Communicating with visitors from outer space: The uncanny resemblance of the Unfamiliar Familiarity…

Communicating with visitors from outer space: The uncanny resemblance of the Unfamiliar Familiarity…

We are born… totally unaware of the world around us; an alien world…
We learn crying first… that’s our first attempt in communication… or attention seeking until we find more effective ways…
Then, we learn to stand on our knees, crawl and finally walk…
In the end, we learn to speak as we complete the totally helpless phase of our infancy. The comms link is finally online…

It takes us years to get familiar with our home world and its humanoid inhabitants. Yet, we are never fully familiar towards other life forms on our planet…

Nobody has communicated with a chicken…
Nobody knows how a potted sunflower truly feels when neglected too long…
Nobody has ever set their eyes upon the creatures living in the deepest parts of our oceans…
Nobody has tried to make a pact with deadly viruses for them not to make us sick… oh wait! Most of us aren’t even aware that viruses aren’t living organisms… but we try to kill these lifeless but contagious pieces of code anyway.

We still know only bits and pieces about the other life forms we coexist with, on our shared planet…

Yet, we seek intelligent life forms in deep space and still believe we can come to terms with these aliens through diplomacy once we find them and form an inter-galactic federation to rule the galaxy peacefully altogether… or crush the destructive, evil ones…

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Before elaborating more on the ways to communicate with aliens, let’s take a short trip into some popular alien encounter plots in the sci-fi world:

A spaceship either makes its way to one of the largest cities in the world, or just crash lands in the suburbs where a small town lies nearby. The aliens’ agenda is always the same wherever they land though: to destroy us or strip our planet off its valuable resources. Then the war for our planet commences…

We beat them 9 out of 10 times. Perhaps because they look like us somehow… an uncanny resemblance of the unfamiliar familiarity: they’re either off-color humanoids, complete with all the limbs etc. Or some variation of earthly creatures like giant bugs or non-aquatic octopuses.

This physical familiarity must be the reason we believe we can communicate so easily with them.

So, let’s make it easier for the mankind and imagine the first aliens we encounter are not only humanoid in form, but also a nearly exact copy of our image. But even then… what makes us think we can understand each other? How easily can we communicate with other people? Can we even completely understand our fellow earthlings?

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… in a world where,

… men can’t truly understand women…
… archaeologists can’t decipher most ancient writing forms… (such as the Rongorongo of Easter Island)…
… each Earth culture has its own beliefs and values…(even gestures)…

Still not convinced?

Try explaining snowflakes to a young Masai warrior…

or

what an ocean is to someone who has lived in a landlocked country all their life…

How the Collective Unconscious can Eradicate a Pandemic

How the Collective Unconscious can Eradicate a Pandemic

With the Corona Virus pandemic starting to manipulate our old way of living in terms of social distancing, most of us have confined ourselves in our homes and we have become more dreamers than ever; day-dreaming when the sun is up and plain old dreaming when darkness sets in after we finally get to sleep.

Without being fully aware, we have been dreaming for centuries for various reasons, such as self-healing, entertainment, inspiration and most importantly problem-solving as our minds keep working on a problem in the background while we’re shutting off from the material world.

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Here’s a true story about how the needle in a sewing machine was invented after a dream showed Elias Howe, the inventor, how placing a hole on the tip of the needle could solve his automated stitching problem that made the machine useless as the thread incapacitated the needle by winding around it after a short while. In Elias Howe’s dream, he was being surrounded by a tribe of fierce cannibals, poking him with the tips of their spears and… weirdly enough, all the spear tips had small holes in them!

The power of dreams in problem-solving and creativity can be seen in other cases as well, like Mendeleev’s precise categorization of periodic elements, or Einstein’s theory of relativity, which were all inspired by dreams.

So, personal problems can be tackled by each relevant person in their dreams, but how about global problems such as famine, global warming, deforestation, traffic, deadly pandemics?

Do we encounter them in our “personal” dreams?

I believe the answer is “yes”, it’s just that our individual minds are too weak to solve any of the above… unless we work together. It’s a fact that collaboration is most effective in problem solving regardless of being in a dream or not.

The idea of “unconscious collaboration” was first noted by me after watching a Japanese anime series (I remember it as “Stein’s Gate”, but might be mistaken), where a man was telling a friend’s child to do her homework just before going to bed if she wanted to do it more easily. With most of the kids having already done their homework, he said she would be able to tap into the collective unconscious and spend less time and effort to finish it.

And yesterday, I had a weird dream that got me thinking about the coronavirus, the collective unconscious, dream problem-solving, supercomputers and the true potential of our brains! and perhaps aliens!

Here’s my theory!

Think of our brains as individual super-computers

And the collective unconscious as a network database

Dreams as a hub to connect into the network

The Corona Virus as the problem in hand…

Every seemingly unimportant detail logged into the database

Some discarded… some marked as “important”

Until a solution presents itself to an able-minded individual…

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This “stream of unconsciousness” kept me thinking how our minds are like supercomputers when we are dreaming. Think about it;

* The human mind works like a computer’s RAM, tackling a problem in dreams until we wake up and have no memory of the dream… just like how RAM is wiped clean after a computer shutdown!

* RAM is computer memory, while REM is our dream memory! See, how similar they are in terms of “lexicality”. (I’m definitely overthinking here :))

* SETI has been using computers all around the world on a voluntary basis, in aid to seek extraterrestrial life with focus on “the more the better”!

* Whether it’s the Corona Virus or a computer virus, viruses are bad and they infect.

* And all computers have users…

Dream on!

8 Ways of time travel without a decent time machine…

8 Ways of time travel without a decent time machine…

 

Everyone who knows me knows how I am obsessed with time travel… and those who don’t – will acknowledge it… in time. By reading this little blog post, you will have the secret of time travel without a decent time machine or no machine at all. Proceed with extreme caution as secrets or time itself are not things to meddle with.

Here are the methods:

If you possess an unstable working prototype of a time machine:

  1. Wear appropriate clothes for your desired destination in time, pee until your bladder dries out, step into the machine, sit, set the desired time and pull the lever or hold and press the small red button by the far end of the console. That’s it!
  2. Same steps as described above… you just pee first, then dress up!

If you DO NOT have a time machine:

   1. The Musical Method: If you wish to go to the past, select a year and google the top 100 in that year’s billboards. Close your eyes and play each song starting from the bottom to the top of the list. Hum along if you know the songs! If your intention is to travel into the near future, the same method can help! Just gather up all the cutlery in the house, click on your phone’s voice recorder, and start dropping them one by one onto the kitchen floor. When each piece lands, say what you’ve just seen like “A fork fell down” or “I dropped a knife” in an untrained, monotonous tone (These are essential as they will make up the lyrics). When all the cutlery has been dropped, stop the recorder, plug earphones into your phone, close your eyes, start playing the audio and enjoy!

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Too bad music isn’t in its golden years anymore and it’s getting worse. Just compare 60’s, 70’s or even 80’s, 90’s music to the hit songs in our present.

2. The Photo Effect: Just open your photo album (printed photos work best) and inspect each photo in full detail. Think about how old you were, where you were and who you were with. Then, focus on the tiny details in the background, are the surroundings the same? or have they changed? As you go down the memory lane, you will realize that you made a slight jump to the past. If you do not have a photo album, or want to time travel to places you’ve never been, enter a desired year into your favorite search engine’s search box, click on “images” and there… you have millions of photos to start with. If you wish to time travel into the future, enter the word “mugshots” into a search engine’s search box and enjoy (They look like selfies, don’t they?)

Now, 9 out of every 10 photos seem to be selfies and most of them do not even include faces as wholes. Mostly, they are close-ups of an eye here and a mouth there!

 3. The Photoshop Dilemma: A very similar method to the one above, but this one requires some photo-shopping skills. Travelling to the past? Find a suitable photo of yourself or have a friend take it on the spot and google for a historical background. Once you find it, just merge the two pictures and presto! You are in a trench in World War II. Going to the future? Find a CGI background using the above method and there you are, picking up alien flowers on Mars!

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 4.  Conundrum of Objects: Find a flea market in your town. Go there preferably on foot. Once you are there, explore each stall in detail, pick up objects, feel their energy. Each object has its own “itstory” (We can’t call it “history”, can we?). Take a deep breath, sniff the air of antiquity. Buy something like an old cassette even if you don’t own a player for it. At least you are in contact with something out of your time. For the future, use your search engine skills to find weird and futuristic object photos. Use a 3D printer, to solidify them.

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5. Dream: One of the best ways to travel back or forward in time! Throughout the day, just think about a time and a place and focus on it in your coffee breaks. Your subconscious will get the message. When it’s bedtime, close your eyes and start focusing on what you’ve been focusing on all day. Sleep! When you wake up, you’ll find yourself with pleasant memories (if you can remember your dreams), check the time and discover that you’ve jumped at least a couple of hours forward in time. In some cases, you’ll have -what is seems like- hours of dreaming, but it has only been half-an hour at most. Try lucid dreaming for the best experience…

6. Read: Fortunately, books are abundant nowadays. (Even I, have some free books on the market). If you are a history enthusiast, find a historical novel and get to reading. If you are a sci-fi fan like me, choose an appropriate novel and start reading. In both cases, you’ll be mesmerized into the setting if the book is any good. Relate yourself to any character in the book to maximize the fun!

7. Write: Just like reading, but with a huge advantage! By writing, you create time itself in your stories. You can even find true love in the past or the future, which you have been searching for so long in the present.

8. Watch: Too lazy to read or write? Then, start going through your movie collection. Although stripped off the best parts, most good books are made into films. And strangely enough, this method requires peeing first (as you don’t want an interruption like a bathroom break in the middle of the film), sitting and pressing a button. Anyway, a surround system is a huge plus.

Archaeology of the Present

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Imagine our current civilization ended up in flames; totally wiped out… a few remaining survivors of the human kind (possibly stripped of all advanced technological knowledge and know-how) started all over from scratch.
In a millennium, every advancement is already long forgotten and our civilization at present is regarded as an ancient one, pretty much like ancient Egypt in our era.
The new civilization follows more or less a similar path as ours to flourish. However, some things have never been invented or some ideas have never been thought of. At least, they invent the notion of archaeology; digging up the past (and trying to uncover our secrets).
Let’s do a thought experiment…
It’s the year 2116; a thousand years from now and the future archaeologists uncover the following:
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1. The personal library of a sci-fi enthusiast, which survived a millennium in a nuclear shelter/bunker. All the books that survived are works of fiction…about intergalactic wars, time travel, aliens, etc… and after decades of hard work, they are able to crack the code of our language. What would they think? Would they regard them as works of fiction or consider them as ancient history? We seem to regard every written record of ancient civilizations as real…
2. An email message printed on a browned out paper (actually the paper browned out much later :), containing letters of the alphabet as well as characters like @,#,_,&,* and :). (From the same library mentioned above) Would they combine these symbols into our ancient language and overthink about their function?
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3. A dozen autographed baseball bats by some of the baseball idols of our era dug out from the ruins of a sports shop. Luckily, the UV coating on the bats preserved the signatures from smearing out through ages. What would a baseball bat suggest to a culture who has not invented the concept of sports (for entertainment)? Perhaps, a primitive weapon of war; inscribed with an ancient god’s name to channel divine power to the wielder? How about the sports shop? Would the future archaeologists be happy that they unearthed an ancient armory?
4. A huge, curvy water slide in an abandoned amusement park: An aqueduct?
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5  A bowling ball… Let me be more specific: A size 14, shiny, purple bowling ball. Hmmm… What are the three holes for? For fingers? But why three? Would they think that ancient humans had two less fingers? Oh wait! That’s how we depict some aliens!!!
The moral of this article?
No matter what your intentions are (when you invent or create something), you will most likely to be misunderstood …

How long is time?

A second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year…are some of the time related vocabulary invented by us; people, trying to have a global standard in measuring time. It’s a good thing that we had the movement of the sun to base our newest concept on or else we would be timeless in a maelstrom of confusion.

But!

Is each unit of time mentioned above, really the same in length for everyone or are they subjective?

A minute feels like eternity at your first kiss …

Perhaps, we feel that way because 1 minute is 60 seconds…and 60 is more than 1… regardless of the word that follows it.

A minute can also feel much shorter than a millisecond when you’re standing by the deathbed of a loved one.

The same logic can be applied here as 1 minute can be 0.0166666667 hours which is a tiny fraction of a whole.

The moral?

No matter how long it is…a minute is never sufficient.

Men are from Mars.Women, too

No, this article has nothing to do with intersexual relationships. The title is quite literal and if you were hoping to read about relationship secrets, I suggest you hit the back button on your browser and google it using the key words provided above.

This article is all about “panspermia” or the theory that our home planet wasn’t the planet Earth but our building blocks hitched a ride on an asteroid or something and ended up here. 

As I’m not a scientifically inclined being (although I write sci-fi) I will not write about how a planet like Mars was suitable to support life billions of years ago or that it had water at some time along with a decent atmosphere. You can Google these up to satisfy your curiosity. My reasons are totally different and less scientific. Here’s my list of reasons ranking from more credible to totally absurd:

1. The feeling of not belonging, (most people I know have this); or feeling totally alien to Earth: Does the phrase “I’m not from this world” sound familiar? 

2. Getting a suntan and even hurting after prolonged exposure to the sun: Perhaps our bodies have always been accustomed to cooler climates where the sun wouldn’t have such effects on our bodies (like Mars). No other animal on Earth ever complains about sensitive skin. 

3. We are fragile beings suspectible to all kinds of diseases. It’s like the whole planet is trying to wipe us out. We suffer from all kinds of diseases and illnesses from deadly ones to common cold. Common cold? We get sick so easily.

4. Apart from aquatic animals, no other mammals are fur-free like us. We are the odd one out unless all the other animals aren’t the ones native to this world. 

5. Even as newborn babies we are quite defenseless upon birth and have to be constantly taken care of while all the other animals in the animal kingdom adapt to their surroundings in little or no time. Maybe we give birth to our off springs before they are completely developed in the womb and kind of forced out early due to a stronger gravitational force (different from what we were accustomed to)

6. Our constant awe towards stars and space: Space is mostly dark matter, or emptiness yet we are charmed with it everytime we look at the night skies. 

7. All religions have the notion of afterlife and other worlds (heaven and hell?) Be good throughout your life and your reward is heaven or perhaps returning to your home planet in some form?

8. We can’t live in peace with the nature. We are constantly trying to terraform the Earth by annihilating nature and building up comfort zones of concrete, maybe trying to make it feel like the barren lands of rocky Mars?

9. The nomadic gene within: Our desire to travel long distances to get away what we call home and to pursue happiness in remote locations in the name of tourism. 

10. The color connection: Our blood is red so is the Martian soil. 

11. Some people have an unexplainable affection towards Bruno Mars. 

I’m not expecting you to believe every word I wrote. However, I’m expecting you to look at the sky tonight and give it a moment of thought…

Why I am obsessed with time travel… and why you should be, too

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Being an avid reader/writer of cool science fiction stories, admiring traveling and having very little money most of the time could very well be used to describe some of my traits. I know I sound like a broke geek with the above description but I assure you I have a lot of other non-geeky qualities and likes, such as;….errr…..hmmm…..well….fantasizing about historical events.

Ok, now you can see how  my traits and time traveling meet up at a common point. Here’s why I can’t seem to keep myself away from thinking or writing about it:

  • I’ve always been a time-traveller, right from my birth to my current age. Although, I’ve only managed to travel forward in time in this period, it’s still a thing I’ve been doing so well for so long. And guess what? You’re just like me! (unless you are Benjamin Button)
  • There are endless possibilities in time travel and a whole, massive history of interesting times and events you can visit. You can run along dinosaurs, be on the Titanic when it sank, witness your grandpa hitting on your grannie or simply watch a good football match that you’ve missed,…live….
  • Paradoxes! Who doesn’t love a good time-travel paradox? Imagine, what would happen if you went back in time and shot Hitler before he rose into power? Hmmm…since you changed history by killing him, he wouldn’t have risen to power and we wouldn’t have heard about him in our time in the first place so that you couldn’t have gone back in time to kill him….Nice, right? What if you accidentally killed one of your ancestors? It’s good thought practice. Isn’t it?
  • You can read or write without paying attention to grammar as the statement “I’ll see you yesterday” would still be technically correct.
  • Believe me, there is always a good story in time travel. and tragedy. and mystery. and humor. and… every kind of emotion that you want to experience.
  • The best thing is that when you (read or write about) time travel, you won’t be spending a single penny. It’s indeed the cheapest way of vagabonding.

Can’t time-travel? Then, live your life to the fullest, make excellent memories, make love, take selfies (not necessarily in that order) and revisit your memories, thinking about all when you get older.