Peddling Hope

Hope for sale! Get your hope here! The freshest hope around! Genuine 100% hope!

It’s kinda funny how people sell hope. There’s preachers, marketers, new-agers, pep-talkers — all kinds of people making millions by selling nothing but hope. But what’s wrong with that? Nothing I suppose. There’s people that sell nothing but laughs for instance. There’s even people that sell delightful frights in the form of scary tales.

From the outside, selling hope might seem like a scam. “If you believe this particular idea, your life will get better!” But what if it doesn’t actually get better? Pay $10 for a movie and you receive one movie. Whereas if you invest in a belief system that promises the manifestation of your dreams — those dreams may or may not come true. That seems like a waste of time and money, no?

Well, when you watch a comedic performance on Netflix, the laughs begin and end there. You experience a moment of levity that might even carry you through the night but it soon fades away. Isn’t that the same with hope — you receive a delightful feeling of anticipation while you imagine your dreams coming true. When you buy laughs you don’t expect the whole rest of your life to be filled with mirth and merriment — why should the sale of hope have a more stringent guarantee?

Some people love scary stories — aren’t they entitled to receive a thrill? From the outside, that seems like a sick and twisted way to spend one’s time, watching stories of bloody gore and psychotic killers, yet there’s a big market for scary stuff. Plain and simple, some people enjoy hope and they’re willing to invest time and money into its cultivation.

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Parade Politics

If you want to understand the immigration debate, try finding a seat at a parade.

When the early-birds show up, the world is their oyster, plenty of room for everyone. They’ll even set up some coolers filled with chilled beverages. Folding chairs are everywhere. This is open-country, and they’ll do with it as they please.

When the on-time people start arriving (slightly before the parade starts), the early-birds eye them suspiciously and man their defenses — they’ll hunker down, get to their chairs and shoot judgmental looks all around, securing their territory.

But when the late-people get there, the “laties” as I call them (arriving at the start-time or after) — oh boy, well they just expect to squeeze-in anywhere or perhaps they’ll go right to the front. Some will claim a form of hardship to try and garner sympathy.

We forget that what we’re there for, is to celebrate our union, our togetherness, in the form of a festive procession. Yet we’re territorial tribalists putting party-first as soon as some “others” show up looking to squeeze our space into something smaller than it was.

I’m usually an on-timer by the way, so I view the early-birds as idealist dreamers willfully refusing to accept the fact that others will be coming. Of course there are more people coming, make some room! But man, I am not a fan of “laties”. I sit in my small spot, maybe even in the back, as I try to be respectful and well-behaved — therefore, I can sympathize with early-birds at that point when late-people start showing-up and make my small space even smaller while some even stand right in front of me (so rude!).

I start to think… if only they capped it off and didn’t allow laties into the audience at some point. How can you do that at a parade though? Yet I see this scenario playing out at every event I attend. But if a problem follows you around, the problem is probably you. So of course the real solution for me, is to not focus on the audience, but focus on the show. Why get so entranced by territorial matters when that’s not why I’m there.

In other words, my lack of focus is causing my discomfort. Even if there wasn’t a “laties” issue, then I might focus on the excesses of the early-birds. Or maybe, god-forbid, there’s a smoker next to me. If I’m looking to be perturbed, I can always find something to dislike (seek, and ye shall find). Moral of the story: stop whining and enjoy the show.

Universal Mind

Why do we know things — individually and as a society?

From a purely physical perspective, all knowledge is held within the collective minds of mankind. In other words, every individual is a redundant data-storage module, that when combined with all other individuals, contains the sum of human knowledge. Society’s memory is simply stored in the memories of individuals. No one person contains everything, but multiple people hold the same information for particular areas.

There is a slower archival-storage mechanism, in the form of books and videos and such. But this still requires an individual to know enough to seek out such books and know where to find them and how to follow them. So primarily, society’s memory is stored in the active memory of individuals.

We also know that memories decay over time. As new things enter our mind, old things become less relevant, the past becomes even more distant and details fade. And memories aren’t stored digitally, but in an analog format. For example, when I try to recall something from decades ago: I kinda remember, I know it sounds like “mara…” no, no, it was “Sara…” wait no, “Kara…” that’s it! But I might be wrong and the memory becomes corrupted.

The details of not-so-popular things are probably corrupted the most since less people hold them in memory. But what if my own memory contradicts the memory of the collective mind? When a few individuals share the same contradiction, this concept has been termed the “Mandela Effect” or sometimes “Retroactive Continuity”. Some adherents claim there’s evidence of archival-storage contradicting the memory of the collective mind (sometimes called “residue”).

Since I believe in Simulation Theory, I don’t adhere to the purely physical perspective. My belief is that knowledge is held in a Universal Consciousness located beyond the confines of the physical world. When inspiration or understanding comes out of nowhere, I assume it comes from this Universal Consciousness. In other words, parents and teachers do not impart the knowledge we possess, it’s simply unlocked at the appropriate time when needed.

In my experience, there is no wisdom of the crowd. Instead, an individual is instilled with an inspiring idea that subsequently influences the crowd. And this inspiring idea wasn’t passed down, it didn’t come from society’s memory, it was fresh information that radically altered society as a whole. Spiritual leaders, political leaders, philosophers, inventors — the things these people knew didn’t come from rehashing old stuff into something great — aging leftovers don’t make the best meals.

And I don’t believe the simulation is absolute and concrete in its ways. It’s more of a dream that flows and forms based on feedback from the player. And in dreams, continuity doesn’t matter, corruption of concepts is a regular occurrence — so in my thinking, things like the Mandela Effect or Retroactive Continuity could readily occur. (I’m mentioning these concepts because my friend mentioned them to me this morning and I’m writing this to help clarify my thoughts on the matter).

An Odd Coincidence

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Haphazard Historian.

In 1972, during his first term in office, then president Nixon made a historic journey to the East in order to establish relations with an angry and isolated China. In 2018, current president Trump made a historic journey to the East in order to establish relations with an angry and isolated North Korea.

In 1974, Nixon resigned due to a scandal that came about from the 1972 presidential election, the election in which he attained his second term in office. Shady characters working on behalf of Nixon sought to sabotage his Democratic rivals. At least some of these men were caught in the act. A high-level FBI official, knowing what happened, leaked what he knew to The Washington Post. This information would link these shady characters directly to the president himself, ultimately resulting in his resignation.

The current president is currently plagued by election issues in which it’s alleged that shady characters sought to sabotage his Democratic rival. In Nixon’s time, the FBI was apparently not able to directly involve itself in the situation, hence the leaking-of-information tactic. And as it was then, The Washington Post is a vocal critic of the current administration. One would reason then, that the ultimate goal is to tie the current administration directly to the shady characters that worked to sabotage its opponents.

Another item to consider, is that during his time in congress, Nixon was an active member of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the controversial committee that investigated communist ties and spies. According to this group, there is a long and established history of Soviet espionage and tampering within the United States. It is alleged that the successor of the Soviet Union is continuing this trend and in fact played the part of the shady characters.

Is history repeating itself? Will this narrative have a surprise ending or is it simply a remake of the original? Like in Hollywood, are there only a handful of storylines that just get remade over and over again? Does this lend evidence to the proposition that the world is merely a manufactured fiction? A simulation perhaps…? Stay tuned! Same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Channel!

American Style

I’d say what makes America, America, is reckless radical optimism.

How are we gonna get there?
F*ck it, we’re already out the door!

First there’s the Pilgrims:
John: Hey, you know what’d be better than all these old fogies tellin’ us what to do?
William: Um, moving to an untamed wilderness and starting our own God-based society?
John: YES!! We’re totally on the same page bro!
Henry: But how are you guys gonna survive? You’re like a businessman or whatever!
John: Huh? I can’t hear you bro, I’m already on a boat halfway to America….

Then there’s the Founding Fathers:
Samuel: You know what’d be better than all these royal asshats tellin’ us what to do?
John: Startin’ a war and implementing our own government??
Samuel: You read my mind cousin!
James: How the heck is that gonna work!?
John: LOL! We’re just gonna wing it brah!
Samuel: Too late to worry now! Shots fired!!

And how about those plantation owners:
Rhett: How are we gonna get all this work done Bo?
Bo: Well, we could just kidnap folks from a remote location and force them to labor without wages.
Rhett: Won’t they object?
Bo: Nah, why would they, prolly love us for providing jobs!!
Rhett: What about the long-term ramifications?
Bo: Can’t hear ya! Already halfway to Africa!!

And there’s the Civil War guys too:
Henry: What if we free them by sending hundreds of thousands of armed men down there?
David: Um, won’t they fire back?
Henry: Are you nuts! What could go wrong!
David: Um, hundreds of thousands of people could die in the process…?
Henry: Preposterous!
David: And what about the aftermath? Maybe if we looked at England’s method of….
Henry: Huh!? I can’t hear you over the cannon I keep firing!!!

And of course there’s foreign policy:
Allen: You know what might help the ongoing strife in that non-english-speaking country…
Dick: Sendin’ weapons and troops…?
Allen: You know it bro!
Dick: Well at least it can’t hurt!

And what about space travel:
Tim: I’m thinkin’ we strap y’all to a rocket and fire it up toward the moon… whaddya say?
John: Haha, yeah whatever.
Neil: I’ll do it!!

And electing the president:
Adam: Who should we elect as president?
Bruce: Maybe we nominate the best and brightest and follow that up with a rigorous selection process?
Adam: Nah, go with the guy that electrifies the crowd!
Bruce: Yeah that’ll work too!!

This is no criticism by the way, simply a characterization. If you’re wantin’ to pump the brakes, then you might not be much of an American. If you’re ever faced with the question, “Should I do this?” — stomp the accelerator — the answer is always “Yes”! If you’re thinkin’ ’bout potential negative consequences then you’re doin’ it wrong! Things are gonna turn out awesome, always!!

Wishlist 2018

If life is a computer-simulation, what changes would you like to see implemented?

From my particular perspective, I would like these aspects altered:
A good night’s sleep every night.
A perfectly functioning physical body.
Increased resources.
Upgraded dwelling.
Light easy travel with family.

In general I’d like to see:
An abundance of safe well-functioning advanced technology.
Worry-free transportation.
Clothing designed to fit flawlessly.
A stable basically futuristic/utopian political climate.

Society-wise, I’d like to see all medical/legal/political and even relationship drama come to a close. Instead of heavy dramatic stuff, I think challenges and competition should come in the form of ever-advancing technology, philosophy, art, athletics, and just creativity in general. There can be exploration of not only space and uncharted regions of the planet, but consciousness and the underlying foundation of existence itself. People often overlook that the Internet was (and still is) a new frontier to be explored and conquered.

P.S. Yes, I do like Star Trek.

Democratic Consensus

People often assume that democracy necessitates a majority-rule system. For instance, two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for dinner — obviously in a majority-rule system the sheep is toast. So, majority-rule is not a sustainable system, the majority would continually exploit the minority. And from the minority perspective, why would they agree to be contributing participants in a society that guarantees their powerlessness? The point of a democracy is for the people, ALL PEOPLE, to have power.

In a well-functioning democracy therefore, the sheep’s voice matters. “Oh you don’t want to be eaten? Then we shall compromise and come to a consensus.” A well-functioning democracy polls the people not to determine a ruling majority, but to listen to the tiniest voice of dissent. If there is no consensus, then there is no democracy, you simply have tyranny of the majority.

Another example: Jim, Carol, and Alice are deciding on what to have for lunch. Jim and Carol vote for a large cheese pizza but Alice is allergic to all dairy ingredients. In a majority-rule system, Alice is screwed. But in a democratic system in which every voice matters, a compromise is reached and Alice receives a palatable meal.

In a well-functioning democracy there are no teams because every voice is heard, there’s no vying for a majority. Every individual has the right to live the life he sees fit. Within a viable democracy, two conditions should be met: society must maintain a belief in everyone’s equality, and secondly, the powerful must sacrifice a portion of their power for the sake of the democracy.

For example, the wolves must respect the sheep’s right to live unmolested while welcoming their participation in society. Additionally, the wolves must not use their power to intimidate and force preferential outcomes. Because of this, rules of civility and equality must be maintained and enforced and checks must be placed on the influence of the powerful.

If a society maintains a tyranny of the majority, it’s a cruel and careless system that is not worthy of upkeep. A sustainable and well-functioning democracy necessitates that every voice is heard and considered.