Atom Wave: September 2007

Atom Wave

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


One of the qualities of this democracy is that the vote of the citizen always counts; you just can never count on your politician. Nine months ago the voters of this country decided that they wanted the Democrats to change the course of the war in Iraq, and that day remains to be seen. Instead they spend their time in Congress debating the merits of giving the troops more time off between their shifts in the war.
Meanwhile the violence in Iraq continues, with millions of people fleeing the country in search of safety. Nearly 4000 troops are known dead, and many times more are seriously injured. It is also suspected that over half a million Iraqis have died these past four years as the civil war continues unabated. Meanwhile contractors like Blackwater are profiting off the nearly 1 trillion dollars spent so far. The President remains confident that victory is within reach.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Original Sin

I’ve been looking for an original sin. The ultimate crime, so horrible it will claim infinite victims over time. The attacks of 9/11 were a start, but it must reach across infinite time. The war against terrorism might never succeed, but it won’t so long as the war against drugs persists.
It has long been known that Afghanistan is the home of Al-Qaeda, the ghostly demon that destroyed the Twin Towers and persists to this day in the shadows of the world. We have bombed them persistently, but they will always resurrect as long as our drug policies endure.
Afghanistan is the home of Opium production in the world, which if you are a farmer is much more profitable to produce than wheat. Much of it is transformed into Heroin for sale on the black market, and smuggled across the world. Despite its persistent anti-legality, the laws of supply and demand require that it will continue to be produced. It also guarantees that the lords of crime will continue to profit. You can also be almost certain that the followers of Al-Qaeda will find a way to profit from the trade, who could resist the money?
The war on drugs started almost forty years ago, on the decision of then President Richard Nixon. The United States imprisons as many as one million Americans per year due to drugs, and it has the highest proportion of its population in prison versus other countries. Despite this, the drug war has failed. It only feeds our own destruction by wasting billions in treasure to hold millions of people in jail for often non-violent offenses.
There will be hell to pay someday.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The General Evacuation

The last decade has shown the vast potential of the computer along with reality. Obsolete are the days where the best people could expect are arcade quality images; it is rapidly becoming clear that the sky will soon be the limit. Hyperreality might not be far off: it might very well be real right now.
The philosopher Nick Bostrom of Oxford University has suggested that the world and everything we know might be nothing more than an elaborate computer simulation. It seems plausible, given that every sight, texture, and scent that we have ever known are just the dance of electric signals in our brains. It might be that during the general evacuation that it was decided to lock our minds into a computer system to preserve our dying civilization. It is entirely possible since the machine need not be a multi yottaflop device, a much smaller device would do. When you have the ages of the universe to deal with, it is irrelevant if a computation cycle requires one second or a million years. Time as we would know it would be subjective to the whims of the machine.
Existences as we know it with its priests and weak interactions would be incredibly boring were everything righteous and peaceful. The persistence of war and disease with this period and all of history would indicate that the architect knows humans all to well. Just as Agent Smith of The Matrix suggested, humans define themselves by their suffering. A perfect happy world is something that our primitive minds will never accept.
In the last reflection, none of this philosophy may ever be proven. One of the virtues of philosophy is that it is beyond science, for the time being.