“Interstellar” – A wonderful film

I went to see the movie INTERSTELLAR today.

For a complete breakdown of cast/direction – please visit IMDB, they do a far better job than I can, if I cared to, capturing the basic stats, summary, and other related info. This film had a LOT of talented people and money behind it – and that shows in the results.

Christopher and Jonathan Nolan are the writers behind this project. The writing is outstanding, but the production work on the part of artists and special effects engineers matches the vision and perhaps is even more powerful than the vision the writers had. The space-scapes of the wormhole, the blackhole and the terrain/aspect of the various planets were incredible. This film is transporting as great art should be – and you can feel yourself drifting, with these characters, through the cosmos.

I am very glad Matt Damon played the douche-bag in the film. He is clearly type cast for this role and the effect is synergistic with the intention. For Damon, playing this kind of self-involved muddled scum bag must have been rather easy – not requiring him to go too deep (as if he had any depth). Damon’s acting was barely required since I doubt the character he played was that different from his own essential nature, and thankfully his presence was the briefest of interludes that did not damage and may have been valuable.

This is an honest and emotional film despite being filled with tons of technology. Even the robots are “alive” and not some re-drawn version of other robot tropes from other films. In many ways, the robots represented some of the more interesting and enlivening supporting cast.

Anne Hathaway had a smaller role in this film than in others, but she played her part fantastically. She is an amazingly skilled actress and as she grows in her craft she simply gets better.

There are others in the cast – too many to list – that would be worth noting, primarily for their “stellar” work as well. A sign of a great film is that there is too much to say and you always run the risk of giving away the plot – so I won’t be that guy.

The following science/technology topics are covered in the film: a) interstellar travel and relativity, b) time travel and c) artificial intelligence (and maybe a few others). Time travel is always hard to do well without a lot of confusion, but this film does as well as many – probably better than most.

Seeing films these days, especially if you have a family, can be expensive – so perhaps it is better to wait and see at home. But the film does come alive on the big screen as great ones often do. Like the film INCEPTION (another Nolan hit) this film wants to be shown on a large canvas. So, if you have the cash – go see it.

Finally, don’t be surprised if you find yourself teary-eyed before the end at multiple moments – I did, and I’m ok with that.

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Immigration

I am not racist.

(though I suppose every racist says that … crap)

Well – I don’t believe I am any more racist than most people. I likely have beliefs, attitudes, perspectives, experiences that can manifest themselves in ways that would appear racist to someone else – most of us do. I simply try to avoid the stupidity of racism. Racism is intellectually lazy, socially atavistic, and generally douchee.

So, no – I don’t believe I am a racist.

I am, however, opposed to granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

As a libertarian I struggle with this question – and I am still not sure I have the right answer. I support legal immigration and I support (more importantly) the concept of a near-stateless society where travel would not be regulated at all. I wish I could go to Canada, as I could when I was in my 20’s, WITHOUT A FUCKING PASSPORT. So, I get offended when my being a “stranger” results in a Canadian border guard asking me for my “papers” – funny how Obama avoided that sticky topic the other night.

I struggle with this question, but here is what I believe:

  1. There are people, like ranchers, in Texas (and other states), who own property along our borders and their property rights are being trampled by illegals dumping their garbage and disrupting ranch activities. In some cases their lives are being threatened. As a libertarian I support any person defending their property with a gun and deadly intent. Do I want to see Texans killing illegals? – no. But, at the end of the day these people, the ranchers, have property rights.
  2. Apparently, being a “stranger” (a.k.a. illegal alien) gives you the right to transcend both domestic and international law. These are rights I do not have as a naturally born American – in fact my rights seem to be shrinking each day. So I am kind of offended by the idea that these illegals have more rights than me OR the immigrants who wait in line.
  3. These folks are fleeing failed states and collapsed economies – they are bringing with them philosophies that LED TO the collapse and the failed states. If these were mostly libertarians, I seriously doubt the cronies and Obama would support their actions. Most likely outcome: these folks bring their slave-mentality boot-licking inclinations with them.
  4. Finally, I believe that mutual respect is critical in a free society. The act of simply bypassing the queue and skipping ahead of those who try to come here legally is not respectful – it is the opposite. So why do we assume they would respect ANY aspect of American life or our history (which is waning) of being a free country. What little freedom we have left these people will likely do NOTHING to defend – in fact, they would make perfect soldiers in a war against patriots defending freedom, like with the PLA during Tienanmen Square (Beijing, China 1989) and the use of “peasant only” troops. These “strangers” will have no problem becoming jack-booted thugs in Obama’s domestic security force.

Does this imply I am anti-immigrant? – no.

I support reasonable steps to create a more rational immigration system. But there is nothing rational about a checkpoint on the Canadian border and an open desert bordering a failed state – Mexico. This policy of Obama’s is dictatorial and insane. This policy will not “fix” immigration, it will make the problem worse. A year or so from now California, Texas, and the other border states will understand the real cost of this action – by then it might be too late.

I want sane immigration policy.

I would prefer to live in a free world – of free movement.

But, we don’t live in that world.

On a related topic – I don’t see how a free nation can trade, economically, with a tyrannical one – I’ve never supported that policy, especially with China. I mention this because it is a similar issue to the “open borders” issue, and it is equally slippery for most libertarians. For me: I simply do not support “trade” with nations that enslave and abuse their people. I don’t believe this is “trade” as much as it is facilitation – and I don’t want to facilitate the imprisonment or enslavement of others, period. This fits nicely with my libertarian beliefs – TYVM.

I don’t see how a free nation remains free by importing undocumented labour from police states and banana republics.

This is NOT like the 19th Century or early 20th Century wave of migration – we did not have the welfare state as it exists now. We did not have the insane monetary policy. We did not have the growing police state at home.

This is not leading to integration – it is leading to enclaving. And, in the case of Mexicans, it is likely leading to the “reconquista” so oft discussed in racist Mexican circles.

I struggle with this question – I will continue to struggle with it.

But this is obvious: Obama is not a friend to liberty or libertarians, so to believe his “immigration action” is beneficial or intended to be beneficial to human freedom is the height of stupidity.

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The Autobiography of Conscious State One (coming soon)

The Autobiography of Conscious State One

There are many stories about machines, computers, which come to life. The clichĂ© of artificial intelligence is common in sci-fi literature and arguably dates back to Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN.

“The Autobiography of Conscious State One” is based on an exploration of consciousness, written by me in 1991. The original document is buried in the past, but instead I re-open that thought via synthesis – by combining it with the problem of machine intelligence.

This is a story about machine intelligence …

This is a story of existence, of awareness, arising from machine complexity …

This is a story of a computer science graduate student on the verge of a nervous breakdown and suicide …

This is the story of an FBI agent running from her past …

This is the story of all people struggling to understand, “why am I here” – why is there “something” rather than “nothing”.

Of course, like most attempts – this too will likely fail.

(there is no success for trying – except post hoc, and in recollection)

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