Blabberbox » Creative Stuff:Creative exercises or reflections for myself.Share on Twitter

Dreams Adrift

February 5th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

This could either be an animation or short film. The imagery of someone walking upsidedown against the night sky is what stuck in my mind.
================
Scene starts panning down from a cloudy, moonlit night sky to a girl standing on the edge of a highrise rooftop with her arms out.  It looks like she is about to fall, but as she goes over the edge, the camera rotates to instead show her walking down the side of the building, apparently sleepwalking.  There is a wistful element as her hair is constantly flowing and her arms are out to balance.  The elements seem to whirl around her as she walks, as if animated by what she is dreaming.  The iconic scene is of her walking upsidedown on the bottom of a plank between two highrises against the backdrop of the moon and night sky in the background.  

Eventually...[More]
108 unique view(s)

Vue

January 20th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another story that came as a dream, ironically as a movie I was watching in the dream.

The movie initially starts as a horror film about boy initially trying to escape the home of a crazed family with a murderous cyborg child.  The home is more or less a cave with no open windows or exit (all boarded up).  The parents are human but very old and clearly insane, sort of like the fake grandparents from The Visit.  The cyborg behaves more like an animal and is Frankenstein-like, with loosely pieced together scrap metal for arms, blades for hands, barely functional prosthetics for what's left of the face (doll-like eyes, unmoving lips, etc), etc.  Often it crawls on all fours or climbs the walls, staying in the shadows.  It is unclear if it was once human at all or entirely machine to begin with.  The pacing and feel is almost like a Saw movie at first, with no indication how the we arrived here or why things are.

After about halfway through...[More]
47 unique view(s)

The Sound That Isn't There

August 20th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Premise of a horror film I thought of while staying up too late. Tongue
=================
Imagine every night you hear the loud humming of what you think are street sweepers driving by.  One night, you get tired of it and venture out into the streets to complain, except there's nothing there.  You run towards the sound, but it just keeps getting louder and louder, with nothing in sight for as far you can see.  The sound eventually starts moving away and goes quiet, like it does every night, and you go back home confused.

The next night, you run out again when you hear the sound, trying to get to the center of it before it goes away again.  This time, you keep running towards it as it tries to get away from you.  At first, you are barely able to keep up with the sound as it is moving away.  At some point, you realize the sound is suddenly getting louder and louder than it ever has before.  You get so caught up running towards the sound that you don't...[More]
67 unique view(s)

Lossless Algorithms

August 12th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
The following is an algorithm I wrote for generating support/resist in trading with no thresholds or parameters. On each price move, the price range traveled loses a point in score. The resulting score of any price range is its support/resist strength, which declines the more it is traveled across (zero being strongest and untraveled). Visually, the price line looks like an eraser scrubbing away ranges on the chart; ranges least scrubbed thin out to support/resist lines.  The reason I call it a "lossless" algorithm is because it doesn't estimate anything or use any seeded values/thresholds.  It is analogous to lossless audio/image file formats.  There is no sampling or use of statistics.  There are no knobs to tweak and no assumptions to take.  It is a perfect 1-to-1 map of where price moves most and least freely.  It is also extremely light both in computation and space because all you're doing is a single subtraction per datapoint and...[More]
1082 unique view(s)

Happiest Memory

July 15th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     The happiest memory in my life is not one I could ever share with anyone else.  Because it isn't a moment from within my real life but instead one from within a dream, a dream that occurred almost ten years ago.

     In that dream, I spent my childhood alongside someone who I seemingly knew all my life, even before I started school.  We would race neck-to-neck as we leapt from rooftop to rooftop, laughing maniacally as we tried to one-up each other, reaching higher and higher into the skies before eventually just taking flight altogether.  If it seemed we flew too high and one of us began to fall, we would catch each other and throw ourselves even higher than before, until we finally made it above the clouds.  At the end of it all, we'd sit atop the remains of an old wooden post so high up that we could watch the sun set, not against the land or water but against the sky itself, the ocean of clouds below reflecting its descent like...[More]
146 unique view(s)

Advanced Alien Life is Tiny

March 19th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
If a few hours on a larger planet with higher gravity can be years on Earth, then any advanced alien life is most likely from a smaller planet with much lower gravity than us, where each year for us can be millions for them.
552 unique view(s)

Perpetual Dreams

March 5th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another story I watched play out like a movie in my dream - ironically this one about a character dreaming...

A man lives his life through many lucid dreams.  In them, he is aware he is dreaming and can pick the setting or story he wants to live in.  One thing he can't control though is that the dreams seem to randomly end and reset.  While he keeps his memories from past dreams, no one else in the dream seems to remember.  Over time, he starts noticing a person who is always in the dream.  It starts off with them just passing each other by, walking in the same direction, or other small coincidences, but eventually they end up in the same scenes or situations as well.  She ends up being the only constant between each dream, and they share many adventures together.  However, whenever he tries to talk directly with her and figure out who she is, the dream cuts off.  It doesn't help that she also always forgets everything as well, so every...[More]
211 unique view(s)

Data Does Not Equal Fact

January 24th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
"Data!=Fact: Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning"
ie Statistics vs Math
ie Engineering vs Physics

Part of my frustration with all the focus on big data, statistics, quant, and numbers in general is that these are all forms of inductive reasoning.  Amidst all the hype around being more data driven, many seem to have to forgotten that inductive reasoning only provides an estimate of world.  It does not and cannot prove anything.  Evidence alone does not provide truth.  Data does not equal fact.

There are...[More]
594 unique view(s)

Reflections of 4D

January 8th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
A nice read- https://gizmodo.com/two-experiments-show-fourth-spatial-dimension-effect-1821739488

Essentially if a 3D object has a 2D shadow, what if we looked for the 3D shadow of a 4D object? My thought is take it further - If our reflections are 2D, what about 3D reflections of a 4D object?

If you think about it, the answer to crossing all spacial dimensions is light.  We always perceive visually in two dimensions even though we live in three.  Just as a flat movie screen serves as the window into our 3D world, it is likely that our 3D world serves as a window to the 4th. This starts to relate also to where Virtual Reality and brain-interface technologies are going; I'd imagine that some combination of the two fields would be necessary for us to perceive more than just in 3D space.

Although somewhat...[More]
82 unique view(s)

The City of Eden

December 30th, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
Imagine a city where everyone could live in absolute luxury, indulge to their greatest desires, and never have to work or earn a living. It sounds wasteful and unsustainable, but if it actually existed, it might instead save the world.

This is because everyone who actually wants to live in comfort and pleasure would go there.  It would concentrate the bulk of the population in one place while leaving the rest of the world free and preserved.

The best part is that there would be no need to force people to go.  This is most people's idea of heaven on Earth.  This is what most people work all their lives to attain and retire to.  They would *want* to come here.

And for those...[More]
214 unique view(s)

Steps to Biological Immortality

December 4th, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
I'm not going to hide it.  I want to live forever.  I don't think there's anything wrong with that or that it's "unnatural" or "unethical."  People often act offended on this topic.  "Why are you so greedy? Why so selfish?" But to them, I ask, why is it so bad to want to live? To who do I owe such a huge debt to that I am obligated to die?

One of my personal beliefs is that it is within our lifespans that we will figure out how to prolong our lives indefinitely - aka biological immortality.  Note this is different from actual immortality where you can't die at all; here we are just referring to dying of age.

At the same time, I don't believe there's such thing as a "natural death."  It is not necessary to die, and not all things do, even in nature.  Jellyfish and lobsters are both good examples, where their bodies never really deteriorate no matter how old they get.  Some will get technical and say that lobsters die of getting too large or their shell becoming too much to molt, but that's beside the point, which is that they don't actually lose vitality or youth over time like we do.  Their actual cells do not decay, and they don't become weaker or less able over time (in fact, they continuously get larger and stronger).  That to me is the goal and the definition of biological immortality.

Other arguments...[More]
172 unique view(s)

Face without Sentience

July 9th, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
An idea I've had for a while as a horror film:

Someone you know closely, seemingly all your life, one day turns around to face you and then just starts screaming in absolute fear, screaming non-stop forever at the top of their lungs, hour after hour, day after day, eyes wide and face frozen, with no change in expression, no reaction to anything, as if no longer alive, no longer conscious, no longer sentient.
437 unique view(s)

Cutting Through a City Grid

March 26th, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
Cutting thru a city grid is the same distance as going around the perimeter. There is no time saved from zigzagging through the middle if you never actually travel diagonally.
435 unique view(s)

Virtual Reality via 3D Projection Mapping

January 24th, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
Rather than wear VR/AR headsets, it's more interesting to me to try to bring VR literally into the real world using 3D projection mapping.  No one has to wear any fancy goggles; anyone walking by can see exactly what you see and step into the same world you're in.  Imagine walking by your favorite supermarket one day to find that it's been transformed into massive crater in the ground.  Forget the supermarket.  Imagine if the giant castle before you started to collapse as a monster emerged from within.  Best of all, everyone around you can see it and hear it with you.  Contrast this with VR or AR currently where everyone else around you only sees you running around with a headset, playing more or less with an imaginary friend world.

No, 3D projection mapping is not just a big movie screen.  Below is an example of 3D projection done literally on a castle to make it appear like it is moving, crumbling, transforming... Yes, the example...[More]
175 unique view(s)

A Way to Know If We're in a Simulation

January 6th, 2017 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
This was inspired by a dream I had that was mildly unsettling.  In the dream, you were in a house with a few old-school moving pictures on the wall - the kind that required a handcrank to animate except the owner found a way to keep the pictures moving on their own for a long time, to the point the owner had long passed away and the pictures were still moving.  Over time, the mechanical devices keeping the pictures moving start to wear out, and the pictures start to slow down.  What becomes odd is that if you look closely enough, you start to notice that every so often, a frame goes missing or blacks out, as if the universe flickered and the camera captured a moment of nothingness.

Of course, that dream could have been a lot of other things, such as mechanical issues with the camera that shot the footage, but what it got me wondering was 1) if the universe was a simulation with a frame rate, 2) whether we could capture the flickers in between the frames to prove it.  This...[More]
103 unique view(s)

Three Tiers of Mind

November 11th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
This is a long piece but one I've been thinking through for a long time.  I've come gradually to see people as being in one of three Tiers when it comes to their motivations, mindset, and ability to make things happen.  Before I begin, I want to make clear that this is not about one group of people being better than another.  It is also not a relative scale or spectrum; the conditions for each group are discrete.  There is no in-between.  It's how you think and are motivated most deep down, not how you want to be or what you portray outwardly.  Lastly, these are mindsets, not people.  It has nothing to do with social status, quality of character, etc.  For sake of discussion, we assume everyone is well-intentioned, honest, and overall good people.  

This topic can be easily misconstrued as judgmental or arrogant, but it’s important to see that I am not saying people should be one way or another, just that there exists the dynamic...[More]
2227 unique view(s)

Unlimited Clean Energy From Solar Winds

October 29th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
From what I've been able to read so far, it seems there's enough energy right at the edge of our atmosphere to power the entire planet for free.  The energy comes in the form of charged particles from the sun called solar wind, which is much more energy rich than what makes it past the Earth's magnetic field to our ground-based solar panels.  It is what you see responsible for phenomena like the northern lights (aurora borealis).  Our atmosphere shields us from harmful radiation, likewise reducing a lot of this to just the sunlight you feel on Earth, but if you go outside the atmosphere, it is practically unlimited energy, free for the taking.  This could be collected through a sail, kite, or even just a regular conductor (at the ionosphere just before space, it's pretty close to actual electricity) with no worries of pollution or detriment to the environment.  What I'm surprised about is there hasn't been more interest to reach it, as it seems like such a land grab.

The main problem I read about is the practicality of transporting the energy back to Earth, as much of it can be lost if you try to just beam it or conduct it through a massively long wire.  If we go further out than near space to collect from the solar wind directly, that problem becomes even larger; the distance grows from perhaps just 50 miles to now on the order of thousands of miles.  It seems to me a silly problem though if you really are able to collect that much energy; surely you can spare just a tiny bit of that energy to power whatever it takes to bring the load back to Earth.  According to some articles such as phys.org, every 200 sqft of collection could power a thousand homes, which is more than enough for a city or two if you just send roughly a closet-sized sail into space.  If you stay at near-space to collect the ionized form instead of going all the way into space itself, the collection area can be smaller as it is closer to just raw electricity that you can tap into.  What probably wasn't in consideration before was the means of storing the energy at large enough capacity and transporting the energy in loads, rather than trying to shoot it back to Earth.  What's exciting to me though is that it seems Elon Musk might have similar ideas here with his almost perfectly arranged trio of companies focused on space (SpaceX), battery efficiency (Tesla), and solar energy (SolarCity - not solar wind collection but close enough); you could almost see Musk one day deciding to merge SpaceX and Tesla as well to then build spaceships and space stations powered directly by the sun without ever having to refuel back on Earth.  The storage and transportation problem almost seems like it'll solve itself over time as clean energy technology gets better.

An interesting proof of concept might be to set up a weather balloon or lightning rocket to first tap into the charged particles concentrated at near space and send it back to a lightning rod or tower back on the ground.  It's not the full utilization of all the energy up there, but it's still a massive amount of energy that would be useful to power a city or two, especially if it's free.  It's also fun to imagine a city with a super long kite in the sky causing man-made lightning to continuously strike the center to keep it powered.  Perhaps one day we can figure out how to generate lightning without the trailing wire.

What would...[More]
146 unique view(s)

God's Flashlight

September 20th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
This is also available as the first chapter of the book on Amazon.

I was thinking about light the other day and how we only see a very narrow part of the spectrum (visible light).  A funny thought came to mind that if we were able to see higher-energy light like x-rays, we would actually not be able to see most of the world, first because there aren't enough x-rays but second because even if there were a lot of x-rays, it'd go through most things on Earth, so we'd only see the densest matter like bone and rock.  In other words, something with x-ray vision wouldn't be able to see our flesh and blood.  They might think creatures like us have telepathy or telekinesis because the parts of us that connect our bones or contain our vital processes are invisible.  And then something with even higher-energy vision, such as gamma rays, wouldn't be able to see us at all.  The whole time we think we are living in daytime, to these creatures, it would be pitch-black night.  Such a creature would likely have to be made of extremely dense matter to not only survive but actually thrive in an environment of high-energy light, where it is normal to constantly be bombarded by the likes of x-rays and gamma rays.  They would likely be so dense they probably wouldn't even notice if they passed right through the softer materials they couldn't see; they'd literally walk right through us and not flinch.  It gets difficult to speculate any further on such a universe from this angle.  Just trying to picture a creature made of lead or mercury is too out there.

But what if we took this in the opposite direction instead? What if there were creatures that could see much lower-energy light than us? We already know that some creatures have what we dub night vision, in that when it's dark to us due to the lack of visible light, these creatures can still see, and some do this by using the infrared spectrum which is lower in energy than visible light but more abundant in their environment.  The best example is the bottom of the ocean, where it's pitch-black to us, yet there are whole ecosystems of creatures that live and see in this darkness via other spectrums of light.  The most interesting part is both our previous points about higher-energy creatures fit right in.  Just as x-rays see through our flesh and blood, our visible light often sees right through their skins into their internal organs and probably even harms them.  In fact, one of the biggest critiques of our ocean explorations is that we so carelessly shine our flashlights on all the deep sea creatures without realizing that we are literally burning their eyes out.  The second point about density is also spot on.  Some deep sea creatures, such as the blobfish, are actually made up of matter less dense than the water they're swimming in.  Suddenly, all this speculation is becoming eerily less farfetched.

What if we...[More]
209 unique view(s)

Free Will from Determinism

September 10th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
Free will can arise from a deterministic universe, just as life arises from the inanimate, just as infinite arises from the finite.  The same numbers that compute finite values can compute infinity, the same atoms that create inanimate matter can create life, and the same laws of physics that lead to cause-and-effect can lead to free-willed agents on the stage that is fate.
439 unique view(s)

The True Potential of Ripple and XRP

September 3rd, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
"Anything can be traded, issued, and sent in real time anywhere in the world."

Note: This post is my own recollection from 2013, when there were only a handful of cryptocurrencies (before even Ethereum existed).  Most the points made here, however, can be applied to blockchain in general as a high level of what the technology really capable of.

     I first heard of Ripple and its cryptocurrency token XRP back in 2013.  At the time, it was obscure but considered one of the more promising alternatives to Bitcoin.  Not only did it reduce Bitcoin's minutes-to-hours settlement time to mere seconds, it allowed anyone to create new symbols to represent practically anything - new currencies, companies, debt, even countries or people - anything - with just a few mouse clicks.  Just like that, your new symbol was then tradable 24/7 by anyone with its value determined completely by the free market.  Ripple was not just a currency; it was literally a global decentralized exchange.  Already there were symbols to represent the US dollar, the Euro, gold, even other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and just like the base currency XRP, these could all be traded or sent within seconds.  On top of that, the technology did not require mining, meaning the energy costs of the millions of computers crunching computations to maintain Bitcoin would be unnecessary.  Best of all, the technology was already done and live.  Anyone could create an account on the Ripple website and use this functionality firsthand.

    ...[More]
8884 unique view(s)