The Virtual Reality World

Posted in movies with tags on January 15, 2010 by jackpot12

I have seen the movie Avatar in 3-d twice now. I loved it. It is somewhat cheesy, but so real human beings are, so it makes it more realistic to me. I notice upon leaving the theater that the world looks amazingly brown, lifeless and dull. Each time was sort of a shock to escape such an immersion into a colorful exhilarating world into the bleak haze of traffic lights and peacocking teens wandering aimlessly and cluelessly through the streets and through time.

It never made me depressed though. The movie has made me excited for the future of technology and what seems obvious to me as the coming virtual reality world. The transition will be slow but seamless. It started with story telling around campfires, theater, then the printing press, books, newspapers, magazines and libraries. The computer brought video games and digital animations. The internet was a huge leap. In a tiny splash of time since its invention we now have tiny portable internets, digital readers in our pockets,  access to world knowledge, access to view and create our own public video content with our own computers. We have high quality video cameras in our pockets which can be publicly uploaded in minutes. Within months of Avatar’s release the 3-d T.V. will be made available. There won’t be a point where we can say “this year humanity began to live mostly outside of the sensory perceptions of the earth environment”. It will happen seamlessly. It already is transitioning. Everywhere you go people are not listening to anything but their earbuds picking up satellite feeds. At some point the VR will include kinesthetic and visual and neurologic synchs and there will be little need to actually “go” places. Humanity cannot run fast enough towards creating a heaven on earth through technology, and the response to Avatar illustrates my point.

“On the fan forum site “Avatar Forums,” a topic thread entitled “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible,” has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

“…The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.”

A user named Mike wrote on the fan Web site “Naviblue” that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie.”Ever since I went to see ‘Avatar’ I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na’vi made me want to be one of them. I can’t stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it,” Mike posted. “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in ‘Avatar.’ “

“Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality.”

“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.” “

It is dying, but it is also being newly created from scratch.

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My Amazing (Precog?) Brain Clock

Posted in psi with tags , on January 12, 2010 by jackpot12

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There have been several occasions over the years where I have awoken right before my alarm clock went off. I can’t remember the last time the alarm woke me up by itself. I often awaken just seconds before the alarm and it has happened so many times that I have declared myself to have an amazing internal clock counting time somewhere in my brain.

But something really amazing happened this morning. I came out of a sleep cycle like I often do about 5:10am. I know this because I reach for my iphone and checked the time to see how much I have left. I cannot see my alarm clock from my vantage point and even if I could the numbers are completely darkened so the time is invisible. I knew I had about 50 minutes left until the buzzer. I went back to sleep, and at some point I realized that it must be time to wake up and I literally counted down laying in bed without any access to a clock, 2…1… and bonk bonk bonk bonk. It was astounding. I did not intentionally count the numbers down waiting for the alarm to go off. Instead it was a dream state and I actually heard myself count down as if observing the internal clock. I simply knew somehow the exact timing of the alarm.

I have always wondered what mechanism can be so accurate in the brain. I am a very punctual person. I am always on time to everything. I hate when others are not on time, and they usually are not. But what if the whole thing somehow taps into the same precognitive effect as the psi app I got results on? Just as the phone makes an obnoxious buzzing when the right box is pressed, the alarm makes an obnoxious and dreadful sound when it goes off, signifying the abrupt end of my sense of peace and personal freedom (always roughly a half hour before my body and mind are biologically prepared to wake up).

A good psi experiment might be to get light sleepers like me and measure their skin conductance right before an alarm goes off during sleep. The alarm could be set at odd unexpected hours for the subjects so they can’t biologically time the incidence.

I must say my countdown was eerily precise. To the quarter second. It quite astonished me.

A fascinating life

Posted in Science & Spirituality on January 9, 2010 by jackpot12

Integral nihilism

I love this picture of the post-NDE Kenneth Wilber staring out the window with some unknown reflection in mind.  You can see this and other interesting things on his website.

I find Wilber to be an endlessly fascinating person of almost unparalleled intellectual ability. He can read three books before lunch with a self described “spooky” reading comprehension ability.

Recently Wilber came close to death and wrote extensively about it. Since then I’ve often wondered what he thinks about death and whether he still believes in LAD. Was anything changed by coming to the brink? His body took a tremendous beating and it took him a great effort to recover from a grand mal seizure which triggered, according to Wilber’s own account, multiple classic NDEs.

I wish that Wilber would distance himself from Andrew Cohen. I think Cohen will eventually go down in a blaze of glory and scandal. Despite Wilber’s massive egoic desire to define and confine life and nature into a philosophically elaborate description in order to give meaning to the meaningless cacophony of randomness called life, Kenneth has a level of personal balance that seems immune to serious scandal.

EEG, NDE and Parnia

Posted in NDE on January 6, 2010 by jackpot12

Interesting Skeptico interview along the lines we have been arguing here. An EEG expert says that it is unlikely clear experiences could happen in that state. Penny Sartori is a little more clear in saying that perhaps there is some level of brain functioning going on we don’t yet understand. So either we exist beyond the brain or there is some extraordinary ability of the brain to generate these experiences in states thought not to be conducive to such experiences. Either way the NDE is amazing.

Also of note, Penny Sartori says that Sam Parnia is set to bpublish something concerning the AWARE study in the next few months. What it is I don’t think she knows. A result? I doubt it.

90. EEG Expert Can’t Explain Near Death Experience Data… and, Dr. Penny Sartori Finds More Than Hallucinations in NDE Accounts

Narcissism and Greed

Posted in Chiropractic, student loans on January 5, 2010 by jackpot12

I was searching around for information about Chiropractors and student loans. This was the first video I found.  This is such a perfect display of the “I am the center of the universe” mind of the Chiropractic student. I feel sorry for this woman. I am sure she would feel even more sorry for me.

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I took out $96,000 to attend a Chiropractic college and graduated in 2000. I  have paid a total of $42,000 on the loan. The loan is consolidated, has a 6.875 interest rate…..

My current principal, paying $1000/month?

Current Principal: $109,000

Fuck it America.

Fuck it!

I’ve done nothing wrong. I make a good wage. I pay all my bills.

Fuck it. According to financial websites, in order to be able to afford a loan of 100k, one would have to make over 150k per year or the 94th percentile of American earners. A typical person may end up paying double the price of an already astronomical loan.

Life after life

Posted in Science & Spirituality with tags , , on December 28, 2009 by jackpot12

Another solid hit recorded by Garry Schwartz

I have watched Life after Life at least 4 times since 1999 when it came out. It is a good documentary and details some hair raising accounts. It ends with a seemingly astounding mediumship session from George Anderson. But after watching it several times I came to the conclusion that there are time frame discrepancies which reveal the highly edited nature of the reading. The show makes it look like Anderson was right on the money in sequence, but you can tell the sketchy parts were edited out to make it look like a very smooth reading. Watch closely. If the reading were given exactly as it appears without editing it would be a shocking triumph for mediumship. But in seeing the father’s remaining skepticism concerning all of George’s misses, it would seem that he did not experience the same reading as us viewers did watching the documentary.

After 10 years since this first mediumship experiment, what has transpired? John Edward got his own show which was cancelled, and mediums are still so bad at what they do that none of them can even convince me (someone who wants to believe) that it is true. One must question the ethics of mediums. If a medium was even 70% accurate it would be shocking. Yet that would mean the other 30% of a good medium’s statements given to a grieving family are made up. Am I the only one who thinks this is bad?

If there be an afterlife, the veil is not thin, but thicker than lead.

A Year of Mostly Bad Tidings

Posted in Opinion on December 26, 2009 by jackpot12

I couldn’t decide which picture best sums up my year, how I feel-

The symbolism is up to you

Or a simple visual of my financial state-

My monthly home mortgage

Lately I have been so worried about worldly matters I have actually stopped considering my survival index.

By the way, the final result of my official psi experiment involving Russel Targ’s ESP trainer app for the iphone is:

10,008 trials with a p value of .024

So there you have it. I guess I fit right in there with all the other psi experimentation. Which is to say that it is an interesting result that can easily be ignored by someone who doesn’t want to believe it. A rather compelling result. If the p value were extremely low, you would know the app was rigged or I made some error. If the p value was higher you would know I have no esp. So .024 is about right. I would have preferred it to have stopped at .01, but I will settle for .024, which gives me a reason to continue suspecting that psi is probably true. Maybe I’ll do another 10,000.

But psi makes little difference when you owe more on your mortgage than your house is worth, and it will be years before your house can be sold for what you bought it for, and you still owe on a student loan. The trash can above is the 500 or 600 dollars I throw away each month. If you factor in the interest on my student loan that I could be paying off with that extra money you would have to turn each of those ones into 100 dollar bills to tally how much I am pissing away. Pissing my financial future away.

I am glad to be a very nonmaterialistic person. Give me a shelter, some books a computer and some guitar strings and I’m okay. But make me work until I’m 90 and we have problems.

On a lighter note, I noticed some cracks in the plaster wall of my bedroom along the vertical seams that weren’t there before. Then I noticed a couple of damp spots behind it and buckling of the plaster in one of the corners. Water seems to be getting through somehow on one side, but the corner where the plaster buckles is opposite the damp spot and dry. If it is just the plaster it is easily repaired. Finding the source of water must be done first but may be difficult. My worry is it could be some sort of shift in the foundation of the house which would mean another 10k in the waste basket totally uncovered by insurance (I looked it up). Remember when my crawl space flooded?

I want to sell my house as soon as financially possible, but to do so at a decent price I need to make thousands of dollars in repairs. And hopefully not over the ten thousand dollar range. What’s ten thousand here or there anyways? It’s like shoving a sword even further into a man’s chest when the tip is already poking a foot out his back.

I was invited to a Christmas eve party and somehow ended up in a church holding a candle and listening to a pastor say that (and this is almost a direct quote) /human beings don’t deserve love and hope and forgiveness and well being, but god gave it to them thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus/

I eyed the audience to see if anyone thought this was as preposterous as I did. I could handle the service before then, with the community gathering and apparent interest in positive values. But then it became clear it was just a thinly veiled societally accepted cult as the uninspired pastor droned various scriptural dogmas about the supremacy of the deity only to have the audience drone them back. “I believe this.. I believe that… da da da..” Everything was there but the pendulous stopwatch swinging on a chain in front of our eyes. It was a spiritually dead experience. This may have been the only time in my adult life I have attended such a service to see it and experience it with informed eyes, playing along. It became clear the only reason for such a place was to give hope and societal bonding to those going through divorce, financial hardship, illness, and fear of raising children. It was a protective creed in a defensive posture and not a creative proactive one.

We escaped and began drinking beer and wine and talking of our egoic exploits as though nothing transpired. And nothing did.

One person isolated me in the kitchen and drilled me over why I decided to not practice Chiropractic. Her tone was as if she was certain I was in the wrong. This question makes me feel identical to if someone were to ask “why did you divorce your wife I really loved her”. But they never know what they are doing. It has been a long time since I had to do this, and I just laughed out loud, knowing that no ground could be made, enjoying the incredulous expression on her face. Both of us thinking the other one doesn’t know what they are talking about. Myself knowing the issue is unworthy of discussion.

The next morning I called to wish my parents a Merry Christmas and my dad decided to go on and on about how much he likes his Chiropractor. How he doesn’t understand why I didn’t practice. It is a divorce that never truly ends. You can escape your own past but other people cannot. Like a drug addict who exits a rehab center they are advised to cut ties with the same friends that enabled their behavior before. When I decided to get out of Chiropractic I burned almost all bridges and cut ties for the same reasons. Because everyone did nothing but try to tell me there was something wrong with me for not practicing.

I told my dad I would rather go to jail for a couple of years than practice Chiropractic, which is true. It is a physical impossibility for me to enter that world again. But the past won’t let me go no matter how far beyond it I am personally. As my retirement fund is used to support an institution I reject and a group of white collar criminals , the end of my indentured servitude is not in sight.

Everyone tells me that I am very smart and very capable and that somehow I can use my abilities to make more money. This makes me even more frustrated because I have not discovered a way yet.