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.

/?
___..,-;:]})\/#@%$<2027.10.15;19.33.22.245>
\&

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.

/?
\&

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!”

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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.

Quid Est Ergo Tempus

The marking of time is a practical abstraction.

Classically ordered societies are easily set to benefit from a common standard of linear progression, with invented units to provide a measurement of change.

A few cultures take special appreciation in the passing of what are decided to be larger units of time.

It is a uniquely human characteristic to be so enraptured by an invisible creation which has no effect on the rhythms of the universe, but which merely provides a limited means of definition and confined measurement.

Though the measurement of time effects only our now narrow perception, its symbology can be powerful.

Indeed the marking of time in invented units is a symbol in and of itself, pure in intention and potentially profound.

As with all things, let us not be too taken and misled by a mistaken notion that our measurement of time is truth.

Let our understanding be well reasoned and implicately appreciated in honest conjunction to the perfection of our reality.

I almost shat myself today.

I received an email from FedLoan Servicing today about how my grace period for my student loans was almost up. I am taking a break from college at the moment and will periodically get reminders about it. However, today it came with a little picture that had me clenching my cheeks:

dose of reality 2

Ten years to pay off one year of college. And roughly two-thirds of it is just for housing. That is fucking absurd. So now I’m stuck in-between two shitty options: Go back to college in an attempt to delay the loan, resulting in me having to pay even more afterward for an even longer period of time (40-50 years for 4-5 years of schooling), or don’t go back to school and work a dead-end job for ten years while I live in a shithole apartment with my mom and then be in my 30s without anything to show for it. All of this for… What? A year in college? An immensely stressful, unproductive year? Not to mention I owe the school an additional $900 for leaving the term early.

It’s just fucking depressing. Don’t bother with growing up, kids. It isn’t worth it right now.

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.

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 3 – The 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed

So here’s the fuckin’ deal: When I went to college, I went to a film school, and as part of the program, we all got MacBook Pros and thousands of dollars worth of software. We got these in December of 2012, and it was as if Crushmush came early.

Exactly a year later, in December of 2013, my Mac shit the bed.

I was trying to copy some files from a USB drive over to a folder and in the middle of the process, the fucker froze. I let it sit, half expecting it to un-fuck itself, and waited. After an hour or so of waiting, I gave up on the situation getting any better and forced it to shut off, holding down the power button until it powered down.

After it turned off, I gave it a few seconds before turning it back on again. However, when it turned on, it lingered on the gray screen with the Apple logo, the shut itself off. I repeated this infuriating little game over and over again, but to no avail. Shit was fucked, yo.

I scoured the internet (on my trusty PC) for hope. For something. Anything. Anything at all that could fix the little metallic bitch of a door-stop. I had so much work on it and all these expensive programs. The night it happened, I was so angry and sad and depressed, I sat down on the floor of my apartment all alone in the dark and wept pathetically before getting up and leaving to get dinner.

The next day, I bought an external hard drive and tried in vain to use the disk utility to try to copy my files over. Then there was a glimmer of hope. My roommate, Eli, walked in with his friend Josh. I asked Josh if I could borrow his Mac so I could put mine into target disk mode and transfer files from it through his over to my external HD. He obliged, and set his computer up. I put mine into target disk mode, plugged in the fire wire, and plugged it into his Mac. There it was, sitting on his desktop, ready to be plundered for all its sacred data.

I spent the bulk of the day copying the entire HD over to the external, being ever so careful to not accidentally unplug one, or let them fall asleep.

When the deed was done, I scheduled an appointment for the Genius Bar at the nearest Apple store, which for me at the time living in Hollywood, was in this magical place called The Grove. I asked my roommate’s girlfriend Stefania if she could drive me down to The Grove on the specified date (because she was the only one of us who had a car).

Grumpy Cat at The Grove. Sell out....

Grumpy Cat at The Grove. Sell out….

Now, I loathe Los Angeles. But The Grove, man…. That place was beautiful. It was lined with all sorts of high-end shops and restaurants/places where I was too poor to enter. It was beautiful nonetheless, especially considering it was Crushmush time, so they had all the decorations up and the soundtrack for the Charlie Brown Crushmush special could be heard intermittently over the speakers. The See’s Candies was giving out free samples. We bought mint toffee lollipops. We met Grumpy Cat. We perused the Barnes & Noble, which was three stories high, and bought Starbucks holiday coffees.

Eventually, my appointment came around, and I ventured off to the Apple store. I climbed the glass stairs, checked in, and sat down to await the illustrious Genius. They arrived and I went over my predicament, explained how I backed up my data, and they began tinkering with the machine to see what could be the problem. As it turns out, the drive had been completely fucked and was unable to ever boot. I was lucky I was even able to get my data off it at all. He was going to need to replace the drive. I handed him my Mac, thanked him for the help, and I returned to Stefania and Eli so we could depart from the consumerist wonderland of The Grove.

…As in Benito Mussolini. I like to think I was being subtle; Josh told them “Adolph….” (Yes, I know, I did eventually trim my nails.)

A few days later, I received an email to notify me that my Mac had been repaired and that it was ready for me to retrieve it. We made another trip to The Grove, got my Mac, snagged some more free samples, killed time in Barnes & Noble, and got the barista at Starbucks to write the names of horrible historical figures on our cups, and finally left. I spent the rest of the night transferring all my stuff back.

I thought that was going to be the last major problem I was ever going to have with my MacBook Pro.

I was so fucking sorely mistaken.

Exactly a year later, which, you know… is this month, I went to do some work on my Mac. Was gonna fire up Illustrator and get some graphic design work done. I was loading up some fonts when I saw there was a new software update. I finished what I was doing and installed the update. After it was finished, it needed to restart, which I let it do.

During the restart, a gray screen with various lines of text in a multitude of languages popped up saying there was an error and to press any key to continue or to let it do so on its own. I let it go on its own, not wanting to jinx it. What followed was an hour-long stint of the gray loading screen with the Apple logo and a little spinning graphic. I powered down the computer as a bead of sweat graced my brow. I powered it back up again and was met with the same image. A wave of heat coursed through my body. It happened again.

It was the 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed….

Again, more searching for answers. More solutions that don’t work. More sweat. More tears. More anger, more depression.

The good news was that I hadn’t done any extra work since the 1st Bed-Shitting. Anything lost honestly wasn’t worth saving or it wasn’t finished/hadn’t had a lot of work put into it.

The Apple store at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, OR.

The Apple store at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, OR.

So I was off to yet another Apple store. I made an appointment for the Genius Bar at the new Pioneer Place Apple store here in downtown Portland. The store is beautiful and so is that area of Portland, but not much merriment, or Starbucks, was had as I only had time for them to fix the Mac. The operating system was practically non-existent due to the error during the install. I had to get the OS re-installed.

And now my Mac is back to square which-ever-number-it-was-before-the-first-bed-shitting.

Here’s the thing about Macs: They’ll do a lot of nifty things and they’ll do them well. But when they fuck up, THEY FUCK UP HARD.

(I guess this is also a reminder to back your shit up.)

[Next: True Jackassery – Tales from Hollywood 1
A new series about my crazy-ass college experiences.
Floor-Sleepin’ will resume at a later point.]

Of the Many Neglected Things, I Write About Pipe Organs

Pipe organs are musical instruments that produce sound by driving pressurized air through pipes controlled by a keyboard. Each pipe can only produce one note so pipe organs tend to be exceptionally large. The more pipes the more variety of sound, the larger the pipes the louder the sound. As such a well equipped organ that is intended to fill a large area with sound will be utterly immense by instrumental standards. Indeed the pipe organs are the largest musical instruments ever constructed. Pipe organs were invented by the ancient Greeks and were adapted for use in cathedrals and churches by later western cultures. The majority of remaining pipe organs are still found in cathedrals and churches. Pipe organs are special instruments. Each one is unique due to the difference in structure, materials and location between them. They can possess the aural qualities of multiple orchestras with different sections of pipes emulating instruments such as violins, trumpets, oboes, cellos, flutes and clarinets all from a single mighty instrument. The beauty and complexity of this sound cannot be truly matched by any other instrument. Electronic organs have served to replace the easily damaged and expensive genuine articles and as such have hugely contributed to the decline of pipe organs across the world. The distinction between an electronic organ and a true pipe organ is similar to the disparity found in film regarding the use of computer graphics over practical effects. Pipe organs are irreplaceable and precious things that can provide an unparalleled musical experience. But they are endangered. As it was said, the majority of pipe organs reside in cathedrals or churches and are reserved for religious use. There was a time in America when organs gained a wider popularity and were built for secular enjoyment, unfortunately many of these organs have been damaged, destroyed, sold for scrap or otherwise lost. The few that do remain receive little public attention and no significant assurance of protection. The largest pipe organ ever built was the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This inspiring musical engineering achievement was severely damaged by a construction worker during renovations to the hall it is located in and was not repaired. The cost of repairing and maintaining the organ was deemed to high and the organ remains abandoned. The largest functioning organ is the Wanamaker department store organ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This majestic instrument has survived due its peculiar location inside of a department store which is now owned by Macys. The organ is played twice daily and is the focus of several annual music festivals. These national treasures deserve respect and care as do all pipe organs across the world. It is my belief that pipe organs symbolize one of the greatest musical achievements of humanity. I hope that future generations have the privilege of experiencing the powerful and enchanting tones that only a real pipe organ can create. In this time of change and transformation it is important to embrace new ideas, but equally important to retain the success of the past. Let the noble pipe organ be recognized for its awesome ability and have it serve as an example of our species’ incredible power to create divine implements of expression.

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.