Living Outside now has its own website!

It’s also been reformatted and revised. Check it out here:

I have a tumblr now! Yay!

Here’s my new tumblr:

It’s filled with science and technology news, along with various things that I find funny. Enjoy or whatever.


WIll the rapture cause a demon-zombie apocalypse?

The short answer: PROBABLY!

The rapture hits May 21st according to billboards around Dallas, probably related to this nonsense:

But what if it isn’t nonsense? And what if it’s only the souls of millions of Christians that disappear, leaving their bodies? Demonic forces might then take over their bodies and brains to do Satan’s bidding! Be prepared around May 21st for the hordes of ravenous Christian zombies that will undoubtedly descend upon the sinners of the world. Or maybe they’ll just take over their everyday lives, leaving the rest of us unaware of the changeover? Whatevs.



Holy crap guys! I’m getting married today, so this is odd timing, but I just realized that the Internet is the worldly manifestation of Cthulhu! It is slowly consuming our minds and causing our bodies to wither away from inaction, as our consciousness is sucked into its ever expanding spiral of PRON, WAREZ, AND DOOM! Check these “facts” out:

1. Cthulhu has a whole bunch of tentacles to suck out souls or something. The Internet is full of tentacles! It’s made of tentacles! Bonus fact: Worse than tentacles, the “web” is radiating through our bodies all of the time thanks to cell phone networks and wifi! If you live in a major city- porn, cat videos, and snuff films penetrate your brain all day long! We are already submerged deep in a sea of Lovecraftian nightmarescapes!

2. Cthulhu will bring madness and horror to all, causing laughing fits at the horrors of the world as our minds degrade and cave in to the worst depravities imaginable. I.e.

3. Millions of netizens worldwide worship Cthulhu! Check this out:

Anyway, it’s way too late to stop Cthulhu’s Net, so have a nice apocalypse.


Transcending the Human Form: Robot Bodies VS Virtual Proxies

My last post about AI was perhaps overly simplistic, especially in regards to the complexity of the brain, but I had other points to make. I hope to see the emergence of strong AI in my lifetime, but it’s difficult to guess what that will require, much less its consequences. One thing I am much more certain about is the expansion of humanity’s capabilities through computers and cybernetics.

Our brains interface with the world through our bodies. It’s an ancient interface that has served us well, but it is increasingly restrictive in our evolving high-tech world. Our bodies confine and even imprison us, especially when something goes wrong with them. By improving the body, we enhance the way we communicate, our ability to access and manipulate information, and our ability to deal with the physical world.

Cybernetics and bio-engineering will augment our natural bodies, but what about adopting new bodies entirely?  Continue reading

Some Thoughts On Artificial Intelligence

I am only writing very limited artificial intelligence into my hard sci-fi story Living Outside, since I have chosen to focus on how other technologies could transform our lives. I am wary about making predictions regarding strong AI and its implications, but I had some thoughts recently about its development and I thought I would post about it so my brain would shut up.

The development of strong AI will require considerable processing power and data storage, as well as economic pressures to spur its funding.

I’m not going into data storage, since that’s going to be less of a problem. So let’s start with the needed processing power. The computational speed of the human brain is often given an upper limit of 10 petaflops (10 quadrillion operations a second), so that’s what I’ll use. Why is the computational power of the brain important? Continue reading

Star Trek! Observations About Things That Don’t Matter

I just finished watching the first generation Star Trek movies (1-8), after I watched the original TV series, and I have a few observations. First, to reiterate my last post, almost all red shirts killed were security officers. It makes sense for them to die. Shut up about it. Instead of saying, “Uh-oh, he’s wearing a red shirt!” say, “Uh-oh, he’s a security officer on a dangerous mission!”

Second, Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock has some serious plot holes. Spock’s dead, but he left his spirit in McCoy for some reason. OK. So now they need to put his spirit back in his body. So Spock’s dad gets all pissy because Kirk jettisoned his body onto a planet, as part of a funeral. Go get his body and bring it back, says dad. So they go to the planet and find that he’s been magically reborn as a baby which grew into a full grown adult, because the planet was magic due to the Genesis Project or whatever. They bring the full grown Spock body back, put his spirit back in it, all is back to normal.

EXCEPT that NO ONE expected him to be reborn from the Genesis Project. Continue reading

Aside: Star Trek Redshirts And Other Stuff

I’ve been watching the original Star Trek, and have been thinking about the “redshirt” phenomenon. It has become a recurring pop culture joke that crewmen wearing a red top tend to die. They even played with it in the recent reboot movie. But I don’t get why this is a joke. It is true that 75% of all Enterprise crewmen who died in the original Star Trek wore red uniforms. However, that’s because red is the color of security officers, the people you would expect to get killed. They are the ones patrolling areas, holding positions, guarding prisoners and doing other dangerous stuff. You would hope for an even higher percentage of red. Continue reading

The Significance of Consciousness

It’s a cliche to look up at the stars and comment on how small and insignificant we are. This bothers me because conscious beings like ourselves are arguably the only significant thing in the universe. Now, when I say “conscious beings,” I am including the possibility of aliens and machine sentience. And of course the mental lives of a multitude of animals are worthwhile as well. Everything else in the universe is only significant in that it creates and sustains life, gives us resources, gives us something to ponder and inspires us to reach heavenward.

Is the universe really “big”? In terms of a physical dimension, only conscious beings give it any coherent scale. It’s certainly got a lot going on, but so does the human body. Continue reading

Singularity Part 4: Uploading Minds

I have several times encountered an odd notion: won’t we have to to be able to “upload our minds” before the singularity can take place? “Uploading a mind” is frequently taken to mean transferring a person’s unique consciousness into a machine. Moving consciousness into a machine or from one person to another is a common trope of mainstream science fiction, which hasn’t helped the confusion.

More rational science fiction features a more realistic (and coherent) form of “uploading” a mind. Due to the unfortunate connotation of the term “uploading,” I think “copying” is a better term. “Copying” a mind (or brain) means storing detailed brain scans in a computer. Often, but not always, this is followed by running a simulation of the recorded brain state, possibly giving that simulation a virtual body in a simulated environment or in a robot, etc.

Obviously, such a simulation based on your brain would not be “you”. Continue reading