“Movies are about telling the same lies over and over again,” Michael says at one point. “You know, good beats evil, things happen for a reason, attractive people are interesting.”
The only way really to understand your position and its worth is to understand the opposite. That doesn’t mean the crazy guy on the radio who is spewing hate, it means the decent human truths of all the people who feel the need to listen to that guy. You are connected to those people.
“I’ll wake up in the morning and go on Facebook just … because,” Casey says. “It's not like I want to or I don’t. I just go on it. I’m, like, forced to. I don’t know why. I need to. Facebook takes up my whole life."
But before we talk about movies we should talk about art in general, if that's possible. Given all the incredible suffering in the world I wonder, what is art for, really? If the collected works of Shakespeare can't prevent genocide then really, what is it for? Shouldn't we be spending the time and resources alleviating suffering and helping other people instead of going to the movies and plays and art installations? When we did Ocean's Thirteen the casino set used $60,000 of electricity every week. How do you justify that? Do you justify that by saying, the people who could've had that electricity are going to watch the movie for two hours and be entertained - except they probably can't, because they don't have any electricity, because we used it. Then I think, what about all the resources spent on all the pieces of entertainment? What about the carbon footprint of getting me here? Then I think, why are you even thinking that way and worrying about how many miles per gallon my car gets, when we have NASCAR, and monster truck pulls on TV? So what I finally decided was, art is simply inevitable. It was on the wall of a cave in France 30,000 years ago, and it's because we are a species that's driven by narrative. Art is storytelling, and we need to tell stories to pass along ideas and information, and to try and make sense out of all this chaos. And sometimes when you get a really good artist and a compelling story, you can almost achieve that thing that's impossible which is entering the consciousness of another human being - literally seeing the world the way they see it. Then, if you have a really good piece of art and a really good artist, you are altered in some way, and so the experience is transformative and in the minute you're experiencing that piece of art, you're not alone. You're connected to the arts. So I feel like that can't be too bad.
A More Useful Way
"How do we know when we've switched dimensions?"
"Wrong way of looking at it. You don't switch dimensions. We're all in one sea of possibilities, there is no flow of time, there is no motion, those are only feelings, sensations. You could say illusions, but that makes them seem less real, they are very real indeed, it just depends on your perspective.
From another, larger perspective, nothing is moving, all that is happening is information is being processed. If you process information in one way, it feels like motion, it feels like time, if you process it another way, it doesn't."
"Are we living in a computer simulation then?"
"Hah. Wrong metaphor again, but an easy mistake to make. We always want to describe things in terms of other things we know. Sure, there are some parallels to a computer simulation, but remember, a computer is a very, very rudimentary information processing machine. Just because its the best thing we have available to us, certainly doesn't mean its the best at doing that. Its just a crude tool. In the same way that punch cards seem so simplistic to us now, so these machines will be laughable in the future. Beyond that though we can't even comprehend of the scale of how information can be processed and manipulated in realms we don't have access to.
So sorry, short answer, yes and no. It feels like a simulation, but I would argue that's not a useful way of looking at it. I'd start with, "things are not as they seem" and see where that gets you.
You can’t believe what’s going on — teachers jumping on people, pushing and pulling and saying, ‘You should be able to do this by now.’ It has to do with their egos.
And particularly when you're human, you are more likely to die in the late morning -- around 11 a.m., specifically -- than at any other time during the day.
Eric Twelker is the owner of The Meteorite Market, an online meteorite retailer. While working full-time as a lawyer, Twelker founded the company in 1995 to make some money on the side; it’s now a full-time business, which he runs with his wife out of Juneau, Alaska.
But once ‘humanity’ becomes a variant set of populations rather than an invariant essence, it loses its obviousness as a standard of value. The category becomes fuzzy at the edges: some parts of the population can be written out of humanity altogether; some superhuman (but still natural) entity, such as Nietzsche’s Übermensch or the extropians’ imagined transcendent future selves, might be seen as worth sacrificing present humans for.
Growing But Not Getting Old
You would think, as folks grew old, and they really started feeling the reality of death starting to hang over them, they would start shedding the 'personas' they had adopted while young, and just become more human. To start releasing themselves from the pressures of society and just be. But it rarely happens. The fear of death perhaps isn't what it used to be. We cling to our misperceptions right to the bitter end.
Breaking Habits Hurts
Of the many weakness of the 'human system', one is that breaking habits is hard to do. It physically hurts. So once a unhealthy habit is in place, even if it is causing harm to the individual, its still very difficult to change. Which, in a culture that is built to benefit from bad habits, leads problems.
Much like Pandora, Laffster’s algorithm is designed to learn what makes you laugh, whether that’s dripping sarcasm or slapstick comedy, and adjusts your personalized stream of content accordingly.