If I take a pill and expect to fall asleep, will I doze off even if it’s just a placebo? Perhaps I will, assuming I’m unaware of its sugary nature, if I can convince myself that sleeping is in my best interest at that point. How long I sleep is a different question, and if I’m a part of a sleep-aid study, maybe my ability to fall asleep on command will corrupt the data recorded, though hopefully the fraudulent results of one person’s participation won’t harm the overall value of the patients without my wizardly capabilities. But you know what? Screw ’em, I don’t really give a rat’s ass as long as they give me my five hundred bucks. I’ve been yearning for an iPad for a couple years now, and if swallowing some pills will get it for me, I don’t care how long I end up urinating blood. It doesn’t hurt, does it? I imagine it’s just in the urine as a result of faulty processing or something. Is it actually internal bleeding that drains itself through the bladder? Wow, I have to pee really bad.
So let’s assume that the dominant force in the universe is the desire to do good and that everything under its jurisdiction had the altruism to do the right thing every single time. Would existence be nearly as interesting as it stands today, the way the universe ultimately panned out, and since the universe did turn out this way, was there any other possible way for it to have turned out? Of course there is always that possibility to ponder, but is there really any reason to? It gets the brain going, sure, but is there a fundamental reason to stimulate your mind if all the thoughts will just end up polluting your head because they come up with impossible situations which you then convince yourself are possible, simply because you’ve gone through the act of thinking about them? That all sounds like a mental disorder, but we all do the same shit to ourselves, and the way we mess ourselves up becomes apparent as we deal with the other people in our surroundings, because we begin to project our insecurities and ignorance to everybody with whom we speak, and those people then have the choice of either dismissing it as bullshit, considering it carefully and making an informed decision, or jumping on board with it at the tip of a hat. There are many people from all three groups, and I think it’s terrifying that there are so many millions of people in that third group, because you never know what kind of whackjob will come up out of the sewer and spin a few phrases to get a strong following of fairly unintelligent people, which turns into a large mob of almost not unintelligible people that defends their creator’s ideas like they have rabies, and there’s nothing any sane person can do about it except point and laugh. When we speak, we always have an audience, be it ourself or even just the fact that when we talk we emit sound waves that bounce off of things and physically affect them (especially if they’re particularly concentrated and loud sound waves). When we speak, our field of existence shifts just enough to accommodate those words, a modification that may lead to infinite other possibilities for change–most likely none of those possibilities will come to mind, because we can’t actually see what our speech does to our surroundings; we can only see what happens after we let loose, and we often think of any connection between the speech and what comes directly after as completely circumstantial (which it is, because of the circumstance of our changing our plane of existence with some words), and then, therefore, everything is random because we cannot see the direct cause and effect of over 99% of everything (the >1% being those strange coincidental stories you’ve heard your friends tell dozens of times over the years). Can we alter our perception and see things more clearly? Well, shamans have been tripping on shrooms, peyote and salvia for thousands of years, so there’s a basis for that school of thought, but every civilization manages to find a different meaning for what happens when you enter that state. Is it a spiritual realm? Is it a merging of adjacent dimensions into a psychedelic blending and patterning of our surroundings? Nobody has been able to reach a firm consensus, though neuroscientists have been able to pinpoint the stimulated parts of the tripping brain (from which they can probably deduce why we feel the way we do when we enter these spaces, but not what the spaces are). I think that since we still consume these psychedelic mind-enhancers, there must be a lingering sense of magic from those ancient times when many things were inexplicable (and most of those things were then called magical, for lack of a better reality), and no matter what kind of technology we may develop, there will always be a strong pull towards the organic experience of ecstasy and colorful visions, because when you boil it down to the history of human interaction with Earth, the things we use in our modern technology has been relatively inaccessible for the majority of our existence, made of things like aluminum and plastic, while hallucinogenic drugs have always been organic, edible and available to us, affecting the human lifestyle for an extended period of time. Since we have the capacity to grow such a fondness for a kind of plant, perhaps we will develop an affinity for technological materials, and our bodies will slowly integrate more metals into them and perhaps run more efficiently than the older models. Whether or not we’ll have had any say in these changes is irrelevant, because I really don’t care about some postulation of the future that I know has a chance of happening, but it’s so inaccessible to me and the rest of this generation that I’ve pushed the thought out of my head altogether.
What is the topic du jour? I’ve heard so many clever ideas brought up in the past week that I don’t think there can be a genuinely good thought for another week or so, because the cosmos need to recharge after such bursts of creativity. It ain’t easy being a seemingly random assortment of gases, solids, liquids and plasmas (which are pretty rare, aside from televisions and blood banks). Is there mercy on the grandest of scales for the smallest of mistakes? Is it possible to calculate the difference of an inch from over a billion light years away? There will always be questions that seem unfathomable or even stupid to us humans, either because we’re seemingly too intelligent to even ponder such things or because we lack the proper attention spans to give a complex yet stupefyingly easy question the proper consideration. To think of how small we truly are in the scale of what we know as the universe, and then to scale it down to the size of an insect… there is no average size for anything. The environment breeds everything inside its parameters, because otherwise something would be thrown off balance and another change would be made to offset it. Of course, this process could take centuries, millennia, millions or even billions of years, and we have to let old school evolution take care of the job for us, unless we have devised a way to artificially speed up the process. We come across as impatient, don’t we? The faster we get results, the faster we want results a second time. Once we experience something that rewarding, something in our brains tells us that we can do better, and we constantly work to break our last records, regardless of how little the improvement is. If we still had horse and carriage technology in the first world, we would have to settle for journeys across state lines instead of simple commutes, but we would accept it and plan our lives accordingly. Modernity speeds things up while creating a dependency. The bible thumpers tell us this in the basic template: “Sin will grab hold of you when you try to fill that hole in your heart that only God can fill.” Not just any God, mind you. You need a Judeo-Christian God in order to properly fill your heart. Now that we’ve become a global community, isn’t it time for us to consolidate our faiths into one global religion? Since the whities have kept their churches on top for so long, they’re definitely in the running for keeping their religion, but perhaps if all the brown people embraced a common faith, they could finally end the land-grabbing entity known as Christianity. This would take a few generations, and possibly wouldn’t reach a happy conclusion within a five hundred year span, with bloody wars and endless propaganda on every corner of the globe’s shrinking landmass. By that time, the extremist liberals on the east and west coasts of the US will have drowned from the rising sea level, and perhaps the good folks from the landlocked part of our fine nation will step up and defend their inherent rights as God-fearing white people. Their audience will be as small as ever, but they won’t care because they can only think about one thing at a time, and their pursuit of a completely Christian world leaves them virtually no memory in their brain to contemplate who would actually listen to their rhetorical bullshit. As a matter of fact, they probably wouldn’t even think about figuring out what rhetorical means, because they take every statement at face value, unaware that sarcasm or innuendo even exist. To harp on a milder note, however, American football should receive a large boost in ratings because of its affinity with conservative white people, and country music would become its own art form (which would make it even easier to completely dismiss, because it’d be all conveniently smushed together into one place, not touching anything else with its grubby paws, thank God). All of these things bank on the notion that our future will be based upon Earth. Maybe by that time we will have overpopulated the planet so much that Soylent Green isn’t even a viable option anymore, and we begin to eject people into space if they commit crimes (which would actually be a huge boon to the prison system, becase the flow of jailbirds would be much lighter, and the ones who end up in prison wouldn’t be so bad anyway, because the really bad ones have already been shot into space). Perhaps we’ll have come up with a method for transporting humans safely at near the speed of light, and trips to Mars will be commonplace, even necessary, as the red planet becomes the solar system’s Ellis Island. People will be forced to change their last names to fit in with the Martian crowd. The general rule for Mars dialect is to pronounce every ‘e’ in its hardest sense, like in cheese or feel, so there would be a lot of names ending in that sound (Julie, Donny, Abercrombie, etc.). Will we need a new constitution for our new planet? Will we be able to terraform it enough for us to be able to stand on its surface without an oxygen tank? Will there be entire cities consisting of one race or one family (like when the mob owns a city and nobody questions that fact except for the new alderman from out of town who understands the situation but still pushes his ethics upon the mob with negative results)? All of these questions will be answerable within my grandkids’ lifetimes. How do I know this? Well, based upon the current technological trends, by 2050 we’ll have figured out a way to manipulate our DNA so much that we can transform into anything we want at the press of a button (with a really cool device that holds the complete DNA sequences for every living thing), and by 2100 there is the possibility that anybody with some cash can purchase a simple clone to do work around the house. How the hell would we not be able to go to Mars with that kind of stuff happening? The collective human race would smack its forehead if its space program progressed that slowly. Granted, there’s rarely enough money to adequately fund an acceleraring space program, and people are always bitching about how their kids need food and an education, but it’s a big key to our future to figure out how to go places really fast, because we’ve made a damn mess on Earth that we should run and hide from for a few million years so that the ecosystems that were there before our industrious ingenuity can thrive again and brace for another wave of insensitive, possession-driven lunatics. Hopefully by the time a few million years have rolled by, we humans (if we still exist or haven’t merged with any number of alien species) will have learned a thing or two about responsible planet ownership, and our actions will always include caution and thought. I’d like to say that’s probably how it’ll pan out, but there’s no way to know if we’ll ever become intelligent enough to become benevolent. There’s a certain point where a being loses its lust for things and sensations and realizes that it belongs to the universe, and its duty is to occupy space with its body while other bodies also occupy space, some of these bodies interacting with each other, but most moving away from each other in random directions, and everything that used to seem valuable or desirable washes out with every other speck of matter, because when you go small enough, it becomes very difficult to distinguish what matter really is, even to the point where you can’t be sure if our science got the heart of the matter when it was able to look that closely at things.