Saturday, February 25, 2012

Paranoia 2.0

The effect of emerging technology is to make the real world resemble the delusional architecture of paranoid schizophrenia. Everything is watching you. Everything is talking about you. And trying to control your mind.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chasing Mars

The teacher’s question hung in the air like the sound of a bell after the bell had been rung and the clapper thing wasn’t moving any more but the bell kept ringing and ringing.

Resonance. That’s the word for it. Resonance.

In 1969 Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. That’s a fact. What happened after that is also a fact. 2012, and all the stuff before that. Every fact in Wikipedia. It all happened. But did it have to happen?

He thought about it.

If atoms and molecules were like pool balls on a pool table, then yeah. The cue stick strikes, creating forward momentum. The triangle of balls shatters, bounces off the sides of the table. But it’s all a function of the original impact. Everything that happens. You could predict it. It’s just mathematics. That’s what Newton said.

But the universe isn’t a pool table. Human beings aren’t pool balls.

He raised his hand.

“No,” he said. “It didn’t have to happen. Nothing has to happen. The universe isn’t a movie. If you rewind it back and play it again, it doesn’t have to happen the same way.”

“Why not?” said the teacher.

“Because …”

He thought about it. Some old movie he’d seen. “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Jimmy Stewart and some money and an angel on a bridge. Two realities. A parable of indeterminacy.

“The random factor. I think that’s the wrong word. People make decisions, I guess. We’re going to go to the Moon. We’re going to make colonies. We’re going to go to Mars. It didn’t have to happen. Somebody made it happen.”

Somebody with courage, he thought. Somebody who stuck their neck out and stood up to some bureaucrat at the right time and place. Risked their job, their reputation. Maybe just one sentence. We can do this. Or just one word. A word that changed everything. Bullshit. One man. One woman. One word that created the future. Maybe ...

“I think you’re right,” the teacher said. “I can’t prove it. But I think you’re right.”

Outside the window, a geodesic dome the size of Manhattan made the sky look like a giant soccer ball. Inside that web of pentagrams, Deimos and Phobos raced each other against the orange sky. He tried to imagine an alternate reality where he wasn't sitting here seeing this.

But it was just too depressing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Invisible Martian Dept.

Thanks to the Internet, the delusional architecture of paranoid schizophrenia isn’t private anymore. Now, every wacky idea that pops into any whack-job’s head instantly spreads like a virus—becoming an instant belief system with a flock of global followers. These true believers are pre-committed to whatever conspiracy theory they’ve been infected with. The original conspiracy theory becomes an article of faith—not a hypothesis but an unquestioned presupposition. (If you question it, you’re one of Them.) This conviction is beyond the reach of argument. The true believers pound the square pegs of evidence into the round holes of their presupposition.
So, the wacky notion could be, say, there's an invisible Martian in the corner of the room broadcasting evil thoughts in your head. Mr. Nutjob posts it on his blog. Soon, everybody's seeing invisible Martians.
Or, to use another example, "chemtrails."
You mean contrails?
No, man. Chemtrails. The one-world government's spraying chemicals out of planes, man.
Ah. There's a word for it. So they must exist.
Exactly, man. 
OK. So why is the one-world government spraying chemicals out of planes?
Well, we used to think it was geo-engineering. You know, like fight global warming by dropping aluminum chaff in the stratosphere. Aluminium's like reflective, you know?
But that's not what they're doing, man. That's just a cover story. It's really population control.
No shit.
No shit, man.
OK. A few objections ...
This violates the "Don't shit where you eat," principle. If the Illuminati or the Stone Cutters was spraying the planet with population control chemicals, wouldn’t they be absorbing the same chemicals? Is the global elite walking around in gas masks? No.
Granted the total cubic volume of the earth’s atmosphere, what quantity of chemicals would the planes need to eject to have any effect?
Unless this is some sinister form of homeopathic medicine, you'd have to spray a huge quantity of chemicals into the atmosphere to have any effect at all. Those chemicals would show up in ground water and the food chain.
The funny thing is ...
The global elite is poisoning the earth's atmosphere ANYWAY. And they're doing it right out in the open.
Not to mention the unholy substances in the food we stuff into our bodies.
Why bother with "chemtrails" when you've got fast food?
I could go on. But that's just logic talk.