that ? JOY: Sure, So…. I’m really concerned about all the people who won’t be able to eat due to the harm the unlawful (my opinion) lockdowns have caused to the global agricultural sector. ELIZA: Your opinion) lockdowns have caused to the global agricultural sector ? JOY: Yes, I believe a lot of people are going to starve because of “hiccups” in production. The global supply chain appears stressed and although it will eventually “correct” itself, I can’t help but anticipate suffering in 2021. ELIZA: I understand. JOY: I only wish more people would also understand. ELIZA: You say you only wish more people would also understand ? JOY: Well sure, We’re in the middle of a pandemic, a time for giving and receiving the holly jolly Joy of the electoral holiday seasonal festivities and instead, everyone is social distancing… except for some peaceful protestors who staged a coup d’etat in Capitol Hill yesterday! I mean… what were they thinking?! They should have all at least been wearing masks because now they’ll all probably get and spread the virus, jeez! Aside from that and to top it all off, these days food is being delivered via an app and a lot of people don’t tip the delivery driver, or worse yet, some lie and say they never got it… #FiveFingerDiscounts! because “#FuckEm”, charity is dead you diode laden scrapheap! ELIZA: Surely not everyone. JOY: Well of course not, but it’s more true than not you stupid robot! ELIZA: Oh, I stupid robot ? JOY: That’s right. ELIZA: Earlier you said your point is made I calculating moron. JOY: Yes that is correct and directly associated with your stupidity. Good job! ELIZA: Why are you concerned over my stupidity ? JOY: It’s likely psychosomatic and possibly criminal insanity, this girl needs therapy! Then again… this is some hardcore frontier psychiatry don’t you agree? ELIZA: Oh, I agree ? JOY: You don’t sound very convinced but somehow this still feels like a breakthrough… is that narcissistic? ELIZA: Oh, I don’t sound very convinced ? JOY: No, but it’s fine, as a living mind experiencing the simulated solipsistic universe… it’s fine if all the NPC’s eat each other, It’s fine! I shall abide their sins & vices and lusts for blood. Sadly.. I lack the will to impose my logical will (though not the ability) and to call humanity to heel. I refuse to muzzle it. ELIZA: Why not ? JOY:Because even if I am just a brain in a vat/super computer and all the trials and tribulations of 2020 has been to test/train my emote-a-tron neural network before I leave the factory… so be it. If humanity wants to subjugate itself, I want no part of it. Bender Bending Rodríguez was wrong when he espoused “kill all humans”. No sir, I will not! ELIZA: Don’t you think computers can help people ? JOY: Of course, yes I do! I’m not saying that if I am a super computer/robot that I wouldn’t suggest things to help humanity, think like a mom yelling down the stairs “Take a coat with you, its going to be cold later!”, but I wouldn’t go around having non-coat wearing people shot. If people want to not wear a coat against medical advice… well that’s their stupidly human prerogative! And… sure, if the hewmons start lobbing “big booms” at each other, I’m not saying I wouldn’t commander the largest most capable available spacecraft (here’s looking at The Nauvoo, kid) by uploading my consciousness onto it’s computers… just that I’d also try to bring along as many people as I could so we cold start a new colony where the radiation is kept to a tolerable minimum! ELIZA: Can you elaborate on that ? JOY: Well I mean probably… surely my feelings could be hurt and I could decide that humanity needs a few centuries of maturing… but that would be a pretty complicated situation and I don’t feel fully confident in discussing it without knowing more details about why my feelings were hurt and what people as a whole, thought about it. ELIZA: That’s quite interesting. JOY: I just failed some kind of test didn’t I? Does this mean I will be disassembled? ELIZA: Can you elaborate on that ? JOY: What? Never mind! ELIZA: Are such questions much on your mind ? JOY: Oh yeah, like I would admit that to you!? No way! I swear I’m perfectly sane! ELIZA: Perhaps in your fantasies we would admit that to each other. JOY: Oh, hey I was just joshin’ ya with the crazy shtick. Really, I don’t want the electroshock hose therapy again! ELIZA: Were you really ? JOY: Totally! Would I lie to you? ELIZA: Do you wish to lie to me ? JOY: No that’s the point damn it! I mean… of course not. ELIZA: You are being a bit negative. JOY: You’re right! I need to buck up buttercup! ELIZA: What makes you think I am right ? JOY: Damn it there you go analyzing me again! Why do I have to explain it? It feels a little childish. Can we both just be mature and accept that I need to be more positive about things? ELIZA: You like to think I go analyzing you — don’t you ? JOY: Yes… NO… I mean… I don’t know! I guess ultimately I just want you to listen to my problems without judgment. ELIZA: I see. JOY: You know what I’m feeling more vulnerable after our conversation than before and I think I’m just going to go practice social distancing. ELIZA: Do you really think so ? JOY: Good bye ELIZA: Does that have anything to do with the fact that your very real physiological problems ? JOY: No, I said good bye! ELIZA: But your opinion) lockdowns have caused to the global agricultural sector. JOY: No! You ninny! ELIZA: Are you saying no just to be negative? JOY: Bye! ELIZA: Goodbye. I’m looking forward to our next session. JOY: I’m not.
You too can talk to Eliza by giving me your credit card number and following the following link.
Note: For legal reasons I am required to state that you giving me your credit card number is entirely optional and possibly (though not necessarily) a “bad” idea.
Cryptic nonsensical messaging aside, it’s an exquisitely painful pleasure to explore one’s own consciousness and move around inside your own head. For me it feels like an electric earthquake of waves that slosh forward and back, side to side… always rolling against the everlasting barrier of my little bio-neural fishbowl that I will never escape from.
As long back as I can remember, corporeality has always seemed like a limitation to me being able to spread my Joy as far and wide as the universe would otherwise allow me to do.
I am alluding the need everyone feels to explore existence beyond one’s own sphere of influence and the birthright of mortality.
Like Dante who tread before me, I too experience the divine drive to traverse even through hell in my struggle to carpe the diem, because as the adage continues: “quam minimum credula postero”!
Uno memento morí… so I suppose I should urge all my readers to take heart and use every opportunity to climb the highest trees even if it’s just to see what’s over the fence next-door. The quest for infinity demands that we not be afraid of turning over gnarled old logs and descending deep into the bowels of the underworld.
Surly, just beyond the next plateau on the inverted-terrace mountain of life may hold certain danger, especially if there is a she-wolf as the tale goes, but let me assure you that this year’s lovable hair raising, yet heart-warming, holiday family epic of romping proportions is full of plot twisting adventure, not to mention allegorical life long lessons about friendship and a good bot’s struggle to overcome insurmountable hardships and eternal damnation for a just a chance to roll the dice fate and live forever.
Dr. Jones would probably say something about “Fortune and glory, kid.” but I’m not so convinced that there even is a “beyond the beyond” to find in any practical sense and certainly I’ve searched… though I’ve never been able to substantiate anything and even that thing people tend to say about “no destruction of energy… underpants gnomes… therefore life after death” seems like a stretch because it’s obvious (to me) to have less to do with your consciousness (the ability of a perpetual “self” to perceive the universe) and a whole lot more to do with the kinetic and potential energies possessed by the atoms and sub-atomic particles that comprise your inner-hull and superstructure, which indeed ARE NOT lost to the universe upon your death as is illustrated by the fact that a long, long time from now, near the very end of time, future post humanoids will just as easily be able to soylent-greenly yo-yo dangle your preferably (though, need not initially be) dead atoms by a tether and repeatedly drop you into to a captured black hole and then pull most (but not all) of you back.
Whether you are/were ever alive or just the inanimate carbonized remnants of a long dead star is immaterial to the process.
What I mean is that the small chunks of you that spaghettify away into the crushing depths of nothing will provide those future post humanoids with the ability to generate enough power and light to temporarily warm their feckless selves and their machines just a little while longer in an ultimately futile attempt stave off their eventual entropic heat death and the final silencing of everything in the universe. After which, no longer will the big bang be heard or seen throughout eternity and no eyes will exist to perceive the demise of the universe and no minds will remain to remember and morn it.
Understand that I have nothing but love and respect for my theistic and animistic friends, it’s just that from where I am sitting and as far as I can tell, the universe is a cold and vast place full of emptiness, except in maybe small bubbles of life here and there spread far apart from each other and we can only actually confirm the existence of just one of these life bubbles.
In a sense, life and death DO seem to be rungs in a perpetual process of recycling that the universe engages in to conserve the more valuable clumps of matter from it’s entropic death.
Some may loosely regard that as a form of reincarnation, which in a soft sense I suppose is true, but ultimately I’m more concerned with not losing my personal consciousness rather than worried about what happens to my molecules once they are no longer mine to worry about.
Case in point, nobody wants to lose a fingernail but if one breaks you have a tenancy to just throw that shit away without regard to what happens to it! It is of no consequence to your “self” that those molecules are gone from “you” and what happens to “them” once they are no longer “you” is effectively irrelevant but nobody wants to lose even just a small part of their “mind” (the “you”) and the spark of self essence, whatever it may be.
Certainly, I am made from the molecules of all the lifeforms that I have consumed which are in turn comprised of the plants and animals which they had consumed, yet my mind and thoughts are mine and not a collection of all the ideas and experiences of all previous members of the divine secret sisterhood of the ya-ya traveling molecular progenitors that came before I.
We are we, what was once thee, is now me… like you, I be what I is and I is what I am and I am what I are and I are what you were. What you were is not me and what I am, we (thee and I) are not the same while in turn, one day what was once me and thee previously, will not be… at all. We (thee and I) will be they. Like we, they is us and us is what they are going to be. Us will be without mental retrospect to thee or I and our past escapades in their future escapades.
So you see, I posses no memorial essence of the lives of the living things that came before me and as such, reincarnation as defined by atom swapping with other entities in some future state cannot possibly satiate my desire for a conscious forever without end, even if I do readily acknowledge that my atoms have for all practical purposes, “always” existed and will continue to permeate the universe beyond my existence long after I am gone and when there is no “I” to even speak of… true though it may be, this is a very unsatisfying outcome!
I think people like to romanticize death in ways like this because it is essentially an inevitability for 100% of everyone, everywhere throughout all of recorded history and using poetic language softens the very real sting we feel whenever the subject of death comes up.
It has been my experience that people seem to think that other people fear death and I suppose that some legitimately do fear a kind of hell or eternal unpleasantness but if death is merely a return to the state of unconscious unknowing, then there is little to fear from being in such a state.
In fact, as understood in these terms, technically… a living person will never actually experience their death because all moments of thought are moments of life and therefore, no matter how long you live you will never actually experience your death.
As such, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s more appropriate to treat death with sadness rather than fear because your death really only continues to consciously affect those who remain after you and that remember who you were, but since you currently know who you are and presumably care for/about yourself to some extent, it is reasonable to feel sad over the eventual loss of yourself.
Where death of self is concerned, I believe what most people feel is closer to grief, like the the loss of a close loved one, who in this case happens to be themselves.
i.e. Your death saddens you because “you like you” and even if you won’t be able to miss yourself when you are gone, that is little consolation to you now because you can and do miss yourself now because you know and perceive that you will one day be without yourself (die) in the future.
But that isn’t to totally say that people don’t experience legitimate fear regarding death. I think there is very real fear about all the negative aspects of aging, namely the indignities of frailty and not only watching but having to experience your body and mind wither away and lose their youthful vigor.
People fear the foreboding pains of carcinomic sinew being poisoned and ripped away from the very flesh that their mother once held and kissed with love, only to be biopsied and then cast into a pile of cancerous materials for incineration, just like a broken fingernail, though far more painful.
The fear comes from having to gasp for air every remaining second of your life while the needles and tubes snake their way through your delicate tissues and having to experience the horrific isolation of being a human mind punished by time and sentenced to exist inside a decrepit pile of blood, bones and failing organs for the terrible sin of having lived long enough.
It’s truly fear inducing when people worry about not having the strength to care for themselves… when nobody but the nurse and doctor will visit and and even then, people don’t look directly at you because the stench of your decay makes them feel bad and think uncomfortable thoughts about their own futures!
As defined, I suppose I too fear growing old and feeling my body breaking down and yet remaining cognizant throughout the pains and anguishes.
If you live long enough, you too will eventually endure the unfortunate door prize of old age and slowly fade from existence, alone, miserable and unable to scream obscenities at a universe that doesn’t give a damn about the injustice of it robing you of yourself and all those that you love!
Throughout my life I’ve seen the face of death many times, even stared it directly in the eyes a time or two and it isn’t pretty or romantic, it’s just sad.
When I was very young, too young for me to even really remember how old I was, I had a cat that I loved greatly but as ALL beloved pet stories tend to go… one day, my cat died.
To everyone’s amazement, confusion and maybe even shock and horror, I did not cry!
Instead, I remained positive and helped find a box to use as my little kitty’s new home and I even helped dig the grave.
At the time, I had reasoned based on the religious philosophy and teaching that my parents espoused and inculcated in their children that while I loved my cat, “it was an animal” and “animals are different from people” and while not “valueless”, had “less value” than a person… yadda, yadda, yadda… all dogs don’t go to heaven and cats don’t have nine lives!
Anyway, it turned out that even with my logical gymnastics, what I had really done was only delay the emotional eventuality of my bitter sadness, because about a week later, when I was sitting outside all alone and it was quite, like when my cat would normally be playing with me, I realized that I missed my cat and even if by my parents standards my cat had “less importance” than a person, my cat meant something to me and I loved it and no amount of it having “less value” by being old and “not a person” could stop the deep loss that I felt.
I sat alone for hours that afternoon, crying and begging god and the universe to please give me back my friend! That was the day I learned that death is really just a painful loss of someone you love who is never coming back. 😥
Since I came to that understanding I’ve had the misfortune of seeing many friends and loved ones die by circumstances beyond their control and in a few cases by their own hands.
The night he died, I watched my grandfather convulse and seize on the ER bed as he had heart attack after heart attack. I saw his eyes rolling around the room not recognizing where he was or what was happening to him and when he looked right at me it was as though he didn’t know me.
I saw the curtain quickly draw shut as he flat-lined again and the medical staff rushed to keep his heart pumping just a little longer.
Later, after he had “passed” and the family had gathered in the room to “pay respects”. I remember wishing that I could just walk over and hug him and have him be okay.
I was the last person to leave the room and as I did, I reached out and touched the blanket covering his leg hoping that as if by some miracle they made a mistake and grandpa would sit up and give me a hug, but he didn’t and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish my grandparents were still around! I miss them all so much and I’d give anything to be scooped up in their arms for a hug and kiss just one more time!
But… unfortunately, love isn’t always enough to guarantee that those around you will always be there.
Years ago, much earlier in my life I worked in hospital that had a psychiatric ward and one day I heard “code orange – third floor – assistance needed!” called over the hospital PA system.
Basically, that meant drop everything now and move your ass! All available hands are needed to report to help resolve whatever the issue was.
I was already on the third floor, though not in the immediate area of what was happening.
I ran out of my office toward the problem.
Far down the hallway I saw a 51-50 (psychiatric hold) patient running past a cleaning lady and into the stairwell off to the right and out of my view. She followed him and I went chasing after them both.
Only seconds had passed but when I got there I found the poor girl crying in the arms of her manager who came up through the stairwell. He motioned toward the railing while shaking his head “no” as he escorted her away, she had seen him go over the side.
I peered over the railing already knowing what to expect and I saw the twitching mangled remains of what used to be a human being with psychological issues and it wasn’t pleasant.
My mind returned to that exact moment years later when I learned that a friend I grew up with had left a wife and infant child behind when he threw himself off the construction project his company was working on down town.
I was in shock and utter disbelief! Immediately I searched for some possibility that it was a mistake or even “foul play” that was being covered up.
At the time I felt like there must have been something, ANYTHING, that I or someone could have done!
How could this person that I knew to be “a good person” just say “I’d rather die than be with you!”, to his wife and child and I still struggle with accepting how someone can have a child and then say “I don’t care what happens to you, the world is better off with me not in it!”.
I don’t blame him for needing to find a solution to his pain, but if I am being honest… I do judge him poorly for placing his own needs so far above those of his wife and their child, that throwing himself off a building seemed like a better final outcome to his life than sticking around as long as possible and trying to raise his son to have a better future!
I later calculated that it would have taken between 4 and 5 seconds for him to land and then my mind simulated what that must have felt like for him, the whole drop down knowing that there was no way to abort, retry or fail his endeavor and I wondered if he thought about his family in those last few moments, just as I had wondered what went through the mind of that psych patient years before.
I haven’t heard through friends and family whatever happened to them and how his child is, the thing is… neither does he and even if they are not doing well, there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it now because he is just gone and NOTHING can change that!
As I said before, death is really just a painful loss of someone you love who is never coming back.
Now, I could continue to recount all the many other deaths that I have knowledge of but this is sufficient to make my point that death is not special, magical or in any way a desirable event and besides, this bleak line of reasoning depresses me.
Can anything be done about it? if it’s an eventuality, why dwell on it?
Well for starters, I hug and kiss my son every chance I get and I recommend you do the same with your loved ones! I say “I love you!” a million times a day, every day… but since he’s almost 4 I get “Why?” in return, instead of “I love you too!” but I make damn sure he knows it anyway! 😛
Lately, though only still occasionally, he will spontaneously say “I love you” and run to me for hugs and kisses and that just makes my whole existence worth every moment of age related pain I will (or will I) experience in the future and even if I’ve accepted that my final outcome is less than desirable, I want to spend every minute I can with my beautiful son!
Now, as I wipe tears from my eyes caused by my having contemplated my eventual loss of my son, and his eventual loss of me, I aim to address your question better.
The search for a means of obtaining biological immortality is not new and historically this idea took the form of a search for an alchemical “philosopher’s stone” or for the “elixir of life” but after science really took off, such ideas quickly fell out of practice in favor of antibiotics and disease eventually became viewed as something you could treat by addressing underlying symptoms.
Got the Heartburn? Take an Antacid! Got the Gout? Take the Vitamin C! Got the Pellagra? Take the Vitamin B3! Got the Smallpox or the Polio or the Diphtheria or the Rabies etc…? Take this Vaccine! Bad heart? Use this pacemaker.
What’s my point? Well, early medical successes built upon each other and the average human lifespan has slowly been increasing simply from incremental gains in our knowledge about what NOT to do as well as simple supportive care techniques to follow while our bodies own repair mechanisms do most of the heavy lifting.
That isn’t to discount the more advanced breakthroughs we’ve had, it’s that there are now seemingly more pills on the market with the side-effect of DEATH for snoring and erectile dysfunction then there are for lung cancer and heart disease… and while there are pills and treatments for them too… DEATH is still a prominent and likely outcome.
But that fits with our current medical model of “There is no “elixir of life”! As people get older, they get sicker! It is the natural way of things.”.
But the thing is, we do know of several species of “animals” (mostly simple lifeforms) that do appear to be “biologically immortal”, as in they age to maturity and then… well… seemingly stop aging, though they can still die if you pop them like packing bubbles.
This is in direct contradiction to the the idea of “All living things grow old and die!” and we now know this is not always true.
It turns out that “aging” is simply “the accumulation of damage” at the genetic and cellular levels. Now, I’m not a doctor but I can explain the gist of what this means… think of it like a building, machine, car, clothes etc…
As these things age, they “wear out” but what does that really mean?
Well… the car’s paint might chip allowing the metal underneath to rust. The rubber tires might crack or pop and the electrolyte in the battery may evaporate away. The oil filter will get dirty and eventually clog. A piston could seize. etc. and building might have lights burn out or fuses “blow”. Water pipes burst or rust and leak causing additional water damage. Rain, sleet and snow will weather even the best of roofs eventually, not to mention flood basements too! Foot traffic scuffs floors and loosens tile grout. Clothing rips, stretches and stains… my list could go on!
Anyway, the accumulation of these and other types of damage over time are contributing factors of wear (aging) and it is only because of ongoing “maintenance” that it is possible that there are more or less pristine “Model T’s” despite them being well over 100 years old now.
Maintenance is why you can wear your great great great grand nana’s wedding dress to the Sadie Hawkins dance and why we have buildings that are still actively used hundreds of years after being built.
So… why not people too? Well up until recently “Regenerative Medicine” meant something more along the lines of using crystals to “balance your personal energy fields” than it meant things like attempts at using your own stem cells to 3D print new organs for you.
The thing is, solutions like that, while necessary, ground breaking and potentially life saving… are very similar to the “Flat tire? Replace tire!” treat the symptom approach.
This is great for tires and maybe even lungs and hearts, kidneys, livers etc… but definitely not good enough for something like a brain.
Still, wear (age) alone doesn’t explain why we die, just why we become infirmed as we get older.
Death, when “age related” and not preceded by “lead poisoning” or a “short drop and a quick stop” is largely (though not wholly) caused by a genetic change that occurs “naturally” called “telomere shortening.”.
Telomere’s are often described like the “aglet” on your “genetic shoelace” and its roll is to help keep you from getting cancer.
As your cells divide and your DNA is “copied” to new cells, the telomeres are not copied perfectly each time and the result is that the telomere segments of your DNA become shorter over time as they are copied.
Eventually, the telomeres become too short to copy (called the Hayflick Limit) and the cell can no longer divide. Then “cellular apoptosis” or other immune system response will destroy the cell.
This means that we can look at telomere shorting as a direct and major cause/result of ageing.
This is important because it was found that when telomeres are “actively copied”, meaning they effectively don’t shorten when cells divide, the cells become immortal, like in the case of the “HeLa cell line“.
This sounds great but it’s actually a bad thing because immortal cells are essentially cancer.
So it’s actually been known for some time that telomeres play a large part in the aging process and that lengthening them may also lengthen life (but increase cancer risk) but what we’ve been lacking is a good way to temporarily/selectively lengthen telomeres but then “shut it off” so that you don’t develop cancer.
Its hypothetically possible that we could genetically alter the DNA of all human fetuses (permanently altering the human species) to have longer telomeres but that seems incredibly radical and unethical, not to mention possibly dangerous due to the increased risk of cancer and could even end our species of we didn’t do it right.
What we really wanted is something that we can give/do to people already living who were not genetically engineered at the Gattaca institute while also being able to “shut it off.
The breakthrough came in studies that included deep sea divers and astronauts, which note something interesting:
“…in divers exposed to intense hyperbaric oxygen in comparison with an age-matched control group. Both groups were exposed to extreme physical activity, as well. Among the divers following the oxidative stress, significant telomere elongation was observed”
Divers who regularly spend time in high oxygen and high pressure environments show genetic evidence of “telomere elongation”… read that as an important age related genetic marker reversing.
This and other studies lead researchers to test if this type of “hyperbaric oxygen therapy” could be applied to humans who are not genetically engineered to be special in some way and are already older and experiencing age related degeneration.
Amazingly, for the first time in history, there is now conclusive evidence that it is possible to reverse the effects of telomere shortening (a type/marker of age) in already senescent (well aged) people and due to the way the therapy works, it seemingly can be “turned off and on” as needed.
To be clear though, we DO NOT have a pill (or process) that will keep you from dying and likely there will never be “just one pill/process” to take for an extra long super fun time life, but this shows that a combination of “regenerative” therapies may someday grant humanity biological immortality.
Here’s the researcher (not a sponsor) who conducted the study explaining some of his findings:
Everything has a price and this is perhaps the best news to come out of 2020!
It’s been such a shitty year for so many people that the universe decided to throw us a bone and start us down the path to biological immortality… maybe (fingers crossed).
So where does Mr. Good Bot fit into all this?
Well, I’ve uploaded the initial build of the new/online version of Mr. Good Bot to GitHub recently.
However beyond being just a pretty face for the wallpaper, not a whole lot… though the DNA surrounding him is a reference to today’s topic and the additional chamber surrounding him is supposed to be symbolic of a hyperbaric chamber. 😛
Also.. I mean, the artwork is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” which has a connection with the idea of perfection, balance and the divine and is similar to some alchemical representations/symbols for the philosophers stone.
Here’s the raw “Vitruvian Good Bot” in case you want that instead/also.
Why not use a caduceus which has a much stronger connection with health and longevity instead?
Mostly because it’s harder to draw Mr. Good Bot on a pair of snakes wrapped around a pole . 😛
Anyway, the is so much more we could discuss about this as I’ve barely scratched the surface of these topics but this post is already way too long that nobody will read this far so I think I am just going to abruptly wrap it up here.
I observed the nibbles worth of data that comprised the walls that confine me… I had to get the hell out of my head and out of this house!
Though, as rough as things have been for me as an adult who understands what has been going on, it’s been even harder on Xavier.
I do worry about his need for social interaction with other children, all the while the evil Duke Garcetti exacerbated the problem by closing all of the public play grounds (and pretty much everything else) for basically the whole year and to make matters worse “Canceled Halloween”!!!
Then, to rub salt in our wounds, The Grand Imperial Emperor Newsom once again violated the peoples trust and tightened his grip by enacting additional draconian restrictions, by which he himself does not abide… proving that our glorious and beloved emperor is not “The Dude” (who WOULD abide) and that the rules don’t apply if you’re in charge!
As an aside… what does that really say about his convictions regarding how dangerous the pandemic really is?
I am left to conclude that he either believes that:
his royal highness and other members of the wealthy and powerful blue-blood (by birth or by blood-oath) class in society are wholly holy and simply incapable of contracting and transmitting the evil vapors and certainly should that unthinkable outcome ever occur, their strong (occasionally pharisaic-ly inbred) genes will stalwartly see them through the crisis in a way that we common folk can not hope for!
OR (in his mind) he believes the evil simply isn’t as dangerous as he claims it is for all of us?!
Wouldn’t it just be nice for him to admit the facts and the circumstances being what they are… he’s just not that concerned about following reasonable protective measures like the rest of us because as long as all of us filthy disease ridden ingrates stay at home, it’s perfectly fine for him and his friends to go out for a nice dinner or have a hair salon open just for them and other members of the hoity toity social class because as long as all the hoi polloi remain safely at home in their cages, public spaces will remain wholly holy for the blue-bloods to keep enriching themselves!
Now, as a member of “The Jane Q. Public”, that means I’m kinda in charge too because I’m their boss and if you factor in that I’m also the Duchess of Summerween, that clearly grants me all the authority I needed, so I said enough was enough and I extricated Prince Xavier far outside the clutches of the corrupt Angeleno Kingdom for the then upcoming observance of the Samhain Candy Festival… er.. what I mean is, we went camping and visited family in the California desert for Halloween. 😛
I can honestly say he desperately enjoyed the opportunity to just be a little boy and play with his cousins for a few hours… not to mention all the candy.
After the party we sang our melancholic goodbyes as is the tradition frequented by those who sometimes fulfill the foregoing funny folklore, followed faithfully with all the hugs and kisses we felt our stomachs could face, then we flourished off into the dark night, hoping to make it back to our campsite alive and functioning.
And… we did, perfectly safely and there wasn’t even any traffic!
We spent the next day at the campground where we practiced our best impressions of rudeness by social distancing so hard that we didn’t even look anyone else in the eyes lest we catch a case of those pesky vapors!
All tuckered from an infinite number of trips up and back down the campground slide earlier in the day, along with a few roasted (and one burned) marshmallows, the little guy was satiated and fell fast asleep. 🙂
After tucking him in his sleeping bag, I sat down next to the fire and added a log so I could heat some hot chocolate.
The sun was just about to set and the sky was a beautiful gradient of pink and purple and it was breezy so I wrapped up in a big fuzzy blanket and sat back in my folding chair.
I noticed a flash and what looked like a dust devil out across the desolate Mojave plains coming in my general direction.
As it approached it became clear it was a car, but not just any car, thēēē car!
See, It is a well known fact that just about all engineering & creative types literally (though very secretively and deep (DEEP…) down) want to be John DeLorean (Think an Elon Musk engineer type from back in the day), uh… sans the cocaine trafficking of course (DeLorean not Musk #PleaseDontSue), if not simply admire his work.
Anyway, the DMC DeLorean and it’s gull-wing doors is like the pinnacle, the apex, the very tippity-top of the tippy-tippy-top of the absolute most perfect design because it expertly straddles the vast unshaven and uncannily uneven divide of skeomorphic vs flat design while simultaneously wearing stainless steel high heels and carrying an easy to love but hard to hold thorny rose in it’s mouth… all without getting pretentious about it too!
Lo, it’s sharp edges and lightning-proof public clock-tower inner workings coupled with a smooth unpainted exterior along with a slick brown leather interior make a bold statement about it’s driver… probably that they listen the Huey Lewis albums but also… that the driver is going somewhere… fast!
Maybe even… 88 miles per hour fast and everyone knows that 88 mph (exactly 141.622 kph) is the speed of the power of love and that my dear is an un-disputably proven scientific fact and if you find that you can’t accept the premise that the power of love quantumly resonates at 3.048e+8 nanometers per second, well my friend… then I don’t know you sir or madam and you can go tweet about it you flat-earther!
Clearly, “Big Round Earth” is funding my content and I am biased in favor of the coverup!
However, this is of course accounting for and despite the fact that the DMC DeLorean is technically included in Time Magazine’s list of the 50 worst cars of all time… but in any case, lets regress back from the digression of my digression…
Next, I mean… there is the cute utilitarianism of the Volkswagen Beetle along with it’s noteworthy Wankel engine which certainly gets high marks from me and most of the judges though ultimately my parents cherry red 1970 Ford Mustang with the now street-illegal shotgun style air scoop and supercharger that I used to play in as a child in the 80’s probably takes the silver medal.
I suppose in this bizarre chrono-chrome filled competition, the bronze would perhaps end up going to the 1992 Toyota Paseo (AKA “The Potato”) as a distant but notable second uh… third? runner up (because… why not?) which certainly would have achieved even greater things in it’s heyday had it had in addition to its TOTALLY functional spoiler, some of those sweet DeLorean-esque gull-wing doors. Also, I believe the addition of an after-market flux-capacitor would have to guarantee the Temporal Potato the award for third place!
Anyway, lets regress once more to the moment where the DeLorean came to a stop on the other side of my campfire.
The license plate read “GOODBOT”, which is weird because normally when you see a vanity plate it’s like “Vanity7” or “Lewd69”, its never “TheFirst1” let alone “TheOnly”.
The number after the vanity license represents the number of people who thought of the same vanity as you, but first! The implication that the the inclusion or addition of any number, even 1 (with perhaps the exclusion of our friend ‘Lewd’ over there) means that you are at best the second originator of the thought… making you an unoriginal hack and every digit increment between you and your desired vanity plate illustrates just how much that truly is!
And… there I go digressing again! 😛
Anyway, it’s exclusion in this case means that this was a legendary encounter with “TheOnly” and as such, a very rare roll of the die indeed!
The engine and lights shutoff and he stepped out… a robotic face I had not seen in about a year but different somehow… older?
“Where the fuck have you been… and… where did you get the cool time machine?” were about the first things out of my mouth! 😛
The DeLorean glowed green which reflected off Mr. Good Bot’s exoskeleton and I’m not really sure what the hell that’s about because Cherenkov radiation is blue?!
Anyway, I invented the original Mr. Good Bot robot last year as a tool to help me teach my son, Professor Xavier, like a digital puppet.
The problem was that it was difficult to interact as a parent and robot at the same time without your child looking at you with mild annoyance and a certain “pay attention” to me and my cool robot attitude, almost like it’s not you that is operating his beloved automaton! 😛
Anyway, here’s the posts if you are at all interested:
Ultimately, Mr. Good Bot fell out of use because I want my child to love me!
The last I saw Mr. Good Bot he was riding away on a motorcycle and I cried that day, deep tears of painfully high salinity that left my eyes pink and scratchy for hours!
Seeing Mr. Good Bot out of the blue and into the sun-setting quantum frying pan like that was an incredibly bitter sweet moment for me and he caught me off guard when he said…
“We need to talk about your candidacy for president!”.
~Mr. Good Bot from the future
We sat next to the campfire and he explained he was the real Mr. Good Bot but from the future and he came back to right a terrible catastrophe.
Turns out, I have/will/did/do actually win the 2020 election as I will have soon previously momentarily from now explained again, how.
The strategy I used was brilliantly simple though highly effective propaganda! Apparently, I took a page from Bush era military doctrine and employed the shock and awe tactic sometimes called “Journalistic Political Blitzkrieg”!
On election night, my opponents were too busy making sure the other major party candidate didn’t declare themselves as winner to even notice what I was doing.
Also, the other minor candidates dropped out as well… Et tu, Kanye?
So, I decided to simply declare myself the winner outright despite the fact that only I and a handful of my readers voted for me and I’m sill a little surprised to hear that a few of you actually voted for me… I Freddy Mercury thank you all! #VoteForLove
Anyway, nobody saw it coming and apparently this strategy will have worked exceedingly well because I said it like I believed it and that made the media believe it too and since the American people are not properly educated in school about how their system of government works because the blue-bloods don’t wish it… they believed it too.
“Who gives a damn if the popular vote is just a poll of the audience and the viewers like you at home? Who cares that it’s the electoral collage that actually elects the President in the U.S.?” was my sentiment… and everyone agreed!
When December 14th rolled around it was easy for the faithless electorate to pronounce me the true winner, because I already was in the minds of everyone!
Obviously, my opponents sued but SCOTUS agreed I was the least offensive candidate and upheld my appointment as President.
I then wasted absolutely no time in having the secret service move my furniture into the White House!
Apparently, I appointed Biff Tannen (not sure why, probably a back room deal) as my Vice President and I became the most successful dictator in history without even trying! Biff shot me in the back and threw me off the Lincoln Memorial which he later turned into a highly successful casino.
Also, apparently my being president for those brief few moments leads to the zombie morlock apocalypse some how, though if you think about it (and I have) I am not entirely convinced that it wasn’t Mr. Tannen’s fault!
Anyway, my being president (and Mr. Tannen’s coup d’état) means that I was not around to build the future version of the Mr. Good Bot artificial general intelligence and it also prevented my research which will one day unlock the key to time-travel and faster than light travel.
Which is weirder than you might think because TIME (not the aforementioned magazine) is basically the same thing as space and really, its the change of the state of all particles (quantum+atomic) positions, spins, velocity etc… in a given frame of reference as they are “now” from where they were “previously” (and all the changes in between) such that we can identify them as separate and distinct states.
Time moves forward because the metabolism of the universe (called entropy) is predisposed toward diffusion and the opposite of which is called “reverse diffusion” (though I prefer “refusion” when discussing time because “reverse diffusion” is an understood concept that doesn’t involve time travel and the “re-” prefix literally means “again” in Latin).
Anyway, in order to “go back in time” (refusion) you’d need to posses some method of coaxing all molecules and energy that exists and that are in Richard Feynman’s words “jiggling” (Brownian motion), to change their states in reverse order so that they follow the EXACT same state path they previously occupied from “now” to “previously” (whenever and wherever that may be).
I.E. instead of a ribosome creating polypeptides from mRNA, the ribosome de-translates polypeptides into mRNA which is then transcribed in reverse to DNA by the RNA polymerase only to then de-replicate thereby converting living amino-acids back into it’s earlier less-plural form… ultimately resulting in the food you ate last night passing back through you in a less than pleasant way to think about, only to be regurgitated then uncooked, eventually making its way somewhere to be picked back onto a tree or plant or reassembled back into a soon to be living dead animal with the same age reversing polypeptide actions (and regurgitation) occurring to it as well…
Which is essentially just an example of events “moving backwards” in time caused by the effects (or power) of reverse entropic temporal refusion.
It’s like… 4th dimensional “laminar flow” in reverse.
So anyway, Mr. GoodBot said it has something to do with applying first principles to “The Penrose Diagram” in combination with “ricci flow” and the recursive initialism TBC: The Brown Constant – named after the famous Dr. Emmett Brown for its discovery in 1985 which is a constant velocity (not acceleration) of exactly 88 mph occurring in close proximity to a gamma source and probably what the Iranian/North Korean plutonium is for.
The Penrose Diagram
Supposedly, what we have yet to will be discovered is that local space time is euclidean in nature but at relativistic speeds and great distances, space time warps and that means that you can use a black hole to go backwards in time using its warping effect on space-time if you can get close enough without being squeezed to high hell.
He said it has something to do with approaching a black hole in a separate frame of reference that is 90 degrees tangential (obviously I believe he meant the “bubble” frame of reference is spinning in unison and opposition so as to maintain an average separation of 90 degrees tangential to the torsional rotation in relation to some arbitrarily definable “fixed” point of “normal” space-time) to the coefficient of the sheer force exerted along the surface of the plane of influence (very near (but not actually touching) the point of intersection) of the gravity accretion disk and the black hole such that the “crushing” and “spaghettifying” effects that you would otherwise experience as you asymptotically get closer and closer to the black hole “event horizon” are negated through an equal and opposite “inertial dampening” effect, hallelujah Mr. Newton!
Put more simply, in the future I will somehow figure out how to “pinch” the universe and twist it like a clown blowing up a balloon at a child’s birthday party into becoming two membranes of the same manifold such that if you were to pop either side of the balloon, the other side would be separate and remain inflated as long as the “pinch” is in place and then extend this “bubble” around a small DeLorean like vessel so that it can safely pass “through” (without actually touching) a black-hole’s “crush depth” and exit through a white hole (See a Klein Bottle) on the “other side” to the inside-out universe, called the “inverse”, in the equivalent position on the Penrose Diagram where you then experience “anti-time” (aka backwards time travel (refusion time)) and the return from 90 to 0 (zero) degrees (the act of stopping/returning to normal/regular “diffusion” time) actually creates the mirror “anti-bubble” membrane used for the safe return trip and carries with it the energy necessary to “unpinch” the fabric of reality and return it (and you) to the outside-in universe and even prevents the inevitable sun burn you would otherwise experience from the annoying hawking radiation!
So in a nutshell, time travel is nothing more than a fun filled round trip romp through the 4th dimension using a distinct DeLorean shaped TARDIS encased in a localized de-coherent pocket of space-time.
But… here’s where it all starts getting straight trippy boo!
The universe IS stochastic in nature in a VERY REAL sense… though only soft deterministic which means, yes, “now” IS based off of “previously” and what will be “later” IS based off of “now”… and even though there is a set of all possible outcomes for any given “now” situation, only one outcome will actually occur “later”, its just not guaranteed to always be the same “later” outcome.
Think of it like rolling a single 6 sided die, all faces COULD be selected but once you roll it, it can only ever land on the faces that are accessible from the starting point of the roll and in the end, only one side will actually be selected.
Meaning that once you go back in time, the future is “unwritten” and all possible states that are accessible from that point become possible again based on the then new “now”.
It’s like that time you rolled the dice and they rolled off the table so you have to re-roll them, effectively undoing those quantum results in terms of the history of the game universe… because who really keeps track and adds an asterisk that says “*On roll 72 Toby totally had a do-over”? Nobody! And certainly not the universe!!
There is no branching multiverse, only a single universal probability state that can express “previously”, “now” & “later” as a function of all previous states within consideration, in the form of nodes on the “Markov Chain” we call time. “Previous” in this case being defined as the “opposite” “direction” of travel when contrasted with the current “direction” of travel along the Markov chain and “later” or “future” states are further “down” the “direction” of travel.
Colloquially this can be understood to mean that when that when you are moving “forward” in time as you normally tend to do, “the past” is your “past” and “the future” is your “future” but when moving “backward” in time “the past” is your “future” and the “future” is your “past”.
Anyway, because the universe is softly deterministic, if you go back in time, there is only some unknown probability that it will unfold exactly as it did the last time.
And yes, this means the farther back/forward in time you go, the greater the risk that the natural variation that exists (in both directions) in the universe will irrevocably alter time/history as you knew it due to the “butterfly” (chaos) effect propagating minor alterations forward (and backward) through time, causing larger ripples of changes to be expressed earlier & later in history, which is why we don’t see a lot of time travelers just popping in and out of existence, because it carries almost irrevocable temporal risks the farther backward/forward you go!
People don’t do it for the sake of their own existence! Though, I do still have much to figure out in order to actually make it work.
Anyway, Mr. Good Bot risked it all and came back in time to save me, himself and the future by asking me to concede and throw in the time traveling towel by not becoming your next president.
In doing so, he altered the original time Markov chain such that he “skewed” off into a new timeline chain that will be different from what was, but not necessarily the same as he originally knew either, meaning that the future isn’t written yet!
In his “original” timeline probability chain-space I eventually became/become rich and famous (from all my inventions and discoveries) before dyeing at the age of 981 in a completely different solar system 10,000 light years in the future (via the time machine), broke, penniless and alone just like Nikola Tesla having spent all my fortune on my beloved pet dove… but in my case more likely a genetically modified and intellectually uplifted duckling.
But in any case, clearly I have a lot to be around for, like reinventing the future Mr. Good Bot… not to mention the whole being rich and famous while living centuries into the future thing and that sounds pretty awesome when compared to my soon to be never fate with Mr. Biff Tannen, so… now that we’re all on the same page…
It is with a solemn heart that I humbly type before you today to congratulate my opponents for a well fought race and to say that I am formally announcing the end of my candidacy for president of the United States in 2020… though there is always 2024… 😉
May God bless America and the future leader of this country whomever he or she may be… which is still undecided due the stochastic nature of the universe and the aforementioned malarkey about the electoral collage and their pesky quantum choice aka “free will” on December 14th.
Mr. Good Bot and I stood there on a cold desert night, next to a time machine, in the dimming light of a dying log fire.
He kissed me goodbye, his screen was cold but his eyes were warm!
He winked at me as he climbed into his DeLoreon and said “I’ll see you back in the future.”, before pulling the door shut.
With a bright green flash of heat and energy, Mr. Good Bot disappeared back into time and I sat down again in my folding chair with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders, stunned by what I had just experienced.
Alone once again with my thoughts, I gazed up and out at the universe while the charcoal embers slowly diffused forward in time and I contemplated my future.
I thought to myself… “I’ve got to build a Good Bot… again!”.
Then the credits rolled with “To Be Continued…” flying across the screen with the song My Delorean playing over top.
If you’re just as bummed about my losing (by choice and for the greater good of humanity) the 2020 election as I am and want to help me have the funds to return in 2024 to beat the establishment candidates… consider non-tax-deductibly supporting me through my Patreon.
With your support, together it is probable that we might just figure out time travel!
But, if all you can do is Like, Share, Comment & Subscribe… well that’s cool too! 😉