The Eye…

Here’s an interesting thought to ponder.  Ever notice how when you hold direct eye contact with someone for too long you tend to get uncomfortable and have to look away, even if it’s just to break that contact and take a brief glance elsewhere?  Why is that?  It’s almost like a barrier in our unconscious minds (two very important words to remember) prevents us from holding that gaze, much like our instinctive fear of the dark, falling, reptiles, or accidentally coming across a homemade porn video made by our parents.   There is something ingrained in our psyche that says “Whoa, relax with the eye contact for a sec or shit you can’t possibly understand, or handle, will happen”.  I’ve wondered about why this is so for quite some time now.  And now I have a theory.

There's a reason why IT WAS NOT LABELED!

We Are All Connected

First, lets get into a bit of quantum physics.  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “we are all connected” and blew it off as some new age hippie garbage.  But, in a very real sense it’s true.  DNA has revealed that all life forms use the same mechanism for cell division and that all seven billion of us are equally connected to each other.   RNA and DNA have been found all over space and is probably where life on Earth actually came from.  We are all part of the universe.  We may all share a universal “consciousness” and not even know it.   I’m not a religious man, but this basically supports Genesis 1:27; “And God made man in his image, in the image of God he made him: male and female he made them.”  We have consciousness and “God” IS consciousness; the  universal, pre-existing consciousness that has always been and always will and works in the background to “observe” and keep “reality” moving.  And we are part of it.

Think of it like pixels on a TV screen.  Each individual pixel has it’s own coordinates on the screen, but EVERY PIXEL on that screen works in unison to create a BIGGER PICTURE.

The Observer Effect and Multiverses

There’s a ton of theories floating around quantum physics right now, some of the more notable ones being the “Observer Effect” (see the link “observe” above) and “Multiverse Theory”.  The Observer Effect indicates that reality exists because we observe it.  Nothing actually exists until someone or something observes it.  The Observer Effect has been conducted successfully in laboratories and is demonstrated in one of the most famous mental exercises called “Schrödinger Cat“.

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger developed this little mental exercise in 1935.  Basically, you stick a cat in a box and then put a vial of poison in there with it, along with a tiny bit of some radioactive substance and a Geiger counter.  Attach a hammer to the Geiger counter and then seal that box up and leave it for an hour.  If the Geiger counter detects that the radioactive substance is starting to decay, it triggers the hammer to smash the vial of poison, thus killing the cat.  If it doesn’t, well then the cat still has all 9 lives intact.  But how do you know if the cat is alive or dead?  You don’t until you open that box and observe it.  To further fuck with you, The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that while that cat is in the box, it is simultaneously alive and dead.  It’s not until you open the box and observe it that you can determine which state the cat is in.  This leads to Multiverse Theory.

Without getting too far into the mind fuck that is Multiverse Theory, it basically states that there are an infinite number of universes that overlap each other and, therefore, there are an infinite number of “you’s”.  If there are an infinite number of “you’s” and “everyone else’s” then that means there is an infinite amount of consciousness floating around in infinite universes.  The choices  you make determine where you end up in the universe.  Every time you make a decision about something, it is possible that you could have gone the other way, and according to quantum mechanics, you did go the other way, only in an alternative reality.  Thus, every choice is a probable reality and becomes so, splitting our very existence up into an infinite number of realities.

In an infinite amount of universes there is only 1 Chuck Norris. Once he makes a decision, there are no other decisions.

Multiverse theory supports Quantum Superposition, another fundamental principle of quantum mechanics demonstrated by Schrodinger’s Cat.  Quantum Superposition states that if it is possible for a physical system to be in some particular configuration, and if it is simultaneously possible for the system to be in a different configuration or configurations, (if is is possible that the cat is alive in that box and it is possible that the cat is dead in the box, or even mutilated in some fashion) then the system is in an indeterminate state that, when measured, gives results consistent with having been partly in each of the possible configurations (the state that the cat is in is not determined until you open that box and look at it, or measure it).  Multiverse then goes further and says, when you open that box, at the quantum level, a new universe is created.  In one, the cat is alive, in another the cat is dead.

To sum it all up:  Nothing exists until we observe or measure it, and once we do, it exists in an infinite number of states in an infinite number of universes.

Black Holes

A black hole is a region of spacetime from which almost nothing (more on this in a few), not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity indicates that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole, i.e. when heavy stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.  One of the defining characteristics of black holes is their event horizon. The event horizon is the point of no return for both matter and light.  Once they pass that boundary they can only go inward towards the mass of the black hole, never to escape.  The event horizon is called the event horizon because if an event occurs within the boundary, information from that event cannot reach an outside observer, making it impossible to determine if the event occurred at all.  So, in a way, the event horizon is like the Vegas of the universe.

Your Eye and Consciousness

Now, go to a mirror and take a look at your eye.  Notice anything?  Look at your pupil.  It’s essentially a black circular HOLE.  That black hole takes in light from your environment, which enables you to see.  Light is taken in by your eye and sent to your brain, (which, by the way, if you’ve ever seen a 3D map of the observable universe, it conveniently looks like a neural network, or in other words a brain) which translates that light into images.  Light can’t escape your eye, so in a sense it’s a tiny black hole.  Kind of spooky.  You’ve got two little black holes floating around on your head.

So here’s where it get’s interesting.  Here’s where everything sort of ties in together.  Consciousness, oneness, observation, black holes, and reality.  Try this experiment:

1.  Find someone you are comfortable with.  It can be anyone.  A spouse, a sibling, a son or daugher, a friend, whoever.
2.  Sit down directly in front of each other and make eye contact directly in each others right eye.  Make sure you are both looking directly in each others right eye.  This is essential.
3.  After about a minute to a minute and a half or so you may start to feel uncomfortable and get that urge to look away for a second.  That innate “fear” will kick in.  You have to overcome this and maintain that eye contact.  Try not to blink at all, and if you have to, try to keep it at a single blink.  This is essential.
4.  The result should only take about 3 minutes.  And what happens I can’t describe to you here.  It must be observed by you.  You have to experience it to understand… But I will say you will understand what is meant by the phrase “we are all connected”.

Now, here’s what I mean by almost nothing can escape a black hole and if you are successful in the experiment you’ll most certainly understand.  I believe there is one thing that can escape a black hole.  Consciousness.  That all powerful universal state of being.  The thing that makes you who you are and me who I am and the universe(s) what it (they) are.  Try the experiment above and feel free to post your results in the comments.



How to Create an Effective ARG

As you may have noticed, I was recently involved in an ARG, or “Alternate Reality Game”, that I shall not name within this blog again.  And that brings me to the point that with ARGs, like mother in laws, some are good, some are terrible and some are just trolls.  If you’ve ever “played” an ARG you know how exciting it can be to work with people you’ve (probably) never met to discover new information, to receive random and mysterious emails from the people behind the game, sometimes even getting phone calls, and on occasion running around chasing actual physical clues in your city or town.  Using the real world to interact with a made up world is exciting and it puts you in the game like video games can’t.  YOU are a character in the game.

Now, some of you may even be wondering how you go about creating an ARG. First, lets give you a run down of some ARG terminology, a “glossary”, if you will:

  • Curtain: the magic curtain that Puppet Masters live behind.  Think The Wizard of Oz.
  • Guide: A run down of the game’s history for people who may be behind for some reason or another.
  • In-Game: Anything having to do with the game specifically
  • Meta: Specific things about the genre or a specific game itself that are not in-game.
  • Out of Game: Something presented that has noting to do with the game itself.
  • Puppet Master: A game designer. May have 1 or more of a few roles required to create the game.
  • Puzzle Trail: A series of puzzles where one puzzle leads to another puzzle that leads to another puzzle.  For instance, a website that has a puzzle that leads to a blog with a puzzle that leads to another website with a puzzle that leads to a video with a puzzle, etc.
  • Rabbit Hole: Events that lead into the game world such as a website, a blog, an email or media.  Also called the “Trail Head”.
  • Red Herring: A fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue.  Basically used to throw players off.
  • Trail: Sites, puzzles and characters used in a game.
  • Trout: A term used when information presented is irrelevant, usually because it has already been discussed at some point.

Now that you are up to speed on terminology, I’ll outline some tips here on how to create a truly effective ARG.  Read on.

  1. Get a group of people together and figure out mysterious and clever names for yourselves. They can’t be just any names either, because how seriously would you take a “Puppet Mater” name Jim, Chad, or Todd?  No, you have to choose shit like The Veil, or The Fear, or Mr. Steel Sack.  Something that really gets the mind going. You are now officially “Puppet Masters”.  Assign each member a role in the game i.e. someone to respond to questions, someone to research subject matter, a person to create the media such as videos and pictures, another to write all materials for the game, and someone to create those ridiculous puzzles that make it feel like potato bug crawled into your head through your ear and shit all over your brain.

    I'm in ur headz! Poopin' on ur brainz!!

  2. Now you have to come up with a name for your game. No more than 2 or 3 words. Or maybe name it using numbers. The number-as-a-name thing is pretty effective because the first thing people do when they see numbers is go bat shit crazy trying to figure it out.  You really want to fuck with people right off the bat because that is what draws them into your Rabbit Hole.  They’ll try to see if those numbers maybe add up to something that corresponds with some other shit like Ronald McDonald’s birthday or some random date in history when something happened like Julius Ceasar sharted in his toga or something.  OR, it could be a code that has to be cracked like a cipher. People will put numbers together in ways you wouldn’t fucking believe.  They become number magicians, creating equations it would take a theoretical physicist 2 years to solve.  But somehow they pull it off, and they won’t sleep for a week to do it.  People will waste an inordinate amount of time with numbers.  Oh, and if you do decide to use words in the name, make sure it’s 2 or 3 words and groupthemtogether like that.  Better yet, use words and letters and put them all together like CeasarShart19.

    "Et tu Brute" really translates to "How DARE thee shit thyself in the SENATE!!!"

  3. Come up with a plot for your game.  Something really mysterious and interesting like an alien invasion, a giant sea creature, a cult of some sort, or someone being kidnapped.  Basically, it should involve both danger and the unknown.  ARG’s usually almost ALWAYS have someone being kidnapped.  At some point they are found, but they are… different… some… how.  They do strange things they never did before like painting their face with lipstick and randomly going into trances and speaking in another language while abusing animals.
  4. Make a timeline to establish what media and puzzles will be released and when and approximately how long the game will last, as well as how it will end.  Don’t, and I repeat DON’T just wing it.  ARG players are really, REALLY good at what they do.  If you are making shit up as it goes they will know and your game will be shut the hell down.  On that note, if and when you register a website for your game, do so anonymously.  You don’t want someone doing a whois on your website address, getting your address and phone number and then calling you or showing up at your house.

    Stalking Kitteh gets ur address!!

  5. Utilize videos, photos and/or picture montages and it’s SUPER effective if you do it in the style of “The Ring”. Because those videos are fucking SCARY.  For example, your media could contain random shit that moves from one image to the next rapidly but also pertains to your “game” and provides clues.  Clues need to be vague so that your audience is forced to look at EVERY LITTLE THING and analyze it (even the source code for your home page).  Also, black and white, or sepia pics are usually all fucking spooky as hell. And pictures of children.  Couple that with crazy noises and sound effects to further mind fuck your audience.  A lot of ARG’s seem to be using “Number Stations” as their soundtracks because, well… Just listen to that shit.  It’s creepy sounding.  It’s effective at making you not want to listen to it late at night, so it will probably be just as effective at creeping out players late at night when they are up staring at the internet on their computer trying to make sense of  everything.  And in the spirit of puzzle trails, the clues you provide in your media should lead to more clues, which lead to more clues, which lead to EVEN MORE CLUES…

    Something just wasn't quite right about Alex after we found him.

  6. Social media is almost a MUST.  Use Facebook. Use Twitter.  Use Formspring. Use Myspace even.
  7. Be as mysterious as fuck. When answering questions from players, answer with non nonsensical shit that is ALSO A VAGUE CLUE.  And refer to “yourselves” as “we”, not “I”, when answering questions from players, and generally at all other times.  Puppet Masters are a “hive mind”.  Like the Borg from Star Trek.
  8. Keep feeding your audience things, but don’t do it at any sort of regular or noticeable interval.  You don’t want these people to a) expect anything, b) sleep whatsoever or, c) have anything that resembles sanity when the game is over.

    Oh, Insanity Wolf! You're so insane!!!

    Good, now you have successfully created your first ARG and you have your game rolling.  Congratulations.  Now sit back, revel in the fact that you are currently mind fucking (hopefully) a ton of people, and watch the madness!

Time, Space, Invisibility, Cloaking… Chris Nolan Has A Plot For A New Movie.

I found two VERY interesting articles online today here and here and my eyes are just now uncrossing themselves.   They involve Time Cloaking and Illusion Cloaking, respectively.  Yes, you read that right.  They are now able to cloak time AND make one object look like another.

Let’s touch on the first article for a moment.  Basically, the first article is talking about TIME CLOAKING.  Yes, the ability to make a (very) brief moment in time appear as though it never even happened.   Essentially, in electromagnetic theory there is a duality between space and time:

“In particular, the diffraction of a beam of light in space is mathematically equivalent to the temporal propagation of light through a dispersive medium. In other words, diffraction and dispersion are symmetric in spacetime.”

So, in essence, if you can make a lense that focuses light via diffraction, you can use dispersion to make a lens that focuses TIME.  And that, my friends, is mind fucking.  What they are doing is using an electro-optic modulator to create a time lens.  They use two “time lenses” in series and shine a beam of light that has no idea what the hell is about to happen through them.  The first lens compresses the light while the second lens decompresses it.   This in effect creates a literal “hole in time”.  Anything that occurs in that “hole” is unrecorded in time itself, thereby “cloaking” time.   It’s done in such a fashion that to the observer, the light coming out of the second lens is undistorted and their is no idication that anything happened.

The period in which time is cloaked is extremely brief, lasting only nanoseconds; however, given the exponential rate at which science and technology progress today, in a few years people will probably be cloaking time all over the damn place. Mark my words, banks will be robbed in this manner at some point in the future.

Now, on to the second article.  This one is about illusion cloaks.  An illusion cloak pretty much makes one object look like another.  Here’s how:

Take an invisibilty cloak.  An invisibility cloak works by bending light around a particular bit of space thereby making any object inside that space effectivly invisible.  Everything that you can see in the world looks the way it does because of the way light reflects off of it.  In essence, light gives things their shape and color.  If there is no light reflecting off of a particular thing or surface, if the light is bending around the object, you can’t see it.  This is all accomplished with what are called metamaterials.  These newly created metamerials are artificially engineered to have properties not found in nature and can basically bend light in anyway imagineable.

These same metamaterials can be used to make one object in a space look like another.  From the article:

“The trick is to create a material in which the permittivity and permeability are complementary to the values in a nearby region of space containing the mouse we want to hide. ‘Complementary’ means that the material cancels out the effect that the mouse has on a plane lightwave passing through. So a plane wave would be bent by the mouse but then bent back into a plane as it passes through the complementary material, making the mouse disappear.

The second step is to then distort this plane wave in the way that an elephant would. This means creating transformational material that distorts a plane lightwave in the same way as an elephant. So anybody looking at this mouse would instead see an elephant.”

Making… a mouse… look like an… elephant.  And then there’s this:

“The researchers have even found a mind-boggling application. Their idea is to create the illusion that a wall has a hole in it, and then use the hole to look through the wall.”

Ok, so now basically they are creating one of these.   Every episode of Loony Tunes where Wile E. Coyote tries to use an hole in a bottle courtesy of Acme to try and catch the Road Runner is now becoming a reality.  Or Portal.  With Artificial Intelligence and machine self-awareness now looking like a reality, I’m sure GlaDOS is right around the corner and instead of playing laser tag, you’ll be able to play a real life game of Portal.

All of this is very, VERY cool.  Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for Chris Nolan to devise a movie where an insanely crazy, albeit successful, heist is conducted by some expert team (more than likely consisting of a reunited cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy in some respect) using illusion cloaking in conjunction with time cloaking, time travel/teleportation (because this whole invisiblity thing and time travel/teleportation go hand in hand a la the Philadelphia Experiment) and portal guns.  They are hired by a powerful corporation  to steal a rare alien substance from a remote, classified, extremely highly guarded government laboratory that can transmute living elements.

Immediately after this picture was taken, Levitt fell through a hole in the floor and became invisible. His current whereabouts are unknown except to him and Christopher Nolan.

In this heist a plain old invisibility cloak won’t work.  No.  This particular lab has thermal imaging cameras, so even if you are invisible they could still see you.  Of course, there would be a point where they were discovered and mayhem ensues.   What you don’t know is that before hand, they traveled forward in time, saw themselves get caught (but not far enough forward in time to see themselves escape, so they don’t know if they get away or not) and created carefully created portals on ceilings and floors with their portal guns so that when they were being chased, pursuing guards and scientists would fall through the hole in the floor and then end up coming out of the whole in the ceiling BACK THROUGH THE HOLE ON THE FLOOR, thus falling in an infinitely loop.  But in a typical Nolan mind fuck twist, the wasn’t the future for the dimension that they were currently in.  When they went forward in time it was in a PARALLEL DIMENSION and the whole process caused that dimension to “overlap” ours.  So when they try to steal the substance, their “future” selves have already taken it and set a trap that kills them to cover up the evidence.  See, you didn’t know that the overlap occured, thereby making the “future” team aware that the “past” team had seen them conducting the heist.  This is all ENTIRELY plausible.

Fuck Yeah.