Sunday, September 29, 2019

"The Billion Ant Mega Colony and the Biggest War on Earth": true solidarity

Kurzgesagt in a Nutshell (and “Curiosity Stream”) presents in animation “The Billion Ant Mega Colony and the Biggest War on Earth”.
The Argentine ant is very small but extremely fecund, with one queen for about every 120 workers.

Over time, genetic diversity causes new argentine colonies to compete with or “lowball” the old ones.  This has an important parallel for human society ("scabs"). 
But in some environments they don’t have enough competition and tend to produce supercolonies, which are rather like "nations". 
This video certain gives some credence to the idea of the group or colonial mind, solidarity and authoritarianism to the extreme.

Friday, September 27, 2019

"What Is There in Other Universes?"

“What Is There in Other Universes?” by Drexler Astral.

This isn’t the parallel universe idea.  It’s more just a challenge to our own sense of centrality, which keeps being disrupted by the next think we orbit. 

Drexler says there may be nothing in other universes our senses could detect.  Our universe seems described by quaternion algebra, which gives us subatomic particles and the forces.  But some mathematicians say a universe without the weak force is possible (“weakless”) which would mean no radioactivity, and be quite peaceful.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

"Swimming in the Ancient Oceans of Venus": looks like Lake Meade

Swimming in the Ancient Oceans of Venus” by Dreksler Astral.

On my “cf” blog today I posted a companion piece by Petrov, showing why Venus might have lost its habitable climate very suddenly 750 million years ago because of unexplained volcanism.

This video doesn’t claim that. But it shows a mixture of desert surface and shallow oceans, filled by water from comet strikes.

Because there is no moon, the water is quite peaceful.
Wikipedia attribution link from Rodd Timberlake, CCSA 3.0 for orbital gif.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The new "Joker" movie planned for release by Warner Brothers raises questions about "stochastic radicalization" on unstable people

Warner Brothers has issued a statement regarding the controversy over the planned release of its film “Joker” (directed by Todd Phillips) with Joqauin Phoenix, which apparently is related to the Aurora CO shootings in July 2012 by James Holmes, Entertainment Weekly story

As I recall, Holmes planned his attack over many months for nihilistic motives, and claimed to be inspired by the Joker character of the Dark Knight movies director by Christopher Nolan (see July 21, 2012 post). 

But the controversy over whether media (including games and movies as well as YouTube videos) radicalizes already unstable people “stochastically” is becoming increasingly troubling.
ABC reports that Aurora survivors are urging Warner Brothers to support gun control (I suspect it already does). This matter was followed up on ABC World News Tonight with more warnings oddly from the US military. .

Update: Oct 4

Tim Pool gives it a 9.9/10 after going to a Thursday night preview.  It is about wealth inequality (not about incels) and Antifa's motives.  I am back from a trip and will see it soon. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

"Come at Me, Bro"; short film mixes amateur wrestling with homoeroticism

Ethan Hurst presents Jake Murphy and Ryan Miller in “Come at Me, Bro”, a “gay short film” about a 2-man fight club.

When is wrestling gay? 
If a denture or dental dam were a required prop for a 48-hout film event (and “fight club” required dialogue), this film might fit.

Monday, September 23, 2019

48-Hour Film project has an open house, film sample in Alexandria VA

The 48 Hour Film Project held a open showing Sunday night at the Evening Star CafĂ© in Alexandria, VA, and showed eight films.  The contest in northern VA occurs the weekend of Oct. 11. I think they have filmed in the Westover Market in Arlington VA before.  

The film required a professor as a character, a glove as a prop, and the line “The devil is in the details” in the script.

The first four films were all horror.

No Glove, No Love” took place at a party (hosted for his students by a professor) with some butchery as a result when a guest wasn’t prepared.

Theology” looked at the subject of shamans or satanic figures as objects of worship after a ritual.

Buzzz” dealt with a rogue exterminator and, well, colony collapse disorder (no reference to buzzfeed).

Scout” from Crash of Rhinos had a farm woman finding an alien presence on her property.
After a break, there were four more films with varied categories.

Alloway Lane” involved found footage. A female professor buys a suburban townhouse (the film was shot in Beltsville, MD) on a foreclosure sale. Soon she finds a recording made by who lived here before, and goes downstairs looking for demons.  Whenever an existing house is sold, there is always the possible issue of problems with the online reputation of the original owner.  This was the best film.

Sacco” had a party of men chased by a clown (rather like I.T.) who is not gay (sorry, Eduardo) and everybody gets slashed to pieces.

Rooms” has a concept that actually happens in the backstory of my own novel.  A woman has a secret baby in what seems like an imaginary room.  I’ll have to review how I treated this idea.

Black Box” challenges a woman to follow some complex directions in a hangar to find and disable a box in order to perform backward time travel and save the world.  Not possible, because time is based on causality in physics.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lincoln, 1861: "You Are Not My Enemy"

The Ford’s Theater Museum has a sequence of History Channel short films and videos that start with Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration on March 4, 1861.

The best title for the entire sequence would be “You Are Not My Enemy”. 
But Lincoln would soon force critical decisions about Fort Sumter, and war was unavoidable.
Lincoln would soon have to suspend the writ of habeas corpus

Friday, September 20, 2019

"Alien Land": fractal animation produces a living, porous planet

Gerry Mantha’s “Alien Land: A Fractal Journey” (2017), builds a fictitious porous living planet (green with photosynthesis) as a siphonophore in animation using fractal math. It starts out with a lot of scary open mouths and dangling jaws. 

The animation was produced by the Mandelbulb 3D fractal generator.
But I was reminded of the floating mountains in “Avatar” (2009).

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Scottish family films "I GPS-Tracked My Cats for 24 Hours" and they are smart

I GPS-Tracked My Cats for 24 Hours”. 

A British couple has two male cats, brothers, maybe neutered.  When one of them, Ralph, stayed out all night, the couple tracked both cats. 

Ralph would leave several times a night, return through the cat door, eat, maybe crawl into bed, and then go out again. 

What’s interesting is that the cats remember all the different locations in their territory, and remember the home.  Cats that have been moved have been known to find their old homes.
The domestic cat ( Sci-Show, which has more than one ancestor) is the only major mammal that can regularly “adopt” and decide to live with a human while still essentially a wild animal.  The cat can remember your house, which apartment, and even the sound of your car.  In biological terms, this is a tremendous adaptation, self-domestication, that gave it an enormous reproductive advantage.  
Carnivores and omnivores (and for some reason elephants) have found that intelligence (and self-awareness) helps them multiply and spread their genes.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"Every Day I Wake Up as Someone Else": also, woke Left gets a run of a film about Jordan Peterson canceled

“Roman K.” delivers a short film “Everyday I Wake Up As Someone Else”, by SirSpooksaLot.

The video (about 13 minutes) in black and white, shows the path down a stairwell of a walkup.

Every day he wakes up as a different person, and within a half hour has the memories of that person.
But in time that person perishes that day after some violent event.  A teenage girl who had been bullied in school had committed suicide in a locked bathroom, and the mother had not been able to save her. He later, at the end, wakes up as the mother.

Does this premise for a narrative make sense?  Suppose after you’re gone, the information content of your life is transferred to a living person and you wake up in that body with your memories, and then taken on “his”, and then get cut off once you know too much.  Maybe it only happens when he is aroused.  Maybe he has captured other people and you start taking on their personas with each successive wakeup. In between, there has to be an awareness of waiting, of Erwartgung (Schoenberg’s piece) forever.

A Toronto theater has canceled a screening of a biography “The Rise of Jordan Peterson”, directed Patricia Marcoccia, from Holding Space Films and Gravitas Ventures,  after “complaints” from the woke-left.  I’ll be on the lookout for this one.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"The Afterlife Dysfunction": our consciousness needs a brain to re-activate it?

The Afterlife Dysfunction” by Breaking Beats, asks “did quantum physics just prove the afterlife? Quantum physics is now the afterlife realm”. The film is by Athene, Reese, and Raxxroth. 

Our consciousness defines everything, and can be mapped onto a 2-d space (like a hard drive, or the surface of a black hole).  It seems to need a body and a brain to map it.  But what happens to it when we die?  Can an existing file be given to another person to redevelop?

Maybe this does have something to do with profound giftedness.

So I'm not quite sure why this is "dysfunction"?  Does function return when there is another brain to map it to? 

If you've ever been befriended by a stray cat, you learn that wild animals "know" things we don't, and sometimes know a lot more about us that we can imagine.

Animals nurture that partition of consciousness that they need to produce their own offspring.  There is a certain parallelism between permanent consciousness, and the partition of it an animal needs to produce offspring.

"Proving Reincarnation with Quantum Physics" by No Apologies (6 min) has a woman explain how the quantum record of a mind can energize a developing baby about 5 weeks into pregnancy.  You normally don't know what bodies used your life-experience set before.  But having a 15 year old healthy body to start reusing the information of a physicist who might have lived to 100 sounds like a good deal.   Does it matter how you die, as to the quality of the knowledge you pass on?  Is a natural end much more likely to leave a closed record that a succeeding child can develop with?  Unfinished music compositions (like Bruckner's Ninth Symphony, which he almost did complete) might exist in the quantum record, and another person might have access to it that way.  

Monday, September 16, 2019

"Sleep Is Just Death Being Shy" -- even if you didn't pass on your own genes

Sleep Is Just Death Being Shy”, by exurb1a.

Right, every conscious being sleeps. 

The filmmaker counts how many descendants we should have with our DNA in a number or years or generations.  He doesn’t mention climate change but he does talk about the sun warming and making the Earth uninhabitable anyway in less than a billion years – meaning evacuate Earth – when there is not room for everybody, posing moral questions we aren’t ready for.

So maybe the information content of your own life is permanent and winds up stored on the surface of a black hole forever, if you have a normal passing at tend of natural life (my mother more or less did).  Maybe your consciousness misses physicality.  Or maybe if you die suddenly and violently at someone else’s hands (or even your own), you are denied even that permanence.

But I will have zero descendants with my DNA.  Will that matter?

It won’t when the Universe ends, if it does. 
Maybe as you go, time stops and you sense immortality in a relativistic sense.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

"Titan: A Frozen Oasis": new short film with an interesting prediction about Saturn's lively moon

Titan: A Frozen Oasis” is a new 16-minute short film from SEA: The Lesser Worlds.
The film notes that Titan has an underground ocean (like Europa) which could have its own life, creating a “political struggle” if there is also sheet-like life in the oceans on the surface (rather like slime molds, maybe).
The cloudtops get 1% of the sunlight on Earth.

The moon is slightly smaller than Ganymede (Jupiter) not counting the atmosphere.  
The interesting premise of this film is that when the Sun turns into a red giant starting in about 5 billion years (long after life on Earth is fried – by true climate change – and Earth has had to evacuate) the moon will warm up, the ice mountains will melt and conditions may be similar to a primordial Earth (no oxygen at first).  But it will have only a few hundred million years of mild temperatures.

The film also mentions “Avengers: Endgame” with Thanos depicted as living on a terraformed Titan. YouTube activist Carlos Maza was sometimes compared to Thanos in memes a few months ago during a major censorship controversy.

NASA 2018 photo of Titan surface under the clouds, 2018, Public Domain 

Friday, September 13, 2019

"Natural Born Settlers": NYTImes op-doc on what life is like in a West Bank settlement

The New York Times has an interesting op-doc (among many), this one directed by Iris Zaki, “Natural Born Settlers” (18 min), with the subtitle “What It’s Like to Group up in an Israeli Settlement”.

A young woman who has grown up in Tel Aviv decides to spend the summer living in a West Bank Settlement of Tekoa.  It is viewed as a “moderate” settlement, compared to Hebron, with is more radical. There are 132 legal settlements and 106 illegal, according to the film.

She rents part of a small house on the edge of town, and then opens a tiny snack shop, and first is visited by a cat, but soon has a parade of people willing to be interviewed and filmed. Many have grown up in the settlement and believe Israel has its only possible homeland, and that the Palestinians are here because of “history”. 

One woman lost part of her family to a drive-by terrorist shooting.
Another woman says Israel has to decide on the sovereignty question for the West Bank and suggests a confederation as a legal structure.

Wikipedia attribution: 
By Deror avi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

"What Is Consciousness?" The Economist (and Michio Kaku)

What Is Consciousness?”, from The Economist.

The film isolates the claustrum, underneath the cerebrum, as critical.

Consciousness is continuity of a point-of-view about one’s experience in the environment, with the capacity to make choices of interactions and live with the consequences of choices.  Consciousness, when taking action based on choices, reduces entropy.

The video describes a theory of mind, meaning a conscious being and imagine another conscious being (even an animal) from externality. Some speakers and writers can communicate what it is like to be “him”.  Just watch a John Fish growth video. But a “relationship” produces that kind of illusion.
Michio Kaku describes closed loops composed of individual pieces analogous to thermostats. These objects can detect temperature, moisture, space, and time. Only humans and maybe a few animals can process time.

Kurgesagt weighs in with the first of a series. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"The Fifth of November": a women loses her fiance to gun violence and plots for group revenge

A site called “The Audience Awards” offers a lot of new short films in circulation, some not on YouTube. 

(Note: As pf  9/13, the film is no longer available publicly and the video is marked private now by embeds.  The video below is a poem of the same name by Juliette Hannah.  I don't see a trailer in YouTube now but I'll look again soon;  there is likely to be one soon.  IMDB link.  I'll check later to see how to get an account to view the private films ).

The Fifth of November”, directed by Javier Augusto Nunez, entered in a horror short circulation, presents Jane, a secular possibly Muslim woman (not really PoC) played by Qurrat Ann Kadwani with a good job in San Diego.  The said date is her birthday.  As it approaches, she recalls how her fiancĂ© (William H. Bryant, African American) was murdered in a restaurant in a mass shooting a year ago.
The boyfriend had urged her to get into real group activism and spend less time alone.

She begins to imagine her revenge, to kidnap and shoot a white man for his part in collective guilt. Os this real or just a fantasy? 

The title of the film reminds me of the play "The Fifth of July" which I saw in NYC in 1978.  The film comes from QK Company and was made with SAG.

Picture: San Diego, night, 2012 (mine)

Monday, September 09, 2019

"Three Ways to Destroy the Universe" by Kurzgesagt (is the Bootes Void evidence of a Big Rip already?)

Kurzgesagt gives us “Three Ways to Destroy the Universe” (6 min).

“The Big Rip” is often presented as the most likely.  Dark energy causes space to expand with acceleration.  Space between galaxies expands first (maybe the Bootes Void?) but eventually gravity is not strong enough to hold galaxies, then stars, then planets, then even atoms together. 

The second is a “heat death” (or big freeze) driven by entropy, but it might be reversed by “quantum tunneling”.
The third is a “big crunch”, a reversing process that might eventually rebound with another big bang, a cycle that could go on infinitely.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

"It's Still My Bed": when the parents "hire" a roommate for the summer

Tyler Reeves presents a 17-minute short film, “It’s Still My Bed’, by Tyler Reeves (link).

David (Damian Joseph Quinn) comes home to his parents’ desert ranch from college, and finds his parents have hired a farmhand Brent (Cooper Stone).  David has already been coming out to a supposed girl friend at college, and now he suspects Brent is gay.

This film goes out of its way to present “masculine” gay men.  These two are model "macho men", yet clean cut, perfect, with body sanctity.  No fluidity or ambiguity. 

The film is rated R, for some rather explicit fantasy material, so I can’t embed it.  I’ll embed Palm Springs Pride instead, as a kind of pseudo-trailer.  I was last there in 2012.

Friday, September 06, 2019

"The Aestivation Hypothesis": the aliens are hibernating

The Aestivation Hypothesis”, a short video by sci-fi author John Michael Godier, proposes a novel solution to the Fermi Paradox.

He says the really big galactic civilizations are hibernating in summer (aestivating) and waiting a few trillion years until the universe cools down, when it will be easier for them to achieve their “psychological” goals.

They may be sending von Neuman probes to check up on us, the way wild animals (like crows or stray cats) will visit humans whom they like and feel they need to watch.

The video shows many shots of the insides of an O’Neill cylinder. Imagine a cylinder that is wrapped around and closed like the inside of a tire pressed against a rim.  A resident would think he was living in a closed universe with no edges or boundaries.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

"Minority Report": sci-fi about arresting people for thinking about committing crimes, relevant to weapons debate today

Remember “Minority Report” (2002), directed by Steven Spielberg, from Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.

Tom Cruise plays police Chief John Anderton, a police chief of a unit in Washpngton DC that uses telepathy or monitoring to arrest people for “pre-crime”, before they commit the crimes.

The telepathy is possible for special mutants called “precogs” who share consciousness through a “group mind”.

Anderton tries to avoid the system with a retinal transplant.
The film is important because of the way we have to protect public safety today in a world where there are so many guns, arresting people for threats or for social media evidence based on the possibility they are planning crimes. 
It used to be that people could be banned from serving in the military for showing a “propensity” for future homosexual acts.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

"Abilities Evolution Took from Us": animals sense things we miss

Sci-Show explains “Abilities Evolution Took from Us”.

Call it “losing it”.   That has some meaning in my own life.

The speaker talks about the residual human pineal gland, which does process melatonin, but which no longer functions as a “third eye” as in some amphibians.

Some fish (eels) can sense or generate electricity.  Land animals lost that ability because it doesn’t work in the air.  But when the went back to the ocean, whales and dolphins gained something similar, which evolved into a sonar. 
He also discusses pheromones, which are detected in a nasal gland which is almost inactive in humans, where visual stimuli became more important.

Monday, September 02, 2019

"The Egg": animated film with an unusual interpretation of the afterlife

Here is a short animated film by Andy Weir, “The Egg”, drawn by Kurzgesagt “in a nutshell”.

A man with a bad marriage dies in a catastrophic car crash.  He meets “God” and is told he will be reincarnated and while in the interim will gradually remember some of his incarnations.  You don’t have a point-of-view continuity of your entire self until you “die”.  His wife cries, and secretly feels relieved he is gone, and then feels guilty for feeling relieved.  Familiar?
But then there is a real surprise.  He will be reincarnated into the past.  And that’s not the end of it.
More people have lived than are alive today.