Archive for January, 2017

Post-Instagram

Some would be quick to say that the time to innovate in the social media industry has passed. It’s true that the operating system doors closed in 1995 when Microsoft released Windows 95, but I really believe that there is just one more step forward before we can say the same about social media.

Here’s how I imagine a post-instagram app. These features must be implemented from the get-go btw.

– Every text post also contains a picture (up to 2:3 size ratio) or up to 1 minute video, as on Instagram.
– Every post is repostable, like on Twitter or Tumblr — unless if it’s marked as private. Very important for artists, so friends of friends can then follow the original poster.
– All posts can be viewed under the Recent tab, or categorized, like on Pinterest.
– 1-1 chat, live video, and group chat abilities like on FB/Hangouts/Snapchat.
– Follow people, like posts, follow tags, view automatically curated tags.
– Some of the tags must be completed automatically via AI.
– To bring more people in: make it also a game: let people mark places based on GPS with provided graphics. The more places are marked, the more points a user gets, and the more his posts are exposed in curated lists, which gets him more followers.
– Individual posts can be marked private, shared with specific people or lists, and can be set as “artistic nudity” or not. Don’t flag a whole account as mature or not, but specific posts only. These posts should still show up, just blurred until clicked. Fully mature posts would still need to be removed.
– Tools to manage traffic, which guarantees more celebrity support (very important to get users).
– Each post can be a sellable product. 10% commission if payment is done via the app’s system, or a $3 flat fee if the shopping page is an external page. Like on fancy.com.
– To get users immediately, various OpenID systems can be used as additional email credentials. Login requires a cellphone number for extra security.
– Primarily a fast, sexy app, but also a web front end.

In truth, these aren’t so difficult that Instagram itself can’t implement, but the fact that they don’t already support re-posting is troubling.

Why the Great Pyramid was Built

This is my own theory, and it only works IF we accept that the Great Pyramid of Khufu was not built by humans, but by aliens. Yes, that’s a big stretch, because the pyramid was (most likely) built by humans, but in the case that all these crazy conspiracy theorists are correct, then I could think of a different theory of why it was built.

I base my theory on the simplest answer of what the pyramid is. The simplest answer is usually the correct one. So, if you ask a child “what’s the Great Pyramid”, their answer would be: “it’s a big, big building”.

The only reason why an alien race would build a humongous building on Earth at a time when only huts existed, in my opinion, is that so it can be seen from space. There are not many spacious rooms inside the pyramid (so it wasn’t grain storage), it wasn’t a temple, and we already know that they weren’t tombs. What it is though is just that: a huge building, visible from space, with basic equipment.

Picture this: humans transition from hunter-gatherers to organized societies around the same time. When you have a young race evolving to become something more than animals, that could raise some alien eyebrows. And so they erect… a sign to all other alien races: “KEEP OFF”. Passerbys are much more likely to enter a wild field and claim it their own or just mess with it, than entering one that has a sign to keep off.

Building a large building visible from space is a much smarter way to accomplish this than simply putting a satellite on orbit. The satellite would need servicing, it can go bad at any time, and it would transmit at a frequency or digital format that another alien race might not understand. These problems don’t exist if you just erect a big-a$$ building though, one that it shows high mathematics in its various elements/ratios/location etc. Math is a universal language, and one that would be respected by another alien race that has already mastered interstellar travel.

On top of that, the pyramid shape and construction is earthquake-proof, so it can stay erected for thousands of years, as it has. I don’t know if the Bauval/Hancock theory that the pyramids are older is correct, but it’s of a little consequence if my theory is correct.

Now, as to the pyramids placement point to Sirius or not, I don’t know. But it is possible to fathom that the builder alien race did leave a clue about “please inquire at the XYZ starsystem for access”, just like one would potentially put a telephone number on a Keep Off sign. But I don’t think that’s necessary.

As to why any alien race would care to “protect” this new human race by leaving them alone to develop in peace and erecting big “keep off” signs, I think that protective (or even possibly ownership) tendencies exist in all biological creatures. I don’t think that these aliens would be much different than us in basic behaviors if they have a biological base in this universe like we do. As above, so below.

Of course, as I mentioned in the beginning, this theory makes sense only if aliens built the pyramids. Which probably they didn’t. But it’s nice to spend the afternoon theorizing, if they did.

What Midnight Special is, and why many viewers didn’t get it

Contrary to popular belief, “Midnight Special” is a spiritual movie, turned sci-fi, turned spiritual again.

Some Q&A, and ***SPOILERS***:

1. Where did Alton come from?

– Alton was conceived & born normally by his parents, as any human has. The fact that he could reach to other dimensions was a product of evolution. His father exhibits the same abilities (as shown at the very end when his eyes shine), but to a much smaller degree. The evolution of human kind to another state of being is teased.

2. Where did the alien structures come from?

– They were not “alien” in the traditional meaning. They were on a parallel Earth (or another dimension), an Earth that had a different evolutionary path than ours. Parallel dimensions are hidden from our awareness under normal circumstances, but the biological evolutionary step mentioned above made it possible for Alton.

3. What were these beings?

– These were light beings. That’s where the spiritual part comes in: “light beings” are considered in spiritual circles to be very advanced entities. It’s been teased by the movie that that’s where humanity’s future lies too. Also telling is that Alton is reborn by the sun (the light that gives life to everything in our planet).

4. What was the point of the movie?

– Alton is a messianic figure, just not in the traditional terms. The cult thought that he was literally a religious figure, while Alton is messianic in a more subtle way: he reluctantly gives a preview to humanity of what lies ahead for them. The movie is about humanity’s “first glimpse” of how expansive the Cosmos is. Not just in terms of aliens travelling from planet A to planet B (in the same universe) as all traditional sci-fi movies have been for so long, but also in parallel, and also up and down and inner and outer (in other words, the Cosmos is a web in all directions of different universes and dimensional existences). That’s next-level sci-fi. That’s the border between sci-fi and New Age spirituality (without the negative baggage that usually accompanies it in the minds of most people).

5. Ugh, so New Age hogwash was the point of the movie?

– No. What people today call “spirituality” is really science that hasn’t been understood yet. And since science can’t explain it yet, some “faith” might be required in the meantime for those who had direct experience with it. This is why it was so important for Lucas to say “I believe”, because after he had his direct experiences with Alton, he made the leap to faith. But belief is to be transcended by hard data, otherwise it becomes dogma, which keeps humanity down. This is what the movie is going for too: the leap from unbelief, to belief, to hard data, and not to dogma (that the organized religion/cult had fallen victim of).

The most telling scene on this interpretation, is at the very end, when Durst is cutting her hair. You can interpret that scene as simply trying to get away from FBI, so she needs to change her appearance. Another, deeper explanation would be though, that Durst’s character now is free from religion and dogma. You see, her braids were the same as the women in the cult. Even if she had left the cult, she was still bound by their beliefs for years after. By cutting down the braids, she’s now free from such beliefs and dogma, she understands that the cosmos is more expansive, and that said expansiveness is not necessarily “religious” in nature, but rather, “just is”.

This was for me the best movie of 2016. The most forward-looking, and the most “edgy” sci-fi movie of them all, by literally moving the needle of sci-fi from caricature super-heroes, monsters, and A-to-B aliens, to a more expansive terrain that’s more rich in potential. As an ex-filmmaker myself, that’s the kind of sci-fi I always wanted to make too (I’m a meta-psychedelic visual artist now).

6. So why didn’t so many people get it?

– It’s because most people aren’t indoctrinated in such cosmological ideas. Even if Alton did explain it at some point, about a “world on top of ours”, that still didn’t register with most people. Most viewers needed a way more spoon-fed explanation to get it (and maybe they should have received it, that’s a failure of the movie production companies involved to not insist that the director gives it to them).

Additionally, the press’ comparison of this movie to the ’80s Spielberg movies didn’t help at all, because this movie had absolutely nothing to do with these older movies (people went to the cinema expecting something specific and recognizable, and they got something completely different instead). So they found the movie a boring dud, as if without significance, and with a WTF ending. But there is significance in the movie, it tells of a larger world that we will eventually reach one way or another, but that we must have faith until that day comes, when that faith transforms from belief to hard scientific data.

This is not different than if the year was 1870, Jules Verne trying to convince people that one day we will have technology to reach for the stars, or the deeps of the sea, and instead, he gets people thinking he was crazy, or just a “fantasy story without significance”. All it needed was some faith in the natural process of technological and/or biological evolution. That’s what the filmmaker is asking of you today too.