Advertising is by its very nature manipulative. Advertisers' main focus is to get a consumer to buy a product he or she would not otherwise have bought, or known about. And one had better believe that Madison Ave. preys on weakness and promotes falsehood, mercilessly -- it is how they survive.

I imagine that if there are realms beyond this one, they are extremely complex, and I'm sure there would be some sort of hierarchy. With God at the top, presumably, and many lesser gods as you descend. Possibly all of the gods you've heard about exist somehow, somewhere, and they have an innumerable number of duties and tasks. Take Earth. A lot of people work very hard just to keep civilization afloat. If they didn't, everything would collapse. I imagine infinity is probably similar. Nature exists on a principle of necessity and contingency. It doesn't need God in order to function. But -- what if something went wrong that, if corrected, would save an entire galaxy? Wouldn't you want a team of gods to fix it? I personally have to wonder how human civilization survived the Cold War. I imagine there were multiple interventions from on high, given some of the stories I've been told by people who lived it, e.g. a submarine commander who taught physics at my high school. That sort of thing. All in all, I imagine that, if a next life presents itself, all that will be waiting for us is hard work. Not paradise.

Some say that geniuses aren't born, they're made. What a bunch of politically correct horse shit. The fact is that geniuses are born, and have to be cultivated. A genius without genes is not a genius, and a genius with a fruitless early environment is an anticlimax.

Man is the bridge species, between biological evolution and the future, and our existence is a crucial and dangerous period because we have to manage not to destroy ourselves and abort the future, which by all appearances we are perfectly inclined to do. Nature is really playing with fire with us.

I don't care much about actors and acting, but I will say this: One thing wide-eyed fans fail to understand is that the vast majority of actors are not, in reality, nearly as interesting as the characters they portray. And moreover, fame is absolutely nothing.

Earth is a peculiar place. Almost no one knows anything, and just about everyone is delusional in some form or fashion. Why everything doesn't fall totally apart is baffling to me. On the other hand, on some levels things are falling apart, so I suppose I am making sense.

To state that the very best exist at the top of the socioeconomic pyramid is an economic premise, not an existential one.

Apparently I have been classed as a 'left-libertarian,' which means that I advocate economic fairness and justice, coupled with unlimited personal freedom (within reason). The unfortunate truth is that most Americans would call me a nut for it.

When an artist creates something, say a poem, he is essentially taking a shot and seeing how close to the bulls-eye he can get. One doesn't know beforehand whether what one creates will be any good. It's a percentage game. When it turns out well, it's wonderful. But I think I can safely say that every artist who has ever lived created a good deal of material they were not at all happy with. They have all been human, and subject to the limitations that circumscribe us all.

Math is Nature's poetry, and physics Her prose.

The notion that we live in a meritocracy is preposterous. The best and brightest are scientists making $40,000 per year, and we reserve our slots for fame to athletes and movie stars. It's hard to say that the billionaires "deserve" to be in the position they're in, and apparently the presidency is open to those who are dangerously bellicose and stupid. We live in a very peculiar society in which actual merit doesn't mean much. The only thing that means anything to anyone is money, and for the most part there is not much rhyme or reason associated with who has it.

It is a pretty pathetic state of affairs in a country in which facts, consensus reality, science and due process are dismissed outright by a large class of people whose leader has only to tell them to do so. Lies are the new unquestioned truths in America.

Who knows what the U.S. will ultimately turn into -- but don't doubt that it is transforming into something else.

When I was a child, I reacted to movies on more of an emotional, or even sentimental, level. I find now that as an adult I react to them much more on a mental or intellectual level. Consequently, movies that I was particularly interested in as a boy now mean much less to me, and movies that I would have found at that age to be ponderous and boring are now quite stimulating. However, those former movies may still strike me at the level of nostalgia. One wishes one could have eyes for both forms.

Being young, or being high, makes everything a little bit better.

Things like the second amendment are anachronisms, hell, the Constitution itself is an anachronism at this point. Tim Leary, it turns out, was right. Civilization evolves toward socialist collectives, which is the final stage before the major transformation.

Sophisticated people believe in aliens, but not gods. If an alien were powerful enough -- what's the difference?

The thing about the news is not that it is generally false or fake, but that those topics you hear or read about are selected and controlled.

In Congress, hardly anything ever gets done, and nothing ever gets done correctly. Our Constitution seems to be an utter failure in dealing with 21st Century realities. Things happen so much more quickly these days, and our issues and crises are so manifold -- and with the current state of affairs we simply are not dealing at all well with any of the multitude of these serious problems. Certainly, we cannot hope that all of these problems are going to solve themselves, and we have basically reached a situation in which we have to hope that they will, given the dysfunction in our administration. With the tools at our disposal, we are not getting the job done. So -- is it that our very Constitution may be obsolete? By 2040, 30 percent of the U.S. Senate will represent 70 percent of the population, and 70 percent of Senators will represent 30 percent of the population. I feel that for this reason, and very many others, it could well be the case that our system is, in fact, essentially obsolete in the context of the 21st Century and its attendant complexity.

In theory, the free market is supposed, through competition, to produce products of the highest quality. In reality, the products we get are those on which their makers have spent as little as possible.

National pride is really only pride in oneself.

A typical female behavior would be to walk past a man, think "He had better not be looking at my ass!", turn around, and be upset that he wasn't.

A.I. is not going to be conscious simply because of its complexity. It would have to have a coherent, contiguous quantum state entangled and distributed across its cybernetic pathways. It would, in a word, have to have a soul.

Things like physical movement, will, choice we can affect at times, but I don't think we really control them. It seems to me that control is mainly an illusion. Even if you're good at basketball, you're not really "controlling" your shot. Your subconscious is solving billions of calculus equations that you have no knowledge about. I would say that the whole thing could not come off without "you" as a conscious entity participating in it, but I think we really control a lot less than we think we do -- the vast majority of the time.

Just as a camera crew cannot do much for the suffering person or animal it is filming, so, in a precisely analogous way, is God powerless to do very much for humanity. Such intervention would simply not be effective in the long term. Say you have a polar bear whose sea ice is being sharply reduced by climate change. He is forced to do things that are quite unnatural for him, such as going after a walrus after months of not being able to eat. Historically, polar bears would never hunt walrus, but he has no choice -- he either goes after one or he starves. Predictably, the walrus' hide is too thick for the bear to make purchase, so he must go hungry. On top of that, he has several stab wounds from those infamous tusks, and he will probably die quite soon. This is all being filmed, of course, but if the camera crew wanted to help, it would need a team of zoologists, equipment, medical supplies, and of course a lot of money to pay for all this -- not to mention the fact that it would be an unnatural and inadvisable act. To help the bear would simply be to generate more dead bears in the ecosystem -- one which can no longer adequately support polar bears. Intervening now would do nothing to affect the grim reality. And the situation must be much the same, if not essentially identical, for God.

Ignorance and certitude make an abominable combination.

For a school of any kind to have integrity, it must be collaborative, cooperative and voluntary. Schooling of any other kind is inherently worthless.

The notion that Nature is somehow objectively cruel or ugly is dubious -- a cultural projection. In a healthy ecosystem, most creatures, most of the time, are doing just fine. It is as if domesticated humans who project this belief forget the multifarious sufferings that our way of life abundantly generates. I submit the question: Do we, the civilized, really suffer less on a regular basis than the majority of organisms in the "wild"?

Complexity comes from being, not being from complexity.

There is a common misperception among psychonauts and modern mystics that one's personal consciousness creates those events which it perceives. In reality, it is simply one process. One's awareness inside does not collapse a wavefunction out there, separately, but rather, whatever wavefunction is collapsing does it for all constituents simultaneously, in one fluid movement. One is not "creating" an event of perception; rather, that event is one indivisible happening with an object and subject linked inextricably in one unit of existence.

While it does not seem to be sensible to be opposed to technological development per se, we ought to be more honest with ourselves through the admission that it does not in fact seem to be making people happier over time.

Regarding the fate of humankind, there are but two options -- only two: extinction, or continuation in a different form.

It's curious to me that so many in the modern, secular world are obsessed with denying God's existence and denying that there could possibly be any order inherent in Nature (which might somehow suggest existence beyond the mundane). Why is this? So far as I know, most societies throughout human history have not embraced this quirk. Indeed, we dress up our nihilism with elaborate and ornate costumes, but it is still an insistence upon a fundament of accidents and meaninglessness. Why do we do this?

It can be decidedly useful to differentiate between that which is manmade, and that which isn't. To use, as a convention, the labels 'unnatural' and 'natural' to refer to these categories can also be useful, and using them in this way does no real harm. In point of fact we all know that we have a planet here that was at one point unaltered, and in the last few millennia has been altered considerably. To deny the reality of these very specific alterations seems silly, and to posit that we ought not use the aforementioned convention to describe them -- because everything under the sun is technically "natural" -- seems unnecessary. The dichotomy of 'man and nature' need not be avoided if we are consistent and scrupulous in our definitions.

The Muslims of old preserved the knowledge of antiquity throughout the course of the Middle Ages. In a very fundamental sense, the modern world would not have been possible without Islam.

If we live in an eternal present, then when we are dead it is as if we never even lived at all.

Civilization is too inert to be moved.

It occurs to me, vis-a-vis the concept of "original sin," that any being born into this, our universe, is necessarily bound, at some time or other, to sin.

Mr. Trump illustrates powerfully the fact that, in reality, billionaires generally aren't worth two shits. His ridiculous crony cabinet, too. Some are smart, many aren't, and almost all are unprincipled bastards. These notions are uttered of course in juxtaposition with the reality that almost all Americans look up to these people.

Aleister Crowley proclaimed that "Every man and every woman is a star." I feel I agree with this in that there is a kind of genius in every individual. The tragic fact, however, is that in .9999 of said, this genius is never excited. Certainly, unrealized potential is a common theme for our blue planet.

According to Crowley, Magick's primary aim is to open a conversation between oneself and one's "Holy Guardian Angel." The real trick is in determining whether he was speaking in metaphor or not.

In every human thought and concept, there is an element of truth, and there is an element of falsehood. The proportion varies with the quality of the thought.

I don't believe that man is inherently evil. Nor do I believe that he is inherently good.

There are but three possible fates for man: A.I. will like us; A.I. will dislike us; A.I. will be utterly indifferent to us.

DNA informs the noosphere, and the noosphere informs DNA.

I think the only individuals I have ever known who have actually understood me have been my dogs. They have been able to sympathize with me on a level that no human could.

Many people don't give much credence to the notion of the "jobless economy" -- the idea that artificial intelligence and automation will replace many, if not all, extant jobs, ultimately. I am one of those who does. We are seeing the effects of automation already, especially in the manufacturing sector, which only seems to lose jobs as time goes on. If a robot can do the job 24/7, for no pay and without any errors, who can fault businesses for using them? This trend will only continue and increase in scope, as far as I can tell, and given that we are already talking about it now, I have to suggest that in ten years many millions of current jobs will have gone the way of automation. It really is happening. If one accepts the premise that the A.I. revolution is real, and that eventually it is possible that all human jobs will be done by intelligent robots, then the natural consequent of that is that in order for society to continue existing, some type of universal basic income will be necessary. In a society organized around some locus other than employment, one still needs an economy and a way to put food on the plate. Presumably, the ownership class and the government will control all of the resources, including the money, and this begs the question: Will that ownership class decide that it wishes to support the rest of society through some sort of UBI, or will we have some sort of Orwellian dystopia? The answer to that is not at all clear at this point, but I really think that all of this is coming, and probably more quickly than most people think.

Academic philosophy is the systematic attempt to understand the non-systematic.

All that science is really doing at a fundamental level is elaborating upon a set of subjective, though empirical, axioms. To whatever degree these axioms are useful correlates to the degree that science is practically effective. But in reality, the whole enterprise is inherently circular, and thus certainly provisional. This circularity is only broken after a paradigm shift, at which time a more encompassing circularity is established.

The higher states are above and beyond knowledge and reason. That is why they seem so illogical and unreal to people who have had no meaningful experience of them.

In capitalist societies, the assumption seems to be that the smartest people are also the richest. In point of fact, the science and math community comprise the smartest people around, and they are, in the vast majority of instances, not at all rich. It just goes to show how completely full of shit we all are as Americans.

A truly compassionate human being must find it very difficult to be truly happy in a world so full of sorrow and evil.

An unfortunate truth is that most countries in the world cannot afford a "green revolution." Most economies are simply not strong enough to support major environmental initiatives. Perhaps it is only a first world comfort.

Modern man's belief that plants, animals and people are essentially elaborate machines just goes to prove how soul-dead and lost we are as a species.

Human wishes and well-being are quite incidental to the course of cultural and planetary evolution.

Given that our civilization did not appear until the last five percent of anatomically modern humanity's existence, perhaps we can conclude that it was not precisely inevitable, or part of a continuous progression. Perhaps we can conclude that it was an eruption of some kind due to as yet unknown factors.

Reason has its time and place, and can construct rich systems of thought, but it does not operate at a level fundamental for Nature. Reality favors a form of paradox over one of dualism or the dialectic. As modern humans, some of us feel perhaps unduly proud of our logics, whereas those peoples whose continuum is more fully centered on a paradoxical way of seeing and living may be at a closer approach to the core of Nature's truth.

Where do people like Richard Dawkins get their bestselling information? Nature does not in any way indicate, one way or another, whether or not there is truly a God, or gods. One might just as well get his information about this from the Kardashians as from Dawkins. He's smart, and he's a good biologist, but honestly, he should stick to biology.

What of a Creator, or creators? Maybe, in generating their simulation, they programmed in a randomness function, so that they were not the direct creators of what was to happen? Maybe a substrate of order, guided by a principle of chaos? So the Creator, while essentially pushing the "go" button, is not actually directly responsible for everything that happens? How do we know this hasn't happened an infinite number of times already? Also, "reality," hologram, simulation -- what's the difference? Maybe the universe is infinitely old, so there have been an infinite number of "realities," maybe we're a simulation of an AI that was built by a simulation of an AI that was built by aliens simulated by other aliens, and on and on. Sounds a bit like infinity.

If the AI revolution is about to take off, then the Mayan cyclical theory and McKenna's timewave graph were eerily prescient. Who cares if they were off by only thirty years?

History is full of reports of phenomenal experiences -- numinous happenings that defy and transcend our normal perception of reality. Unfortunately, most humans living today do not believe such experiences are possible, and it is true that most people will never have one. The need for illumination has never been greater, and the potential for it never weaker, very sadly.

The prophet, in fact, is either truthful or crazy. He is, more often than not, not lying. Humans tend not to fabricate some story that will garner that type of attention. Human psychology is such that this is the case. And honestly, not all prophets can be crazy.