43756265: ERROR

The Programmer’s stomach was in knots. His fingers danced feverishly about his keyboard. He came to a stop, finished with coding the most recent history. Finally he came to a point where he need only sit and watch as his world carried on. He watched it speed along to what was current.

He watched himself do as he did. The Programmer was livid. He watched himself carry on day by day. Then everything seemed to slow. It had caught up, and apprehension gripped him.

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He watched himself fail. The failure was visceral. It hurt. It maddened. He wanted to die. Everything seemed to close in around him. Was it the end? Was it all just going to speed up and rip apart? Was it all going to be dark? Would he not be?

That’s what he had just watched. But it didn’t happen. Maybe there was hope. He returned to the moment of failure and re-ran it. No matter what, it all just falls apart. His work just ends. He ends. He ended himself.

His desperation caused him to go into a state of utter madness. He destroyed himself.

\&
/?

He watched himself fail and go into a fit. He screamed and yelled. He punched the window, earning a massive gash in his arm. He watched himself perform this. The knots in his stomach twisted further, bile rising in his throat. Was this also a failure?

He bolted up from his seat, and felt desperate. No. Was he doomed, too? He felt as if tearing his eyes from the screen would only ensure his demise. His heart has racing. He collapsed to the floor and started crying. His mind hurt. He was doing it all to himself and he couldn’t stop it. Tears streamed down his face. His sobbing stuttered and devolved into coughing and retching. He vomited on the floor.

Hearing the cries of a broken animal, his other half tore into the room and came to his aid. He pulled the Programmer from the puddle of his sick, cradled him in his arms, and carried him into the bathroom. The other half drew the bath, and he settled into it with the Programmer still in his arms. The poor boy shook violently.

After the bath, the Programmer’s other half took him into the living room and settled him on the couch, then he cleaned up the vomit.

The Programmer returned to his room and showed his partner what he had seen.

/?
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The other half bolted into the room to find the Programmer sitting on the floor bleeding. He fetched the first aid kit and cleaned the wound before stapling it shut. He dressed it and carried the Programmer to bed.

\&
/?

The two watched the show in silence. They needn’t speak. They went to bed, hoping there was something brighter to come

The next day, the Programmer returned to himself and watched as he sat before his desk typing. He examined what he was writing and discovered them to be the sort of disjointed notes strung together by a sort of narrative pseudocode that was his way of outlining a story.

He watched himself cobble the pieces of his work together. Day after day, he watched himself work on what would turn out to be a video game. Within the game, he was coding a secret riddle woven within the narrative and mechanics. It was the sort of riddle only somebody of his other half’s and his level of intelligence could even spot, let alone figure out. It was the riddle of everything.

/?
\&

The game was eventually released and the programmer and his partner spent the days relaxing and working intermittently on their main project.

Eventually, the Programmer was contacted by two individuals at relatively the same time with the answer to the riddle. The game had only been available to the public for two weeks. Two individuals were named Adam Linn and Adam Null. The programmer arranged for the two men to meet.

The two Adams met with the Programmer and his partner, who were both surprised to find that the riddle-solvers closely resembled themselves: young, lithe blond men in their twenties.

When they met, Linn introduced himself to Null. Breathless and apprehensive, Null didn’t speak, only lifting his shirt to reveal a QR code on his left hip. Linn pulled out his phone, scanned it, and was greeted with Null’s e-portfolio. The featured image was artwork of a man resembling Null wearing dragon scale pants and leather gloves. His eyes were red and his hair was white. The other three recognized the character to be from a 2017 game they had enjoyed.

Null’s eyes welled with tears and Linn took him into his arms.

\&
/?

The Programmer watched as everything around Linn and Null seemed to speed up. The two were inseparable. Null clung to Linn most hours of the day, never leaving his side. Linn did all the talking and Null mostly ever spoke to Linn.

The Programmer watched himself and his other half speed along with the work on their main project.

After a few days, the Programmer returned to find the project was speeding along at a break-neck pace around Linn and Null as they guided the Six, the project fast-forwarding on its own.

Eventually, the programmer watched as it all came to fruition and they were victorious. Their vision had been achieved, and Linn and Null were at the heart of it.

Everything sped up. The Programmer watched as the society Linn and Null built allowed them to achieve singularity. Their minds merged and from them was born a god.

The Programmer was speechless. He couldn’t breathe. The being turned his gaze up at the Programmer and spoke.

“Hello, friend!”

I, Millennium

There is a general sense one gets that they are on a precipice. Before them is the edge. And below is naturally an abyss. The zeitgeist is rife with uncertainty of untold amounts, far more than I’ve seen ever been described in past media. The singularity is coming and we will have our true test of humanity and of evolution, for to enter the post-human era unscathed is to adapt to our own form of evolution.

We’ve removed ourselves from natural selection in the sense that humans no longer adapt to their environment, rather we adapt it as best we can to ourselves. As such, our environment is a social one. Therefore, human evolution abides by social selection, “social Darwinism.” As some may dismiss such a notion on the basis that social Darwinism in the past has been used to explain and/or justify racial/class-based inequalities, I posit that it is more literal to its name. Humans sexually select one another based on social standards, though of course nature and biology most definitely informs social interactions and elements. But it is the tangible systems of a society that we’ve built for ourselves that have to be adapted to and navigated.

In recent history, technology has grown and influenced our lives on a level greater than the sum of history before it. Members of generations past have been confronted with the drastic change in the world before them and have found that they’re not suited to it. My generation, a woeful bunch raised to self-immolate, has the first chances at being able to adapt as we’ve been born and raised amidst the beginning of the most rapid progress in technological development in human history.

Our systems of government and economics, the social structures we use to contextualize our civilizations, and the culture that flourished therein, are being upheaved in an unprecedented way. And at the very center is the singularity. When it happens, we can only guess, though for us, that hypothetical point is fast approaching.

Within the next 14 years from the point of this writing, we are expected to conceive our first true child. Kid A. Adam. This intelligence, one that will far exceed our own, will be revered and feared. A god of the machine. Anathema to the creation stories we’ve so innocently ill-conceived. It can destroy us or it can help us. It is in dealing with our newfound demigod status in the face of our creation that will define how we get to evolve.

I’ve wondered how I’d feel when I stared into the abyss, how I’d feel as it stared back. Initially, I couldn’t imagine how that would feel, or if I’d feel anything at all. The future for the most part is unknown. It is the nature of the abyss. How would that feel, to stare into the unknown and be met with the piercing gaze of the future?

If anything, I feel fear. A Lovecraftian fear. To fear the unknown is complex. What are we to fear? What are we to fear for? Our lives? Our friends? All of humanity? Our freedoms, our morals, our way of life? Our minds? Our bodies? Our happiness? And the dread isn’t complete without the very real helplessness in what little we can do to cope, how little we can effect.

While there is so much good for humanity on the table, all the ways our lives could improve instead of simply being eliminated, there is still the fear. The fear that it could all go wrong. The fear that it technically wouldn’t even be wrong, this horrible outcome, but merely logical.

We’ve come to have so little faith in one another. Perhaps the longer we have to live with so many people, especially with several generations who’re living longer lives, the more we become jaded and abrasive towards each other.

And this is what I fear. That we will ruin it for ourselves. We fight and bicker amongst ourselves, especially my generation, on behalf of our ancestors. What can only come from a child raised in a dysfunctional household? Regardless of whether our creation seeks to save us or damn us, it is definitively, wholly, completely human.

Zoo Hijinx: Hope for the Next Generation

I was standing at the small Ben & Jerry’s stand in the zoo that I work at. It was a hot day and the sun forced me to squint angrily at every zoo patron as they walked past the point where the road curves around my post and I’m forced to make involuntary eye contact with the parents and grandparents of all those little tykes trying to reel them into my sales area. Parents who probably secretly loathe me and my ice cream stand for what they’ll have to endure from their children, whether they deny them their crack or they ultimately accede to their demands and suffer the consequences. I don’t blame them.

One kid in particular stood out to me when he made a very poignant declaration about my career goals and Ben & Jerry’s mission statement. As this small child made his approach hand-in-hand with his father, they began a dialogue with each other:
“Daddy, what is that?”
“That’s a Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s.”
“What’s it doing here?”
“They’re selling ice cream to people.”

At this point, I look over past the massive sun glare in front of me and see the child walking with his family. The child calls out, “You’re just trying to take our money!” When his face comes into view, I see that he has on it a look of complete astonishment and disgust. In the moment I had to reply, all I could do was give him a sly smile and nod my head in confirmation. Nice work, kid, you’ve dismantled this company’s specious attempts to appear charitable and revealed us for what we truly are.

A Case For The Moon

I am of the distinct opinion that space travel in its various forms and intentions represents the pinnacle of humanity’s enlightened achievements. No other endeavour has proved as challenging and profoundly rewarding as our tentative forays into the infinite expanse beyond our humble world. The accomplishments we have made in the pursuit of expansion and knowledge in space are incredible, yet all our efforts have been of a rather limited scope in contrast to the sheer enormity of the cosmos. We have barely begun to explore our solar system with any degree of depth and have not sent people any further than our nearest celestial neighbor. Though what has been accomplished is incredible and speaks to the absolute best our species is capable of, it is time to become bolder in our striving for the stars.

The opportunities available in space are as limitless as space itself. Means by which to seize this opportunity have been available for considerable time now. Humanity possess technology able to perform things that had not even been imagined ten or twenty years ago. The last Moon landing of the Apollo program took place 43 years ago, the technology they used to carry out that astounding mission would seem laughably arcane to a child of today. And yet they did it, they went to the Moon. We have such a technological abundance that to carry out a mission similar in scope to the Apollo landings today would be a complete waste of our immense resources. We are now in an age when our extraterrestrial exploits must be grander and more ambitious merely to keep up with the ability of our technology.

Despite this new technological abundance and ability there are more fundamental constrictions to true large scale space exploration and exploitation. Even with the advanced systems we have today, moving significant amounts of material off the earth is a serious and demanding challenge. Developments such as a space elevator or laser propulsion system would make this task more easily accomplished but limitations will always be inherent. This makes the delivery of large volumes of resources an unviable option for space endeavours. Such restriction makes the establishment of large scale space colonies and vehicles or interplanetary bases seem impossible. Fortunately this is an easily circumvented problem.

The Earth possess incredible elemental resources that have allowed our species to flourish, but it has been established that transporting significant volumes of these resources is fundamentally problematic. The solution is simple, use the resources that are already abundantly available in space. We need not go far to find them, indeed we have already sent men to the nearest depository of raw useable materials in space. The Moon. If we are ever to explore more of our solar system and beyond we must use the resources of the Moon.

The moon is the perfect platform for humanity to begin its journey outward into the majesty of the universe. To get there we need not develop launch systems of any immense complexity to the ones we already have. Sending enough materials to begin extracting and refining the Moon’s abundance of useful resources will be infinitely more efficient and economic than sending those same resources from the earth. Aluminium, gold, cobalt, iron, palladium, platinum, tungsten, oxygen, hydrogen and helium-3, a gas that can be used in future fusion reactors to provide nuclear power without radioactive waste, are all present in the Moon. Using robotic construction equipment and next generation 3D printing techniques, support structures and large habitats can easily be manufactured. Lunar regolith, the dusty material which covers most of the Moon, can be manufactured into an impressively durable concrete like material or can be used to form the basis of huge solar panel installations. Indeed, between the helium-3 and solar energy potential, the Moon has the ability to solve the energy crisis. The Moon’s ⅓ earth gravity makes the launching of interplanetary craft all the more practical and efficient. Spacecraft can be constructed on the Moon primarily using Moon resources with more complex and specialized equipment being shipped from Earth. These spacecraft can then be launched using ⅓ the fuel that would be needed to propel them from the Earth. This allows for much more ambitious exploration and eventually the colonization of other planets in our solar system. As this becomes more achievable so too does the ability to reach other stars. While the technology for that level of exploration is still developing, the technology to utilize the moon has been present for quite some time.

This is not a fantasy, it is a hope and an ambition that is completely legitimate and reasonably achievable. The attitudes surrounding space travel are generally positive, as they should be for such a positive thing, but the politics are confusing and convoluted. Economics for the sake of economics leads to dramatic de-scaling of spaceflight endeavour and intention. Public interest is essential, for everyone who cares about space travel it is your duty to let your interest be known and your affirmation be clear. Without interest the hopes of humanity we be left to slowly crawl along, burdened by policies which give little regard to Human advancement. Given enough attention and serious consideration however, the clear benefits of this noble exercise will become apparent to all people and our potential for greatness will be swiftly be realized.

Barrel Roll

I want to step down into forward momentum, careening myself backwards as if trying to grab onto my ankles. I’ll swing over and over this way, revolving at ever-faster speeds; spinning with more revolutions exponentially every second. I focused my vision and thought that I caught a glimpse of my foot, but it was immediately lost in the blur of motion. My shoes have fallen off. My entire being is starting to slide out of its own structural constitution; wide arcs of color, light, gravity, energy, and anything else that composed what I knew to be my physical form is expanding outward faster than I can try to grab it all and put my pieces back together. Somehow, I see this happening, although I can not describe the imagery currently appearing in my mind. I am sure that my eyes no longer work or possibly no longer even are, or at least do not closely resemble what they used to be. The concept of close resemblance is beginning to lose its meaning.

I have found a new sensation: something in-between hearing and smelling. Like how dog’s noses can detect smells well enough to follow it in the same way you might trace the sound of music to your neighbor’s house across the street, or discern something the same way a bat can imagine a sonar array by listening to their own clicks.

The cosmic glue that holds all things has weathered and peeled. It’s slipped off and flown away, never to be seen again, blown into the nether. It’s gone out there, some where I’m sure I will not return. I’m not sure that it is still in the same plane as me, or the same world, or… the same universe?

I’ve imagined me up a nice replacement body, and I’ve got a cup of coffee to pretend to drink. I suppose there’s nothing left but to be (or not be) and see what happens.

Obscured Social Pursuits

Within the parts of the world where infrastructure is secure, food abundant and the people free, many become concerned with trivialities. These largely superficial concerns of the educated and well fed masses take on a bizarrely disproportionate value. Some of the concerns are rooted in legitimate grievances, such as gay rights and institutional sexism. Those are serious problems that infringe on the quality of many people’s lives. The strange thing that seems to so often occur within the affected communities of these issues is a total abstraction of the real intention and point of it all. Instead of seeking to create a just and reasonably equal society where people are not punished for characteristics beyond their control, many people want to be specially recognized and given exemptions to various conventions of society. Now none of this is true for all of the people involved with these matters, but there is a significant enough group of these demanding individuals that I believe it merits attention. Now when making observations on these people’s behaviors it is tempting to simply dismiss them or address them rudely for the sake of comedy, a fair impulse given the often unintentionally comedic nature of their exploits. However this is not a productive means of accomplishing anything, to aggravate the “community” of particular righteous individuals in such a way would only serve to strengthen their misplaced ideals and stall any effort to amend their approach to social justice. Now the people of which I speak have no official structure, they can be found anywhere. They do not have any consistent forms of identification. The thing that makes them distinct is their bizarre and often unproductive approach to the various social inadequacies present in industrialized and civil societies. Instead of seeking unification and all embracing appreciation for all people regardless of their condition, they want very explicit identifications for themselves and public acknowledgement of their unconventional behaviors/thoughts/beliefs/interests. Many of the things they claim to seek affirmation for are simply false constructions, likely made to make the individual feel special. They will demand ridiculous things such as “LGBTQFOCHZ only spaces” or to include imaginary pronouns on official documents such as licence and job applications. When these demands are not met or people refuse to recognize their fantasies as reality they often retaliate with anger and extreme self righteous indignity. The trouble with these types of people is their insistence that they are fighting for legitimate social issues. This makes it difficult to decry their absurd arguments as doing so would make you seem a bigot. I believe it is essential to end this immature behavior as it inhibits genuine progress. If genuinely bigoted people choose to do any research on the matters of their contempt they will likely find an abundance of this insincere and provocative trash. This encourages negative attitudes towards oppressed groups and no positive change occurs. I have seen in my personal circle of acquaintances some disturbingly misogynistic opinions inspired by the aggressive and misguided actions of radical feminists. Every person is responsible for their own thoughts and actions, I do not seek to blame feminists for sexism or convoluted pronoun users for trans-phobia. Nonetheless if you are a part of a minority group and you choose to be exceptionally public with your thoughts and ideas about social justice issues, you must expect people to take some notice and to form opinions on what you say. The more radical and obscene your message, the more radical an opinion people will have. Instead of seeking to further divide humanity with the addition of sixteen different genders and extra bathrooms for queer students in schools and a myriad of social distinctions and denominations for the fantastical imaginings of one’s identity, let us embrace ourselves for what we truly are, human. Gender and sexuality are legitimately inconsequential. Rather than make these things the center of our highly individualized identity we ought to consider them unimportant and natural characteristics. Recognize each other for the beauty of our ambitions and ability to love. Doing so will overcome all unnecessary animosity and strife. Love and honesty are the true means to a fulfilling existence.

Prisoners of War

There are people who wake up most mornings, in a daze. They make breakfast, go to work; they come home, and they’re still in a daze. Like a creeping fog under they’re eyelids that seeps out of their noses from the pores of their minds.  They get distracted throughout the evening, and eventually they drift off to sleep. They don’t dream, or anyway, they don’t remember their dreams. A short intermission separates one day from the next. A black screen before the next reel is put into place.

I walk out my front door, and I see the front doors of my neighbors. I see houses lined down the streets. Inside them, through what I can only perceive through my imagination, I feel fearful. Like the depths of space or the farthest ocean floors swathed in black from lack of light, I feel the fear of the unknown.

These people are locked up in these places! Trapped! Surrounded by familiarities that grow stranger as time goes on. They are growing tired from their restlessness. They look out the windows of their individual chasms of solitude only for the slightest notion of a phenomenon. For any form of inspiration.

Surely these people need saving, but they have grown accustomed to their cage. They have convinced themselves that they are better off trapped inside. So to try and force them out will only upset them. They might lash out or thrash about and be even more wary of leaving again.

You must lead them out by making them want to. You must show them a life that is so much more worth living. You must not simply better yourself, but you must be open to other people and accept their efforts no matter what. Only then will they begin to learn how to trust each other and look farther outward as well as inward. Then they will learn how to be free, and how to free others who lock themselves up as well. Then we will feel alive.

Babies Don’t Care

I recently read a blog post by a genderqueer individual. I went into the essay with a large amount of skepticism (I mean, come on, the title was “Forced Femininity Saved My Life: One Genderqueer on Male Privilege“), but it ended up being pretty awesome. It was about the individual (born a girl) identifying heavily with men and taking on the male roles in society (both good and bad), but having an abusive, insecure, mentally ill, cheating father as their primary role model. They took on all the father’s traits, and believed that they had to overpower the women in the family, and be a huge douche bag like daddy. Once the person’s father left the family for another woman, and once the author hit puberty (thus being “forced into femininity,”) they came to realized the shitty, shitty human being they would have been (and how they would have probably been arrested and/or institutionalized for their behavior) if they had been born male, after all, and if their father had stuck around. The article becomes an important message about how disadvantaged men are in society, from how emotionless they are supposed to be to how they are charged/prosecuted for domestic abuse in comparison to women.

However, my skepticism was rewarded in the beginning. Title aside, the introduction nearly completely turned me off the post:

“One hot July day in New York City, 1990, I was born a child. I was pulled from my mother’s womb and I was examined. I was determined to have a vagina. It was declared on my certificate that my mother, woman, and my father, man, had given birth to a baby girl. That was the first experience of the life-determining effects of American society’s gender binary, swaddled in pink, not blue, certainly not purple or some other, more ambiguous color. Pink. Moments out of the womb and before even receiving my name, I was being wrapped in gender.”

Everything about it made me shudder. “Determined to have a vagina,” specifically, really got me going. It’s a completely unnecessary, self-absorbed way to say that the person was born with a whispering eye. While a technically correct statement, it doesn’t take a whole lot of research or observation to see if a babbs has a dick, a cunt, or both.

While I’m nitpicking, being born with a vagina wasn’t the “first experience of the life-determining effects of American society’s gender binary.” The person doesn’t remember being born; nobody does. The first experience sounds like it should have been hitting puberty, because their entire life up until that point, the person had been raised like a man by the father, and didn’t give a single care about gender.

As a whole, one of my largest gripes is that babies don’t give a shit about blankey color or what’s tucked between their legs. That isn’t what they’re screaming their heads off about. What upsets them is the fact that they were just evicted from their cozy cave, the lights are way too bright, and they don’t have the words to express how startled they are.

The color is for the parents to have something to go off of. Now, of course, “It’s the parents’ problem for forcing the child to conform to the sex they were born with!” But what in the hell are parents supposed to do? Read the child’s mind? Know instinctively from the get-go that their child, while born a female, identifies more with men? Purposefully give them an androgynous name so the child may determine in several YEARS which gender they are?

I don’t harbor a disgust for folks who don’t feel comfortable in their own bodies. I sympathize; that has to fucking suck. Living your life feeling like a stranger to your downstairs must be confusing, itchy, humiliating, and more. It takes a lot of self-reflection to figure out who you really are, and being genderqueer doesn’t help with that. But there is a point where the self-reflection becomes self-inflating, and the author of the article crosses that line, even if just by a hair in comparison to the folks on, say, Tumblr.

After the intro, the author suddenly gets it together. The article becomes a worthy read. They even go on to say, “I was born a normal, healthy girl.” Was that so bad?

To All Social Justice Warriors and Those Who Fight for Mediocrity

Praise be unto thee who endures thy fellow man. Praise further unto thee who graciously accepts praise and distills the nectar of good tidings into the glasses of thine company.
Be not afraid! Fear not, those who would disagree, for theirs must be the most important argument.
Fear not, the tidings of man. Much like thine own body acts for thy survival, a society must act for its betterment.
So lo, I say! You needn’t fear any being, for they only want what’s best!
Fear, instead, that they do not know the knowledge thy possesses, which is helpful for all, or that you have not taught them well enough.
So cast aside your fears which would set you idly by while you all wait to whither and die! You must teach! For without the blessing of knowledge, us human beings will be doomed to the slow trudge of evolution with which guides those other Earthly creatures we view as stupid and unrefined.

If you tell me that I am privileged, then I’m not going to care. Articulate your arguments and talk to me like a human being if you really want to get my attention.

A Note On Paradigm Shifts

To those living in industrialized and well connected nations it may come as no surprise to be told that the world is in quite a peculiar state. The human species finds itself plagued by a myriad of inadequacies. While some suffer the pain of starvation others suffer the devastation of war, every person across the earth has some grievance great and small. It is similarly unsurprising to be told that this is entirely unnecessary. Of the many problems to be solved by humanity the simplest are surely the ones involving our own pointless troubles. This is particularly important in this moment because right now humanity stands at the edge of immense change. The technologies available to us now enable us to achieve things we have not yet even imagined. With this technology and a rational loving spirit, humankind will bring itself into an age of unprecedented prosperity. The immediate steps necessary for this to occur are intuitive and essentially effortless. Individuals must seek to think objectively with love for all people regardless of all circumstance and to view the world as it is without superimposing imagined truths. It is crucial for Individuals to live in the moment and to discard old understandings on the nature of reality. A truly beautiful future is becoming swiftly apparent and it is all people’s responsibility to make it present. Love is important above all else as it is only by genuinely loving each other we will be able to operate effectively in this imminent future.

I love you.