Overcoming Obstacles that Threaten Your Positive Habits

 

It’s common knowledge that the best way to reach a goal is to set up consistent routines. These daily or weekly practices are an absolute must when taking on a large endeavor, as progress for any pursuit happens over the long haul. When you set out to begin a new life changing habit, there will inevitably be obstacles you must face. The universe will test you to make sure you are serious about what you are trying to accomplish. You must show burning desire for your goal to be able to push through and find success. You can find yourself in a great situation where you’re well on your way to establishing a new habit or you feel like you’ve got the habit in the bag, and then life circumstance comes out of nowhere to remove your means to maintain your habit.

My laptop screen stopped working a few months ago, so with Christmas money I decided to get a replacement. With this new laptop, I sensed the opportunity for a new beginning, and I found myself reinvigorated to change my life. I began writing. I wrote 10,000 words over the course of a few days. I’d kept up this habit for a week, and then I noticed my new laptop was running into display problems related to the hardware. I would have to return this laptop to the online store, but I knew that would be a few weeks of turn around time before I could get up running again with my writing. This was just long enough to get me off track with my new habit. The universe is testing me to see how serious I am about writing. Will I find a way to get the work done even though there is a major inconvenience placed before me?

The same pattern occurred with my working out routine recently. For the past 8 months, I’ve been working out every weekend, every single week. At the 6+ month mark I was starting to see great progress, and then I got a little overconfident and injured a muscle in my back. This type of injury has lasted a few weeks and threatens to derail my efforts at a consistent workout. The most dangerous time for a habit is when a setback like this happens. Habits are all about momentum and routine, and to end the routine is to endanger the habit. I’ve responded by making sure I heal my back as fast as possible with ice and rest. I can’t continue the upper body workout routine, but I can do other core strengthening exercises and lower body exercises. Part of my brain wants to say “I can’t workout my upper body, so I just won’t do anything.” This is my inner resistance trying to trick me into getting off track and slipping back into a lazy habit. Once you realize that this is the sort of tactic that is being employed against you, you can be more vigilant in fighting to keep your positive habits even through difficult times.

Clearly the solution to when obstacles are blocking you from your key routines is to find temporary, positive, alternative routines that you can employ. The trick is to keep taking massive action. If I can’t type at my laptop and get my daily writing routine done, I can always pull out a pen and paper and get words down on the page. While this method won’t be very efficient and probably less satisfying, I know that it can tide me over and keep my on my routine until my laptop is replaced. Don’t let easy excuses keep you from your goals. Everyone who tries to accomplish something faces internal and external negative forces. We must accept this inevitable fact and not get frustrated.When the world drops problems in your path, and you are able to emotionally accept them, you are empowered. Your level-headed approach will allow you patiently access them to find alternative routes. A new path might not be what you had hoped for, but it can still guide you to where you want to go. We can set our destination, but we can’t choose in advance the exact path to get there. We must be flexible and problem solving individuals if we want to be successful in our particular creative crafts. Embrace the inevitable chaos and challenge in reaching your goal, as it will make you a more dynamic and powerful individual.

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Review of “Jed McKenna’s Theory of Everything”

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It’s rare that I finish a book I start to completion, and it’s even rarer that I finish a book and immediately read through it all again. Jed McKenna’s latest book felt like it was written specifically for me (maybe even by me?), so I had to pick it up again as soon as I finished it. McKenna originally wrote a trilogy of books about truth realization a few years ago and proclaimed that he was done writing and everything that needed to be said was said. However, the universe had other plans for him. He was inspired by a TV show about science’s drive for a unifying “theory of everything”, and that lead him to communicate his simple theory to explain everything.

The theory of everything is very simple. First of all, truth exists. This truth must be unchanging, all-encompassing, and infinite. So, if we can prove something exists, we also know that it is true because truth has no limits. I can say with certainty that I exist or “I am”, and the nature of this existence is consciousness. This leads to McKenna’s theory – If truth is all, and consciousness exists, then consciousness is all. For those objecting to my explanation, you can preview the first chapter where he breaks this down in a short conversation.

This theory flips the most common understanding of existence on its head. Just about everyone treats the universe as the source of consciousness. These people would say we are physical, conscious blips in an infinite universe made of matter (McKenna calls this perspective U-Rex, or “universe is king”). The “theory of everything” would mean that the opposite is true – that the universe is a subset of unlimited consciousness (dubbed C-rex, “consciousness is king”). McKenna compares consciousness to a blank sheet of paper that extends forever in all directions, and the universe is a tiny mark on the paper. What this means is that space, time, and all of physical reality is a non-true, illusion. “Physical” reality is the movie playing on the screen of consciousness. This idea isn’t too foreign to most people because of movies like the Matrix. However, most normal people would find this idea too dubious to take truly seriously. However, it is true. It has to be true (or so says McKenna). All of physical reality is a dream, simulation, mirage, movie, Maya. Perhaps our reality is a “full-sensory period piece we’re watching during extended interstellar space travel”. We really can’t be sure.

McKenna admits that the fact that all of the universe is not real sounds like complete bullshit to any sane person. However, he says that he’s done the math and this is the only correct answer. His process was questioning everything until he could say with absolute certainty that something was real (that something turned out to be “I am”). He invites everyone to not take his word for it, but to do the math themselves if they feel inclined. Of course, if your reality is pleasant, you’d have to ask yourself, is it really worth burning it down in search of truth? Do you really need to go jumping down suspicious rabbit holes?

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So the (bad?) news is that all of reality is bullshit. The (good?) news is that its some entertaining bullshit. For me personally, I’ve been tugging on the loose thread of reality for several years, and Jed McKenna’s initial trilogy of books unraveled a lot of sweater. Because of my familiarity with where McKenna is coming from, this new book wasn’t really “new”. However, he did stray into some side-subjects not covered in his previous books that I found interesting, as they seemed more focused at me personally.

I was drawn to the book was it dealt directly with science and specific religions, which McKenna ignored for the most part in his initial trilogy. To sum it up, anyone who makes claims to truth, whether it be science or religion has to deal with the fact it’s impossible to prove anything past the idea of “I am”. There is no evidence for anything outside of consciousness. In that way, all of the arrogant proponents of science who slam religion, don’t realize that they themselves are standing on the faulty assumption of an unprovable physical universe. I’ve felt tugged on by Christianity and science, as they both played a major role in my life and the book tidied a lot ideas regarding these two that were still muddled in my mind. In addition to chapters about eastern/western religion, Jed also has a section dedicated to simulation theory, which I thoroughly  enjoyed. I have to wonder if I was writing about it at the same time he was.

The funny thing about truth (and McKenna’s book) is that it will never go viral. There’s a reason why the vast majority of people would rather stay asleep than wake up. You don’t get any sort of prize for embracing truth. In fact, if you search for truth, you can likely lose everything that makes you “you”. It’s a possible path for total disillusionment with the life. McKenna describes it as standing alone in an empty parking lot outside an amusement park. “The Theory of Everything” gives the reader a glimpse into the truth realized state (more accurately described as “un-truth un-realization state” by McKenna), but doesn’t require or even ask you to live there permanently. It’s a postcard from a place where consciousness is king, and the physical universe is merely a mirage. If you want to live there yourself and you’re starting from scratch, you a lot of lies to unravel. Most people would say they want the truth, but they really just want their preferred version of reality to be the true one. This is why everyone gets so uppity and self-defensive with each other when topics like religion or politics are brought up.

It’s a quick read that isn’t as weighty as it might seem. If you made it the whole way through this review, it’s probably worth checking out. You can buy “Jed McKenna’s Theory of Everything” off Amazon here.

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Singularity, Simulation, and the Existence of God

The purpose of this post is to show that if  the Technological Singularity does in fact occur at some point in the future, then the chances are extremely high that we are currently living in a simulation. It then logically follows that, if we are currently living in a simulation, this strongly points to the existence of “God” or a creator on a higher realm of existence. While the proposition that we live inside of a simulated universe can appear far-fetched on first glance, I believe that the idea will have to be taken more seriously as we mature technologically.

The basic premise of the Singularity is that technological advancement is not linear, but exponential. The progress in technology feeds upon itself, creating a positive feedback loop, known as the law of accelerating returns. This pattern of technological growth has been observable in the past with the most obvious example in arena of computing. As Jason Silva exclaims, “the cellphone in your pocket is a million times cheaper, a million times smaller, and a thousand time more powerful than a $60 Million dollar supercomputer was in the 1960′s. It’s a billion fold increase in price and performance in 40 years.” If these kinds of technological gains continue in various technological fields (particularly neuroscience and artificial intelligence), we will advance to a point where many current scientific impossibilities will become possible, including the ability to recreate countless simulations of our current conscious reality.

Anyone who has played the Sims, WoW, or countless other video games knows that we already have dabbled heavily in the arena of simulation. Scientists use simulations to make predictions and further research. Even though these simulations are extremely primitive to what the Singularity could usher in, it is clear that creating simulations for recreation or scientific advancement is in our nature. There are a multitude of these simulations running right now in what are best described as a sub-realities of our reality.

Nick Bostrom, as Swedish philosopher, has provided a simulation hypothesis to show that there is a rationale beyond pure speculation for the idea that we are currently living in a simulation created by an advanced civilization or advanced AI (God).

Bostrom makes the argument that at least one of these three scenarios is almost certainly true:

1. The chances that we can avoid going extinct before reaching technological maturity (like the Singularity) is extremely small.

2. No advanced civilizations or AI would have interest in running simulations of human minds (for whatever reason, including moral objections).

3. The chances we are living in a computer simulation are basically 100%.

The truth has to be at least one of these three scenarios. So if (1) and (2) are not true, then (3) must be true, which would pave the way for the existence for “God”. If we do progress as a civilization to the point where we can recreate human consciousness inside of a computer simulation, and there those in that civilization willing to do just that, then it has to be assumed that they will create countless simulations of human consciousness via exponentially improved computing power.  These countless simulations would mean that the chances we are simulations would be basically 100% (if there are trillions or more simulations and only a tiny fraction can be real, then the odds heavily favor the idea that we are simulations.)

It stands that if we are in a simulation, then this points to the fact that we have been created by “God”, as we are living in sub-reality of a creator’s reality. Just in the same way that a child playing a game of the Sims would be the “God” of the video game’s sub-reality, so we would have our own “God” of our sub-reality. The rules for our simulation could look very much like the proposed rules set up by the God or gods of our current world religions. If we are living in a simulation, then heaven, or hell, or any other sort of afterlife permutation could be plausible.

If we manage to not kill each other and ourselves before reaching the Singularity, and have the moral wherewithal to recreate human consciousness inside of a computer simulation, the chances that we too are living inside a simulation are very good, and logically this provides for a solid, rational belief that “God” exists. This “God” wouldn’t necessarily be forced to have all the characteristics a traditional Christian or Muslim God, but it would still be an outside creator with power to set the rules for our universe. This could make the position of being a hardcore atheism less tenable.

Science has dispelled myths such as the earth being flat and that the earth is at the center of the universe. Will technology one day point to the fact that we live in a universe created by God?

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Truth and Human Consciousness

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, til he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”

Truth is absolute. Truth is infinite. Truth does not change. What is, is. Nothing can be done about it.

The human mind or human consciousness is finite. It is relative. It is in constant flux. It is riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. There is no solid ground for our mind to stand on. Our brains take in a finite amount of information and spit out finite information. We’re all living in our limited ego tunnels where we believe we see the entire world. However, we’re getting a finite slice of the infinite pie.

No words we can muster are truth, as all words and thoughts are finite. No words we can spit out are absolute. No words we can spit out are truth. The finite is only a projection or representation of something that is true. Our words can point towards truth, but they are not truth.

No belief is true. No belief can be true. Every belief is finite. Every belief is a product of a finite mind. Every product of a finite mind, is finite. Everything that is finite, is not true.

Words can point to truth. Which is the best I can hope for out of this post. However, no belief or statement in this post is truth. You can use words to point to truth. You cannot use words to properly describe truth. The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. It is merely a finger.

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Enlightenment, Human Adulthood, Altered States

Understatement: When it comes to spirituality, there is a lot of room for confusion.

So many terms and concepts are thrown around from people coming from so many different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, that trying to make sense of all the great teachers and “gurus” in the world can be an overwhelming task. With help from Jed McKenna and his books, I want to sort all of this mess into three categories. If someone is talking “spiritual”, they are working within the framework of one of these three genres. This is all they have to work with.

1. Enlightenment (aka Abiding Non-Dual Awareness aka Truth Realization)

If there was a perceived “Holy Grail” of spirituality, this would be it. When people get into this whole spiritual business, many assume that enlightenment or “truth realization” is the end goal or what they want. This is a permanent awareness that there is no separation in the universe. There is only “one”. This is the end of good/evil and right/wrong. This the negation of all delusion, including self. It is easier to define this by describing what it isn’t. This isn’t a flash of intellectual insight, and this isn’t a peak emotional experience. This isn’t an adding of anything. This is the removal of everything false. This isn’t about becoming true, it is about getting rid of everything that is untrue. Think of burning everything and what you have left is nothing. The is a headfirst dive into the infinite abyss of no-self. This is waking up from the dream of reality and leaving the dream. You don’t get “there” because you want to, you get there because you have no choice.

The funny thing is that enlightenment is heavily sought by the ego, but in the end it means the brutal destruction of ego, which can be a very nasty process. You lose everything and gain nothing. Prepare to lose family, friends, cherished beliefs and opinions, your job, your motivation, your context, and potentially anything else the you that you think is you holds dear. You lose everything about yourself, and you’re not better off  for it. Like Jed McKenna says, “if you ordered it off the menu, you might ask for your money back”.  This is for those who can’t bear living a lie anymore.

2. Human Adulthood vs Human Childhood

If enlightenment could be described as leaving the dream altogether, Human Adulthood could be described as staying in the dream and being “lucid”. When people say that they want enlightenment, they would probably actually prefer Human Adulthood, as it doesn’t mean leaving the amusement park of reality. You still get to ride the rides, but you know that it’s just a ride, not reality.

Most people don’t make the jump to true adulthood. Most people stop growing at the age of 10-12, and stay at that level of maturity for the rest of their life. This is cause for all the silliness in the world, as people take their ego-bound self too seriously. They mistake the roll they are playing as just a roll. Actors who don’t realize they are actors. All of the evils of society like greed, selfishness, violence are symptoms of Human Childhood. All of these ills radiate from fear, which is a natural byproduct of living with one’s eyes closed. Once one matures into Human Adulthood, the overarching patterns of the dream become more clear. It becomes easier to move into the flow of the universe, as a broader non ego-bound perspective makes clarity possible.

So what is the difference between Human Adulthood and enlightenment? The former could be described as life-positive and the latter could be described as life-negative. Human Adulthood could be recommended for everyone, while enlightenment could be recommended only for those who have no choice.

3. Altered States

Jed McKenna describes some spiritual seekers as people who looking to relive the glory days of drug experimentation of their youth. They are looking for a spiritual path which will get them back to that place of fleeting connection with the “oneness”.  It has been said that through meditation that some people have been able to recreate the effects of psychedelic trips. This has nothing to do with waking up from the dream, as all these altered states of consciousness are all contained within the dream. Seeking an alternate state is a worthy goal as any while you are asleep in a dream, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are asleep. It also doesn’t require the ultimate sacrifice of  everything that enlightenment does.

When you hear a spiritual guru talking, he is referring to something that is contained in one of these three genres. There aren’t any other games in town.

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The Mysterious Stranger

From Mark Twain’s “The Mysterious Stranger”

CHAPTER XI

For as much as a year Satan continued these visits, but at last he came less often, and then for a long time he did not come at all. This always made me lonely and melancholy. I felt that he was losing interest in our tiny world and might at any time abandon his visits entirely. When one day he finally came to me I was overjoyed, but only for a little while. He had come to say good-by, he told me, and for the last time. He had investigations and undertakings in other corners of the universe, he said, that would keep him busy for a longer period than I could wait for his return.

“And you are going away, and will not come back any more?”

“Yes,” he said. “We have comraded long together, and it has been pleasant – pleasant for both; but I must go now, and we shall not see each other any more.”

“In this life, Satan, but in another? We shall meet in another, surely?”

Then, all tranquilly and soberly, he made the strange answer, “There is no other.”

A subtle influence blew upon my spirit from his, bringing with it a vague, dim, but blessed and hopeful feeling that the incredible words might be true – even must be true.

“Have you never suspected this, Theodor?”

“No. How could I? But if it can only be true -“

“It is true.”

A gust of thankfulness rose in my breast, but a doubt checked it before it could issue in words, and I said, “But – but – we have seen that future life – seen it in its actuality, and so -“

“It was a vision – it had no existence.”

I could hardly breathe for the great hope that was struggling in me. “A vision? – a vi -“

“Life itself is only a vision, a dream.”

It was electrical. By God! I had had that very thought a thousand times in my musings!

“Nothing exists; all is a dream. God – man – the world – the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars – a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space – and you!”

“I!”

“And you are not you – you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought. I myself have no existence; I am but a dream – your dream, creature of your imagination. In a moment you will have realized this, then you will banish me from your visions and I shall dissolve into the nothingness out of which you made me . . .

“I am perishing already – I am failing – I am passing away. In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever – for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better!

“Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago – centuries, ages, eons, ago! – for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities.

Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane – like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell – mouths mercy and invented hell – mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him! . . .

“You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks – in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier.

“It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream – a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought – a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”

He vanished, and left me appalled; for I knew, and realized, that all he had said was true.

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Jed McKenna and the Illusion of Self

So I’ve started reading through Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing for the second time. The first time I read it, it was over a year ago, and it was my introduction to the concept of what “enlightenment” truly is. So many of the concepts were brand new to me, and they were explained so matter-of-fact that I had a fair amount of new insight into the topic. The author, Jed McKenna, basically slices through all the mysticism that surrounds the concept of what truth really is and gets right to the heart of the matter. “Truth realization” isn’t as glamorous as it is sometimes made out to be. It isn’t about a peak experience or feeling at one with the universe, it is more about ruthless self-annihilation, as you dive headfirst into the abyss of “no-self”. It is about taking account everything you know to be true, and unraveling years upon years of bullshit that make up “who you are”. For some, this is basically an impossible task because they have become so invested in their cherished beliefs and views of what the world is, and how they fit into it, that they cannot be awakened from their personal dream.

McKenna claims that only once you stop filtering the world through the dualistic self can you truly see the world for how it truly is. He says that he looks upon Nazi death camps and wondrous works of art with the same eyes. He claims that no good is so good, nor any evil so evil that it transcends his transcendence. Nothing can shake him out of persistent perception that everything in duality is false. There is no good, and there is no evil. There is no such thing as “wrong”. This is a hard pill to swallow because as McKenna claims, “truth talk is heresy in the dreamstate.” McKenna goes on to say that “no belief is truth”, and the inverse is also true, that “life has no meaning”. We all cling tightly to the false dream that we are having, and we refuse the acknowledge to truth that is staring us in the face. This truth is the infinite abyss.

I’ve found so far that I’ve embraced the concept of “no-self”, and that I do believe that there is no such thing as a “person”, but I haven’t quite recognized the pattern for myself yet. They say that knowing the answer isn’t good enough, and that you have to do the math. Simply acknowledging intellectually the truth that there is no such thing as a self can make your ego feel good about being “right”, but that’s not what this is about. Beliefs are stumbling blocks, as they only re-enforce your ego. So holding another belief like “there is no ego”, doesn’t matter until you actually see it for yourself (or so I’m told). McKenna says that his non dualistic view of reality is abiding, and there is no chance he could ever see the dream as truth again. I would say that personally I have more and more frequent glimpses that the “dreamstate” is bullshit, but that I will often fall back into identifying with the character that I’m playing in the production of reality. One moment I will laugh at my own biases and anger with not getting my way, as they are going on, and other times, I will go for weeks blinded to the fact that I am deeply identifying with “myself”.

So on this second read through of the book, I’d say that I “get” the concepts better on an intellectual level, but McKenna says that it isn’t a matter of getting a new concept or feeling a new feeling. He claims it is “further”. He says that this is the mantra of enlightenment, and that when you think you’re doing good or that you’re “there”, you have to keep going, as you’re not there yet. I know I’m not there yet, so I will just have to keep doing that math of ruthless self examination and annihilation.

A question that many people would ask is, “Why bother? Enlightenment doesn’t sound that great. It sounds like some sort of bleak nihilism?” That is an excellent question, and I don’t believe McKenna would claim that taking the red pill is superior to taking the blue pill. For me personally, I believe there is something gnawing at me, and to find the truth is something I want to do. I don’t think everyone is made for waking up from the dreamstate, and I’m unsure yet whether I ever will, but for now, it is a rabbit hole that I can’t resist exploring. Even if the truth isn’t something savory, I am curious to know.

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Positive Self Talk: Delude Your Way to Greatness

So I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast last night, and some random comedians were discussing positive self talk. One of them mentioned that his life took a dramatic turn when he started emulating others who focus completely on pumping themselves up via positive self talk. This isn’t some revolutionary activity, but it is one that I constantly need to remind myself to engage in. It’s like working out, if you keep at it, it will transform you and will become natural. However, if you get lazy and fall out of that routine, you can slid into a place where you don’t want to be. Therefore, I’m starting a quick short little mantra. Before I engage in an activity, I will tell myself “I’m going to do *blank*, and I’m going to feel great”. I’ve been doing it for the day, and I’ve noticed a change. I’ve also noticed how old negative thought patterns will crop up and attempt to derail me, but I stick to my guns. I will feel great. I will admit that I feel like a bit of a tool talking to myself, but I know that it will pass. It’s like if you haven’t been to the gym in a while, you feel out of place, but you just have to get over it. Nobody really cares, and the only important thing is that you get yourself where you need to be. If making a fool out of yourself or feeling uncomfortable is part of the deal, so be it.

Also, babies everywhere.

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Self Driving Cars, Augmented Reality, and Creating Your Virtual Amusement Park

So I found out today that Google self-driving cars have driven ~200k miles in California without an accident, and apparently they are right around the corner. These cars are able to form a 3D view of their surroundings and can avoid obstacles like other cars and pedestrians. Just off the top of my head I can think of numerous advantages that a self-driving car would have over manually controlled cars. These virtual “drivers” wouldn’t have to deal with the distractions of texting, being drunk, or being overly emotional. I imagine it won’t be long until we look back and say “I can’t believe that people used to drive cars themselves”. Millions of people a year are injured while driving, and around 50k are killed. It is not hard to imagine that self driving cars will be able to dramatically reduce these numbers. Even with only quick, superficial research I already trust robot drivers in their current form over 90% of the drivers on the road today.

So if you look at how attached we are becoming to our electronic devices, it appears that these self driving cars will be a necessity very soon. We’re only adding to the accident totals with people being distracted by iphones, ipads, etc. The rumor is that Google will be releasing glasses later this year with augmented reality. Now people will look like they are watching the road, but in fact will be checking their Facebook on their Google Glasses. Obviously self driving cars are an absolute necessity, if we’re going to prevent technology related accidents in the future.

I was thinking that the combination of self driving cars and augmented reality will allow for some very cool applications. If you think about people driving around right now, everyone is listening to their own genre of music and are basically creating their own little reality in their car. With ipods we can create soundtracks to our lives. This will only increase with augmented reality, as we can start playing around with what we see visually.

Imagine stepping into your car, and while you’re riding, there are images and information superimposed upon the cars window panes. The most basic and obvious applications of this would be allowing iphone style facetime conversations with people on your windshield, or viewing information about businesses or restaurants superimposed over the actual buildings as you drive through your city. Perhaps these images of buildings and people are taken in by the cars 3D camera and are altered visually. Image driving through a city where an artist has virtually decorated or painted all the buildings in the city, so that when you drive through you can enjoy a particular artist’s interpretation of that city. You could set the mood to “happy” or “sad”, and your surroundings would be changed visually to match that. Car rides could turn into next generation psychedelic trips.

The opportunities for artists will be unlimited. As you head into a new city, you could download the most popular augmented reality overlays. These could be grand artistic re-interpretations of a city. Have Godzilla destroying the city around you, or perhaps a true history tour as you watch a time lapse of how the city around you was built. The possibilities are only limited by our creativity and desire to create. You could basically turn the entire world into your own personal amusement park. You can simultaneously explore and create the world around you as you go.

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Radical Optimism

I have the power to shape my own future. I refuse to give in to victim mentalities. It is easy to blame others for when things go wrong. It is easy to blame the universe for giving you a shitty hand. The fact is that I am responsible for my own life. Part of taking responsibility for my own life is managing and changing my outlook on life if necessary. After listening to Jason Silva speak on the Joe Rogan podcast, I’ve decided that I need to develop a radically optimistic outlook on life. For those that have a tendency to over think and spend a lot of time in their heads, there is a tendency towards imagining the worst things that can happen. This is not without use, as preparing for the worst is not a bad life strategy. However, there is something to be said for extreme optimism when viewing the future.

Much like you are what you eat, you are what you read and what information and ideologies you expose yourself too. When you plug in online, you are taking in the thoughts and outlooks of others. There is something to be said for finding out about the “negative” things that are happening in the world, as long as the mental emphasis is on changing them for the better. However, it becomes possible to look for excuses in the news for why you aren’t creating a beautiful world to live in.

We’re living in a world that is changing quickly. It is a radical time, and it needs radical optimism. I’ve decided that I need to take 100% responsibility for my outlook. I have to decide that no matter what I will maintain a powerful, optimistic outlook of what is possible. Frustrations are merely obstacles to be overcome.

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