News Briefs 15-10-2015

Farewell, dear Playboy. We had great moments together *Sniff*

Quote of the Day:

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"


Parallel Possibilities: Are We Remembering Other Universes?


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Quantum suicide is one of the most horrifying thought experiments proposed by Hans Moravec. To be brief, rig up a gun to a device measuring the spin value of a proton every ten seconds. The spin value randomly creates a quantum bit as 1 or 0. When the trigger's pulled and the quantum bit comes up 1, the gun fires, killing the subject. Zero? The subject survives, and will survive subsequent attempts should Hugh Everett's many-worlds interpretation prove correct. It's a riff on Schrödinger's cat, where kitty is in a superposition of being alive and dead at the same time.

But who wants to risk their lives despite the prospect of quantum immortality? Isn't there a safer way to test this?

Enter Daniel Filan and Joseph Hope, two of the Australian National University's brightest, addressing the question, "What would it have looked like if it looked like I were in a superposition?" Their theory has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, disinformation, nor dodgy memories but remembering events from parallel universes, harkening to Fiona Broome's Mandela Effect.

In case you've been living under a rock, the most popular example of this theory is the Berenstain Bears controversy. Rap duo Run The Jewels, and many others, insist the children's book series was originally spelled "Berenstein".

Filian and Hope discover it's impossible to find definitive proof, but their paper describes how to detect if a person was in a state of superposition. It's a non-lethal take on quantum suicide. The experimenter enters a machine with pen and paper to record the state of an electron as "yes" or "no". After noting their observation, they exit the machine, leaving the data on a table. After, say, 100 tries, the data is reviewed. Should the compiled results be roughly 50/50, then the person wasn't in superposition. If all the results are the same, the experimenter was in superposition.

"We also note that this test relies crucially on both the 'memory loss' experienced by the experimenter, and the knowledge of the phase of the initial superposition. The full quantum state of the experimenter, including their memories, is being generated by the machine. This means that it is possible for them to have any memories at all, but we have shown that they must be identical across multiple branches of the superposition, and therefore cannot be correlated with the actual relevant measurement results."

What if these memories only appear identical, and the differences are so insignificant where realities are indistinguishable from another? For example, the differences between a pair of realities might be an atom resonating at a lower energy than its parallel doppelgänger. Over these iterations, based upon the experimenter's measurements, a universe with a significant difference like Berenstain/Berenstein could crop up and conflict with "reality".

The possibilities are endless, like our infinite universes.

Related stories:

(h/t Norman R.)

Samsaric Sarcasm: A Humoristic Explanation for Reincarnation

(Click on the image for a clearer version)

Beat that, Dawkins!

Nina Paley is the artist behind the highly-acclaimed indie film Sita Sings the Blues, as well as the short This Land is Mine. She also collaborated in the film The Prophet, based on the famous book by Khalil Gibran.

H/T Mark Brady

News Briefs 14-10-2015

Women hold up half the sky. (Mao Zedong)

Nightmares of the Future: THE PLUTOCRATIC EXIT STRATEGY - News Update


What's the end game of late-stage capitalism? What provisions are The Powers That Be making for the Coming Collapse; for Climate Chaos and other Catastrophes? This is the Plutocratic Exit Strategy. In this series we'll see how they plan on making their getaway, and how we can work to steal the future back.

This week's instalment of the ongoing series that is the continuing, real time elaboration of the Plutocratic Exit Strategy features a 100min interview I conducted with Gordon from RuneSoup on the weekend. If you've read previous posts to the end, you'll already know that his work - and the Archonology series in particular - basically sent me tumbling down the wormhole from which I'm sending these reports. Broadcasts barely making back it across the event horizon of the black hole that is the occulted nature of reality as it has been presented to us on a daily basis. Obviously.

This is an excellent primer on the Breakaway Civilisation that explains its origins and overlap with the Shadow State. We also go deep into the history and nature of the intelligence community, and its aristocratic ideology. It features a pretty big discussion of the relevance of Star Trek: DS9 to our current situation, and looks at some rather unpleasant cultural DNA that the Disney world has been built with.

It opens with Gordon making a strong case for the relevance of Jurassic World...

Breaking Down the Breakaway Civilisation with Gordon from RuneSoup

Here's some show notes to go along with it.


  • Jurassic World
  • Tomorrowland
  • Star Trek: DS9


  • Archonology series
  • Jurassic World review
  • There is Something to All of This

      Meanwhile in the ongoing looting of the world...

      And now for some relevant news updates...

      In Part 2 I talked about Infrastructure for Building Through the Collapse and adapting Elon Musk's newest vehicle. But not before pointing out that: "This is literally the showcase vehicle for the Plutocrats making their exit from a doomed world."

      A more mundane version then, of that Breakaway Civilisation's Fleet of Robot Medic Shuttles [as shown in Elysium], could be delivered to the world very soon simply by re-imagining how we use technology like Tesla's Model X vehicle.

      The key was an insight that Gavin Sheridan made. And the latest firmware announcement only helps strengthen his case that "Model X will be a self-driving car".

      The vehicle is, as suspected, being incrementally updated to create "a self driving future combined with an entire self-driving mobility platform."

      Which I'm totally cool with, so long as we get our fleet of magically appearing medics aka Uber For Plagues, and everyone is made a citizen of the Breakaway Civilisation.


      As Greg already reported here, something pretty interesting has been observed in the sky, between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra:

      In 2011, several citizen scientists flagged one particular star as “interesting” and “bizarre.” The star was emitting a light pattern that looked stranger than any of the others Kepler was watching.

      What's particularly interesting is the 2011 detail. Is that why the Plutocracy have suddenly begun investing heavily in SETI? And emphasising caution in making Contact.

      "I think we should think very carefully before we reply to a signal received from outer space.

      "The history of weak civilisations contacting more advanced civilisations is not a happy one."

      I'd definitely call a civilisation that built a Dyson sphere more advanced than us. There's a whole scale for that; and we're not only the wrong end of it, we might lose our ranking soon.

      Maybe it's an invitation though? Maybe just like we dig up relics from the past and get inspired to recreate them, truly ancient objects of great wonder lie out in the cosmos, inviting us to aspire to magnificent things.

      Mayyybe the Plutocracy want to get their hands on all the toys first.

      Damn right I'm one frustrated wannabe xenoarchaeologist...

      The other, related question it begs is whether this is what has got China just as interested in SETI? Or do they know something else altogether???

      The Plutocracy and China controlling our future in space - I think I saw a tv show like that once.



      Lastly, for a more down-to-earth look into the near-future of our increasingly post-cyberpunk existence... Detroit sure looks like its been gutted and turned into a model city for the establishment of the Networked City States variety of the Breakaway Civilisation.

      As The New Inquiry reports in "My Own Private Detroit", not just that, there's also the small matter of ufology elements leaking through into the narrative.

      “Since I’ve been here, it’s been gentrified a lot. Rents have definitely increased at a faster rate than inflation. There’s lots of development,” he says, citing an almost textbook definition of gentrification. “Most of this is [Wayne State] students or hipsters—I’d say very few people who have grown up and spent their whole life here.”

      When Gilbert moved Quicken Loans (the second biggest retail lender in the country)—along with the headquarters for his holding company Rock Ventures—to downtown Detroit in 2010, it coincided with the beginning of an extreme polarization of the city. Detroit would be further bifurcated, crudely, along the axis of poverty.

      While the gentrified Midtown is hailed as “the next Bushwick” and rents continue to rise, the rest of the city remains a shell of its former self, choked by poverty and suffering from a lack of services. Most visibly, for the past three years many in Detroit have had their access to water restricted as result of being unable to pay water bills, prompting United Nations rapporteurs to investigate human rights violations. Meanwhile, commercial accounts like those the city has with Chrysler, General Motors, and professional sports arenas are able to stay in operation despite overdue debts in the thousands of dollars. This is the Gilded Age calculus of the new Detroit: the burdened public carrying the privilege of a private few...

      Politicians no longer point to an ever-shrinking and barely existent municipal tax base to explain the lack of public services in Detroit. Instead they strategically woo developers as the solution to municipal revenue, focusing on “revitalization” and the private amenities available as part of that process. But much of Detroit has been left behind. In poor neighborhoods, streetlights are still out, and entire city blocks are left in the dark. Roads are still in disrepair, decorated with constellations of potholes. And the police often still don’t come to help—not that when they do come, it’s always a help. When it comes to poor, black residents in Detroit, police systematically profile, harass, and inflict violence on those that, in theory, they should protect and serve. Still, Detroit residents—not unlike New York City residents during Bratton’s police “slowdown”—perceive the withdrawal of police services negatively...

      Their goal is to hold the Detroit Police accountable, she says, and to support victims of brutality, like the family of Tazzy Mitchell, a local teen who died after police tasered him. But Morris and the Coalition Against Police Brutality have also advocated against private security. Specifically, she says her group shut down an unlicensed private security outfit called the Men in Black that was assaulting the homeless downtown. “They were not licensed to do this type of work. There were some lawsuits, and since then that group is no longer in operation there,” Morris explains.

      The Men in Black no longer reign over public space in Detroit. But in the short time we’ve been in the city, we captured Gilbert’s Securitas private security guards on camera escorting a homeless woman from a public sidewalk to a less-visible side street nearby.

      An off-the-books security operation enforcing the will of the Plutocracy, removing the undesirables so they can build out their luxury life as they see fit. And it's called what? The Men in Black. Huh.

      Read the full story to find out how the legal system has been co-opted too.


      That's it for now.

      See you soon, Space Cowboys.

      If you're interested in more such science-fictional meditations on finding a path through the end of the world that leads to a reborn planet and a galaxy full of wonders, you can sign up for my newsletter at the (De)Extinction Club. If you'd like to support the full set of my output, which includes a podcast frequently featuring conversations with other Blackhat Futurists, and get early access to new material like this, please head over to Dark Extropian Musings.

      We're gonna win.

Astronomers Discover Something 'You Would Expect an Alien Civilization to Build', and SETI Wants a Look

Dyson Sphere

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Well this is interesting. Astronomers have spotted a strange bunch of objects around a distant star - "like something you would expect an alien civilization to build" - and SETI is scrambling for a closer look:

In 2011, several citizen scientists flagged one particular star as “interesting” and “bizarre.” The star was emitting a light pattern that looked stranger than any of the others Kepler was watching.

The light pattern suggests there is a big mess of matter circling the star, in tight formation. That would be expected if the star were young. When our solar system first formed, four and a half billion years ago, a messy disk of dust and debris surrounded the sun, before gravity organized it into planets, and rings of rock and ice.

But this unusual star isn’t young. If it were young, it would be surrounded by dust that would give off extra infrared light. There doesn’t seem to be an excess of infrared light around this star.

...And yet, there is this mess of objects circling it. A mess big enough to block a substantial number of photons that would have otherwise beamed into the tube of the Kepler Space Telescope. If blind nature deposited this mess around the star, it must have done so recently. Otherwise, it would be gone by now. Gravity would have consolidated it, or it would have been sucked into the star and swallowed, after a brief fiery splash.

[T]his light pattern doesn’t show up anywhere else, across 150,000 stars. We know that something strange is going on out there.

...Jason Wright, an astronomer from Penn State University, is set to publish an alternative interpretation of the light pattern. SETI researchers have long suggested that we might be able to detect distant extraterrestrial civilizations, by looking for enormous technological artifacts orbiting other stars. Wright and his co-authors say the unusual star’s light pattern is consistent with a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps stellar-light collectors, technology designed to catch energy from the star.

“When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” Wright told me. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”

Full story: The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy

News Briefs 13-10-2015

Daily Grail news gathering mode...

Thanks Jonathon and @anomalistnews.

Quote of the Day:

I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the many connections and relations which occur to me.

Ada Lovelace

Give Yourself Goosebumps: Four Strange Paranormal Phenomena

With Halloween just around the corner, the popular YouTube channel Vsauce3 has posted the well-produced spooky feature above titled "Four Strange Paranormal Phenomena".

As a piece of cross-promotion with the upcoming Goosebumps movie, the video features Jack Black (and 'Slappy' the ventriloquist dummy), and discusses likely rational explanations for things like sleep paralysis and spirit mediums. Murderous ventriloquist dummies are another matter though...

News Briefs 12-10-2015

Happy Crowleymas to all, and to all a good night...

Quote of the Day:

The most merciful thing in the world... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

H. P. Lovecraft

A Pale Blue Dot

The most celebrated monologue on the human existence in a cosmic context has been immortalized yet again, this time by ORDER Productions. In this contributor's opinion it's one of the best, putting Carl Sagan's words into a profound frame of reference. Kick back for a minute or two, it's a darn sight better than what'll shape up as Monday's meme.