Of Gods and Men

What is a god? (see paragraph 5)

I love Rick and Morty. It’s easily my favorite show right now, and likely in my top 5 of all time. I love the discussion, nay, whole doctoral theses that can be had from a single episode delving into fate, morality, truth, reality, the existence of gods, of which, Rick is one. More on that in a bit. Even gets into free will, which is what I’ll be focusing on here. I just watched Season 2, Episode 3: Auto Erotic Assimilation (for the 4th time lol) and I see something new every time.

When Rick first met our young hivemind, it had the numbers of a small town. They dated for a while, but it appears Rick was bad for Unity’s growth as a hivemind. Bad in a coked up on fairy dust sort of way. It broke away from Rick and was able to focus and develop.

The main premise of this episode is that Rick runs into an old fling, Unity. It is a being that can assimilate living beings into itself, further growing its capabilities. When at Its potential, It can run a whole planet at peak efficiency, and as we learn in the episode, Its’ achieved world peace in a world riddled with race wars. We learn of big plans in Unity’s future. Upon becoming a Type One Civilization, Unity will be invited into the Galactic Federation, but ultimately plans on assimilating the entire universe. Big Plans for a young god.

What is a god? If you’re of a monotheistic religion, God is of some combination of omniscient, omnibenevolent, and/or omnipotent. If you’re of a polytheistic faith, the gods all have unique character traits and powers. I guess whatever brand of agnosticism I currently follow (because Rick only knows) lends itself to polytheism if they exist.

What separates men and gods? Is it immortality? Rick has the plot armor of a young anime protagonist. Is it unheard of power? Or the lack of empathy necessary to dominate a civilization without losing one’s mind?

My real question is ‘Why can’t men be gods?’

We can already read the thoughts of, clone, and grow living organisms. We can change the evolutionary paths of animals and wipe an entire species out because it got in our way. We can change the atmosphere of the Earth and can devoid an entire continent of life with the click of a shiny red button. We have a sort of limited power of life and death over the Earth. And we’re not even Type One yet. At this point in human history, maybe as an entire species we are the gods of this planet. Perhaps Godhood is on a spectrum.

Rick is a god. To be precise, The One True Rick of C137 is a god. He can travel through space and time with ease, he can alter reality, he can literally leave his own reality and take over another, he can create a universe and be so vain as to use the energy from it to power his car, and see that that universe creates a smaller one to power their civilization, and so on with the dark, twisted fractal of energy spawning the knowledge that if a civilization is no longer of use to their god one level up, they become trash. And cease to exist. Can we forget the meme’d to death ‘Pickle Rick’?

I repeat: Rick is a god. Maybe even the almighty. hm… I’ll use Almighty to refer to the current top god for the rest of this piece.

So naturally, he’s either thrilled or angry when he runs into another god. (Usually angry) Such gods include the scientists in the universe he’s created, the floating heads in the sky, the cumulative ability of the council of Ricks, and of course, Unity. It seems Unity was a low level god, one that was easily manipulated. Rick saw pleasure in this and abused that trait. He’s even suggested that taking over the Universe was too ambitious, and that Unity should slow down. Perhaps he never really like Unity, just the abilities that It had and his ability to manipulate It. Perhaps that’s what an Almighty god is. Manipulating its universe to its own ends. If it destroys an entire timeline, whoops, oh well. There are infinitely more. This one won’t be missed. Perhaps an Almighty is just stumbling around for a billion years until it gets bored and ends itself, only for another god to take its place.

Perhaps that is why gods like Unity arise. They see this bumbling fool with literally infinite power (I don’t know if I can believe infinity exists in nature, but that’s a topic for another day lol) A hivemind god like Unity sees a struggling species (or a thriving one or whatever lol it depends on the ethical makeup of the hivemind) and decides it can make that world a better place. Remember the race wars? There was also poverty and crippling debt. Now the former homeless are neurosurgeons and the skinheads are…not. There is no need for police, global travel, military, civil servants, or even government, because everyone is assimilated into the collective. Life is perfect. The cost?

Free Will.

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2017 Solar Eclipse Summary – Orangeburg, SC

This is more of a journal entry than a blog post.

Enjoy! ^.^

The solar eclipse was days away, drawing nearer and more intimidating. The Physics department was on edge since I’d arrived at the school, with a new issue seemingly arising every day. The morning after my bus into Orangeburg arrived, Wednesday morning, I was briefed on the state of the campus. It was August 16, 2017. I was tasked with developing a healthy store of information on the sun, sunspots, and eclipses in general by the 21st. I was going to be an Eclipse Ambassador for the event we’d be having in the stadium. I spent the next few days pining over resources on the internet, mixed into my study time for other classes. I refreshed my memory on the differences between a lunar and solar eclipse, improved my understanding of what sunspots are and how they fluctuate, I learned what the material our protective glasses were made out of, among other things.

Two days before the event, my advisor, Dr. Cash, met with myself and the students that would be helping host the event. They’d be spread out throughout the crowd, helping with glasses, safety, and general eclipse information. She went over the things we’d need to know to better serve our guests.

On the eve of the event, I was asked to assist with moving some equipment to the stadium early in the morning. University of Alabama was launching a weather balloon with our aide from on top of the stadium to monitor weather effects during a total solar eclipse. South Carolina State University would also be spearheading in South Carolina and recording the eclipse for the Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) project. On my way to the cafeteria for breakfast, I had gotten word that my advisor’s, whom at this point in my matriculation I see as a second mother, progress through her list of tasks had been impeded. None of the students that had promised to help her had shown up. I took a detour to her office; breakfast could wait. The workload ended up being much less stressful when there was more than one person working on it. We gathered some things for the event onto a cart to be taken down to the first floor and she drove them to the stadium where there were people waiting to help unload. I went up to get the final load. Everything was completed in time.

A few hours later, I arrived to help host the eclipse viewing at the stadium. There were booths set up all underneath the stands to avoid the sweltering heat. Mine would be two tables that each had two of the same type solar scopes on them. Solar scopes are devices that take in sunlight, focus it with lenses, then reflect it onto a white surface so we can safely view the sun and even see sunspots and clouds passing in front of it. One type was wooden and a dozen or so people could view the sun from the sides. The other was cardboard, and only a couple people could look into them at a time.  Due to the nature of the booth I would be overseeing, it was in direct sunlight. We were expecting four more students to show up to help me run the station. Four students that never came. A friend of mine, Robert Blue, had been watching me explain how the solar scopes worked and began helping me out. He made signs instructing people on how to use them, since telling them not to touch the interesting instruments was futile. He also helped explain what they did to the curious and steadily growing crowds around the station. There were a few times when there were over 30 people in our vicinity, so his help was much appreciated. I had even gotten approached by what I believe were flat-earthers or climate change deniers. It was pretty interesting since it was the first time I’ve ever been challenged by their type outside of the internet. I gave them all the information a physicist could give, cautioning them of my ignorance when they strayed too far into climate science. We eventually got help with the crowds from two other students, though I’m not quite sure where they came from. I was just happy to have the help.

A few of our friends had come over to join us as the eclipse was beginning. The crowds were waning, as most people had seen the solar scopes by now. It was a good time. I’ll never forget how the sun looked as a piece of it went missing. Of course I knew where it was and what was going on, but the idea that this monolith that was worshipped as a god by ancient peoples could just so simply be eaten away put a perplexing sense of fear inside of me for what might have happened in the past. I’ll also never forget how the sky had darkened as the first moment of totality drew within minutes, how the sun had totally disappeared, and the cheers erupting from the stadium. It was a treat I’ll never forget and that I’m fortunate to have been a part of.

An Abridged Appeal to Power

Black women are the engines of our movement. Each and every one of you 🖤

Black. Lives. Matter.

Why can’t y’all just admit that we matter? With no ifs, ands, or buts?

WE KNOW YOU MATTER.

WE KNOW YOU MATTER.

WE KNOW YOU MATTER.

You’ve got Jesus, western history, banks, all of sports, and power. Even if you don’t see it, we do. You love the police. So much so that they have a hashtag to fight our movement for equitability.

Not equality.

With the powers that currently be, equality is currently impossible. But at the very least, give us a chance. Is your superiority complex so easily challenged? Your reign so easily disrupted and ended? Your ideals so fragile that the idea of equality, however improbable it may be, is simply unacceptable? So I appeal to the most rational, logical thinkers of you; Why are our pleas for equitability met with white supremacy, hatred, and disgust?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wife-of-first-white-nfler-to-kneel-during-anthem-dont-make-him-a-white-savior_us_599f3246e4b05710aa5aef79?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

Character Select

A friend posted about fighting games, Smash 4 in particular;
“I will never understand how people can use bad characters and expect to win anything. Your only holding your potential back by using shitty characters instead of using a top tier tbh”
My response;
I like the toolkit analogy. The better the character, the more tools that are available. The better the player, the more uses one can get out of a single tool, thus needing less of a toolkit.

If you’re a bad player, it matters not how good a character you play. If you’re a good player, you can take any character and make them appear great. 

Hbox jigglypuff

Nairo Bowser

Ally Mario

Tsu Lucario

Hikaru Dk
Telling someone to give up simply because it hasn’t been done is, in essence, mob mentality. Perhaps a fear of their own inadequacy. Regardless, keeping another down makes no man greater.

Climbing

I’ve been rock climbing (in a gym) since I’ve been here, in Charlottesville, VA for a National Radio Astronomy Observatory internship. The levels range from 0 to 10. When I first started, I could do most of the level 0s, but none of the level 1s. I have a more fit body type, so there were others who could barely do any climbs in there on day one. We go every 3 or 4 days, and at the end of each day, I set a new goal for next time. Something I know that if my hands weren’t sore and raw from the day’s climbs, I could accomplish. Always of the level that I worked on that day, never higher. All the climbs are available to us at day 1. You can try a level 7 climb if you want to, but you’re a fool if you’re struggling with level 3 and 4 (like me). They usually have a minimum skill level barrier to entry, so you can’t even start the climb if you’re not strong enough to lift your body weight, balance properly, or understand the physics of climbing. You’re only burning out your hands. There is more experience in watching someone more experienced do the climb, then maybe coming at it with fresh hands the next day. I’ve attempted level 4s, 5s, and 6s, but I usually just end up failing.

Maybe more importantly, if you get frustrated at a climb that you keep failing, but know you can complete and try to rush through it, you only fall harder because your focus isn’t on the fundamentals you learned to get you to a level 4 climb. lol I’m using my experiences as a metaphor for small businesses, or even life in general. There’s no need to rush. Take what you can from each experience and let your business grow naturally. You have to constantly push yourself, obviously, but know your limits. Everything has a breaking point.

It’s important to note that life does not cap at level 10. You’re no longer growing if you believe you have reached perfection. If you are not growing, then you are decaying.

Conversely, everything has a breaking point, but being afraid of falling is worse than never

Jumping.

This is what it means to be Jump.

The Dark Knight

After watching The Dark Knight so many times, I’ve come to understand a few things:

1. They depict human psychology and mob morality incredibly well. People need a reason. Whether to blame our problems or to motivate us to action. 
2. People are inherently selfish. Even Batman initially wanted to save Rachel, knowing that they could never be together if Dent died. He had to overcome the urge so he could make the decision that he knew was right from the beginning. 

If Dent had died, he would have died the hero, and never lived to become the villain. It’s significant because it was his quote. 
3. Evil will always exist. There is no yin without a at least a little yang, and vice versa. When you try to extinguish evil, like trying to do anything positive in life, there will be resistance. In Bats’s case, he created The Joker. 
It took me till today to realize Alfred never let Bruce read Rachel’s letter saying she knew they could never be. She saw he would always need Batman. Sometimes we have goals or passions in life that take us down rabbit holes and make us forget why we started chasing them at all. 

Evil will always exist. 

That one cut me deep upon realization. Alfred’s story about the bandit and the story’s resolution made it obvious to me. 
A refresher on the story;
A long time ago, 

Alfred was working in Burma for the local government trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans kept getting robbed by a bandit. Alfred’s team went looking for the stones but never met anyone who traded with the bandit. One day, he saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away. He stole them for fun. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. 

Some men just want to watch the world burn. 
 They eventually caught up to him. 

The only way the could catch the bandit was to burn the entire forest down. 
From this, I take that in any civilization (the forest) there will always exist an inextinguishable evil (the bandit), the flame that keeps the people’s sense of justice alive. In order to put out that flame, you need to exhaust its fuel supply, the entire forest. The entire civilization must be destroyed. If you’re not careful with that flame, it could grow into the corruption that had become Gotham city and destroy itself from within. 

You must guard that flame, treasure it, because it is the most precious part of civilization. But you must not guard it from dying. You must guard it from growing wickedly into a twisted or distorted sense of morality. Must keep it from becoming another Ra’s Al Ghul or Joker or Batman. 

That is why the pilot light of justice is so dangerous. 

On Public Finance, February 2017

The only reason publicly financed health care and college tuition is even up for debate is because they are brought up. Sanders and Cruz illuminated how a few complex words can hide true intent during their debate over the Affordable Care Act. Cruz would use his fancy lawyer talk and Bernie would interpret for us commoners. Really frightening stuff, that most laws are written in this language with what I can only assume is selfish intent. People, it seems, are innately selfish. The idea that I have to pay for someone else to go to school bothers a lot of people. However, with that same breath we can have the biggest most unnecessary military budget on the planet where we pay for expensive technologies and single weapons that cost more than the man firing it’s annual salary. And don’t get me started on how welfare is figuratively and almost quite literally a drop in the ocean of America’s coffers. It’s easier to strip one of these cut and dry budgets than go into all the intricacies of military funding. Government propaganda of the 40s through the 60s should not still be influential today. If Americans understood what communism and socialism actually entails, if Americans would stop chasing an arguably statistically impossible pipedream and brilliant corporatist tactic of an American Dream, we might just be ok.

Maybe.birdie-sanders

Thesis: Age 26

26 years ago I came into existence. The internal debate between whether soul or consciousness exists is especially fierce this day each year. I’m working on it.

What have I accomplished?
Taught a class, straight(ish) A student, Honors College, visited the East Coast, West Coast, and the Midwest, learned how to code, almost got featured in a magazine, and that’s only since January.
I’m doing alright, I suppose.

More importantly, The Human Race is in dire straights. We must come together to end the wars in the Middle East, to reduce Greenhouse Emissions, and to take back our American Economy. The Earth will live on with or without us.
I should probably get to work on this warp drive (and a more scientifically literate name for it). It’s not going to build itself.

I do not fear aging; I embrace it. Omw to sagehood.

Trump Card

The powers that be, the money that runs America, and the establishment media are afraid of Donald Trump. They will do everything in their power to stop him from becoming the Republican nominee. He doesn’t rely on their money since he’s rich, and therefore is not bought. They do not have power over him like every other candidate before him. The question now is how much power do they really have? Will they pay hackers to fix the vote counts? Will they slander him (further) in the media? Will they resort to assassination? If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, I believe they will give up on Trump and push with everything they’ve got to make her the president. She is owned by the banking and pharmaceutical industries and they will control her like they control a Republican. If Bernie Sanders is at the top of the Democratic ticket, they will stand behind Trump because they don’t want chaos in their party, which is what surely will follow with no presidential candidate to control. The nation may fall back into the hands of the people. If voters become disillusioned by the Republican party, all that’s left is to become a Democrat, and the wealthy elite surely do not want that.

Privilege

Last night, a friend told me one of his white friends was defending their use of the word “nigga” saying it’s not racist because they don’t mean it in a harmful way. I went to check it out and it seems that you can say whatever you want if the people it offends can’t give a proper defence. So I thought I’d give it a try:

It’s having to struggle. It’s being at a disadvantage because of your name, the melanin in your skin, and the stereotypes you will be born and die with. It’s the countless children sentenced to 10 years in prison for a dime bag of weed because the judges have been paid for by the Prison-Industrial Complex, while you get the slap on the wrist. It’s because we wish we had the opportunities you squander. It’s because our professional athletes are frowned upon for making too much money, but not your professional bankers who crippled the American, nay, THE WORLD ECONOMY. It’s because we are the most perfect physical specimen humanity has to offer, from our skin to our cardiovascular system, and its because I can be petty like that, because this is the one month out of the year you deem necessary to learn my history, American history.
It’s because we can’t afford to leave the ghetto you put us in that has inadequate water, education, housing, communities, love, fathers, lifespans, nutrition, and I’m sure you’re thinking of the one I missed.
It’s because when you see me walking, you go to the other side of the street, your wife clutches her purse, and you reach for your gun.
It’s because we wish we had the opportunities you squander. We wish we could’ve said welcome home daddy. We wish we could afford a car that wouldn’t break down on our way to serve you, massuh. It’s because it’s 2016 and you think because you’re voting for Trump or Sanders you’re progressive and it entitles you to such privileges…I mean liberties as an expanded vocabulary, but in reality, you’d kill yourself if you woke up black.
Let me be clear; we don’t want to be you. We pity you. We lament for your ignorance and your weakness, and only wish wisdom and understanding to your life.

But you most certainly wish you could be us.

#blackhistorymonth2k16