Tag Archives | Reality

Physicist Discovers Computer Code Embedded Within the Equations of String Theory

In an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, physicist James Gates describes a digitally-encoded error checking algorithm embedded within the fundamental equations of String Theory:

Gates’s ideas are laid out in more depth in a 2010 article for Physics World. He believes that these theoretical findings, if validated, may be evidence that we live in a simulation. However, if there are algorithms encoded in the fabric of reality, is it not also possible that they might have emerged as a result of some natural selective process–a kind of cosmic DNA, if you will?

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Do Depressed People Simply Suffer From An Accurate View Of Reality?

Wikipedia on depressive realism, the theory that those with depression are free from the “optimism bias” that skews most people’s perception of the world:

Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority and optimism bias.

Studies by psychologists Alloy and Abramson (1979) and Dobson and Franche (1989) suggested that depressed people appear to have a more realistic perception of their importance, reputation, locus of control, and abilities than those who are not depressed.

Depressed people may be less likely to have inflated self-images and see the world through “rose-colored glasses” thanks to cognitive dissonance elimination and a variety of other defense mechanisms that allow [individuals] to ignore or otherwise look beyond the harsh realities of life.

This does not necessarily imply that a specific happy person is delusional nor deny that some depressed individuals may be unrealistically negative.

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Is Bigfoot in the Process of Becoming Real?

Picture: Patterson-Gimlin photo (C)

Bigfoot research reminds me of string theory. Like string theory, Bigfoot research is all based on inferences drawn from a pretty small data set, and as we observe these inferences, the creature seems to takes on a life of its own.

In many ways, string theory resembles a very esoteric form of philosophy rather than objective empirical science, but it may help make sense of the world. There is an aspect of it that is very creative. In a particular line of thinking, studying string theory is like creating reality. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, without a mind to observe it, “reality” remains in the realm of possibility as quantum superposition, collapsing into the real by the act of measuring.

Like the wise sage Mitch Hedberg once said “I think Bigfoot is blurry. That’s the problem“, but Bigfoot seems to become more real all the time as our minds have a chance to get our heads around him.… Read the rest

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“Life is But a Dream”

Picture: Anonmoos (PD)

“As sunlight obscures the stars by day so too does wakefullness blind us to the fact that we are still dreaming.”

Liber Kaos, Peter J Carroll.

Part 1, Essays for the Discordian occultist: introducing the lucid dream.

Everything you experience of the outside world has to pass via your senses into your brain. Your body acts as an instrument through which reality is filtered. Ignorance allows you to focus. You always exclude more than you are taking in. If this article has your full attention it will necessarily be at the expense of other things.  If you’re reading it on your mobile in a pub some people will see your focus as ignorant, for example.

It is with your memory and imagination that you decode meaning from the chaos of the external world. You’ve been around in some form or other since the dawn of time. In my experience it’s only recently that any of it has made any sort of “sense” thanks in the main to my memory and imagination.… Read the rest

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We Are All Susceptible To Delusions

Former psychologist Frank Tallis on “monosymptomatic delusion” — in which an otherwise sane person latches onto one big outlandish idea. It is possibly responsible for both demonic possession and falling in love. Via New Scientist:

Once a patient came in and said: “I am possessed by a demon.” This guy wasn’t insane, he wasn’t schizophrenic – he just had this particular belief. In my day we called it “monosymptomatic delusion”, but now it would be called something like “delusional disorder”. That’s when you’re completely sound and reasonable in every respect except you have one belief that is absolutely bonkers.

You have to have an openness to it. Lots of people are open to all kinds of spiritual and magical beliefs. An individual could have a perfectly harmless interest in the supernatural but then something happens that triggers this delusion and they get stuck with it, reinforcing it by piling up one misinterpretation after another.

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The Reality That ‘KONY 2012′ Missed

Ugandan ArmyVery compelling read from Jakob Schiller on WIRED’s Raw File below. (Also, worth reading this Washington Post article if you have not come across it):

The video calling for a national campaign to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, the International Criminal Court’s #1 most-wanted warlord, has been viewed more than 100 million times since it was published on March 5. The day of action it calls for is tomorrow, April 20. While most people agree that Kony should be brought to justice for his crimes against the Ugandan people and children, the video has come under criticism for oversimplifications that could actually do harm to the people it aims to help.

For photographer Glenna Gordon, the inaccuracies were particularly shocking because she had spent two years in Uganda as a stringer for the Associated Press and knew that the facts on the ground were much different than what was portrayed.

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Media Roots Radio: Existential Conversation – State of Humanity & the World

Via Media Roots: Robbie & Abby Martin of Media Roots have an impromptu late night conversation about existentialism: the progression of technology and its effect on human interaction; human nature and the inability to face personal truths; reinforced perceptions of reality and societal myths keeping people in line; false flag terrorism, corporate collusion, the police state ruling society by fear and the unsustainable nature of global capitalism.
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Dreaming of Electric Sheep

End Of The WorldIn this column for Toronto Standard, Emily Keeler asks, “Are Dystopic literary visions becoming the way of the world?” Call me Henry Case, but i think she might be on to something.

Okay, it’s true: I tend to prefer fiction to fact. Though some journalists (and essayists) who work with what you might call “reality” get my gears going, I typically think stories are better, if only because they offer a window to a different, much less banal world. I learned early that novels are a place to run to, islands of respite from the endless rowing across the boring and tedious ocean between birth and death. It’s a place, to abuse a phrase associated with one of fiction’s loudest champions, where I can go to get away from being already pretty much away from it all. Stories relieve me of myself, from the blandness of my mostly apolitical and largely unremarkable life, and none more so than fictions of the mystifying future.

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Pandas Raised By People In Panda Suits

pandaVia ShortList, the story of a panda born into captivity in China that lives surrounded by humans in realistic panda costumes. It’s enough to make one wonder, have I lived my life surrounded by superior beings in human suits?

A captive born panda who has never seen a human face has celebrated his 1st birthday at Wolong Panda wild training base in China.

To prevent him from getting used to humans, since his birth staff have only ever approached him while wearing completely inconspicuous panda suits and have observed him and his mother from afar. As such they are hoping that he will adapt to life in the wild.

Since his birth Tao Tao has been learning all the behaviors pandas need in the wild, such as walking, climbing trees and looking for food. Tao Tao now weighs 25kg and is displaying wild panda habits, such as climbing trees and looking for food and water.

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