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.

Advertisements

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.