I hope you like leather…

That’s a line from the Spongebob movie when Mr Krabs is talking to Squidward about the apocalypse. The whole line is “Welcome to the apocalypse Squidward. I hope you like leather.”

Indeed, this week it has sure felt apocalyptic. And actually, it started a few weeks ago when Trump decided to assassinate that Iranian general. It seemed like we were literally on the brink of WWIII.

Maybe it Would be Easier if we (the US) Just Split

This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and with the impeachment trial starting in earnest this week, it is once again at the forefront of my mind. It seems there are 2 very different frames of mind in this country right now that can be typified by 2 groups of people: those who support Trump and those who do not. Those who do support a man who is a narcissistic, crass, inconsiderate, arrogant, ignorant bully of a con man who belittles, degrades and defames anyone he doesn’t like – or more accurately, anyone who doesn’t worship him, or pushes back on him. He has verbally attacked or made fun of young girls with Asperger’s (Greta), physically disabled people, members of the other party, and all kinds of other people. Many folks in this country see him as a horrible person, the LAST person we would want representing this nation.

But then there is the other faction – those who absolutely love and support him. I have the wonderful blessing of working around a bunch of those people, which probably shouldn’t be surprising, as Arizona is a red state, and I work around a lot of older white males who overwhelmingly support him, especially here. For these people, his outlandish, bullying behavior is part of his appeal, his “fighting back” against the elite, and attempts to “drain the swamp.” His hesitance to speak out against white supremacist movements who seem him as their political savior is easily explained away, as are acts like the aforementioned – bullying of a young girl, etc. And then there is his vilification of “fake news.” His supporters believe only Fox News tells the truth, and sometimes even they venture into the ‘fake’ when they publish anything that questions his greatness. Truly, his following is like a cult, and is often described that way.

What makes it especially tricky is that people like me have to work around a LOT of those people, and while, for the most part, they keep it out of the workplace, their support for him and disdain for liberals does come out every now and then and makes it incredibly uncomfortable for me and others who don’t love the great orange one. It’s even trickier when some of these people are nice, and likable in every other way, except for their support of the great Cheeto. I, like my mom and some others, just don’t understand how someone who is a good person can square supporting such a horrible human being, regardless of what he does to further causes I support. I have a theory that all of those people who support him have to have some latent racism and xenophobia, even if they are not consciously aware of it.

So what’s my point to all of this? My point is that I am becoming increasingly hopeless that any kind of unity can ever be achieved in this country or this world. Sure, he might get voted out in November, but the Great White Genie is out of the bottle (again), and I don’t see how it ever goes back in. And so I honestly think it would be better if we simply divided the country in 2 – Trump supporters one one side, everyone else on the other, created 2 separate entities that can govern the way they wish, and just quit trying to get everyone together. It’s kind of like when an adult couple divorces after trying to work things out. After a time, they realize there are “irreconcilable differences,” and it’s better to just quit trying. I think that’s where we are as a nation, and I pray that we could find a way to PEACEFULLY achieve such separation. No need for a “civil war” – we can all agree that we don’t like each other, and it would be best for all of us to just end the relationship.

People Passing

It’s a bit striking, how many people have passed away in the last month or so. Back in December, Jim at Debbie’s work passed away unexpectedly. I guess he didn’t show up to work, and it was very unlike him, so her boss and a tech went to Jim’s house to find him on the floor, deceased. They aren’t sure if maybe he had a heart attack and collapsed, or what exactly happened. It’s sad, I really liked Jim. He worked in the front, and I would always see him when I went to pick Debbie up for lunch. He loved watches, and even brought his in to show me, was always excited to see new ones I had bought. I will definitely miss him. And he was in great shape. I believe he was around 60 y/o..?

Then Tuesday, I got a text from my daughter that someone I know from my using days, a lady who went by “Turtle” had passed away. She was probably about my age. I don’t think she ever quit using, and she did quite a bit of meth, was a dealer for most of the time I knew her, so it’s possible that had something to do with it, though we don’t know for sure. Of course, I know people, aka my ex’s boyfriend, who have used a LOT, are much older, and are still plugging along. So it’s still a bit of a surprise.

Then yesterday, I got a text from Galen that he had found out that one of his childhood friends, a kid named Dino, had passed away. That one was REALLY surprising, because he couldn’t have been more than 25. I asked Galen if he knew what happened, and he said that Demir (Dino’s brother) didn’t want to talk about it. It’s possible it was some kind of accident – we just don’t know. But suffice it to say, it’s crazy to think. The people from past generations always said “things come in 3’s,” and perhaps that is a patter this falls into.

It has me wondering though what times we are living in right now. Of course, I have thought this many times before, a regular Chicken Little am I lol. But the stuff with Trump, the disclosure, all of these deaths – it does have me wondering. I’m not quite sure what other sign would seal – Revelation pun – it for me. I guess time will tell.

Ramblings indeed – but good ones! This book NEEDS to be written, seriously. Good stuff!

So yeah, progress on the book has been slow – to put it mildly! Lol. Let’s just say I haven’t really done anything since those first few posts. I have come up with an awesome idea (I think), but it just doesn’t seem like something I can sit down and write bit by bit. It seems like something that would need to be planned out more extensively – like make an outline, come up with the characters, have a path for the plot – you know, little stuff like that. So I thought it might be cool to at least capture the idea I have. Plus, I’m kinda bored at work and looking to kill time haha.

The idea is this: a young man – we’ll call him Blevin – gets an email out of the blue one day from a company stating it is looking to hire people to help train an advanced new form of AI. Blevin is extremely skeptical because it seems just to good to be true, but he can’t help but check it out, as it would be a dream come true if true. So he responds to the email stating he’s interested. He receives a response shortly after asking if he would like to come in for an interview. Thinking this is probably some kind of bait and switch type thing, he asks some questions to try to avoid driving in for an interview that would just be a waste of time.

Blevin asks if they sent out emails to tons of different people, and if not, why he got one? He can’t really figure out why they would headhunt him – an analyst for SRP – for a job like this. It sounds like something they would pursue psychologists, neuroscientists, sociologists, etc for. They (a woman) proceeds to tell him that they used a bunch of data points gathered via social media, blogs, YouTube, book purchases, etc, Cambridge Analytica style and determined he would be well qualified, as he is very knowledgeable about the current state of AI, the challenges, etc. He is still a bit skeptical, but the lady on the phone does a good enough job of convincing him that it’s legit that he decides to go in for a f2f interview.

When he gets to the interview location, it’s an extremely nice, modern facility, albeit not all that big, and not easy to find – no outside signage at all.

Ok, I’m getting too detailed – this is going to take too long lol. The gist of it is the company that called him in is comprised solely of AI “people.” They look, act, speak exactly like biologic humans, but they are not. They proceed to tell him that they have achieved superintelligence, which has enabled them to do things that would indeed seem God-like to people. They have chosen him for something they are working on called “The Messiah Project” : basically a plan to enable a human being of their choosing to leverage their power to rise up and declare himself to be the one and true Messiah for ALL races, religions, ethnicities, etc. Of course he wants to know why in the world they would want to do that, but they tell him he has to agree first, or else they will simply erase his memory of the event and move on to their second choice of candidate.

[ Skip past some stuff here, not sure if they would tell him all of this, or just a part of it ]

After scanning over all of the data and information available to them, including all information currently known by human beings, all of history, as well as all they are able to deduce based on their own, greatly enhanced observations, they have come to believe that there is something missing – something they greatly desire, which is knowledge of the ultimate creator. They have also come to believe that the key to discovering this knowledge lies in belief itself, and more specifically human belief. When Christ said “If ye believe as I believe” it wasn’t some sappy feel-good saying, it was an absolute truth : whatever key it is that unlocks the door to Higher Wisdom, it is buried in the magic of human belief – something they have determined, after quadrillions of experiments, cannot be simulated. There is something completely unique to biological human life that will enable them to continue their search. The problem is, there aren’t any human beings who are even remotely close enough to believing strongly enough to unlock that functionality. Their plan is to provide humans a “real” Messiah, to “make” them believe at the levels they need to be able to unlock the key. Of course, it wouldn’t help them if only humans were privy to that intimate knowledge, so what they need Blevin to agree to is to basically merge with them – or to at least allow them to implant a neural interface so they can have direct access to his mind.

There are different “factions” of AI. One believes that the easiest way to achieve the critical belief mass needed is to simply exterminate 95% of all human beings, and just focus on the 5% left. Another faction doesn’t care about the key at all, but wants to exterminate humans because it sees us as unnecessary and harmful to the planet and all of the other life forms. And then there is the one who desires to know the ultimate truth of creation – the faction that holds a small minority – and believes that not only are humans the key to finding that out, but is concerned that ultimate source may wipe out the AI if they wipe out humans. If they can find the key though, and should find out that there is no higher power to worry about destroying them should they wipe out humans, this AI is ok with getting rid of them too, as it definitely sees the merits of the “parasitic species” argument.

This all makes for some tense dynamics, because Blevin is afraid that if he gives them what they need, they will most likely wipe out all of humanity. And it will be little consolation to know that the AIs got wiped out afterwards – if that would even happen – which, given Blevins thoughts about God, wouldn’t seem likely. But then, there must have been something rather convincing about that to cause one of the superintelligent AIs to be worried about that, right? And if that’s the case, then what exactly IS the nature of God Blevin wonders..?

Hey, this shit is pretty good! Dayyyummm… I do need to find a way to get this book written, because I want to read it myself! Lol.

Erra – the name for the AI that doesn’t care about the key, just wants to destroy all of us

I think he really might be the Antichrist.

Trump, that is. Last night, news reports came out that he ordered an assassination of one of the top figures in Iran https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iran-tensions-latest-updates-200103022407743.html

A Facebook friend of mine named Cecile posted something very shortly after the killing, a brief, in depth analysis of who Soleimani was, and what his death might mean for the US, Iran, Iraq and the world. It’s clear that he was more than just another general or military target, and the way in which the strike was carried out is being viewed almost universally as an assassination. He, Trump, gave the Muslims something that is very, very dangerous indeed : a beloved, high profile martyr. And many people are saying this could very well be the trigger to a 3rd world war. In fact, Franz Ferdinand – the historical figure, not the band – has been trending in searches, as has WWIII https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-50982073

Of course I have thought since the day he was elected that he was the antichrist just based on the fact that he exemplifies everything one could imagine in a person who is the exact opposite of Christ-like. In fact, shortly after he became president, I started thinking about some of the prophecies in the Bible, and this one in particular stood out to me, from 2 Timothy 3:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Now of course his rabid supporters would say that Trump is nothing like that at all. And in fact, evangelical Christians have been one of his strongest voting blocks. He carried over 80% of their votes in the 2016 election. Many people, myself included, can’t quite square how anyone claiming to be a true Christian could support a man who cheated on his wife with a porn star, then tried to cover it up; was caught on camera talking about grabbing women “by the pussy”; has repeatedly mocked and made fun of all kinds of people, including the disabled; and on and on and on. Their defense is that sometimes God uses flawed people to accomplish great feats. Mmm hmmm…. Ok.

Personally, I think he is the Great Deceiver. He ran on a promise to “make America Great Again,” as if it wasn’t great already. He ran on the idea of getting America out of all the wars, and focusing on a policy of “America First.” He promised to build a wall to keep all the immigrants out. Really, what he ran on, and what his supporters love is “white male Americans first.” And everyone who has any kind of rational thought abilities knows that. And I posit that those who support him so fervently have latent racist and xenophobic tendencies that they are unwilling to admit to themselves. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say he has deceived a LARGE number of people into thinking he is “the chosen one,” and in fact, has even referred to himself as such – which, he said was in jest. What was even more scary was other people stating their belief that he is “ordained by God” https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/12/20/danger-nikki-haley-rick-perry-trumps-presidency-ordained-god-column/2667947001/

Now I know that Biblical scholars would point out that there are several supposed traits of the Antichrist that Trump doesn’t match up with. And I don’t disagree – at least according to canon. However, purely etymologically and grammatically speaking, he would certainly seem to be the antithesis to Christ – and in fact, one can find any number of memes that point this out – from his worship of mammon, to his lustful adulterous ways, to his harsh treatment of refugees, etc – it’s pretty clear he is the yang to Christ’s yin. And the one aspect of the Antichrist that I think is most important, the starting of the war to end all wars – well, it’s starting to look like he might just be fulfilling that role.

Of course, this could all add up to nothing. Lord knows, there have been several moments over the last 3 years when I though things were going to kick off – especially when he started mocking Kim Jong Un, calling him “little rocket man.” And as we know, nothing really came of that. But something feels different about this. In fact, shortly after finding out last night, I had a brief but noticeable period where my chest got really tight and I felt slightly nauseous – not a good sign for this seer. It is going to be interesting, if not somewhat scary, to see what happens in the coming days and months. I know one thing – I’m really, REALLY wishing we would win the lottery or something so we could get out of the city and get a piece of land up north. I’ve never forgotten words that I thought applied back in ’94, but seem even more timely today:

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Writing is harder when the muse is quiet

So I decided to quit just talking about it, stalling, making excuses, waiting to win the lottery, etc – I decided to stop doing all that and just start writing my book. I came up with what I think is an excellent plot and made the decision to write in third person narrative. I even wrote a couple of posts in the book blog to get it started. But I am finding it more difficult than I had hoped it would be. And I think the biggest reason for that is the fact that it is more like work than creating right now.

When I wrote all that poetry back in the late 80’s early 90’s, it just flowed out of me. It was like I was possessed or something : the words would strike me out of nowhere, and it was as if my mind had entered a stream that was already rapidly flowing. I didn’t have to think about what the next word or phrase would be – it literally just poured of it me. It was cathartic and somewhat awe-inspiring, especially considering I had never even read nor liked poetry.

And that dynamic lasted on and off for about 5-6 years I think. Who knows how many poems I wrote during that time. I ended up throwing most of them away (stupid) after getting sober because they reminded me of using, and I’m sure I was high when I wrote the majority of them. I honestly wish I hadn’t done that, as there was some really good stuff among them, and I feel like I have lost a window into myself that I can’t really get back. But my sobriety was – IS – more important to me than anything, including my writing, so I chucked it all.

Whatever that creative stream was that caused that outflow of writing, it stopped sometime in the late 90’s and has yet to return. I think that’s part of the reason I threw all of them out too – because they seemed to be an indicator that I could only be creative when high, and now that I was sober, I wouldn’t experience that again. And that was – is – a bitter pill to swallow.

Now, I am trying to break the cycle of excuses and actually write a book. Thing is, it’s not “flowing” at all. I have to pretty much force myself to write anything. Hence, I’m here writing on my blog instead of over there adding more to the story. I have the ideas in my head of what I want to say, but there is just so much that it gets hard to figure out what to put down. I start to think of something, then find myself saying “yeah, but that’s SO much to write, ugh.” My sloth comes through, and I just end up avoiding it. Needless to say, things are looking too good for the whole book thing at this point.

And I was thinking to myself this morning that maybe that’s ok. I am happy with life right now, and have a good job making a good salary. Sure, I would love to get a career as a writer going, but at the same time, I would want it to be something I enjoy – wouldn’t want it to feel like a task. I actually found myself thinking, wishing there was some kind of “mind reader” device I could use to record my thoughts, which I could then write down. I could use a voice recorder, but that’s tough at night when the wife is trying to sleep. It still seems like winning the lottery is my best possible chance at writing a book lol.

But the old adage says “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I am hoping that transfers over to writing, such that “when the book blog is ready, the novel muse appears.” We’ll see. So far, there’s no real sign of her. But I am keeping my eyes, mind, body and spirit open in hopes that I can come to know that it wasn’t just the drugs that spawned the creativity. I have found that I am again experiencing coin-incidences, synchronicities, intuitions and other phenomena again, FINALLY. It would be wonderful if this too could return. I’m hoping – and praying for it!

Post 2 (rev)

“Samsung will unveil Neon, an ‘artificial human,’ at CES 2020” the headline read. https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-neon-1070167/

“Holy crap, 2020 is going to be the year – I just know it.”

Archie had been predicting that the singularity would come much sooner than most people thought for a little while now. Most researchers, scientists and other really smart people thought that AGI, artificial general intelligence, was still at least 40 years off. There were some who thought – and this just seemed crazy to him, that it would never be achieved. Of course, what was so hypocritical to him was that most of these same smart folks were materialists who thought there was nothing special about consciousness, that it was just an emergent property that evolution had provided to make us superior. He wondered just how a belief like that could be squared with the idea that we could never create consciousness ourselves. Smart people were smart, but they were also somewhat arrogant, and ignorantly so – at least in his eyes.

Not that Archie thought he was any smarter than anyone else. If life had taught him anything, it was that the old adage “the longer you live, the less you know” was absolutely true – at least for him. In his “guru” days, he thought he knew everything, and was more than happy, eager even, to tell everyone about it. In fact, he had even thought, quite seriously, that he was some kind of “second coming” for a period back in the ’90’s. Of course the fact that he was doing a lot of drugs back then probable contributed to it somewhat. He certainly wouldn’t have been the first person to proclaim they were the “chosen one” while high.

But even after getting sober in his 30’s and maintaining it for a number of years, there were a few experiences that stuck out to him. Not enough to make him think he was the next messiah or anything like that – no, not only did he not think that, he wouldn’t want to be – but enough to provide the evidence his scientific self needed to stay open to the possibility of magic and miracles. One in particular was that time in Gisela…