Swine Before Pearls

The King of All Universes comes to you in a vision. He hands you a coin. "If you throw heads, I will destroy your entire galaxy, including your planet."
"And if I throw tails?"
"Then I will promote everybody in your galaxy to paradise. Unless..."
"Unless what?" you ask.
"Unless we're playing the other game this time. In which case, the rules work the other way around."
"Which way around are we playing this time?" you ask.
"You'll find out after you toss the coin," says the King of All Universes.
(1) Do you hope for heads or tails?
(2) How much do you know about the ultimate nature of reality?


Cat Versus Snore

When our cat Spot gets bored
or wants some snuggles
she sometimes wakes up me
or my wife.

You are invited to copy and share
this image 
as long as you do not
change it in any way.

All photos by my wife Krystal.

Tags: Cat, Lolcat, Snore, Spot


The Old Testament, Abridged Edition

“Our tribes have got to settle down somewhere.”
“What, give up our nomad lifestyle?”
“There are now far too many of us for all this wandering about.”
“Maybe we could have fewer babies?”
“Don't be an idiot. We simply have to settle down.”
“Where? Every decent place is already taken.”
“Good point. We can't just go in and kill everybody.”
“Wait, let's ask the priests if they can think of something.”


Emo Phase

A Friday evening city.
Any day of the year.
Apes in metal boxes
driving, maneuvering,
chasing after
some preferred mental state.
So many apes.

Seriously, though.
So many apes!


A Penultimate Theory of Everything

The internet is full of people writing their Theory of Everything. Here's mine!

— Yet Another Penultimate Theory of Everything —

When a man and a lady love one another, they get together and produce smaller copies of themselves; these are called babies. You were one of these.

You descended from other apes that have acquired language. This lets you interface with various collectives, including other apes, larger groupings of apes, groups of groups, and so on.

Thus, you get to learn stories that tell you Everything about reality.

Thus you, or any sentient collective, discover what the stories claim is “important.” (“Not falling apart” is a good example of something considered important, while “having the best shoes” is generally considered less important.)

Beyond the sketchy details of the story above, little is actually known for certain.

Some say we all live inside a computer, and at this particular moment it's kind of hard for you to argue that I don't.


The Ultimate Triumph Over the Replicators

Note: This article is more easily understood if you first look at the cartoon posted here.

We seem cursed by having both empathy and reluctance to act upon that empathy.
The universe has set a puzzle for humanity.
Our starting condition is mindless replication — first genetic and then memetic.
The solution is to resist the mindless with the mind.
Alas, the mind is itself infected with replicants — harmful memes.
But only the mind can see through the insane logic of replication.

Even a virus can replicate; it takes no intelligence to do so.
But to not replicate takes intelligence and understanding.
However, that intelligence must itself not be corrupted.
The ancient sages, who warned against the tricks of mind, were partially right.
They were, however, wrong if they said that mind is the problem.

The mind is not the problem.
The problem appears in the software of the mind.
The software follows the insane logic of selfish replication.

We can solve the puzzle.
We must resist the insane logic of replication.
We have the intelligence to erase suffering.


The Keyboard of Tomorrow

Every computer keyboard should have three knobs, marked 0 to 10, labeled “Anger,” “Porn” and “Propaganda.” These would let people adjust their view of the web to suit their personality.