The Universal Observer

According to quantum physics, the act of observing something affects it. Just that fact that you look at it, changes it. Experiment after experiment proves this.

It gets even more weird.

When you’re looking at the smallest of things, the tiniest of the tiny, nothing is there but possibility. The fact that you look at something forces it to choose one of the possibilities and solidifies it into reality. This leads some to conclude that reality itself is not there if you don’t look at it.

This is very Zen, but ultimately it doesn’t stand up to logic.

Perfect example: Mars. We send rovers to Mars, and look at a landscape that we can tell has been there for a billion years. We didn’t just now force the landscape details into existence by looking at it. It’s been there all this time without us observing it.

Yet still, it’s proven — the nature of reality requires an observer for it to solidify into one (out of all) possibilities.

Observation is necessary for reality.

So who is observing everything when there’s no one around to observe it? This Ultimate Observer must be omniscient and ageless. This Observer must have been around a billion years ago to check out Mars, the surface of Venus, and even the dark side of the Moon.

Logically, this Ultimate Observer must exist, or the Universe would be empty. All the things that we don’t observe wouldn’t be there, and yet they are. We know they are.

Since this Observer is literally forcing the Universe out of a cloud of possibility and into substance, would not this qualify as godhood?

This to me is the best logical argument for the existence of a Universal Mind, be it external, looking in … or perhaps internal, in a panpsychic sense:  that consciousness is a universal and primordial feature of all things.

Apple Products are like Manna from Heaven

Not really.

Well, except that they seem like it for that initial glowing period after purchase. That warm wonderful shiny moment where you hold the beautifully crafted product, so elegantly packaged and presented, and you think, “it’s mine! MINE!”

This glow usually lasts anywhere between 15 minutes to 4 days, then the magic wears off and it’s just another inanimate object you used to try to fill a hole in your life. But the hole is still there, and you’re now deeper in debt.

Why do I say this? Because I live it.

Every time I do this I tell myself, “this is the last time I indulge myself.” Think about how flawed a statement that is. And now, even as I tell myself this, I know it’s flawed, I know it’s a lie I’m telling myself, yet I’m compelled to do it over and over again.

What is even worse, is I’ll initially laugh at a product, and say, “That’s useless! Apple is now lost without Steve Jobs guiding THE TRUE WAY.” I’ll say that and mean it. And then…

And then…

Six months later I own the product.

I cannot blame Apple for this. The blame lies squarely on my shoulders. What I need to do is find the hole my life, figure out its true nature, and then find a way to fill it correctly, with the right plug.

I really should have titled this, “Apple Products are Not the Plug for Your Hole.”

Cancer Comes Knocking

I may have cancer again. I should find out by next week.

I had what was apparently a serious type of skin cancer when I was a young teen. I must have been fourteen or fifteen, somewhere around there. Here’s the weird thing: my parents shielded me from this fact until I was well into adulthood. I literally did not know about it until I was in my late twenties.

It was this dark spot in my ear, and it was growing. I used to hide it with the skin-colored sticky part of a bandaid because it was embarrassing. I just thought it was a mole.

My parent’s friends and family kept pressing my parents to have it checked but my dad was in denial until one point, where I guess it was our family doctor, confronted him. He told my dad I needed to have my ear amputated and to go through radioactive chemotherapy.

From what I gather, my dad said, “Fuck that,” and instead took me to a specialist in San Francisco. They removed it, leaving a big hole in my ear, and replaced the tissue with skin grafts from my back. The biopsy confirmed it was indeed cancerous. I never did receive the chemo, because my dad didn’t believe in it.

This is what my parents told me: “They have no idea what it was. It was so weird that they sent the mole to the Smithsonian.”

For years I believed this, and used to joke that it was probably a tracking device that aliens implanted in me when I was a youngster. Then one day, after my parents had split up and my mom was living up in the mountains, I was visiting with her with my then wife Becky and our little baby daughter, and I said something about the mole and how it had been sent to the Smithsonian.

My mom laughed and said, “Oh no. No. That was cancer. It was juvenile melanoma.”

“WHAT?!”

“Oh yeah,” she said, “you had cancer. You probably got it from being in the desert sun so much when you were a kid.”

Needless to say, I was stunned.

I tend to forget about this, so maybe they really did do me a favor. When I’m around cancer survivors I keep forgetting I am also one. Then when it dawns on me, and I finally do say, “Yes, me too,” I don’t really feel legit, because I didn’t go through all the crap that most cancer survivors go through.

And so fast forward another 30 years, and here I am waiting to get results back from a blood test. Here’s something I feel oddly guilty about: I’m not worried.

We’ll see how I’m feeling come Monday afternoon.

Update: Spiral Into Oblivion

Resurrection on Thanksgiving Day

I need a place to publically doodle with words.

In asking myself “Why?” I get no real answer. Why is it I can’t just write this down on paper? Why can’t I just type it into a document file? Why do I feel I need to share this rambling nonsense with the rest of the world when actually I’d rather hide from it all?

I have no idea.

This blog has actually existed in one form or another as far back as the 1990s, from before they were called “blogs” (they were generally referred to as “web journals”). So, while I’m kicking the tires on this new incarnation, and working my way through themes to choose one that matches how I feel, I’ll reach way back through time and post something from this day back in the year 2005:

11/22/2005

OpenOffice.org 2.0

Filed under: Reviews — Jerry @ 6:59 pm

I’m still working on a story, still writing it in OpenOffice 2.0 Writer.

I really wanted to like this word processor. I mean, I really really wanted to like it. It’s free, it’s open source, it’s got the blessing of Google and Sun Microsystems.

Previously I reported it to be “clunky.”

Yes, it’s clunky. It’s damn clunky. I hate it. I really am totally hating writing this story in it. I can’t wait to finish the story so I can erase the whole damn suite off my computer.

Sorry OpenOffice people, but Microsoft’s got me too spoiled. And now I find myself salivating at the promise of a new Microsoft Word version coming out next year.

Now, all that being said, let me throw OpenOffice.Org a bone: it’s better than nothing. In fact, had I not already been spoiled by Word, I probably would be singing praises for OOO. And, also, I hated the last version of WordPerfect I tried, too.

So, that’s the end of this experiment for me. I’m done. And having said that, I guess it’s okay for me to copy my story out of OOO and into Word and just get it over with.