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Stranger Things

My wife and voraciously consumed all of season 1 of Stranger Things this week.

The series is very familiar in an odd way.

It pays homage to *so* many 80s classic movies that it transcends the standard wink and a nod, and becomes more like a new type of emotional vocabulary. Like someone dusted off Speilberg's emotional harpsichord and began plucking at it a new, the notes still perfectly in tune after decades.

Shaka, When the Walls Fell

The writing and dialog are also really good. The characters, many of them straddle the line between familiar 80s archetypes, while also being very real and grounded, believable people. Sort of a nod that yes, 80s archetypes were a little silly, but many of them were reflections of real life to begin with.

I really enjoyed it, the fact that it just came out of no where with little fan fare also made it more of a secret delight.

Between this, and Netflix's amazing Voltron reboot, from my perspective Netflix's ability to figure out what type of shows to produce from analytic data is nearly indistinguishable from me being able to mind-control their executives.

On Time and Death

Is there life after death?

No. It is right there in the question. Death is the definition of the end of life, there is no life after it.

Do we still *exist* after we die? We're getting closer. But since the word "after" is still there, I'm going to say no again.

So do we not exist at all, anywhere when we die? Given my previous two definitions, you'd think this answer is straightforward. I disagree.

When I have driven up to Duluth on various occasions, there are often railway cars parked along some of the disused tracks. Miles and miles of them.

Now, as I pass them, I can see the cars, count them. Read the faded logos. A mile later I can see different cars, roughly the same, those in the long distance forgotten.

Finally, I pass the final car and continue driving. The last one fades in the view of my rearview.

Does that train still exist?

To all but the solipsists the answer is obvious, of course it does. A traveling perspective is not a destructive force.

Maybe you see where I'm going with this, but that is probably me vastly overstating how obvious I think this is.

So, we are traveling though time. There are no physics observations regarding time that indicate it is anything other than a two-way dimension like the three-dimensional ones we are used to. Everything that could go forward could go backward. It just doesn't. We don't know why.

Yet, we all seem to assume the solipsist's view regarding time, that the times we have passed are gone completely and forever. That there is only the very current moment in all of existence.

But still, burden of proof still exists. Does the snaphot of our universe go away every moment forever? It sure seems like it does to our every sense.

Quantum Mechanics is litered with examples where, while not hinting at all of time continuing to exist, that current events can interact with past moments in a way that seems to imply that there is at least *one additional* entire copy of our universe (time - 1) at work for even day to day operations.

If there was but a single instance of the universe there would be nothing to interact with.

That right there, seems to be strong evidence, that every single one of our past selves at every possible age and moment, still exist.

That left streaming behind us, are the now crystalized quantum moments from every decision or rock you have skipped, etched permanently into the 4th dimension as we speed through the universe on a rock at 483,000 miles per hour.

Vast quantum statues of our past moments, happy and sad. Complicated and simple. Wrapped around and intertwined with everyone we know.

The train cars don't disappear if you drive 100 miles past them, nor a thousand, nor a million, and by even modest standards each of us absolutely wrecks several billion miles of uncertainty. Everywhere around you indecision crushed into a single reality that absolutely indelibly happened, and will continue to have happened even if the universe itself collapses back onto it self over and over again for an eternity.

What if all of your life still exists? What if the lives of all the loved ones you have mourned are still there no less destroyed than the last city you visited.

What if everything we do and have done is recorded and permanent by the laws of the universe?

In any case, I find it an interesting thought experiment.

Of course, all this is assuming there isn't some sort of 5-dimension thing that lives by consuming crystalized structures of certainty. At which point, I should probably stop before one of you calls a loony bin on me and/or I start babbling about Time Cube

Thanks for reading.

On Politics

I found this article to be an interesting view of the current political climate.

The article presents two theories, and it leaves enough room to talk about whether either, or neither are true and/or caused one another.

The first, that the devaluation of the role parties and lawmakers play, is undervalued by the public, which has a growing distaste and distrust for them, and that this weakened the political institutions to the point where they don't control much and chaos dances out.

The second is the devaluation of compromise. Thinking of everything as "black/white", "my team won/my team lost", tribal politics.

Basically politics at it's heart is a game of compromising and wheeling and dealing.

Like most games, the ball needs to be free to bounce around from team to team for interesting things to happen.

Refusal to compromise, and/or viewing disruption of playing the game as an acceptable game state leads to the equivalent of a kid punting the ball onto the top of the school's roof. Except, in this hypothetical, there exists no janitor to step in and kindly retrieve the ball to reset the game.

You see a lot of this in both of the primary races of both parties. Although I do agree with the author, that Democrats seemed slightly more willing to compromise about their candidate (although there are certainly still a sizable number of Bernie supporters holding their ground) .

If a good compromise is a state where both sides are unsatisfied, Hillary seems to be a very excellent compromise indeed.