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10 Things I Learned from Barbarella

I worked from home today. Honestly, I just didn’t feel like spending the extra 2 hours driving. Plus, I can kind of do that since my boss only shows up 2 days out of the month.

Part of today’s events included watching Barbarella. It’s sat in my queue for a long time but until yet I have not watched it. Now that I have, I have to say that I’ve learned a few things…

1) People in the 60s had it good. I mean, half of the movie was sex and the other half was people trying to have sex. I somehow feel like we’re going away from the natural progression of things. It went dark ages, pilgrims, civil wars, SEXY TIME, science and computers. It was like all the people in the 60s used of the sex for the rest of the ages. Don’t be so damn greedy 60s.

2)Everyone in the future will wear a cape. Despite the inability to fly (sans flying angel), people just find it cool to wear capes in the future. I’m not sure if this was influenced by Adam West, or if capes were just all the rage in 1968.

3)Every time someone helps you out, you have to sleep with them. I know this goes back to the sex things, but jeez. If someone opens a door for you, don’t just drop your drawers. I think there is a proper sequence of events. An introduction would be nice for starters. It doesn’t have to be an entire history or genealogy, but a name would be cool…

4)Angels don’t make love, they are love. Despite the fact that he just had sex with Barbarella, he now “doesn’t make love”. He’s like…the only person in the 60s not giving it out like candy. Prude ass angels…

5)If you don’t have some sort of masochistic fantasy and cosplay gear, you will not make it in the future. Along with the capes were all sorts of weird attire including a horn on your head, being made partly of stone, and leather bike shorts. I’m almost entirely certain that this is the period that is responsible for stripper clothes. For that I thank and condemn you.

6)Children of the future are cruel bastards. I mean both of these literally. Apparently they have no parents and just hang out by an ice lake ready to abduct half-naked space travelers. Then they turn these little demonic, razor toothed dolls on them. If you never had a fear of dolls, this movie will help you out.

7)Apparently everything in the future works on sound and emotion. No technical knowledge is needed. I guess this is good news for all those teenagers in angst who learned to play keyboard or guitar. They’re practically gods in the future. The only thing you have to do is knock on a piece of machinery and it will make sounds indicating what’s wrong with it. I tried this with my car, but it appears we are not ready for that technology yet. Maybe someday…

8)Saying, “And in the final crescendo, you will die of pleasure!” does not turn women on. As a matter of fact you just look creepy when you say it and, if accompanied by a giant futuristic organ, you probably will never get laid ever again. On the other hand, you may get roles playing the Phantom of the Opera or Quasimodo.

9)Every time someone tries to kill you, you should immediately escape death and then joke about it with them. As a matter of fact you can just stand around after averting it and you will be okay. This is probably why the crime rate was so bad in the 60s….either that or it was because everyone was always out of their mind.

Oh, you just tried to shoot me.No, its okay. Sure I’ll help you go do this one thing. No, no problem at all. Hey, while we’re at it we might as well have sex. I mean, I haven’t had sex in like 5 minutes.

10)When you have sex in the future, at least by pill form, it will make your hair curl and your fingers smoke. As a matter of fact I’m taking this time to create the first ever “Non-Curling Sex Spray”. It’s light years ahead of its time and I will make billions in about 3500 years. By then a billion might not be that much, so let me take a page from Dr. Evil and say, “One Gazillion Dollars!” My patented “Non-Curling Sex Spray” TM will only be available in a limited supply, so get yours while your sex hair is still straight. Also, coming soon, “Smoke Free Sex Gloves”. Yours free with every purchase of leather cape.


Space Goes Corporate

There have been countless television shows, movies, books, and documentaries about space colonization. So far, they’re just fairy tales of times that may or may not come, but what if they do?

I read today about a loophole that would allow heavenly bodies to be owned privately. Governments have always agreed that no one could own our celestial cousins, but with this loophole any company with enough cash and ability could privatize their little slice of the moon and mine, build, or just throw the biggest space party ever.

There isn’t a large incentive to colonize space at the moment. It’s not that eventually we won’t run out of space or resources, but that we have much bigger problems to deal with on our own planet first. In addition, a lot of research and funding needs to take place before anything can happen. That’s money few are willing to spare, aside from private companies whose revenue sources from space travel.

If companies were allowed to own private lots in space, it would do two things: fuel the need for sustained habitability research, and lead to the reduction of travel costs. These two alone could ensure our progress toward colonization. Sure, we might look up in a few years and see a giant Google advertisement on the moon, but if that marketing conundrum provides the segway toward our survival in large groups on other planets or moons, I say bring it on. I’d rather stare at the world’s largest Apple logo than starve to death from overpopulation.

I remember reading a book called Mars 1999, in which the author described homes on mars, complete with shag carpeting and Papasan chairs. The book was written in the seventies so some of its amenities didn’t stand the test of time, but the general theme was a good one. I think we all know that at some point we will need to get there, it’s just a matter of when. If corporate greed will get us there faster, so be it.

You may be sitting back scowling at my proposal, saying, “We don’t want to live in a world where corporations control everything and there are advertisements everywhere we look!” Take a look around, pal. We’re already there. Now we’re just doing it in space.

My best advice to you is to support the companies that want to focus on privatizing the astral land for geological research, preservation, and food cultivation instead of the ones that want to drill for moon oil (or whatever you kids do nowadays). If we put pressure in the right places, we can ensure that our future doesn’t look to cluttered and overwhelming. Of course, money talks, but while we may not win the war, if we win enough battles we can help to shape a better tomorrow.

The Future: Apocalyptic Fury or Technological Fantasy?

I grew up in a house filled with superstition. My mother is a wonderful, devout, and cynical woman. For years I sat on the living room floor while she relentlessly watched the 700 Club. I remember a white-haired Jack Van Impe spouting off “anti-christ” revelations and how he targeted individuals and machines. There was a computer in specific that was called the B.E.A.S.T. and was located ,supposedly, in Belgium. Jack implicated it as the tool that would provide the “mark of the beast”. In reality, the computer did not even exist but was taken from a novel by Joe Musser. He even went as far as to call Juan Carlos, prince of Spain, the anti-christ. I imagine something similar lead to the crusades.

All this was amusing to me at the time, and I actually thought there was truth in it. I didn’t know any better, but in the end I embodied the destructive force which it created. As a result, my thoughts and opinions were shaped for years afterward. I would go around telling people the way the world was and there was no other alternative. Either believe or burn. What a fool I was, but luckily I opened my eyes one day.

The simple truth is that apocalyptic beliefs have existed since the beginning of time. Each generation comes up with a new way that the world is going to end and when it doesn’t happen, they pass the torch. Don’t get me wrong, we could be nuked tomorrow, but spending any amount of time worrying about or anticipating it is frivolous. The fact that anyone would try to incite panic over such an event is, frankly, cruel and causes undue stress and tension. Furthermore, it takes focus off of much more important issues. If this is your belief, I respect it and I will not put you down for it, but don’t force it on other people as I did.

I find it much more likely that the world will go on, just as it always does. It will be greedy, loving, cruel, kind, crime-ridden, and just all at the same time. The world around us reflects our nature as beings. I have no misconceptions that doomsday prophecies will go away at any point. They have always been, and they will always be. Now, there are even doomsday television shows. If you can count on the media to do one thing, it’s to exploit a general fear and turn it into a spectacle.

I propose that we instead look at our future as if there were no end. Where will we be in 50 years, 100 years, or even 1000 years? I think it’s fair to say that technology will be exponentially increasing. Ray Kurzweil has put out some postulation on where we will be at certain time periods. A lot of his message reveals an Asimov-esque quality, but I think his general idea is in the ballpark. It only seems logical that as technology improves we will steadily begin to incorporate it into our bodies.

You might think it completely bizarre, but it’s really not. We have been infusing technology and our flesh for years, although mostly for handicaps and medical conditions. We look at these with wonder and gratitude but look at very similar technologies as strange.

Let’s take for example a tattoo. You inject pigment into your skin with a needle and it becomes a permanent fixture on your body. A very similar procedure was envisioned for a health monitoring system. You would be injected with miniscule circuitry that would monitor things like blood pressure, heart rate, insulin levels, etc. Diabetics wouldn’t need to carry around testing kits, they could simply open an app on their phone and check all of their vital information.

Going even further, many optical receiving devices have been theorized. If we can enable the blind to see with virtual optics, why could we not then feed visual information to the ones with sight? You could walk around with live feeds of news, stocks, social media information, etc. Augmented reality is still in its infant stages at this point, but making progress. I know that a lot of people would say this is going too far and we might be playing God. My question to you is this, if God created us and we obviously have the capability to create on such a mass scale with such grand proficiency, why would it be so far-fetched to imagine that it was in the plans for us to one day use our god-given talent to improve our way of life. Technically we are already doing it, only with limitations. If you are an Atheist, then I don’t even need to propose this notion to you. Simply the fact that we can should suffice.

Kurzweil explains in his book, “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Technology”, that the law of accelerating returns drives technology (specifically biology, nanotechnology, and robotics) toward the event called “singularity” in which man and machine become one. He literally talks about quantifying the brain and transferring it into machines to create a seemingly infinite longevity.

The ethics and philosophy of such a transition will be the subject of a future blog, as they span too vast an area for me to cover in this one. However, the point I am trying to make is that we have already envisioned a point at which we become cyborgs and we are progressing toward that point. From what I’ve seen from human ingenuity, it cannot be stopped. It will roll over opposition with a smiting blow. I’m not saying that I think we should go that direction, or that we will even achieve the capability, but I am saying that it is within the realm of possibility as were flight, computers, and the wheel.

In conclusion, I am not trying to push any form of machinery or circuitry upon you, only advising that it is more prudent to keep your eyes on the future, aside from proposed catastrophes. Whether we are all cyborgs, irradiated nuclear mutants, or gaseous clouds drifting aimlessly, we will get there when we get there. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to arrive at the destination. The journey is what really matters.

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