Cyborgs and The Confusingness of Sex

This post was originally posted on June 24, 2018. I edited it to be more SFW.

When a piece of your body breaks, you can die. If enough parts of your car breaks, it’ll be scrapped. However, you can get away with something like a few bumps and minor scratches.

This is like getting a cut or fracturing a bone.

Heavily Dented Car

However, if your engine explodes, you’re screwed. We can compare this to your heart failing or your spine being snapped in half.

Burning Car

Then there is the midpoint: Having an injury that affects your daily life or being almost/nearly dead.

When this happens we either A) Continue living by supporting what’s missing with something usually worse or B) Disconnect from life support.

And then there is C) Replace the broken part with something that’s actually better.

See the source image

On December 3rd, 1967, Lewis Washkansky became the first human to get a heart transplant. This was awesome, but the immune system suppression drugs made him die from double pneumonia in 18 days.

However, the heart worked fine until his lungs failed, so this was the beginning of some pretty neat shit.

It was the idea of replacing body parts.

The current transplants are only replacements, not upgrades, so we have a long way to go before we can get better replacements.

Cybernetics is One of Our Best Shots at Life-Extension

When you age, every part of your body is falling apart.

Genetic engineering is a wonderful idea to combat all of this, but it raises lots of moral flags. I don’t know what the moral flags are, but people get really pissed at it so we’ll have to wait until a catastrophic event forces the creation of designer babies while the rest of humanity melts into a puddle.

In the meantime, we can replace our deteriorating parts. Cybernetics is our best shot at immortality without pissing off too many human rights groups.

Genos Looking Badass

I call dibs on laser fists.

A Future with Cyborgs

Let’s skip over to a future where people can replace parts of their body on a whim. Or maybe we’ll have a dreamy utopia.

Point is, we’ll be less susceptible to disease, and overall moral will be higher, yadayadayada.

All of this sounds wonderful, but that doesn’t mean current countries lack the firepower. China is already powering ahead everybody else, especially in the AI arms race.

If a superpower like China got cybernetic citizens, they’d have longer-living and stronger workers in their communist society.

Here’s China’s current supremacy, without cyborg intervention:

See the source image

However, China isn’t just doing well in cybernetics. They’re also pushing ahead with genetic editing, which puts them even further ahead everyone else.

I better start learning Mandarin.

What Happens to Doctors?

This new tech will in theory stop lots of problems with organic material, but we’re still very weak and easily kill-able creatures. And besides, the cybernetic implants won’t be indestructible, either, so we’ll still need someone to fix those when they break.

Will There Be a Crazy New Super-Powerful Rich Class?

Maybe at the beginning.

But people will always find a way to get shit they want. That means robbing rich people for money to cover the costs of modification, or creating a start-up specialized in making widely available cybernetic modification possible.

There’s no limit to what people would do to become near-immortal cyborgs, we are fool-hardy creatures, and we’ll just need another Elon Musk to delve into cybernetics.

But what we are all thinking about is that movie where people who can’t pay for their organs get killed by the government.

But Hey, Who Cares?

Let’s get to the best part of this post already!

Endless. Mounds. Of. Sex.

Cute Cyborg Girl

With cybernetic parts, people would be able to have sex for fun (by replacing some parts of the reproductive system or giving it an on-off switch), and we’d also be able to help solve the possible overpopulation problem that could arise. This doesn’t really solve HIV or AIDs, but it’d still be a game-changer.

For example, enforcing a “waiting period” for sex could slow down the growth that could arise from having long-living people.

Now that we’re getting into the part where we can have 100% safe sex without getting sterilized, you should know where I’m going with this.

Cyborg Orgies

Current Era Sex
Sex isn’t safe unless you’ve been sterilized. Having lots of sex is unethical because you’ll probably get STDs.

Cyborg Era Sex
In the future, having sex doesn’t really need to be frowned upon anymore. There is much less danger involved with it. This means that some new social norms are in place. In the Cyborg Future, sex will be completely clean and safe (when done correctly.)

Bunny Girl

The new social norms for new children might be based around some sort of “injection” or “adoption” system. For example, there could be some sort of complicated paperwork required to “activate” the required sexual organs for a month.

Or maybe sex won’t even be a thing. But I’m an optimist, so I’m not going down that route.

Or maybe we’ll just have one weird polygamous society similar to all of my Stardew Valley game saves.

See the source image

The new social norms might be something like this:

Clean up your messes.
Please avoid making too much noise. If needed, get soundproofing boards. Or use a big-ass closet.
Ask for the last time your partner checked for STDs.
Be mindful of others when having public sex (ex: do not block pathways.)
Technology is so advanced you don’t even need to be a cyborg to get safe sexual pleasure anymore.

Useless Knowledge

A person who lived through The Great Depression will tell their kids to get stable jobs above all else.

A person who lost a ton of money in the Dot Com crisis or Bitcoin burst will tell their kids to never dabble in stocks or bitcoin.

But this information may go obsolete before the kids even graduate.

See the source image

The Cyborg Generation will be completely different than Gen X, Y, or Z; which will undoubtedly cause lots of problems.

The Confusingness of Sexual Reproduction

Sex is one of the biggest evolutionary scandals we’ve ever faced.

People have been trying to wrap their heads around why such an ineffective way of reproduction has managed to infest itself into so many organisms.

Firstly, you need two organisms. And then you need to take the sperm and connect it with the egg, which is also hard. The energy requirements for intercourse and the fact that you are completely open for attack during intercourse sounds pretty bad.

If two cavepeople having sex were attacked by a boar, they’d die. Of course, we don’t have to worry about spontaneous boar attacks anymore, but the reasons for sex are still mucky and confusing.

We Don’t Know Why It Evolved

Lots of people have tried doing different experiments with asexual and sexual organisms to see which for. of reproduction was “better” at making stronger genes, which is what life is supposed to do.

The general consensus of the results in that there is no general consensus.

We don’t know why some prehistoric animals have been asexually reproducing in many super-harsh environments with very strong genes while other organisms flat-out fail.

The only thing we can make out of the information is that sexual reproduction is better at creating more variations of genes, which sounds better than asexual reproduction where the offspring usually carries all of the bad traits from the parent. But keep in mind that most of the genetic code passed down through sexual reproduction is fragmented into useless modules which has a chance of reacting with each other and creating long-term problems. All of this is 7th grade science.

Sexual Reproduction Pros
-Results in genetic diversity
Sexual Reproduction Cons
-Fragmented genetic code passed down can react and cause long-term inherited problems that appear seemingly at random.
-Requires two organisms to be open for attack for a duration of time.

Asexual Reproduction Pros
-Less energy is required because only one parent is needed
Asexual Reproduction Cons
-Children inherit the parent’s genes exactly, giving them the same weaknesses their predecessor had.

So far we only have theories to why sex exists. One big theory is that sex is a way a species races against it’s inevitable demise. However, sex isn’t supposed to help an entire species, it just inadvertently does that when it strengthens the offspring.

Why Cyborg Sex Might Not Actually Be Cool As I Want

It’d be in our best interests to give all people cybernetics ASAP because an unmodified person would be more likely to die than a cyborg. And cyborgs would be more useful to society because we wouldn’t have to worry about dying as much. In fact, part of their health would be based off how much parts they could buy, which means that most cyborgs would be upper-to-middle-class workers.

So if some entrepreneur were to make this all happen, my dream of a Cyborg Future would be complete, and all of those social norms I mentioned would have the chance to come true if the previous generations abandoned their practices.

However, the possibility that my cyborg sex part of this dream future society will happen isn’t very high.

But a future where people are healthier and longer-living is very much possible, and that’s definitely something to be excited about.

The orgy? Not so much, but you probably clicked on this post to read about that, didn’t you?

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 is my negative commentary constructive criticism):

 

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. (Gee, I, love, writing, with, bad, grammar, and, lots, of, commas, too!)

“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 (Wowee wowee repeating repeating words words is is fun fun.) 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. (Yes, we get it, the touchscreen was a big thing, but your ability to capitalize is not.) 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. (I’m feeling like this guy right now.) Not long after, Tim Cook took in the place of Steve Jobs place. (Or you could’ve just wrote “CEO”.) 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. (Indeed, this ‘Tim guy’ predicted major breakthroughs like flash memory and invested in them, making Apple the behemoth it is today. He also wrote a letter to the DOJ about how having custom firmware with a backdoor for government officials was a violation of privacy laws. He also announced he would donate his stock fortune to charity. But of course, his main accomplishment is definitely about making Apple “sleazy and cheap” and not successful and rich. Personally, I’m a Samsung user because I frankly don’t like the way Apple is going. However, they are a worthy competitor that makes high quality products. Cook was under intense pressure as CEO and it is highly unlikely that Apple would have been as successful as it is today without him.) Soon 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) (They’re not even listening), 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:

Low Visitors 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.

Tegmark's Cat.pngThe 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 people1.

The reason “big” objects aren’t in superposition isn’t because 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…

QMG Wall

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.

QMG Self

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

deathtree

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 Heisenburg’s Uncertainty Principle

Heisenburg’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 improbably 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.

I Let my Instagram Followers Come Up With a Post

The story begins with this seemingly innocent Instagram story.

UHOH

And then…

Yup. This is fun.

How to Get Dah Tit, 🍆, How to Succ, & 🅱👀🍌🍆🥓🌴🔥💀

Now, I actually don’t fully understand the string of meaningless text and worry-inducing emojis that people sent to me when I asked for ideas, but I think we get the main idea of all of these.

See the source image

You just want me to talk about sex.

If you are unoriginal and bland you may use the following script:

You: Pardon me, I don’t mean to be a bother, but would you like to have my USB inserted into the port? *Wink*

Partner: Why yes. And it isn’t any bother at all.

You: So we shall.

Partner: Agreed.

You: Oh, and if you don’t mind me asking, do you by any chance have any sexually transmitted diseases?

Partner:  If there’s a hole there’s a way.

You: Are you trying to dodge my quest—

Partner: Shut the fuck up, you’re about to finally lose your virginity. Are you really gonna lose your only chance before this wormhole to a theoretical world ends?

You: What are you talking about?

Partner: *Turns to audience.* I’m talking about them. Aren’t you the slightest bit confused why we don’t even have names?

You: Huh? Who’s “them?” Besides, my name is… wait, what is my name? And who are you? Why are we talking? We don’t even know each other. Why can’t I see? Why can I only talk? Where am I? What’s happe-

However, some people have trouble finding a partner so I’ll need to take a couple steps back for all of the absolute losers out there. Don’t worry; I know exactly what I’m talking about.

Dating

Getting Someone To Actually Date You

The first step is being somewhere between “nearly bearable” (red) and “somewhat decent” (yellow) on the Awesomeness Scale.

Awesomeness Scale

You’re probably somewhere far off in the left, so here’s my quick guide into getting you into the red zone.

Becoming Nearly Bearable

Smiling makes you non-unbearable. It depends on your smile and how ugly you naturally are. But the point is that your, “being crushed by the mundanity of life” face isn’t going to cut it when you try to look slick and sexy.

That weird anime smile

You should also have good hygiene. Brush your teeth, wash your hair, and let the shampoo actually stay on for a bit.

Talking With People (Normally)

Look at them in the eyes when you’re talking and don’t do the creepy smile.

You should also be the one to initiate the conversation, or else you run the risk of accidentally putting the other person in the spotlight.

Wear Decentish Clothes

Step one to wearing decentish clothes is not wearing tight clothing. I don’t mean “tight” as in a style. I’m talking about something like a t-shirt that doesn’t let you swing your arms by your sides without having it wedgie your armpits.

You can donate your clothes and feel all warm and cuddly inside.

Another thing to note when wearing non-ugly clothes is color.

The goal is to not look like a clown but also without a ton of staring at a color wheel and color theory equations trying to figure out what to wear. The best solution would be to befriend a bunch of colorblind people, but you probably don’t have any friends to begin with.

So meet neutral colors, your new lifeless best friends which are just anthropomorphized hex codes in MsPaint. Now you have 16 more friends! That’s 16 more friends than you have ever had in your entire life!
ColorHelp

Lots of colors refuse to clash with neutral colors, so it’s a good idea to use them if you wake up late and need to slap on some decentish clothes without the headache of the aforementioned color theory conundrum.

The Ask

Nice hair, check.
Nice shoes, check.
Nice breath, check.

Yup, that person sitting across from you on the bus certainly is giving you an inferiority complex, but when you get off on your stop, you’ll be the one putting in that effort and asking someone out.

Bus

So… what do you do now?

Well, drop the cheesy one-liners, because this is the defining moment you’ve been waiting for.

Dumped via shitty letter

Oh.

I guess you should’ve stayed in bed after all.

But the good news is that there are 16.6 million more colors to befriend.

Discuss Which Anime Girls Have Fake Tits With SCIENCE

I decided that this title is a little too broad for my tastes, so I gave it a tiny Buzzfeed touchup.

Top Ten Anime Girls That Have Fake Tits! [PROVEN WITH SCIENCE]

10. ErisSee the source image

Eris is a sweet Goddess who is highly self-conscious about her bust size. She compensates for this by using breast pads, which is another thing she is highly self-conscious about.

Continue reading

The Serpent King Summary (and Bonus Interview with Jeff Zentner)

The Serpent King is a book written by Jeff Zentner. But nobody cares about that so let’s just get into this post.

Why I Read The Serpent King

My ELA teacher apparently likes His Majesty because he’s a “total package.” (A classmate’s words, not mine.)

Fun Fact: He has eleven tattoos.

Assigned to me as a summer assignment and read it out of obligation, The Serpent King was an unlikely contender for all of the things in my head that make it to this blog. However, I ended up liking it too much so now we’re both here in this awkward one-sided conversation.

In order to help summarize the story for everyone who has already read a good summary (or the book itself), I’ll just use some MSPaint pictures to quickly go over some key plot points.

Summary

The story begins with Dillard Early Junior, son of Dillard Early Senior who is the son of yet another Dillard Early. It’s pretty confusing but just roll with it.

Anyways, Dill Senior is a pedo priest who is incarcerated because he had some child porn on his laptop. Dill Junior didn’t take the hit for him in court so Dill Senior was rightfully imprisoned.

Unfortunately, D.J. (Dillard Junior) is outcast at school and hates his abusive mother, is envious of his friend Lydia’s life, and is haunted by his family name. As you can tell, his life is filled with sunshine and rainbows.

After winning a shitty school talent show with his rad guitar skills, D.J. gets $50 bucks (the prize money) and plans out his future with Travis, his other friend (Lydia and Travis are his only friends)6.

However, Travis gets killed in a failed mugging and all these plans go down the drain.

D.J., already being in a very awful environment, decides to end his life as survivor’s guilt wracks his soul and grief consumes all sense and emotion he has left. This is supposed to be very emotional, but I dozed off because there were too many metaphors about storms and emotional shit but I think we got the main idea.

But just before he jumps off the bridge and ends the story with a bunch of unsatisfied readers, he finds strength in his other non-dead friend, Lydia.

Wanting to escape the shitty town of Forrestville and its equally shitty inhabitants, Dill lets Lydia push him forward in life into a college. Not exactly perfect, but Lydia is a busy person and she needs to go to a prestigious college as soon as she wraps up Dill’s life to ensure he doesn’t jump off any bridges behind her back.

After that, Lydia goes off to the big city to do her thing there and Dill has a new beginning in college. It’s one of the most tear-jerking moments of the story because we never know if Dill really lost his virginity.

Non-Biased Review

The story is good. Review done.Image result for the serpent king

You should go buy it to support His Majesty’s career.

Also, I know that most of the people who read this were high school students trying to get some quick and easy quotes and shit, but seriously, stop. The Serpent King is a great book, save the cheating for the Shakespeare, Alan Paton, and Jane Austen unit.

Continue reading

My First Week of High School

Note: This post is exceptionally small because I’m on a time rush

The jump from elementary school to middle school was small. I just had to figure out which proctors were assholes and where my classes were.

I knew high school was big, but holy shit is it big.

You can fit more than half of my middle school into the football field.

The First Day of School

Freshman are very obvious in a crowd. They sport a new backpack, new shoes, and have the aura of wanting to change themselves and get a fresh start.

The other obvious thing is how they will search for their schedule and read it in each period.

Only played Fortnite over Summer, oof

This summer I gave up on changing myself and decided to let nature do its thing and fix everything wrong with me.

Needless to say, it didn’t go according to plan and I feel like the same person I was before.

Goddamnit.

Middle School in a Nutshell

Middle school is fairly straightforward. It’s just like elementary school, except you have to change classes multiple times a day due to the fact that schools in the United States aren’t capable of figuring out more efficient ways to teach people.

For the most part the classrooms are just like an elementary school classroom. You just have teachers that have dead tired eyes and pre-programmed sentences they throw out when they have 7 consecutive all-nighters grading homework written in ancient hieroglyphics.

High School in a Nutshell

I was expecting some sort of big culture shock similar to what an alien would experience visiting Earth for the first time.

High school is severely disappointing.

Everything was exactly like middle school, but with a bigger campus and classrooms with chairs attached to the desks so that I’d absentmindedly tug on them and push my entire desk into somebody else’s.

During PE there was a rally and I accidentally went on the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior side of the gym instead of the Freshman side. I ended up following the crowd and went to my third period class, mashing two classes into one period.

I had to run across campus to explain my mistake to my PE teacher, who was pretty much used to this sort of thing.

My Somewhat Good School

My high school is well-known for its rigorous courses and insanely high AP test-passing rate. I was gonna put a racist joke here but I’ll just let your imagination do the rest.

People hold parties if their kid gets transferred into the high school (if they live farther away) and I got in by being tossed up by the school district since I live in the area. The amount of effort and dedication on my part is insanely low.

The learning environment is not bad at all. All the bullshit happens off-campus (fights, etc.) My friend in Chicago is a freshman and all the freshmen asides from him got pennies thrown at them.

He didn’t get any pennies thrown at him because he was the one throwing pennies.

Also, people don’t hold back in Chicago. Needless to say,  my high school is relatively sheltered.

Being Lazy in A Somewhat Good School

Plenty of Honors students complain about not having enough time in their lives.

I signed up for Integrated Math-1 precisely for this reason, and I got placed in Integrated Math-2. [Insert another racist joke.]

Update from Neo 15 Months in the Future: Math is hard.

Anyhow, I have an essay to write so this shorter-than-usual post will be ending abruptl-

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 gizillion 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 the patients and sent in electricity.

On the lower power patients reported urges, like 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. 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 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 Syndtome E. The theory is that the orbifrontal cortex (controls decision making) and medial pre-frontal 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 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 does 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!)

Renewable Energy and Innovation

Here’s a quick refresher on a useless fact that hasn’t changed in the past 3.5 billion years:
All life on Earth only exists due to our sun.

Yeah, the big yellow thing in the sky that hurts you eyes when you open the window after spending a couple hours moping around in bed. That thing.

Anime character moping in bed

The sun gives us energy, and that’s neat. But the first things to actually use that energy were plant-thingies. (They were technically proto-organisms, but I’ll just call them plant-thingies.)

Anyways, the plant-thingies figured out a way to take the sunlight and use it to make usuable energy by combining it with stuff they absorbed (nutrients and water.) With this free and plentiful energy the plant-thingies lived in happy equilibrium with the sun.

Happy Plant

And then a shocking development happened:

Doggo Murdering Plant

The food web formed. It’s an all-hell-breaks-loose state of chaos where the more powerful things kill the weaker things. The food web can be simplified down into a bunch of linear paths where the “energy” goes between things (AKA: what eats what) and the end result is something like this:

The Food/Murder Web

Making Stuff Do Stuff

Someone eventually had this idea to make stuff use energy and do stuff for us. After all, while it’s nice to eat food for energy to do work, it’s even better to eat food and not do work.

We ended up creating tools that maximized our energy input for more output and started automating things. For example, instead of hauling big logs on a boat downstream we could just let the logs float downstream.

A long time ago people made a huge discovery and found a way to burn stuff and release its energy, leaving only leftover carbon. That discovery is the discovery of fire. I know, exciting.

By throwing useless stuff like small bits of wood or killed enemies into a pit of fire we were able to release that energy to do useful stuff like cook meat. Fire released raw light-heat energy which helped ward away most nighttime predators and it provided useful energy for a relatively cheap price of some wood and rocks.

Discovery of Fire 15 MYA Colorized

Somewhere in the 90s we found out that burning fossil fuels was more efficient than wood. Fossil fuels release lots of energy and burn much longer.

Fast-forward a hundred years and not much has changed.

Chart of our energy reliance on shitty fossil fuels

We are still using a lot of fossil fuels and they won’t last forever. When that +70% extinguishes (slowly, but it’ll eventually go out) we need to make sure we don’t plummet into some new Dark Age without enough energy to sustain ourselves.

Plus, fossil fuels release tons of carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide is causing global warming. And global warming is very bad.

Global Warming Graph

By 2100 all the oceans will be vaporized.

Renewable Energy

So far we have solar, hydro, wind, and geothermal power. And right now everybody is working on setting up as many solar panels and windmills as possible to give us more renewable energy. (Some countries are even aiming for zero carbon emissions by 2020.)

Gif of field of grass because that's what clean energy supposedly does

This is definitely a work-in-progress, but more and more countries are taking the hint.

Innovation Makes Shit Better

We constantly try to make stuff that isn’t broken get better. (And sometimes we end up breaking it somewhere along the way.)

We’d like to think that we make stuff better because it’s our nature to do so, but it really isn’t. If we want humanity to survive a couple hundred more years we need to change the way we are headed in terms of energy reliance and usage.

How Innovation Has Been Going ‘Naturally’

Natural selection was how innovation originally happened. But that’s pretty slow because all natural selection does is say that things that are better will live longer than stuff that isn’t. It relies on variety and randomness, which doesn’t fit well with making something like a hammer because hammers don’t breed, mutate, or make offspring.

Comic of Natural Selection

Why We Innovate Now

There are two things running our will to innovate.

Greed/Ambition – Call it whatever you want, but we want to create a positive-sum game where everybody benefits without losing anything. And until we get the maximum “little effort, high gain” in every aspect of our lives we won’t be satisfied.

Government/Law – If there’s a project that has no funding or public support nobody is gonna work on it, like cold fusion. However, if lots of people start funding it (like when MIT admitted their research on cold fusion was somewhat flawed) lots of people will pour in and work on it. Whether or not cold fusion is a hoax is a completely different topic altogether, but people like to work when they actually get stuff in return.

Big Goals We Are (Greedily) Chasing After

-Immortality.
-Everybody gets stuff, nobody loses stuff.
-Everybody does minimal work.
-Everybody does maximum “fun” stuff. Like having sex, as a near-immortal cyborg.
-World peace.
More cyborg sex.

Okay, fine, I’ll admit, not everybody is actually aiming for cyborg sex, but I’m just throwing mine in there because we should totally be more invested in it.

Humans Have Innovated Shit for a Long Time

Remember when we were all doing this?

Butt-naked cavepeople attacking mammoth.

Yup, the good ol’ days.

Tis’ it was a much simpler time. We were just beginning to talk and share information with each other more efficiently. Not only that, but we were also running around butt-naked killing woolly mammoths.

Anyways, flash forward some +6,000 years; now we’re in a civilized society.

Chart of energy usage in 2010

We evolved into the modern human around 200,000 years ago and only became civilized somewhere in the past 6,000 years. And we only started industrialization about 200 years ago.

Humans Civilization Graph Thing

Neo Explains Your Brain in Probably the Most Non-Scientific Way Possible

We haven’t been “civilized” for very long. Our bodies are still made for what we used to do. We still have hair for keeping us warm during harsh winters, small tailbones for non-existent tails, and most importantly, ancient brains designed to live in the caveperson age.

Our minds haven’t evolved to fit in the modern era, which is why we still have primal traits and obsolete parts of our brains.

Fake MRI Scan Joke Thing

The TTKYA/Reptilian brain (thing that keeps you alive) is stuff like your medulla and brain stem. It’s the thing that makes your heart beat and your lungs breath involuntarily. It’s also the thing that makes you pull your hand away from the stove when you accidentally touch it. The TTKYA’s purpose is to keep you alive.

The ATSTKYA/Limbic System (ancient thing supposed to keep you alive) is the thing that tells you that you should be sleeping. Or it might tell you that the berry you ate last week gave you some pretty bad diarrhea and killed off half your tribe, so you should give some to the enemy tribes as a gift.

The ATSKYA isn’t really smart and it is the thing that carries basic reflexes and responses. But instead of taking care the breathing, eating, and shitting; the ATSKYA uses the TTKYA’s stuff and makes it better. The very basic power to use memory and emotion is what separated man from the poop-throwing monkeys 200,000 years ago.

The SOAT/Neo-Cortex (some other ancient thing) is the thing that helps you add and subtract. It also has your personality and some other stuff. It is the more recently developed part of the brain and is what told us to make tools and start growing civilization. This thing takes the ATSKYA’s stuff and makes it better. (It turns senses and simple thinking into complex thinking, emotions, and reasoning.)

This whole brain is called the Triune Theory, and it’s a much easier way to divide the super-confusingness of the brain into three simple parts that work together.

Triune Brain Theory

The basics is that the blue part (part that keeps you alive) formed first, and then the yellow (part that makes use of the blue part’s shit to give basic thinking) formed later, and then the green part (part that makes use of the yellow part’s shit to give complex emotions and thinking) came in and wrapped around everything like it owned the place.

The Goal of Life

When living things were just mice running away from lions we had one simple goal:

We wanted to have crazy amounts of babies in hopes they’d survive. If the weak died it didn’t matter as long as some of the offspring survived.

The “weak die” idea also contributed to strengthening future generation’s genes because only the strongest survived to pass on their genes, AKA: natural selection.

Humans weren’t able to escape this need, either. Before medicine and science reached an okay-ish phase lots of children didn’t make it to adulthood. Our solution was simple: make a ton more babies. The tactic had worked with mice so it worked fine with humans.

People ended up having four-to-six kids in hopes that at least one of them could make it to adulthood. And those lucky ducks would do the exact same thing.

But when we found ways to make people live longer with better medicine and technology we realized that we didn’t need as many babies anymore because they required lots of energy to care for. (And six wailing babies would probably get you a noise complaint.)

We gradually toned down the baby-making and started using things like vaccines or penicillin to have stronger and longer-living people without the whole “the weak shall die” doom and gloom of the previous era.

Anyways, our priorities have shifted and now we are living in a modern civilized society. The “pass on your genes” thing is much easier and safer now so we don’t really need to worry about this too much. Of course, future generations will get better than the previous one and at the rate we’re advancing we might end up advancing too fast to even look behind us anymore.

The Old Social Norms

When we were surviving off of nutritious rocks and twigs we had some very simple rules to follow.

1 – LiveGrilled Bear

2 – Don’t die

3 – Stay in a tribe

If you were good at stuff you’d have some sort of higher rank in the tribe. Screwing up your social life could reduce your rank. And your rank determined everything.

Suddenly, the most respected member of the tribe would get smaller food portions, people would hate them, and eventually they’d get left behind and die alone in a cruel world.

Having a bad social status could mean death, so it was best if everybody just stuck together and didn’t try to be jerks.

This fear of “death-by-a-shitty-social-life” is in your limbic system (the ATSTKYA.) So it’s completely natural to think you’re gonna die in the middle of a presentation.

Your limbic system still sounds the false alarm so you still get sweaty palms, nervous jittering, and that feeling you get when you’re trying to take a crap but nothing is coming out.

The New Social Norms

Our social norms are much different than the caveperson era.

With better medicine and technology people can really just do whatever. And so began the hellish world of self-interested individualists.

Funny Meme That Probably Isn't Actually that funny

However, this doesn’t mean that all societies have the “individualistic shit is better” theme. I mean, in Japan people conform to avoid being singled out. (Bullying and suicide is a big problem.) But this doesn’t mean Japan is one big homogeneous country. It just means that being individualistic in certain parts of your life (people can have their own quirks without being singled out) is okay. Conformity is certainly a thing, but not at a crazy-dystopian-hell level.

Point is, different places have different social norms. But if you want to be social, you don’t need to be so utterly terrified.

Just get out there and express yourself in ways that your environment safely allows you.

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 is 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 it in giving stuff back. The “giving stuff back” part is called black body radiation.

Blackbody Radiation Graph

This graph is showing what a body absorbs and releases

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.)

The UV catastrophe results in a graph that looks like this:

Blackbody 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 thought 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 with them.

You’ve probably heard of Planck’s Equation. It figures out the size and power of the quanta by 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 particle. You’ve probably already heard this a gajillion 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 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 are 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 text book 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 a 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.

See the source image

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.

See the source image

Why Aren’t We Affected by Superposition?

Since bigger objects interact with these super-duper-oober 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.

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 touchie” 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 waaay too confusing, so I’m just gonna skip it.

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 Porn in bold, you’d 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 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 are released, too. Cool beans.

Quantum Entanglement – Quantum entanglement is a phenomena 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 are 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.

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 to 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.

Compatabilists 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 whole. 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.

Promotion Day

I’m typing this in the MPR while we wait for the ceremony to start.

Everybody else is wearing super-fancy suits. It makes me feel underdressed.

I have time to kill, so I’ll go over the stuff that has happened so far:
I woke up today feeling groggy and didn’t want to go to the ceremony. And then, after a string of relatively mundane morningy events involving struggling with a bow-tie and putting on old pants that somehow still fit me, I managed to get in the car and found myself standing inside the school, still groggy and half-awake.

I was surprised by all the kids who usually wore raggy clothes wearing vests, suits, and dresses. (Somebody was even wearing a necklace made of candy.)

The Boring Ceremony

When I sat down on my seat, Pomp & Circumstance was blasting on the speakers and I probably lost a few hairs in my cochlea.

After a series of medium-long speeches in the scorching hot sun (turns out, it was actually very hot, I thought it’d be a cold morning) we all did the weird handshake thing I mentioned in the previous post.

I didn’t screw up out as much this time, but I messed up the walk-back-to-your-seat-at-the-same-speed-of-the-person-next-to-you thing they told us to do. (I got so caught up in trying to run away that I completely forgot the instructions.)

Something that surprised me was the sheer amount of people at the ceremony. There were over 2,000 people. And for someone like me, that’s a life-or-death situation. I thought that there’d only be enough to fill about half of the field, but they filled the entire field. They were waving signs, yelling, pointing, and giving me much more stress than I was expecting.

The Obligatory “Thank You” Section

I gotta hand it off to everybody who made middle school a bearable experience.

Because if I don’t, they might hire a hitman to come after me, and I know that at least four of my teachers are aware that I run this site, and while teachers aren’t rich, you can never be too cautious. They might start a Go Fund Me to raise the funds to hire a hitman.

I appreciate all of the VJHS staff. So here’s a big listicle. Hopefully I don’t forget anybody, or else I’ll be assassinated before I get the chance to go to Japan.

Great Principal
She knows how to move balloons with her ESP powers. She took over as principal in the beginning of my 7th grade year, but she also managed to keep the transition clean.

Great Vice Principal
I’m betting five bucks that she also has ESP powers.

Great Dean of Students
She knows how to make me extremely anxious when I’m sitting in her office. She has this tactic of creating a weird pause and a brief silent stare before looking at her computer screen, and then looking back and slowly draining whatever confidence you had with her stare. She does this in the span of about ten seconds. I’ve never seen someone use psychological warfare with such unfathomable skill. I’m 99% sure she’s secretly part of the FBI.

Great 7th Grade ELA Teacher (Who Also Did 8th Grade Film)
He played in the band “Sapphire Creek” and is a massive Beatles fan. His class was definitely fun. He also has his own site, which I just found out about as I was editing this post. You can go visit it here.

Mr HANKS

Great 8th Grade Math Teacher
She taught at the high school level for some time and recently picked up a job as Vice Principal at a different school (her goal is to become a principal.) She also has a thing for penguins.

Great 8th Grade ELA Teacher
She’s the one who jokingly suggested I start a blog and post my drawings. I owe her the initial drive to make me start this site. But I sorta messed up and put my writing on the site instead of the doodles, oops.

Great 7th and 8th Grade PE Teachers
One of them certainly smiled more than the other. But they both made me sweat like crazy. One of my favorite quotes from my 7th grade PE teacher is, “don’t do the easy route! Always do the hard route!” Sure, you do that and I’ll do my thing.

Great 7th Grade Math Teacher
He has some mad hoop-dancing skills, and his monotone style of teaching was honestly a nice break from the much more hectic classes I had as a 7th grader.

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He also really enjoyed playing the song White Christmas over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over during December. I’m pretty sure he brainwashed us.

Here’s the music video we watched three times a day.

I had an awesome 4th of July here in Atlanta, Georgia! I made some crude LED hoops and danced to good music and fireworks! Happy 4th of July!

Posted by Terry L Goedel on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

He also has a Facebook, so go be his friend. Of course, like any person on Facebook, he doesn’t explicitly say he’s a math teacher because it sounds less exciting than being a cool hoop dancer.

Great 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
She’s one of the few teachers who were honestly the most normal. Her class was the most peaceful and one of the easiest ones for me to be fully productive.

Great 8th Grade Art Teacher
She was one of the more weird/fun/interesting teachers I had. Being in her class meant having fun for a good grade on the report card. But it also meant being in a perpetual state of somewhat-controlled chaos, because why not. While my academic GPA didn’t go up, my GPA was good enough to impress my parents, which is all that matters.

Great 7th Grade Science Teacher
He was one who did the SexEd class without breaking a smirk.

Great 7th Grade Band Teacher
Alright, so I left band in 8th grade so that I could go home and mope around in bed in a consistent and predictable schedule. But during the one year I was there (even though I had signed up for percussion as a pianist and always got the practice pads in class and in concerts) he managed to yell at the trumpets enough until they were able to stay slightly on tempo.

Greatest Janitor
Ted is awesome. He keeps the school from falling into ruin and also stops alien abductions. (The rest of the staff help him spread the alien bait to keep them off-campus.) After school he also performs magic rituals to ward off demons from the school. You can’t get much better than that.

Great 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
So I’ll be honest. I suck at social studies and I only got decent-enough grades. Despite my insane amount of screwing up, I wasn’t forcefully kicked out, which is something I’m thankful for.

And here’s a parting picture…

Me standing under a sign and balloons with an idiotic smile