Debunking Some Satire To Destroy The World

There is quite a lot of information readily available on the internet about dominating the earth. (Which is a lie because it’s all just Sam Hughes being quoted in various articles.)

I released a satirical post on destroying cities not too long ago which turned out to be too serious-sounding and was a massive failure, but also actually a success because people liked it.

The ideas I went through were jokes, such as setting off an unreasonable amount of explosives near a bunch of magma to create an artificial lahar in an area well-accustomed to lahars. Not only would there be national coverage of the massive explosion in the middle of nowhere that caused nothing, but even if a lahar started (if we were skilled geologists and explosives experts), the designated area also had an early warning system and also existed within the realms of reality, laws, order, etc., which are those things that stop Tom and Jerry stuff from being reenacted in real life. .

I also suggested sprinkling radioactive dust around to kill a bunch of people, but my method was not only a logistics problem of discreetly surprise attacking tons of people at once but also the problem of obtaining buttloads of radioactive material. I also seriously doubt that many people would inhale a flour cloud if it fell on them.

If you’re a government hell-bent on holding half a hemisphere hostage then you don’t need the dodgy Acme-verified solutions, you just need to make the damn cobalt bomb and start making threats. The flour bomb was originally supposed to be a mini-cobalt bomb but had to be cut down to fit the expenses and salary of a middle-class worker.

And, to seal up the article in the stupidest this-is-a-giveaway-that-this-is-satire way possible, I suggested basically making a big cylinder in the floor and using it as a musket to fire junk into space to trap humanity. Unfortunately, the Earth is rather big so that doesn’t actually work. Just keep buying your palm oil products and we’ll get there eventually, except the litter will be on the ground level.

However, some people were convinced I had scammed them of their world domination rights, and rightfully so! I had committed the highest form of treason: Making a misleading/confusing header.

So I’m back, and after going out of my way to tell you that yes, that previous post on destroying the world was a joke, I will redeem myself and tell you a legitimate method of dominating the world.

How To (Really) Dominate the World

World Domination: Destroy or own a good portion of the earth. There are no specifics and anything goes, let’s get started.

We’ll be assuming a couple of things here.

Assumption 1: I want to not die in the process.
Assumption 2: I want to not be arrested.
Assumption 3: I want to become the most powerful existence on the planet.

The best way to own the world is to have it in the palm of your hand, therefore I really only need a couple of things.

  1. A survival backpack filled with food, water, tools, game consoles, tons of sunscreen, solar panels, etc.
  2. Experience breathing in places with thin air.
  3. A Katamari.

As a Katamari grows, a side effect is that its user will grow to match the size of the ball, meaning that as long as I bring plenty of rations, I don’t need that much stuff as long as I increase the size of the Katamari fast enough.

In the early stages, the Katamari will be fairly easy to build in secret.

After I reach a substantial size I will need to prepare for larger attacks from humanity, so I will need to strategically aim for large areas filled to the brim with stuff to increase my size before fighter jets, tanks, and missiles can stop me.

This will be important, as I will become bigger and bigger, reducing my mobility (think of how a fly sees us as super slow.) My best starting point would obviously be a junkyard near a big city so that I can start adding skyscrapers to my Katamari ASAP.

After a couple of skyscrapers, I will be big enough to be basically invincible. So the current plan is as such:

  1. Build the Katamari secretly in a junkyard near a neighborhood or something.
  2. Roll up the junkyard and the small buildings and then attack a city and become invincible from humanity.
  3. Set up my living quarters, settle down, and start making demands.

After this, I can stop growth and start making my demands to world leaders. At this point, life will be pretty boring and I will just stand there with my Katamari and watch humanity whizz by me like a Civ game on steroids until I eventually get nuked a couple of times and die or get bored and roll up the rest of the world and start anew.

Either way, once you’re the supreme lord that’s about it. If you want to play the pacifist you can bask in the sun’s radiation until you get skin cancer and die. Or you can choke and die. Or you can gain so much mass the planet and moon collapse on you and turn you into a planet.

Current Problems: World domination seems kind of boring and noone has a magical Katamari they want to lend me.

Blogging is an Infinite Game

Recently I’ve been having doubts about things and the usual such, common events that happen during the holidays. But it was only recently that I’ve been able to grasp how ungraspable things are.

So let’s go backward and grab a couple definitions straight out of Simon Sinek’s mouth:

Finite Games:
-Known players
-Fixed rules
-Agreed objective
-Winners and Losers

Infinite Games:
-Known and unknown players
-Changeable rules
-Goal is to extend game
-No Winners or Losers

Chess has tangible rules that do not change as you play. Chess games end once they end. And chess will have a winner and loser (usually, but let’s not get caught up in the nitty gritty).

Blogging has no tangible rules, and the ones that we do know always change. Backlink spamming used to be great for Google, but now it will only get you kicked off the face of the internet. The amount of people you compete with is humongous and impossible, and declaring yourself a ‘winner’ is stupid.

If you declare yourself to be the biggest and bestest blog, you are really just the biggest and bestest blog in the sample of blogs that you chose. Declaring yourself to be the ‘best’ at anything in an infinite game is stupid in general because there will always be ups and downs in an infinite game. You will never the best forever, either.

To simplify:

Infinite Games: Kaizen

Finite Games: Fucking win

Finite games fit inside infinite games, they are inevitable. 1

Winning finite games can help the infinite game. Fighting for gay rights, civil rights, etc. all help the infinite game for equality and happiness and all of the other intangible stuff we value.

Capitalism provides for a great infinite game. Businesses that are alive today will eventually go away or change or whatever, but businesses will always exist. If Google disappeared, shit would definitely go down in the beginning, but other companies would still exist. 2 Capitalism allows for many businesses to be the providers of something so that if one business drops out of the infinite game, another can provide for it.

However, Simon Sinek raised an important issue, which is when a finite player competes with an infinite one.

War in Vietnam:
-Vietnam: Fight to survive (infinite game)
-US: Fight to win (finite game)

Wars are not finite, and finite goals can have accidental infinite results. New players will emerge, and new policies will reshape and create rules.

Declaring an end to an infinite game will result in immense disconnection from the infinite game. The disconnected player will become uncertain, chaotic, and unable to decide on a goal.

When you are in an infinite contest, using your interests is a horrible plan.

When you are in an infinite contest, building for the infinite future is wonderful.

So let’s boil it down to our own private lives.

As humans, goals need to be something we can see. “Fastest growing”, “even more”, and “most respected” are not tangible, visible goals. They do not motivate us. “Excercise each morning”, “become 20 lbs lighter”, and “do my homework” are realistic goals that we can see.

The goals and actions of finite and infinite players are different, and it results in the opening of many Pandora’s boxes from other Pandora’s boxes inside and from and with other Pandora’s boxes.

Does Microsoft Rewards Work? – Tested Mathematically (2019)

The Microsoft Rewards program is a reboot of Bing Rewards. You can trade in points for rewards. That’s about it. If you’re reading, you’re probably from here from a Google search so you probably are already familiar with Microsoft Rewards.

Pre-ramble

I’ve been earning points passively through just my Bing searches.

Unfortunately, there is no longer a way to get Amazon gift cards (that was a Bing Rewards thing), so I set off on a journey to find the ‘true’ value of the points so that I could make the most of my points without the option to cash in for sweet Amazon money.

Note: I’ll be going through all of the stuff in the ‘Shop’ category and ignoring the sweepstakes and donation options. The new GUI and option to sort by category and price is great, too.

All prices are calculated with a Level 2 account, which is really easy to get if you just use Bing as your search engine. (I usually use Google, but I still reach Level 2 regardless).

The ‘True’ Value of Points

$5 gift cards cost 6,500 points on average, meaning that each point is worth $0.000769230769.

$25 gift cards cost 23,000 points on average, meaning that each point is worth $0.00108695652.

$50 gift cards cost 46,000 points on average, meaning that each point is worth $0.00108695652.

It’s clear that averages don’t really work out, so now we’re going to target the two types of gift cards: Microsoft and non-Microsoft gift cards (Target, Walmart, Chipotle, etc).

Non-Microsoft Gift Cards

Gift CardPointsWorth of Point
$56,500~$0.000769230769
$1013,000~$0.000769230769

Points for Microsoft gift cards are worth more in bigger purchases, and smaller trade-ins are worth much less.

Unfortunately, all of the non-Microsoft stores are capped at $5, meaning that if you want to make the most of your money you will need to buy a Microsoft gift card.

Non-Microsoft cards have a lower point worth and cannot be redeemed for anything higher than $5 (with some exceptions).

More on Point Worth

Point Worth of Microsoft Gift Cards:

$5-10: $0.00107526882

$25-50: $0.00108695652

$100: $0.0010989011

 

Point Worth of Non-Microsoft Gift Cards:

About ~$0.00107526882

 

Point Worth of NFL Gift Card:

$10: $0.000769230769

The Overall Results3

The Worst Deal Ever: NFL $10 gift card

The Best Deal Ever Microsoft $100 gift card

A $5 non-Microsoft gift card has the same point worth as a $5 or $10 Microsoft gift card.

The $5 Microsoft gift card costs 50 more points than a non-Microsoft gift card, and the $10 Microsoft gift card costs 2,800 more points while having the same point worth.

Also worth noting, Microsoft gift cards are now instantly sent to your account balance and therefore are not possible to trade in card pools or whatever.

Calculating Losses

Note that some people have had trouble buying multiple of the same prize in the past, not totally sure if that’s a problem now (you can enroll as many times as you want in sweepstakes, though).

$25 Comparison

Non-Microsoft Gift Card: 32,500 pts = $25

Microsoft Gift Card: 23,000 pts = $25

The Loss for Not Picking Microsoft: 9,500 pts

$50 Comparison

Non-Microsoft Gift Card: 6,500 pts * 10 = $50

Microsoft Gift Card: 46,000 pts = $50

The Loss for Not Picking Microsoft: 19,000 pts

 

yeah you get the point

The Omega-Final Verdict:

It’s a no-brainer that Microsoft really wants you to buy their gift cards rather than a Target one.

You’ll be missing out on stuff like Nintendo Switch games, books, and household commodities to make the most of your points.

So.

Yeah.

That’s all I guess.

Okay bye.

Evil Not-so-Genius Ideas

Destroying humanity is a dream scenario for evil geniuses, but the world is pretty destructive already and a single individual or group of dedicated people would have to work extremely hard.

Unstoppability: How hard it is for external forces to stop the destruction. Speed and other factors (like the need to have a big machine constantly running) are evaluated. Extra style points if the method can be used to hold the world hostage.

Cities are great targets for mass destruction because they have lots of people, property, and are a mess to clean up. Highways, buildings, and the lives of people can total up to cost billions of dollars in repair. However, our noobish planning will probably only do a couple of million dollars of damage, tops.

Plan A: Artificial Lahars With Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is in Washington and is one of the highest-risk volcanoes we have. It spans 368.15 square miles and the peak is at 14,410 ft.

Even if there is not an eruption, there is a risk for lahars2, which are violent streams of volcanic mudflow and debris. Picture wet concrete cascading down a valley towards a city and you’re basically there.

Mount Rainier is one of the highest risk volcanoes in the world, and the USGS (United States Geological Survey) made this great graphic that was probably not intended for evil scheming.

Mount Rainier, Washington simplified hazards map showing potential impact area for ground-based hazards during a volcanic event.

Then, looking at Google Earth, we can see that the nearest cities are Tacoma and Lakewood.

The method of transport will be the Puyallup River, which was also formed by lahars some 5,600 years ago. The valley has about 150,000 people in danger of lahars already.

The problem is that most of the lahars from Mount Rainier are not actually caused by eruptions but by water and ice interacting with magma, causing rapid movement of water, which swells into a lahar.

In order to create a lahar, we need to attack this area:

Mining away tons of rock and dirt isn’t really that cool or evil so explosive charges set along both parts of the fork could release enough lava. An ANFO weighing 2,000 pounds could be made for about $1,500 (estimated from the Lowe’s catalog).

Since my free speech is being detained by law, I cannot go into depth on bombs, but there are plenty of guides on creating and detonating explosives. Though, the most destructive of all is the DCAM explosive.

Plan B: Tiny Cobalt Bombs

“We have the feeling that when this time comes to science, God with His white beard will come down to earth swinging a bunch of keys, and will say to humanity, the way they say at 5 o’clock at the saloon: ‘Closing time, gentlemen!'” – The Journal of the Goncourt Brothers; April 7, 1869.

Cobalt-60 is a particularly nasty element synthesized by humans. It emits gamma rays and is the byproduct of nuclear reactors. It also has a half-life of 5.27 years, making it an extremely hard substance to get rid of.

A ‘traditional’ cobalt bomb is a nuclear weapon packed with cobalt-59 (which is a single neutron away from its deadly cousin). Once the nuclear weapon explodes, the neutrons from the nuclear reaction turn the cobalt-59 into cobalt-60, spewing out a cloud of radioactive death into the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, cobalt doesn’t really explode and we don’t have access to nukes so we need the cobalt-60 to be in the bomb before exploding it. In addition, spreading out explosives in a dense, urban city is extremely hard to do.

At this point, we hit the largest bump. A massive bomb is unfeasible and planting explosives aren’t easy, either. Assuming a very cheap price, each bomb costs $100 for solid cobalt-60 and another $200 for the actual bomb.

Deployment would be possible with cars, suitcases, etc.; all of the usual terrorist stuff.

If the radiation in the city gets to 8 sV, a person walking outside could get cancer or permanent damage to their lungs in less than an hour.

After talking with some smart college students, a cheaper plan was created:

Image result for bag of flour

Flour bombs.

If the Cobalt-60 can be safely ground into fine dust and mixed into ziplock bags filled with a powdery substance like flour (of course, flour isn’t exactly the best powdery substance because it turns to mush in water), it can be dropped off buildings onto busy streets. Drones carrying the packages could be parked on various buildings to simultaneously drop all of the bombs after all of the bombs are planted.

Plan C: Space Littering

Space litter is a large problem. Space litter is composed of defunct satellites, rocket pieces, and the other random human junk we throw up there.

Scientists are scared that space junk will halt space exploration efforts by coating Earth in an impenetrable shield of junk orbiting faster than a bullet.

Robots have been proposed to collect space junk, but if we hit the point of no return before then it’ll be impossible to send anything out of Earth for possibly the next century.

Things That Will Cease To Exist If We Are Trapped By Junk:

  • Anything reliant on satellites, like GPS, Earth monitoring devices, etc.

In order to trap humanity on Earth and stagnate all space endeavors, we need to shoot stuff out of Earth at about 10 km/s.

But that isn’t the whole story, we also need to deal with air resistance, turbulent winds, and to avoid detection by authorities.

But first, we need a launcher.

Railguns Won’t Work

Railguns are electromagnetic weapons that accelerate shit at immense speeds.

A railgun is made of three parts:

  • The power supply
  • The two rails
  • The armature

A railgun is basically a large circuit. Electricity from the power supply runs up the positive rail and travels back down the negative rail, creating a magnetic field where the electricity is.

The magnetic force travels around the rails in a counterclockwise circle around the positive rail and a clockwise circle around the negative rail.

The force exerted on the projectile is called Lorentz force, which can be given by F = qE + qv × B2.

The armature is the thing that connects the circuit by bridging the two rails. The armature can be a conductive coating on the projectile or plasma.

In order to calculate the force for a railgun, you can use F = (i)(l)(b)3.

A railgun also must be able to support the massive amount of electricity required without melting the rails, having the rails split apart from the electromagnetic force. Most railguns can only fire once or twice before breaking down. The armature must also be capable of moving extremely fast without breaking under the force.

The Expensive Shopping List:

  • A bunch of capacitors that won’t explode
  • A pair of large superconductor rails
  • A bunch of support for the rails so that they don’t fly off.
  • A metal armature
  • A way to draw megajoules of electricity from the power grid
  • Some trash to shoot into LEO

After constructing your super-expensive railgun with a group of talented scientists and engineers, you’ll need to fire the junk so that it ends up flying parallel to Earth’s surface instead of crashing back down. This means that there’ll also be a massive projectile traveling across the horizon if the railgun doesn’t melt, explode, or break in some way or other.

Not only do you need megajoules of energy, but you’ll also need to outdo the Naval Surface Warfare Center by at least threefold.

Thus, a railgun is not the best way to go. (And no, coilguns aren’t even on the table anymore).

A Low-Tech Solution

Since railguns are dicks, we’ll need to find a better way to reach LEO.

Luckily, we have this awesome new revised plan:

All we need to do is construct a gigantic pipe in the ground, fill it with gas, pack it with tons of junk, and light it up, creating a large crater and sending tons of shit into space in a firey ball.

Depending on the lack of skill, a gigantic spray gun may accidentally arise instead, splattering molten metal shrapnel over a large area rather than making a bunch of trash reach LEO.


Dear Noobs: If you didn’t realize, this post was satirical

Resources
https://www.futurity.org/lava-water-volcanoes-explosions-1928772/
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount_rainier/hazard_summary.html
https://science.howstuffworks.com/rail-gun1.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobalt-60

How Vaccinations Work, and Why You Should Be Vaccinated

This post was in the works for over a year. And by that, I mean that it was a skeleton draft that I forgot about in my Google Docs for over a year.

However, recent news about that 18-year-old guy who vaccinated himself has re-sparked genuine public interest in vaccines and unvaccinated children, which I personally thought was just a random minority and not an actual thing.

Vaccines in Brief

There are 5 main types of vaccines being used in the US:

  • Live vaccines contain weakened viruses/bacteria. They are given to people with healthy immune systems.
  • Inactivated vaccines have killed viruses/bacteria. Multiple doses required to build/maintain immunity.
  • Toxoid vaccines are made of weakened toxins created by bacteria.
  • Subunit vaccines have parts of the virus/bacteria rather than the entire thing. Side effects are also less likely.
  • Conjugate vaccines combat bacteria with coatings that hide them from the immune system (especially in young immune systems). The vaccine connects to the coating and creates an immune response.

There is some controversy around whether live or inactivated vaccines are better. On one end, live vaccines build the immune system naturally, but natural infections can be deadly.

The side-effects of vaccines are usually mild. The false belief that vaccines cause autism is the result of bad media coverage and idiot celebrities (or the president) preaching about it.

Some Example Vaccines:

DPT/DTaP Vaccine: Protects from diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus. Contains toxoids for tetanus and subunits of pertussis.

Polio Vaccine: Protects from polio (duh). Can be administered through injection (inactivated virus) or orally (weakened virus). Injection is also extremely safe.

Combined DTaP-IPV-HepB Vaccine: Combination of vaccines usually for children lagging behind. The three vaccines are DTP, polio (injection), and HepB (for hepatitis B).4

The Immune System in Not-so-Brief

 Our bodies don’t like dying.

It’s generally a bad thing to die.

To begin, let’s quickly cover our body’s defense systems.

Innate Defense System

  • Skin and mucous membranes
  • Phagocytes (a type of white blood cell)
  • Antimicrobial proteins
  • Attack cells

Your skin and the mucous membranes around your organs provide the first line of defense for your body.

Your sweat has chemicals that destroy bacteria. Your slightly acidic skin destroys bacteria. Enzymes in your saliva, mucus, and eyes destroy bacteria. Your body really likes to destroy bacteria.

Phagocytes get called into battle to gobble up invaders, but they require energy to maintain.

Phagocytes

Neutrophils are the most common phagocytes. They can move around really fast and engulf germs before self-destructing. They can also secrete toxins. Neutrophils track down germs by tracking their chemical ‘scent’, which means they only attack stuff that doesn’t smell right. Neutrophils also self-destruct.

Macrophages are another type of phagocyte. They also eat germs, but they can eat multiple times, spitting out the digested gunk and then eating some more.

Natural Killer Cells

NK cells drift around in your blood looking for invaders. When they find one, they will essentially stab the shit out of it and pour in its toxins that make the cell self-destruct. They can also kill your own body cells if they’re infected. NK cells detect bad cells by checking if they create MHC (Major Histocompatibility Complex), which is a set of proteins that healthy, non-infected cells have on their surface.

Body Responses

  • Fever: Raises body temperature in an attempt to kill bacteria
  • Inflammatory Response: Cranks up the heat around cuts to help with healing and make capillaries release proteins to clog the cut.
  • Leukocytosis: To create and direct more neutrophils (which will be dying a ton in the heat of their self-destructive battle), your body will send out monocytes and neutrophils from your bone marrow to squeeze through the capillaries and get to the battlefield.

Adaptive Defense System

If your innate defense system fails, your body will need to kick it into high gear, calling in your adaptive defense system.

Your adaptive defense system is much more specific than your innate defense system. It systematically targets invaders and memorizes them.

Battle Plan
  1. B cells detect stuff. The more stuff a B cell learns to recognize, the more information gets passed onto future B cells, making detection of the same thing easier. This ‘thing’ could be your body’s cells or an antigen (which can be any invader, such as a fungus, toxin, bacteria, or virus).
  2. Once your B cells get riled up, they’ll try to eliminate your invader. Each B cell has thousands of binding receptors. Each receptor binds to a single antigen, meaning that it takes a lot of B cells to find one that matches a specific antigen
  3. Once the correct B cell finds the correct antigen, the B cell will absorb it and begin rapidly reproducing. You’ll end up with a bunch of B cells with the exact same antibody to combat the specific antigen.
  4. At this point, the B cells will begin marking the antigens (these attacking B cells are called plasma cells). Some other B cells become memory B cells, which will help recognize the antigen in the future.
  5. Antibodies don’t directly attack the antigens.2

All of the inflaming and fever and weakness from the expenditure of energy for your immune system will make you feel sick and tired.

If you are re-exposed to the same antigen in the future, the memory B cells will still be around, detecting them faster and fighting back without you even noticing.

Dangers of Unvaccinated Children

I say ‘children’ because dead people don’t grow old.

Vaccinations depend on other people being immune. Unvaccinated children are extra-dangerous because they break the herd immunity. They also put others at risk as well.

Children’s immune systems are only recently developed. Most of the defenses they learned was while they were in the womb or through drinking breast milk. Immunity to more severe or rapidly changing diseases like influenza or chicken pox is naturally learned by sucking toes and being smothered in drool.

High rates of coverage are important. It takes only one child to become a big disease-spreading machine to cause an outbreak.

Outbreaks are classified as the sudden increase of disease in a time and place. Outbreaks can affect thousands or few, but the point is that unvaccinated children harboring disease stop the whole point of being immunized in the first place.

Influenza

The flu comes and goes predictably each year. The flu vaccine is usually a combined vaccine to provide immunity for the diseases that are predicted to strike during flu season.

But the flu is just the gateway disease that opens the door for ear infections, sinus infections, and pneumonia from all of the fluid buildup.

The death rates for the flu change each year. The ambiguity of the death rates occurs mostly from states not being required to report this information to people like the CDC. However, states are required to provide reports on the deaths of children, which is why we have an abundance of info on children and influenza but not the people reading this post.

In Short:

I use the term “In Short:’ a lot.

Also, unvaccinated people are at serious risk for disease and pose a serious risk for people around them.

Currently, 17 states in the US allow vaccine exemptions. There was a recent measles outbreak due to unvaccinated people in Washington, which is extremely concerning.

There was also a 30% increase in measles due to a lack of vaccine coverage last year.

We need to remove personal belief exemptions so that we can protect those who have medical exemptions.

If that was too complicated for the anti-vaxxers, let me simplify:

References

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2017/066.pdf

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/washington-measles-outbreak-hundreds-rally-to-presesrve-not-to-vaccinate-children-2019-02-08/

https://www.who.int/wer/2016/wer9112.pdf?ua=1

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/downloads/vacsafe-understand-color-office.pdf

https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-neutrophils-797223

Valentine’s Day is Boring

I woke up today at 7 am. It was a rainy day; and on top of that, the streetlights at the intersection at the front of school were broken, again.

The backlog of traffic stretched so far as to affect the freeway.

After entering first period I was instantly reminded it was Valentine’s Day.

Annoyingly bright red paper cards were splayed out on the desks with messages that sounded like a plea for consent or something you’d say to a jumper on the Golden Gate bridge. However, mine looked like this:

After a couple of classes had passed, I decided that the rain had silenced Valentine’s day and I felt an overwhelming sense of peace because there would not be a considerable increase of dickish couples taking up too much personal space in large public areas.


~ Intermission ~

I now bring you this intermission with teacher’s responses to random questions.

“Dragon Ball is bloodshed. It is violent. It is evil.” – A teacher commenting on Dragon Ball.

“Pokemon is too childish.” – A teacher commenting on Pokemon.

“What is that?” – A teacher commenting on My Hero Academia.

“That is unrelated to this class” – A teacher commenting on transgender students

That’s all for this intermission. I’ll find more stuff to do like this for future posts.


The rest of Valentines passed without anything else happening. The most excitement was at the hallway intersections because people were trying to open and close their umbrellas.

After some other lonely people stared at me as I popped a couple Kiss chocolates into my mouth (which they then saw was from my Lunchable and immediately reaccepted me nonverbally with their eye contact), I was on my way home.

The rain dimmed down into an obnoxious mist-thing where an umbrella doesn’t do much and the water gradually dampens all of your clothing.

After getting home, I stole a couple chocolates from my brother’s bag before they got checked and now I’m typing this at my computer with a yellow Starburst in my mouth because there weren’t actually any chocolates in what I stole.

However, I got to see some wonderful things in the wrappers of the candies I stole, such as “Make them Melt” and “It was My Pleasure“. If that’s really some elementary schooler candy, then I just want to know what’s on the wrappers of high school candy.

I Gave Someone Their Own Website

Procedure:

  1. I gave a test subject a domain ([redacted].enchoseon.com) and an email ([redacted]@enchoseon.com)
  2. I also set up their Content Management System (I chose Joomla for them).
  3. If the subject breaks any rules they will lose the domain.

The Rules:

– Do not buy any plugins.
– Get more than 17 unique visitors per week.
– Any inorganic traffic or backlinks will result in the site being revoked.
– If you screw up the site royally you have 5 strikes before you’re out. (White screen of death, too many redirects, etc.)
– Do not change the file storage location.
– Do not upload more than 500 mb of stuff.

Saturday – November 17

Alright, so I just finished the domain and everything. They have a trustworthy SSL certificate, a good self-hosting plan, and plenty of time to plan. Right now they’re on a cruise to Mexico, so they won’t be doing anything yet. Any hits they get until Monday will not count.

Quota: 1/17 (from me!)

Sunday – November 18

Yawn.

Nothing has happened. Except now I’m sick.

Quota: 1/17

Monday – November 19

The countdown starts today.

Also, nothing has happened and now my throat hurts like shit.

Quota: 1/17

Tuesday – November 20

A shocking a new development: My throat is absolutely horrible and I couldn’t even sleep last night.

Also, the subject has made their first post.

Here it is (the stuff in bold in the footnotes3 are my comments (click on them to reveal the message inside.)

 

The truth about phones these days

As technology continues to become more and more powerful, so had the companies that make these mobile devices, which means, the prices of these phones will also start growing too. But, companies like Oneplus, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi somehow manage to keep to their prices low for their phones, meanwhile the companies like Apple and Samsung keeps putting their prices higher and higher but is still on the top of the market share. 2

“Why is this?” you may be asking. and “How?”. How do these companies keep their prices so low and make their machines almost as powerful as desktop machines at a fraction of the price, while companies like Apple have a fraction of the performances of these phones and their prices several times of the prices of the other other companies 3 but still staying on the top of the market.

The answer isn’t just that easy to understand so here is some insight before we start. Apple who’s founder is Steve Jobs made the first smartphones. These phones were so much more advanced compared to the blackberry and Motorola phones that didn’t feature a touchscreen. Those were apples golden ages. 4 But, soon other companies started rising up by adding to the features the original iPhones had which caused a lot of competition. While times were tense, Steve Jobs had passed away leaving Apple in a hurry to take over Apple. 5 Not long after, Tim Cook took in the place of Steve Jobs place. 6 This Tim guy had a quite different attitude to doing business. Apple soon cared mainly about profit over anything else which caused a major downfall in their quality like in 2014 the iPhone 6 that had launched was bending and there was the iOS 10 incident where apple purposely made the software drain the battery forcing Apple customers to get a new battery therefore increasing their profits. 7Soon after they took out the headphone jack out of their phones AND NOT INCLUDING AN ADAPTER IN THE BOX. Not only that their adapter are ridiculously costly and the quality wasn’t even all that good. But why does Oneplus over there have a phone with a price so low, includes a fast charger has an octacore cpu, 8 gigs of ram, A DONGLE IN THE BOX (talking to you Apple) 8, and still half the price of and Iphone. That is because of advertising. Companies like Oneplus don’t do advertising like Apple does. Oneplus makes the super powerful machines at a super low price allowing people like me advertise for these devices. This price is what makes  Oneplus, Huawei, LG and Xiaomi still survive and thrive in the industry. But how does Apple still take up a lot of the market. That is also having to do with advertising because apple always have these celebrities use their phones while putting them on the big screen which attracts a lot of attention which makes more people want to buy it. But never the less, if you are a iPhone use right now, maybe for your next phone, pick up an Oneplus, Xiaomi or Huawei. And remember always stay curious.

Follow me on social media. [Link redacted]

It’s his first blog post with zero views, and he’s already plugging his Instagram rather than fixing the countless grammar errors and spelling mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong, I rarely abide by the rules of writing myself, but slight readability is a requirement for a blog post.

Here are the current stats:

All the views from November 19 were from my devices and his Instagram self-promo only got one click (from me.)

I tried to analyze his writing with a fellow blogger’s using this tool, which is NOT comprehensive, but it’s fun to see how your paper ranks against famous poems.

His blog post got a 52.77 on the Flesch reading ease test, which is between “Fairly Difficult to Read” and “Difficult to Read”. For comparison, the median of all of my posts on quantum mechanics and neuroscience is 51.88.

Quota: 2/17

Saturday – November 24

The subject has not logged into the admin panel for the past couple days.

I think they missed my message telling them they were really far from the quota.

Oh well.

Quota: 2/17

Monday – November 26

So they got 0 views, but I lied to them and said they got 12 to make them feel better.

Quota: 2+Bonus 10/17

Delete button on keyboard

Blogging is hard, but ruining someone’s day is not.

How to Make an Infinite Improbability Drive

The Infinite Improbability Drive is a fictional machine from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that puts its users through highly improbable events.

The driving force behind our theoretical Infinite Improbability Drive is Quantum Suicide.

Quantum Suicide is basically Schrodinger’s Cat, but with you as the cat.


The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III

Everett’s theory is as such:

Everything follows the Schrodinger equation. Always.

This means that when we open up the box to observe Schrodinger’s Cat, we aren’t collapsing the waveform due to our observation. This makes our universe essentially deterministic, which also pisses off some people9.

The reason “big” objects aren’t in superposition isn’t that we aren’t looking at them. Rather, it’s because they are already being observed by the things around them.

This is because wave collapse isn’t based on whether something observing is “conscious” or not. It’s based on particles bouncing around and hitting other particles. Naturally, an object large enough to be seen is already interacting with light, air, etc.

This is why engineers go to great lengths to isolate quantum computers in super-cold vacuums. Although, quantum computers deserve their own post for their god-like Level III Multiverse-exploiting capabilities, so look forward to that.

So, to clarify, Everett’s theory was not meant to be a radical theory talking parallel worlds. All of that is just an interpretation of his theory, and unfortunately, that interpretation has been giving his theory a bad rep.

People don’t really look at the source material unless they’re smart professors or a weird Swedish guy, so it’s understandable why nobody took Everett seriously.

The constant splitting of universes means that there is essentially any and every parallel reality you could imagine due to the infinite monkey theorem.

Take this one step further, and if our consciousness only exists when/where we are alive, then we’d theoretically live forever and never die. Here’s where the real weirdness begins.

Max Tegmark’s Quantum Suicide Experiment

The following thought experiment tests whether or not Everett’s theory is correct, but you are literally betting your own life to figure it out.

All you need is a machine gun, a trigger mechanism, and a machine to measure a quark for whether it is up or down, which corresponds to the machine outputting a 1 or 0 with 50/50 chance of either output.

The output is then hooked up to a trigger that controls the machine-gun.

If the machine outputs a one, the gun will fire. If it outputs a zero you will hear a very loud click, but nothing will happen.

The trigger mechanism doesn’t really matter as long as the gap of time between the measurement and the firing of the gun is below human perception.

Key Criteria:

  • The measuring machine must be quantum. Possible methods include firing protons at a silver screen to see which ones pass or the use of a Stern-Gerlach machine.
  • Death must be faster than you can perceive (more on this later). The killing mechanism must be flawless and kill with 100% certainty.

Your creation complete, you aim the machine at a wall and let it run. Surely enough, it fires at random intervals. Bang-click-click-bang-click-bang…

The next part of the experiment is the part that requires you to be very dedicated.

You stick your head in front of the gun.

If Everett is wrong then it’ll take a few seconds for you to end up on the floor in a pile of blood.

However, if Everett is right then you’ll hear the random firing patterns of the machine gun suddenly change to click-click-click-click-click…

Our Perception of Quantum Suicide

The realities where we die are unperceivable because we’re dead before we know it. Thus, the only copy of us that we can perceive is the reality where we live. We never see all of the other dead versions of ourselves. This means there’s a 100% chance of us experiencing ‘survival.’

Sit in front of the gun for a whole minute and your chances of surviving decreases exponentially at 50% each second. We end up splicing reality into at least 120 new branches, half of which are ones where we survive for a little while, but the possibility to achieve the only one where you live after the whole minute is 1 out of 2^60.

If you wanted to convince all your friends to believe you, hooking up the quantum trigger to a massive bomb or a chain of machine-guns would be possible, but you probably wouldn’t be friends afterward.

The only way to convince everyone that quantum suicide works (if it works) is to hook up the quantum trigger to a solar system-destroying machine with a 100% chance of eradicating the entire human species.

There are also theories that the Large Hadron Collider works as a collective quantum suicide experiment where the killing mechanism is the creation of a man-made black hole, which would be capable of the aforementioned solar system-destruction required for our dream quantum suicide experiment.

The only problem is the fact that the LHC won’t make a black hole. I mean, it might make mini black holes, but those aren’t a big deal because they decay really, really fast and mini black holes would be pretty normal due to the fact that Earth is constantly bombarded with cosmic rays more powerful than anything in the LHC2.

Why Isn’t Anyone Else Immortal?

Well, they theoretically are. 3

To us, that doesn’t seem to be true, but we’re the external observers.

If somebody else did the Quantum Machine-Gun experiment they would only experience the reality where they survive. However, we would most likely be in a reality where that person dies.

This raises a question about whether our consciousness is untouchable by quantum mechanics. It also raises more questions about your self-worth, as if we needed more of that.

Breaking Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle says that when we observe quantum particles we change them, and we can’t tell what happens to them or what state they were in, to begin with.

A good analogy is throwing a yoga ball at things on a table to figure out the positions of the objects on it by observing the ball’s bounce, trajectory, return time, etc.

Yoga ball

However, the yoga ball will inevitably knock over a few things before bouncing back. After we observe what’s on the table it will have changed, and we don’t know what it was like before we observed, either.

Everett says that this isn’t true. Instead, the world running on the Schrodinger equation just ‘splits’4 for every possibility rather than changing every time something is observed, which effectively puts everything we thought about quantum mechanics and freedom on its head, but it heavily reduces the size of your physics textbook because all that stuff about waveform and probability is thrown out the window, too.

Coherent superposition? Bah, decohesion is more exciting.

Everett decided that instead of all of our observations causing wave collapse there was a universal wave function that has the possibility for all imaginable and unimaginable universes.

Our perception of randomness would just be our inability to experience the other universes where the alternate futures happened. Once superposition breaks, the universes have taken different paths.5

Don’t Actually Do This

While this is certainly a fun topic, the non-lethal way to do this (but without all of the dramatic stuff) is to live. If after many, many extremely improbable events you become the only human on Earth, then the riddle is solved.

However, if you die, then Everett is wrong.

Mir Faizal: “Normally, when people think of the multiverse, they think of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, where every possibility is actualised. This cannot be tested and so it is philosophy and not science.”

Infinite Improbability

Panic

If your quantum suicide setup was done correctly with a 100% flawless killing mechanism, then there’ll be a limit on how long the experiment can run before a highly improbable event interferes with the experiment, such as:

  • Power outage.
  • Biological warfare wipes out half the planet, or maybe everybody except you.
  • Supermassive volcanic eruption blows everything up.
  • Alien invasion with giant toaster robots.
  • “Tiny” solar flare hits Earth
  • Ninety atomic bombs detonate worldwide and force humanity to live in underground vaults filled with creatures from Fallout 4 (you’ll become the leader of the mole people).
  • Earth-sized asteroid impacts Earth and you survive somehow.
  • Moon-sized asteroid impacts the Moon and the fragments impact Earth and you survive somehow.
  • Mars-sized asteroid impacts Mars and the fragments impact the Moon and the fragments impact the Earth and you survive somehow.
  • Distant alien Kerr black hole power plant blows up, sending a powerful laser beam that wipes out Earth in three seconds and you survive somehow.
  • Deterministic random-number generators fail worldwide and stock market systems crash, resulting in a The Purge-esque massacre ran by angry investors switching gears to run an international cheap hitman-for-hire business to regain lost capital.
  • The people running our computer simulation do a reboot to stop your experiment and they laugh at the idea that some NPCs tried to unravel glitches in the code.
  • A cosmic string slaps Earth and you survive somehow.

As of now we still don’t know how to theoretically control this theoretical Infinite Improbability Drive because our machine would probably be destroyed in a string of highly improbable events every time we tried to use it.

Ars Magna

Simple IID: Quantum Measurement > Signal Interpreter > Trigger + Killing Mechanism

If we could control our Infinite Improbability Drive to only kill us if quantum weirdness led to a desired event we would be able to control reality.

The problem is we’d need a way to calculating and sensing whether or not we “landed” in our desired reality before we could perceive anything at all.

An obvious fix for this is to be unconscious before the experiment starts, which is what I hinted at in one of my badly placed footnotes somewhere at the top of this post.

Complex IID (Ars Magna): Quantum Measurement > Signal Interpreter + Quantum Computer that calculates the future > Trigger + Killing Mechanism

A complex Infinite Improbability Drive would be able to do all of that universe-bending magic. But for now, I’ll settle for my boring mundane life and play the waiting game.

Here is an extremely arbitrary Ars Magna:

1 – Go to sleep

2 – The machine senses if a highly unlikely movement of quarks led to a bank error where your balance went up by 500,000 dollars.

3 – If you don’t get the money you’ll be killed. If you get the money you won’t be killed.

References:
https://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/quant-ph/pdf/9709/9709032v1.pdf
http://everythingforever.com/everett.htm
http://emichels.physics.ucsd.edu/Decoherence-JC.pdf

Extra Reading:
http://enchoseon.com/long-post-about-quantum-mechanics
https://bit.ly/2RAWQmw
https://phys.org/news/2016-02-physicists-implications-quantum-mechanics-philosophy.html

*Knock*

Me: Huh? Wait, I think someone’s at my door…

*Knock-Knock*

Me: Yes? Who is it?

*Knock-Knock-Knock*

Me: *Looks out window* Oh shit, it’s the solipsists! Wait, is that an police car in the back?

Marshall Theo: Hello, I’m Marshall Theo Retical. I’m here to inform you that you landed on the suicide watchlist lol.

Me: God damnit, should I include a disclaimer to protect myself?

Marshall Theo: Um sure.

Disclaimer: Do not build a machine that kills/maims/harms/obliterates you, a group of people, or the solar system; even if it’s just for shits and giggles.

The Neuroscience of Free Will

I covered free will in a previous post about quantum physics.

Of course, everybody; including myself, pointed out that a vast majority of the post was about quantum mechanics rather than actually tackling the free will problem. The only two things that I covered were wave collapse and indeterminacy. Both very good things, but the other 99% of the post was about photoelectrons and a gazillion other unrelated bullshit.

So with the entire quantum physics post being extremely off-topic, I’ve decided to come back to the free will question and go at it, but this time from a different angle.

But before we start gawking at people with PhDs that sound like lists of things you’re glad you don’t know about, let’s put a definition on free will:

Free Will: The ability to voluntarily act with your own freedom and authority over said acts.

That definition is rather odd, and you could probably point out a ton of flaws, but I’m not gonna go down that rabbit hole just yet.

Dr. Itzhak Fried’s Epilepsy Patients

In the early 1900s, people with severe epilepsy didn’t really have much ado for their symptoms. Sure, the first antiepileptic drug Luminol hit the ground running in 1912, but there is another way patients with epilepsy are treated; epilepsy surgery.

Epilepsy surgery is when an area of the brain involving seizures is either:

A) Cut out
B) Stimulated

(For the record, it’s usually Option A that occurs in epilepsy surgery.)

Anyways, Dr. Itzhak Fried (at the time a neurosurgeon at the Yale School of Medicine) was operating on patients with severe epilepsy. He and his team attached electrodes to their brain nuclei and sent jolts of electricity to figure which parts were causing epilepsy. This did three things:

1 – Gave an opportunity to map out the brain.
2 – Probably makes Dr. Fried sound like a mad scientist.
3 – (Sometimes) fixed the patient’s problems.

Random Off-Topic Thing About Brain Nuclei:

Brain nuclei are a “group of identifiable neurons.” I put that in quotation marks because there is a bit more to this.

Brain nuclei are those weird grey blob things (grey matter, which is composed of the dendrons and axons; they are the brain’s wiring) surrounded by white matter (nerve fibers and super-fatty myelin which are good at sending the signals between axons) in those MRI scans.

Real MRI

Certain parts of your brain have identifiable nuclei. Most vertebrate brains have hundreds of nuclei, and each nuclei may have its own vastly complex wiring of other neurons in tiny clumps of subnuclei or layers.

Brain Nuclei

Let’s get back to the mad scientist, Dr. Fried.

See the source image

He and his team attached electrodes the patients and sent in electricity.

On the lower power patients reported urges, such as an urge to move their right arm, or to kick with a certain leg. After increasing that power they began doing those urges. The actions ranged from simple small movements to complex actions and facial expressions.

Their free will had been hijacked and then completely taken away.

With this, the question of whether or not free will exists just got a lot more traction.

But when people talk about free will and neuroscience, Benjamin Libet always gets mentioned, so I guess I have to do that, too.

Benjamin Libet’s Study on Pre-Motor Potential

Benjamin Libet is basically the guy that wanted to prove something but ended up proving the complete opposite of what he was trying to prove.

The summary is that he was in a discussion for smart people, said something about free will, realized he couldn’t prove it, went to prove it for the sake of proving it, and sorta did the opposite.

Libet’s infamous experiment goes like this:
Step 1 – The participant gets to wear snazzy scalp electrodes along with electrodes around their wrists.

See the source image

Step 2 – The participants are given a timer and are told to move their wrist whenever they’d like. They look at the timer and note when they are “aware of the will to move.” Then they do the action. They only have to note the time of their will to move because the wrist electrodes measure their movement.

Before we get any further, I should probably explain pre-motor potential. The pre-motor potential is electrical activity in your brain that happens just before you do something.

Fun Fact: Pre-motor potential is also known as Bereitschaftspotential, which sounds like “bee-heigh-shafts-potencey-owl,” was first studied by German scientists  in 1964.

Germany 1964.PNG

Libet’s experiment measured the wrist movements and pre-motor potential precisely (with the snazzy electrodes) and found that the pre-motor potential was happening about 350 milliseconds before the subject was even aware of the will to move.

And the measurements for the amount of time people are wrong in their synchronization is 50-150 milliseconds, not even close to 350 milliseconds.

So with this experiment, Libet ended up accidentally scoring in his own goal and giving Team Determinism another point. Oops.

Why Libet’s Experiment is Flawed

Libet himself even said his experiment was flawed.

First, the pre-motor potential is not really 100% understood yet. That electrical activity could mean a lot of different things; people are just making assumptions about what it is at this point. The guess that it’s our brain “telling us” what to do could be completely off. Right now, all the interpretations of pre-motor potential are coming off graphs that look like this:

And to be frank, that electricity could mean a lot of different things. Some people think it’s your subconscious “imagining” you doing an action. And some believe that the pre-motor potential is actually just your brain “registering” whatever you are trying to do (or not to do, the pre-motor potential also spikes when you decide to not do an action.)

Since free will isn’t confirmed nor denied, it’s best if we just accept it for the time being. After all, for the longest time people thought we lived in a geocentric universe. It was a nice thought and put us in the spotlight. While it wasn’t really that big of a deal to believe all of that, it wasn’t until you did something slightly more complex like map planets, see stars, and shoot probes into space that a geocentric view would pose problems.

Things like Syndrome E have sparked not only a philosophical firestorm but a legal one, too. If we can prove people are “hardwired” for impulsive acts and crimes, it won’t be long before it becomes a viable defense in court.

So far lots of people agree that we shouldn’t completely rework our law system just yet. After all, once people figure out how to “cure” Syndrome E and whatever new discoveries come after it, then we can start taking this to a new level. But there is really no need to dive into whatever hellish world lays beyond the thin glass that we are slowly chipping away at just yet. Even if it’s just a comforting delusion, free will is probably best kept until we get more evidence against it.

But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we aren’t getting there.

Syndrome E

Let’s get back to Dr. Itzhak Fried, our favorite mad scientist who should also be coming out with the latest and greatest memory restoration neural prosthetic very soon. (At the time of writing it’s July 2018, four years since the announcement in 2014, and while absolutely no science journals have even said anything about it in the past four years I’m hoping that the research gets published. But since peer-to-peer reviews take forever we might end up waiting a couple of extra months.)

Anyways, Dr. Fried made a hypothesis that Syndrome E is a condition that turns absolutely normal members of society into people with psychopathic tendencies and desensitization to violence. People with Syndrome E experience excessive arousal, obsessive ideas, and repetitive killing of defenseless people.

Of course, this hypothesis has faced heavy criticism. Lots of people think that it’s just an excuse to “let people off the hook” or an attempt to blame our bodies for our actions. But as Itzhak’s epilepsy patients have proven, free will is probably somewhere up our noggin and Syndrome E could be there, too. And the fact that “we are mind and body” may change because our minds will just be another part of our body once we gain more understanding of it.

The theory says that “cognitive fracture” causes Syndrome E. The theory is that the orbitofrontal cortex (controls decision making) and medial prefrontal cortex (controls memory and higher thinking) get in a state where they are in a constant state of activation and they override the ability to be conditioned from fear and end up going completely haywire because subcortical structures (which do a shit ton of advanced input/output processing) no longer regulate them. In the end, you get an overly stimulated brain that can have normal memory, language, and thinking skills but does not respond to fear or other stimuli that “condition” a person.

Syndrome E Checklist:

  • Violent acts don’t trigger emotions. It’s just a flat response.
  • Gains sense of elation for mass-destruction.
  • Language, memory, and ability to solve problems still intact.
  • Early stages begin with violence (usually to women and children) before quickly being desensitized.
  • Individuals compartmentalize themselves. For example, while caring for their own family a murderer may kill other families at the same time. These two “lives” running in parallel can obviously lead to conflicts.
  • Obsessive beliefs permeate all their actions. They may use the term “cleansing” when describing their actions because their beliefs may be directed to a group or minority.
  • Unable to react to stimulus-reinforcement, cannot adapt to situations. (Cannot be “conditioned” or reformed to do “good,” can only learn to “avoid.”)

While this is certainly a promising theory, let’s move onto something more interesting than long lengthy sciencey words that you and I probably won’t remember a couple of weeks after I write this post.

How One Man Became a Pedophile After Surgery

Here’s a story that starts out relatively normal (at the first sentence) but derails into utter chaos a while later:

A 51-year-old married American man was arrested for downloading child pornography. But let’s backtrack and zoom into the picture a bit.

At age 19 he was found to have epilepsy. He ended up taking anticonvulsant drugs and continued his life normally.

At age 33 he needed brain surgery. A brain tumor located where the seizures were located needed to be removed.

At age 39 the man found that the seizures had returned and they were even worse. His second operation was to remove his right temporal lobe, which is one of those medial temporal lobe things that do all that complex input/output processing. The right temporal lobe controls personality and ton of other important things that you don’t want to screw up.

He began to have shifting behavior accompanied by irritability. He suffered from hyperphagia (eating a lot) and hypersexuality. He became easily stimulated and craved for sex constantly. He became emotionally unstable as he began to resort to pornography for stimulation (when he wasn’t with his wife.) His life spiraled out of control before he knew what was happening.

Eventually, he even got his hands on child porn in his search for sexual stimulation. He was ashamed and kept to himself. Then, in 2006, he was arrested for possession of child pornography.

He was prescribed antipsychotics, antidepressants, and other serotonin-inducing drugs. His libido was completely shut off and he returned to normal.

Then, in the big climax, he was charged with possession of child pornography.

Despite the brain injury forcing him to act out of compulsion and out of character, the prosecution stated that since he had been able to avoid acting inappropriately in public he was to be given the maximum sentence; 20 years. They said that the reason was that the actions were not of neurological cause and were criminal were due to the fact that he had been able to download child porn at home, but not at work. They listed multiple examples of why this was a “criminal” act and probably got some sadistic pleasure while doing so.

Luckily for the man, the judge accepted his medical condition as a huge factor in this entire mess and gave him the minimum punishment of 26 months imprisonment, 25 months home confinement, and 5 years under supervision. This man’s identity was never released, but it has been quite some time since all of this, so it’d be nice to believe that he’s leading a happy healthy life now, no longer incarcerated and no longer held back by his brain injury.

While the entire story is definitely unfortunate, this entire thing poses huge questions against the nature of our “free will.” If Itzhak Fried’s patients “urges” are examples of taking over free will, then does this mean that the man’s free will was overridden by his injuries?

Free Will is Probably a Good Delusion, For Now

Our free will is insanely malleable. Or, as Michael Brooks puts it, “we are like small children sitting in front of an arcade race game; even if no money has been put in, and the cars on the screen are racing in demo mode, they grab the steering wheel, move it back and forth, and believe they’re driving.”

Right now, it doesn’t make sense to tear down the entire fabric of all of our legal and cultural frameworks. We’d end up in a place none of us want to go. So let’s not be trigger-happy.

Free will might be completely fake but it has real uses in the real world, so we might as well roll with it, for now.

54

References: (Yes, I’m finally making one of these things)
https://clinicalgate.com/surgery-for-extratemporal-lobe-epilepsy/
https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1107212
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201709/benjamin-libet-and-the-denial-free-will
https://isbnsearch.org/isbn/9781861978172
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~squartz/fried.pdf
https://www.cin.ucsf.edu/~houde/sensorimotor_jc/possible_papers/HShibasaki06a.pdf
https://osu.ppy.sh/help/wiki/Guides/How_to_Time_Songs

Brain Damage, Pedophilia, and the Law


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kl%C3%BCver%E2%80%93Bucy_syndrome

Extra Reading:
https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain-mapping1.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_dust
http://www.philllfixit.com.au/13ThingsThatDontMakeSense.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497935/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/534206/a-brain-computer-interface-that-works-wirelessly/
http://czyborra.com/pedofiles/sexuologen/brain-tumor.pdf
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-to-develop-brain-prosthesis-to-help-brain-injured-patients-recover-memory
Matsuhashi and Hallett’s study on readiness potential (Google it yourself!)

Free Will and Schrödinger’s Cat – A Guide to Fundamental Principles of Quantum Mechanics

Here’s a little something about conventional physics: Everything is predictable.

This is called determinism.

If you knew the exact particles and their position in the Big Bang, you could theoretically use physics to predict everything up to the creation of you, and of course, you reading this post.

This is a problem because it shatters our idea of free will. And that’s not very good, considering most of us don’t like the idea of being little puppets being driven by Newton.

So here’s the part where I go into confusing quantum physics stuff. I can almost hear the views dropping.

Intro to Quantum Mechanics

Quick Explanation of Quantum Mechanics: The study of atoms and particles smaller than atoms. The way they act is really weird and is completely different from conventional physics.

Before we conquer the idea of “free will,” I’ll explain the basics of quantum mechanics by oversimplifying a ton of information, but you’ll get the main idea.

How Did Quantum Physics Start?
The driving forces behind quantum physics are black body radiation, the Ultraviolet Catastrophe, and light quanta.

Light Quanta: Small packets of energy carried by light. (AKA: Photons.)

A black body is a thing that absorbs everything in the electromagnetic spectrum. And it also can emit everything on the electromagnetic spectrum. Giving it stuff results in it giving stuff back. The “giving stuff back” part is called black body radiation.

What really propelled people into quantum physics in the Ultraviolet Catastrophe. Since a black body is at an equal temperature with its surroundings, when we shoot stuff from really high up in the electromagnetic spectrum at it, the black-body responds with more energy than we sent into it (because the temperature cannot change, only what it sends and receives are the things that can be affected.)

If you really pay attention, you can see that line on the graph that extends outwards into infinity. Yeah, that’s the catastrophe.

And since our universe hasn’t been completely obliterated yet, we know that the UV catastrophe can’t be true.

A German physicist named Max Planck came up with a solution. He proposed that bodies didn’t absorb energy in ginormous bulk and that waves don’t carry energy the way people thought. Rather, waves carry energy in tiny packets of energy (called quanta) that ride along in the waves.

You’ve probably heard of Planck’s Equation. It figures out the size and power of the quanta using Planck’s constant.

E=h*f

Note: ‘h’ is planck’s constant, which is another confusing thing Max Planck made. It is used in lots of equations in quantum physics, which sucks, because memorizing it looks really hard.

h≈6,626*(10^-34)Js

f=frequency

e=energy in the quanta

This means higher-frequency waves have less powerful quanta, which means that when we shoot high-frequency wavelengths at black bodies we aren’t actually sending enough energy to make a black body start ripping apart space and time.

Waves and Stuff

Light is both a wave and a particle. You’ve probably already heard this a gazillion times in your old science classes, but here’s a quick explanation just as a refresher.

The Double-Slit Experiment

The experiment shows light’s wave-like properties.

It makes use of two properties of waves and demonstrates that they work on light.

1 If a wave reaches a small opening, it diffracts.

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2When waves collide, they don’t just “cancel-out.” The interaction of these waves is called interference. If they both have an equal displacement (fancy way to say “height”), they combine in constructive interference. If their displacements are opposite they will cancel each other out in deconstructive interference.

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The Experiment: Two slits were set up and the light was sent through them. (Yeah, that’s all they actually did.)

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The first panel shows the slits. The screen with two strips of light is what would happen if the light behaved like a particle. The final screen shows how the light actually behaved, like a wave.

However, light isn’t just a wave. It’s also a particle, and that’s because of the photoelectric effect.

Photoelectrons

An atom has protons, neutrons, and electrons. You should know that. If you don’t, then I recommend you navigate away from this page and go read a 1st-grade science textbook before coming back.

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An interesting thing happens when an electron absorbs lots of high-frequency waves, it escapes the shell of the atom. This is called the photoelectric effect, and the runaway electrons are called photoelectrons.

Why Stuff Gets Weird

Since light behaves like a wave, the more intense the light on an atom, the more powerful a photoelectron will be, right?

However, this hasn’t been observed. Which means that the only way to explain the photoelectric effect is for light to behave like a particle.

If light was like a particle, the photoelectric effect makes sense because while we are sending more photons/quanta, the photons can still have equal amounts of energy, not like waves.

(If light behaved like a wave it’d absorb some of the energy we were inputting and the photoelectrons would’ve increased, which didn’t happen..)

This means if we send higher-frequency waves to try to buff-up the power of these photoelectrons, Planck’s Equation tells us the quanta won’t carry enough energy to actually do this.

Thus, the double-slit experiment and the photoelectric effect means that light behaves like a particle and a wave.

Smart people call this property of light, “wave-particle duality.” Which rolls off the tongue easier than “thing that is like a wave, but also like a particle.”

Welcome to the Macroworld

Some guy named Louis de Broglie decided to make a hypothesis that all matter followed wave-particle duality. His theory was that all objects are surrounded by some sort of wave comparable to quanta. His groundbreaking theory was scoffed at. (Technically, the actual theory is that matter can behave like a wave, but we observe the waves, not the actual matter, so we just call it a matter wave.)

But now we’ve accepted Broglie’s idea, and the actual term for these waves around all matter is a matter wave.

A New Sign Joins the Battle!

A new symbol was introduced to suit this new burst of stuff in quantum physics. It’s the wave function, which can be written as Ψ or ψ. You are probably familiar with it if you’ve ever had a really ranty science teacher that goes far too off-topic.

(The sign wasn’t created. It was just some Greek sign that was repurposed.)

The wave function is used a lot, and it’s what makes those quantum equations look even more confusing.

Quantum Superposition

You know how things are only supposed to have one position and velocity?

While that certainly applies to everything we’ve observed in the big normal world, quantum physics lives the thug life and this rule doesn’t apply to it.

This rebellious act against Newton called superposition.

Thug Life

If you throw two identical balls in the exact identical way they’ll end up with the exact same paths and movement. They’ll have the same trajectory, arch, and ending point.

Unfortunately for us, quantum superposition says a big no-no to that, because now that object is capable of existing in multiple places at the same time.

From what you’ve observed, you are probably used to things having one velocity and point in space instead of multiple, which makes sense because observing an object in superposition “breaks” its superposition.

Wave Function Collapse

Here’s what those three simple words mean: If you observe a quantum object, superposition no longer works because you have determined that objects properties. Which means you’ve determined its exact state and narrowed it’s multiple velocities and points in space down to one velocity and point (you turn off its superpowers.)

Oversimplification of Wave Function Collapse: If you observe a particle, it’ll no longer have superposition and revert to the properties of a “normal” thing.

Wave Function Collapse completely breaks the deterministic properties of the world.

Therefore, the only way to figure out where a quantum particle is to assign probabilities of its position in a wave (remember that wacky Greek symbol?) This is where the wave function (you know, the one with the goofy symbol) comes in handy.

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However, if you observed the particle, wave function collapse would occur, which temporarily determines the position of the particle and removes the effect of superposition.

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Why Aren’t We Affected by Superposition?

Since bigger objects interact with these super-duper-uber small particles, that counts as “observing” because we are indirectly determining the positions of the particles.

This means we aren’t affected by all of these cool phenomena because the bigger and normal things are already determined to have only one position and velocity.

And to be honest, I’m fine with that. I don’t like the idea of my kidneys teleporting out of my body.

Another reason to why we don’t behave like quantum particles is because the more mass an object has, the smaller the wavelength of its matter wave will be, but the super-small stuff has huge matter waves, which is also a problem because we can’t observe quantum particles.

Why We Can’t Observe/Interact With Quantum Particles

If a quantum particle gets hit by light, it’ll get messed up because particles in the light are much larger than the quantum particle.

The same thing happens for everything else we try to do with it. So not only is there a “no lookie” rule, but there is also a “no touching” rule. Sucks, I know. No teleporting kidneys for now.

Luckily, people have been finding ways to use quantum particles, like in quantum computing. (I’ll link that post here when it comes out.)

Schrödinger’s Cat

Schrödinger’s Cat is a thought experiment created by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935 in order to demonstrate the weirdness of quantum physics interacting with bigger objects. It was mostly created to help show the wave function collapse, and how vague the term “observe” actually was. Needless to say, the thought experiment sparked a lot of debate and divided people up as they took different interpretations of the experiment. Much like the comment sections on news articles.

This is the exact way it was written in the EPR article by Erwin Schrödinger:
A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The first atomic decay would have poisoned it. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.

What Does it Mean?

All of the complex-ishy-advanced-wordiness basically means the cat has a 50/50 chance of being alive or dead.

And since the status of the radioactive decay of the substance is not known, the cat is under superposition until you actually open the box to observe what has happened.

So is the cat in a state of being both alive and dead?

But even then, some people state that the air particles around the substance and moving cat, and the fact that the cat can “observe” whether the prussic acid was released, superposition is prevented.

Some people even came up with a “many-worlds” interpretation of Schrödinger’s cat. The idea is that when at least two quantum systems interact, reality is spliced into multiple worlds, each holding an instance of a possibility.

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This means at least two universes are created, one having a dead cat, another having a living one. Which is pretty cool but it sucks for the universe with the dead cat.

But for the most part, Erwin’s theoretical cat achieved its goal, which is to make your physics classes needlessly confusing.

Uncertainty Principle

If we shoot a photoelectron into a wall, the effect of superposition means that we can only make guesses at the probability of where it’s gonna go.

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Something to note is that this has no relation to the observer effect, the uncertainty principle means that we are never certain of where the photoelectron is gonna go.

Reiterating this Idea: I gotta get this into your skull. The uncertainty principle and observer effect are completely different things!

Since there always is a tiny bit of uncertainty of the energy levels anywhere, some crazy stuff happens in vacuums, space, and time. Which is why Hawking Radiation and a bunch of other stuff exist. And that’s not very intro-to stuff, so fuck it.

Update: Shit, Hawking fucking died that’s sad.

A Quick Overview of A Few Other Cool Phenomena

These aren’t going to be as thoroughly explained in this post because I only intend to explain the bare minimum of stuff so I could talk about quantum mechanic’s role in messing up determinism. If you’re still interested, just plug everything in bold text into a search engine.

For example, if I typed Sonic Porn in bold, that’d mean I’m telling you to search for porn.

Quantum Tunneling – Particles or whole atoms always have a probability of going through a barrier, even if they don’t have enough energy to do so. This happens regularly inside of the Sun when it fuses atoms together to give us energy.

Spin – Quantum objects have a rotation that is purely intrinsic. This spin makes very weak magnetic fields. Some materials have lots of electrons in the atoms, overpowering the magnetic effect. (That’s why wood doesn’t behave like a magnet.) But the configuration of the shape of atoms also affects the magnetic properties. Also, the measure of an atoms spin is based off Planck’s Constant. Things with half-integer spins are called fermions. Things with integer spins are bosons. I’m too lazy to elaborate on this. Google it yourself.

Wave Function Symmetry – No two objects are actually identical. However, we can still have things that are indistinguishable, which works out well for all of the mathematics running the show. (Or else we’d have to invent math for even more stuff, which sucks.)

Antimatter – Antimatter particles have an equal mass to “normal” matter, except everything about them is oppositely charged. When they come into contact with matter, they cause “annihilation.” Their energy levels (which are opposites and determined by their spin) will combine to form zero. And a bunch of gamma ray photons is released, too. Cool beans.

Quantum Entanglement – Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that occurs due to superposition and annihilation energy. Let’s take two photons from annihilation. We know that these two particles’ energy levels combined equal zero, so their spins must be opposites, too. As soon as one of the particles is measured, their wave function collapses. And by doing this, you are indirectly observing the other photon’s energy level, too. (Because the opposite of the directly observed photon’s spin will tell you the other photon’s spin.) Therefore, the other photon, no matter how far away it is, has its wave function collapse, too. This means can instantly determine another photon’s properties at infinite distances.

Virtual Particles – Some crazy stuff for another post.

Sonic Porn – Do not.

Not-so-Deterministic

Quantum mechanics can still influence our bigger world. (Schrödinger’s cat is a good example.)

And so, the law of uncertainty might be our best explanation of whether or not we have free will.

There was once a chilling belief that we lived in a world that moved like clockwork. Whatever happened was, “destined,” to happen. And that free will did not exist.

Compatibilists believed that determinism and free will could exist together without conflict. (But all they did was change the definition of free will so that they could mash the two ideas together. They didn’t do anything else.)

Although quantum mechanics has been more open to the idea of free will (sorry, Newton), we aren’t absolutely sure of its existence. However, this might be our escape from universal fates and destinies.

Now let’s say that your brain is not deterministic, and now you’ve gone down a whole other rabbit hole. At this point, you can give your future actions percentages. There’d be a large group of similar actions at one point, and sometimes a vast plethora of very different chances of things happening.

But is randomness truly freedom?

Well, I’m not a philosophical preachy kind-of person so you’ll just have to do your own thinking on that one.