Rich and Famous

Are you rich and famous? If not, why not? No offense, but you’re in a freakin’ simulation designed to bring dreams to life!! If you’re not doing something amazing, you’re being an absolute tool.

Imagine playing Minecraft for the first time. You enter the world, lost in the middle of the woods — so you seek out the nearest village. You reckon that your only course of action is to rent a room from one of the villagers while helping to pick crops from the local farm. You go to bed every night for fear of monsters and never stray too far. What a stupid way to play, right?

You should be out exploring and building grand monuments as testament to your creative power and saving villages from pillagers. You should be building portals to other realms or collecting treasures or mining to parts unknown. Your name should be known far and wide in that world — your mark should be made everywhere you go. THAT is how you play!

Imagine living out that mundane life in Minecraft and meeting up with other players at the end of it all. You might ask one: so what did you do while in the world? “Well I sought the End Portal and defeated the Ender Dragon. What about you?” Oh, well I lived in a small room in a village and picked carrots mostly. “WTF bro!?!”

But that’s a game, blah, blah, blah! Yet, in interview after interview of rich and famous people, you’ll hear them talk about how they once wished to be where they currently are. Then one day, they suddenly found themselves surrounded by the physical manifestation of their dreams. It happens again and again — it can’t be a coincidence!

In addition, they always add: and you too can fulfill YOUR dreams. Are they lying? Are they simply the “lucky ones”? OR maybe you’re a moron that’s been playing this game wrong. Which is more likely to be true: that rich and famous people are lying to you OR you’re clueless? Spoiler Alert! You’re a chump.

Have you not seen untalented people rise to the rank of rich and famous!? How is that possible? Because this is a world where dreams come true. Whereas you’re focused on thoughts of lack and limitation, they go through the world unencumbered by such nonsense. It doesn’t take luck or hard-work or talent or any in-world stuff at all — it takes focus.

Filter out the lack and limitation and focus only on the life you want to live. This is a dream-world and your path is selected through focus. Believe in a mundane world and you shall have it. Believe in a scary world and it’s yours. Believe in a grand world of fanciful delights and you’ll have that. Become rich and famous, there’s no reason not to.

Origin of Species

Being that I believe in Simulation Theory, that kinda kills the whole Darwinism thing. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. That’s not to say that evolutionary-like patterns and inheritance aren’t fundamental parts of this world — but those things are done behind the scenes, in code — NOT by means of an ongoing struggle for survival.

As a programmer myself, I reuse code all the time. It’s common to use previously devised patterns and algorithms as the foundation of new stuff. So if you examine the codebase of my various programs, you can see undeniable similarities and an evolving design. And by building on previous code, each iteration grows in complexity.

Darwinism presumes that an epic competition occurred over the course of millions of years and WE, along with our cats and dogs, are the end result. But not truly the end, for the battle rages on in an endless quest to develop the most suitable beings for this harsh and brutal environment — a place that provides no quarter to the weak.

Except I AM weak. I’m quite inept in fact. And the people I’ve known throughout my life are pretty weak too, no offense. Physically, emotionally — just dealing with life, as well as lacking in self-control and determination — it’s a sad state of affairs I’d say. The “struggle for survival” just isn’t there.

Are we the anomalies? I don’t think so. I think this world was created as-is to be a playground for bodiless beings. WE are NOT the sum total of organic evolution, WE are what happens when the incorporeal dream. With a spark of inspiration, an entire world with ever-branching narratives filled the void.

Oh a big-bang happened alright — it was the moment the dream began. The storybook opened and pages began filling with tales of embodied beings living outlandish lives filled with chaotic circumstances. The crazier the better, each iteration trying to outdo whatever came before. So it is THIS, this silly whimsical dream, that is the origin of species.

Simulated Realization

Does knowing it’s a simulation spoil the experience?

For some, I’d say the opposite is true. Believing life to be a completely organic experience, ruled by chance, is anxiety inducing. Imagine having the belief that the world will randomly inflict chaos upon you, your family, and the larger population at ANY moment. Yikes. How can you live like that — feeling as though doom is waiting around every corner. I tried it for decades, it sucks.

So for those types of people, knowing that they’re experiencing a fabricated adventure can come as a great relief. And again, having learned this myself, it’s true — I’m much more at ease. And relatedly, my experience of existence has improved. I’ve always known that movies are fabricated adventures, yet I enjoy those — same with games. It’s easy to suspend belief, so knowing the simulation is a simulation isn’t a problem.

And even though the obviousness of the simulation is readily apparent, I’m sucked into dramatic productions all the time. The mind doesn’t focus very well and often takes the observing consciousness on frivolous adventures. The trick is to derive some form of amusement from these little excursions. To be fair, I didn’t enjoy much before, and I still find it challenging to enjoy myself now.

But think about it: my biggest obstacles in life used to be catastrophic global annihilation, armed bandits, spreading germs, oppressive totalitarian regimes, rampant corruption, and a world that simply didn’t care. Nowadays my biggest obstacle is finding the fun in every moment. I can’t always find it, but big-deal right? I live in a world that cares so much, that it creates a never-ending narrative to keep me entertained.

That’s pretty cool if you ask me. Thanks, simulated reality!

Matrix Preloaded

I was just re-watching the 1993 Ship in a Bottle episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It predates The Matrix (1999) by a few years, here are some tidbits:

[Data was telling Barclay about a problem he was having with his computer program:]

DATA: Sherlock Holmes program, 3A, has demonstrated some very curious anomalies.
BARCLAY: There must have been a glitch in the matrix diodes, but I’ll track it down, don’t worry.

[A conversation between Picard and Moriarty:]

MORIARTY: When this is over, you will walk out of this room to the real world and your own concerns, and leave me here trapped in a world I know to be nothing but illusion. I cannot bear that. I must leave.
PICARD: Professor, you are a computer simulation.
MORIARTY: If I am nothing more than a computer simulation, then very little will have been lost. But if I am right?

[At the end of the episode, after Picard tricked Moriarty into believing he actually left the holodeck:]

TROI: You mean he never knew he hadn’t left the holodeck?
PICARD: In fact, the program is continuing even now inside that cube.
CRUSHER: A miniature holodeck?
DATA: In a way, Doctor. However, there is no physicality. The program is continuous but only within the computer’s circuitry.
BARCLAY: As far as Moriarty and the Countess know, they’re halfway to Meles II by now. This enhancement module contains enough active memory to provide them experiences for a lifetime.
PICARD: They will live their lives and never know any difference.
TROI: In a sense, you did give Moriarty what he wanted.
PICARD: In a sense. But who knows? Our reality may be very much like theirs. All this might be just an elaborate simulation running inside a little device sitting on someone’s table.

As we can see, this episode actively suggests that the reality we’re experiencing might be simulated. It also suggests that knowing the simulation IS a simulation has a detrimental effect on the experience. It is therefore in the best interest of the experiencer to be tricked into thinking he is experiencing an organic form of existence.

Thoughtful Existence

If life is a simulation, thoughts are the controls — and those controls are difficult to master. Therefore, you have two options: practice mastering the controls OR get comfortable with crashing.

One of the toughest aspects of “thought” is the constant stream — you’re not given time to get a handle on things. New thoughts wipe-out old ones in an instant, and you forget everything you realized moments earlier.

The challenge we face here on Earth is NOT physical survival. If you could give that concept even a moment’s analysis, you’d see how obvious it is. Our challenge therefore, is becoming proficient with the controls.

Imagine you’re walking through an empty field. And whatever you think magically manifests right before your eyes. You begin to get paranoid and start thinking about wolves. Suddenly a wolf-pack appears and chases after you. You think of safety, and a building appears. You run in and lock the door. You imagine hunger and your stomach immediately rumbles. If only you had food. You turn and see food sitting on a table.

In the previous scenario, you can notice how severely responsive (and thus unwieldy) such controls can be. Yikes. Now imagine there are competing thoughts as well as delays mixed in — how the heck are those conditions going to factor into the output? So perhaps you can appreciate how hard it is to operate the thought-based control mechanism.

Why have such a difficult-to-control mechanism in the first place? Well, if you’re a bodiless being, what else is there but pure thought? You’re formlessness given form, there’s no other option but to think your way through, there’s no hand-held controllers when you lack hands.

And the constant stream of thought is most likely the mechanism that provides continuity. You’re being hit with a barrage of story elements to process — otherwise you’d be sitting in blank-space trying to manually come up with the next scene. Instead, scenes and scenarios and all sorts of ideas are just thrown in your face — creating a somewhat consistent narrative to captivate your attention.

So here’s where we’re at: you’re a bodiless being with an awareness. That awareness is subjected to a constant stream of thought that takes you on a wild ride through the fun-house. You do have an ability to focus your attention and alter your perception of what you’re experiencing — but that takes awareness and practice. What makes it even harder, is that you have little ability to retain things once you figure them out — new thoughts just keep coming, wiping out whatever you attempt to retain.

You have two ways by which you can improve your experience. Buckle-down and practice refining your focus. In short, you’d maintain focus on the things you do like, while removing your attention from things you don’t like. Or, you could adopt an attitude of pure acceptance, appreciating everything that comes your way — in short, fighting against your sense of revulsion and attempting to love everything. Or perhaps a bit of both? The approach you take might come down to personal preference. Good luck!

Everyday Ideal

If the world is a simulation, why isn’t everyday ideal?

Some common arguments:

Appreciation argument. “If everyday was awesome, you wouldn’t appreciate it! Duh!” This is a flawed argument because we enjoy meals EVERYDAY. Some people even eat the exact same thing for breakfast every morning and STILL appreciate it. Not to mention that we often keep the same people in our lives for DECADES and still love and appreciate them even though we see them EVERYDAY. Plus, people have an inherent forgetfulness anyway — once we forget, it’s new again!

Boring argument. “It’d get boring to do the the same awesome stuff over and over again!” Uh, not really. We often love routines and hobbies as well as revisiting stuff we’ve forgotten about. And again, not only do we eat food everyday, but often multiple times throughout the day — and we’re not bored of eating yet.

Higher-highs argument. “By having lows, it makes our highs even higher!” Oftentimes when people are sick they say “I’ll appreciate my health as soon as I’m better!!” — yet when we get better, we go right back to the daily grind, forgetting our vow of appreciation. In other words, we forget too quickly to even remember the lows.

Outside influence argument. “If it wasn’t for other people, my life would be perfect! Other people ruin life!” If you already believe that the world is a simulation or a dream, then this argument isn’t true because we create our own reality. The interactions we have with others are directly based on our thoughts and intentions.

Teaching lessons argument. “I’m put through difficult experiences in order to learn lessons.” What lesson is learned from Pac-Man? Game playing is typically about having fun — and the things we learn in video-games aren’t usually applicable to human-life because the universes are completely different. So if there’s a place beyond this universe, who’s to say the lessons are transferable? Plus, if players have been playing round after round for thousands of games, then what’s there to learn? And again, if it wasn’t for our forgetfulness, we would learn lessons VERY quickly — yet as it is, we repeat the same mistakes throughout the SAME life.

Some less common arguments:

Lack of mental discipline. “My wandering mind is so turbulent and unfocused that I create a chaotic life for myself.” This is an interesting argument — and there are those that’ve had life-altering epiphanies that subsequently experience a very blissful existence afterwards. So when the mind is calmed and aligned with life, things really do improve.

Lack-mindedness. “I can’t have that!! That’s impossible! This is a world in which I have limited abilities and limited access to resources!” Another interesting argument. I’ve seen a few interviews with formerly successful people that couldn’t handle it, they essentially gave up and toppled from their top-spot. And of course I’ve heard many unsuccessful people putting hard limits on themselves. There does seem to be a correlation here.

Guilt/shame. “I’m imperfect. I’ve done too many wrong things. I’ve hurt someone. I’m an embarrassment. I don’t deserve happiness or success.” Again, I’ve seen enough interviews with regular-folks on talk-shows where this seems to ring-true. Some people truly seem to be punishing themselves for certain sins they feel they committed — and they refuse to allow themselves any bit of happiness or success.

Masochism. “I want to experience pain. I want to suffer. I want to struggle. I want real challenge and a whole lotta discomfort!” I’ve seen plenty of interviews with people reflecting on their struggle through life — whatever they do, they’re struggling. But of course, I’ve seen plenty of other people that aren’t struggling — they’re casually sauntering through life. This means that struggle is NOT an inherent factor of existence — it seems more like a preference. Some people want a raw and gritty challenge whereas some don’t.

The world is inherently cruel. “Bad things happen because this world is mean.” This can’t be true because there are too many counter-examples of people having great lives. The underlying factor of success more likely lies with the individual player rather than the world itself. Plus, a game isn’t “cruel” if it’s performing its purpose: fulfilling the wants and wishes of the player. If the player asks for pain and receives pain, is it the game that’s cruel or is the player simply a masochist?

The world is inherently hard. “Difficult things happen because the world is designed to be hard.” This might be true. Let’s face it, some games are hard to play. It’s possible that the gameplay of Earth is so difficult that it’s easy to perform poorly and get overwhelmed and ultimately frustrated.

Conclusions:

So to answer the question: If the world is a simulation, why isn’t everyday ideal? The answer seems to be: your thoughts are the controls, and you suck at controlling the mind. If you want an ideal day, your mind has to be focused on the ideal — not wandering this way and that.

Imagine a remote-controlled airplane: if you keep jerking the controls all over the place or you’re not paying attention — if you’re not keeping it steady, you’re gonna crash — whereas if you make appropriate adjustments and keep the plane stable, it’s going to be a smooth flight.

“BUT, why do some people receive epiphanies that essentially make their minds easy to control?” The few people I’ve seen interviewed that’ve had this happen, had complete breakdowns prior to their “enlightenment”. In other words, they gave up, and this was the drastic step necessary for them to continue.

Whereas with near-enlightened people, people that got good at mental discipline through years of practice — it seems like they still work at controlling their thoughts. In other words, it never ends: the train can still fly off the rails if you don’t keep a steady hand on the controls. It gets easier to control with practice, but vigilance is forever necessary.

Focus is on manual-control — that’s the free-will we’re provided. If you fail to focus, you’ll crash. If you find that type of chaos fun, then great, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy the wild ride. But if you don’t like it, you’ll need to work on your focus. Apparently, the manual-focus is a primary component of existence — at the very least it allows you to feel fully immersed. But if you completely give up, auto-pilot WILL kick in and you’ll be able to continue life — but with a less than organic feel to it.

I think we can say with some certainty that life IS hard — it’s truly difficult to maintain a steady course. All games have a particular level of difficulty and Earth is no different. The thoughts constitute a bucking bronco, a beast that’s near-impossible to contain. Can you do it? Are you up to the challenge? If you’re able to rein-in the turbulent mind or even just go with its flow, a great and satisfying life does seem possible.

Next Update

How would you make the simulation more to your liking? What would you spend your time doing?

Consistently predictable weather. “Oh, it’s going to rain solid for 4 days at the beginning of next month? And then a consistent 75F and sunny? Great!”

Consistent political environment i.e. politics is not a sport, simply a means to ensure social/economic fairness and distribute resources. Basically, everything’s run by professionals and everyday-folks don’t notice.

Schools reflect actual life instead of a hodgepodge of archaic academic lessons. For example: interpersonal communication is practiced instead of labeling adverbs and gerunds.

Food and its sources are well-respected. Farmed-animals and planted-crops are treated lovingly and humanely. Manufactured foods consist only of authentic ingredients.

All travel is safe and reliable — crashes aren’t a thing.

People do what they wanna do: gig-economy, popup shops, little eateries, micro-farming, e-sports, hobbies, makers/creators — any transactions are easy and fluid. And some people work for large corporations, doing and making impressive things.

There’s an “Ikea of engineering” that sells engineering kits. They’re not very difficult to assemble, but perhaps take a couple of weeks to put together. For example, they might sell a high-quality programmable robotic dog.

As far as what I’d spend my time doing? I would like to consume media (movies, shows, videos, games), assemble stuff from engineering kits, do some light woodworking, observe innovation and use its output (e.g. new computing devices, new transportation, new media experiences i.e. Virtual Reality), shop for stuff, chat with family, stroll around town, write a bit, and I’d like to sample and devour delicious foods.