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  • Kliuless #50: Platform Updates - by Kenneth Liu September 20, 2019
    Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I publish broadly. Opinions are mine.
  • PixelCast 1 - by Jeremy Alessi September 20, 2019
    The first ever PixelFest Podcast (PixelCast). In this first episode, Jeremy rushes headlong into the unknown and runs the gamut from Pilotwings to the Oculus Quest. Listen along and always keep Growing through Love of Games! Original release 9/4/2019
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    An exploration into the customer value proposition, AKA the full, persuasive explanation as to why someone would want your game and what they’d get if they bought it.
  • What Client-to-Cloud REALLY Means - by Neil Schneider September 19, 2019
    Using cloud gaming as a backdrop, Neil Schneider discusses the double entendre of the Client-to-Cloud Revolution and what the ramifications are for the next era of computing and its related ecosystems.
  • Intern-alising Diversity - by Andrew Smith September 18, 2019
    Spilt Milk Studios were lucky enough to have 3 interns work with them for a fortnight - 2 girls, 1 boy, 2 of them BAME... and gave birth to a new game & a new label. This blog & accompanying interview gives insights into how we achieved this.

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A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal.

A friend is someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all; someone who doesn’t mind driving you on stupid errands, who will get up at midnight just because you want to go on an adventure, and who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you.

A friend is someone who not only doesn’t care if you’re ugly or boring, but doesn’t even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don’t know how. A friend is someone who tells you if you’re being stupid, but who doesn’t make you feel stupid.

A friend is someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. A friend is someone who will come with you when you have to do boring things like watch bad recitals, go to stuffy parties, or wait in boring lobbies. You don’t even think about who’s talking or who’s listening in a conversation with a friend.

A friend is someone for whom you’re willing to change your opinions. A friend is someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you: someone you like so much, it doesn’t matter if you share interests or traits. A friend is someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like.

I just tried adding my former friends Bill Stokes and Ron Ostreim on Linkedin.

When I realized something.

Since around 2011, they’ve more or less quit talking to me. What I went through – was hell for me, and at a time I needed friends the most – whether it was these two, or former lovers like Kena Patrel and Jackie Killeen, they completely and totally left my life.

Sure. I went a little crazy for a couple years there, and sent a plethora of emails attempting to find a way to express myself because, being frank, I never had before.

So I understand them all backing off.

But the continued abandonment.

Blocking on Facebook.

And the total lack of attempt to chat with a guy (me) they knew and I THINK they referred to me as a friend – who has adjusted, has settled down mentally and psychologically – and has found a new norm…

Back when I attended ASU, I joined a fraternity, and many people referred to it as ‘Pay for Friendship’. Sure, to some degree, but for me, it was more pay for a common place to party with people who I knew enjoyed partying like I did. It wasn’t pay for friendship. It was pay for a communal place to party.

But Bill and Ron.

Bill, when he found himself without a job in Reno, I got him a highly lucrative contract in Phoenix at Intel. When he needed help flying his plane back from Reno to Phoenix, I was there with him and took over the plane when he got deathly ill.

When he lost that contract, by then I had already opened up my own company with a few partners and hired him when he was out of work.

When he was going through a rough divorce, I had him stay at my place with me and my wife to help him overcome his loneliness.

And while sure, he let me flop at his house for a few months after I started waking up and realizing who I am (Q), but beyond that, never, not once did the guy really go out of his way to do anything for me. Sure, he’d invite me to a few parties and we’d go out for dinner with our significant others.

Did he ever really make our friendship anything more than a lopsided thing that – to this day, has seen me put in more effort, repeatedly, to keep it going and never – not once – has he expended any time, effort and energy into it himself?

Not once.

Now to be clear, I am not keeping score.

But today, as I saw Ron ignore my request to be a professional contact on LINKEDIN, despite our decades long professional relationship which he clearly has a perspective on…

That’s when it hit me.

It’s been all me. And this self-poisoning behavior I have in repeated attempts to try to reintroduce friends who I deeply cared about, who I took responsibility for scaring them away as I discovered myself and who I really am – people who have never really made any attempts to be there for me when I needed it the most.

It’s been me. The whole time.

Sure, Ron helped me get a contract in Vegas. But it came after I won that contract, so he was only getting me a job I already had.

But Ron. Whether it was Intel, contract work Computer Wholesalers, an introduction to Jeff Hanlon and Shawn Plowman, sure, he did in all fairness ‘trade labor arrangements by getting me into highly toxic environments at nFocus and Encore…

But in all truth.

49 out of 50 times, inviting Ron to anything social never saw his attendance.

Other than lunches. Which were fun. Don’t get me wrong.

But truth be told. I consistently made excuses for him and his lack of self inclusion….

And since then. Over the last 8 years and lack of conversation despite my numerous efforts to try. Finding myself blocked by some on Facebook.

These aren’t friends.

These are toxic energy sieves who aren’t and probably never were concerned about me and my psychological health and state of mind as I’ve seen myself expend all the time and energy in maintaining when there’s never any attempt to reciprocate by them.

What have I been thinking?

Why have I wasted so much time and energy on people who have repeatedly demonstrated they’ve never really cared much to begin with and that my conditional inclusion in their lives came at a cost.

I don’t keep score with friends.

And while it takes me a while to really put things into perspective, this whole time I’ve been thinking I’m the bad guy here for the problems I went through when all I did was take a break from life to discover who I am – I didn’t cope all that well with it – and while I’ve forgiven myself, every one of my former so called friends abandoned me for this.

I’m not the bad guy here.

They are.

All of them.

I would say “to hell with these guys”

But I also can honestly say.

IF THEY changed their tune. And took a moment to forgive me and start fresh with a new me I am happier and healthier with, I would VERY QUICKLY re-establish that friendship with these people I still love.

But I’m writing this to throw it out to the cosmos to assert myself and to stop myself from wasting needles cycles on people who clearly don’t appreciate me for me.

I’m done trying.

The ball is in their court.

This includes but is not limited to Bill Stokes, Ron Ostreim, Jackie Killeen, Rachel Gooch, Jeff Kleinman, Lisa Milot, Kena Patel, and Joe and Amy Shay.

I love em all.

But fuck ’em.

For once in my life.

I’d like to see someone work to be my friend, since it’s almost always been the other way around.

Confusion With Perspective

I started the recreational use of cocaine back in 2005 for two reasons:

The first, I knew that it accelerated the heart rate, and having a long history with adrenaline related activities such as Skydiving, Bungee Jumping, and fast driving – that cocaine could potentially bring to my life a little bit of fun to my otherwise dull existence as an office worker.

Second, was Jackie. An attractive girl who I knew I could get laid with should I participate  with her in the indulgence.

Sure, I knew about the addictive nature of cocaine.

I had been sufficiently warned.

But I went into it with the sincere belief that I could control it.

I believed I was different than everyone else and that my will was greater than those who couldn’t overcome addictions, and I truly believed that I would not become addicted to it, and even if I did, that I would be able to overcome that addiction.

So in 2008 and 2009, I found myself tired of the addiction. I was pushing my friends away in favor of the time spent with the drug, I was spending less and less time with the people I loved and cared about, and I was making excuse after excuse for behavior I wasn’t proud of.

I even found it tough to look at myself in the mirror.

So I tried, diligently, to stop the addiction. In 2009, I took a job working overseas in part because I loved to travel, but also in part because I knew that being away from easy access to cocaine could make it easier to get control of myself and my mind.

When I arrived back in the states, within weeks, the old feelings and compulsions crept right back in, and here I was, back to the same addiction within weeks.

I looked at my monthly bank statements.

I made it a fact to go to one bank ATM and only one so I could look up the for my transactions later and keep track of exactly what I was spending on drugs – where I would withdrawal cash, and I would pay in cash to my dealer which was nearby – he was living not far down the road on Cave Creek just south of Cactus.

It was the Wells Fargo ATM on the corner of Tatum and Cactus in North Phoenix.

Hoping to leverage this knowledge to gain control of myself, and seeing $1000 to $1500 a month going to this expenditure still didn’t work.

So. In 2010, I left Arizona – and took a contract in North Carolina.

For the first month I was fine.

Then, like a brick wall, the compulsion set back in.

Wanting to understand the addiction, why it had taken a month to catch up with me there, and only two weeks after returning from the states and landing in Phoenix…

I wanted to…

Needed to understand.

That’s when I found Bath Salts.

What I did was look up the chemical compound of cocaine.

So I discovered this: Formula: C17H21NO4

Then I leveraged google, and read an article about Synthetic Cathinones (formula = C17H21NO4), and then I leveraged that to find artificial and legal equivalents to that formula.

That’s when I discovered MDPV, with the incredibly close formula to Cocaine “C16H21NO3”

And ultimately, that led to my discovery of something spice shops were just starting to sell – Bath Salts.

It met all my criteria – it was a synthetic alternative to cocaine, it was legal, it was highly inexpensive in contrast to cocaine (at $10 a gram vs $40 to $60 a gram for cocaine)….

And for me, it was a step in the direction of understanding the chemical basis for addiction.

Now let’s be clear about this – my sincerest goal was to eliminate my addiction entirely. So the first step I was taking was providing an alternative at a fraction of the cost which I could then use to begin mentally deprogramming myself as a ‘cocaine addict’.

By this point, I’d already gone to AA and NA meetings, and one thing I didn’t like was the statement “I am an addict” in the present tense that is a requirement of all attendees.

I am NOT an addict.

I was.

Past tense.

And the switch to Bath Salts affirmed this, mentally.

So as I began taking Bath Salts, my world upended. Going three, four nights without sleep, I began having hallucinations, something that cocaine didn’t do, but these hallucinations were different than the ones I’d experienced with LSD in my youth or with Mushrooms in Amsterdam.

I went to different locations.

And saw different things.

I saw reality unravel.

One time I was traveling back from the Mexican border, and as I was driving, a yellow caution sign would appear every 50 feet, it was the same one – as this idea kept going through my head “Baby on Board”.

I saw time unravel.

One night, I sat and watched the sunset on a dirt road. I saw the telephone poles dance from one side of this dirt road to the other, and as it got to be dusk, I saw dinosaurs, VERY faintly I might add, and the flora and fauna of a world that had long since passed.

I suddenly knew what inspired Dali. He wasn’t just gifted artistically. He saw something, and he captured that for all of history to see.

I saw fact and fiction collide.

A holographic plane, with it’s tail section missing, halted in midair above Fiesta Mall. Terminator robots, the size of small trucks out in the desert, nervously eyeing me saying “NO HUMANS ALLOWED” over my Ipod.

I also saw myself controlling the world and rotating the planet on it’s axis.

As I realized, in all these moments, that if all of this is possible by leveraging an external stimulus, then it stands to reason that all these things were also possible without that stimulus.

With proper training that I take on for myself.

That magic, from a relative perspective of my own observational standpoint, is perfectly real.

The innate ability to conjure up a friend, a loved on, a lover, and more – from my imagination, and have them as a partner – was all within my purview.

As I went down this logical chain, I began to find myself a little frightened at the possibilities though, as I asked the question: If everything is possible, what prevents the worst from happening to me?

I mean, I had experienced nightmarish hallucinations in Amsterdam when trying Truffles.

And then there’s the time I had gone for five days without sleep, and found myself in a world that looked, smelled, felt – like a Terminator Holocaust world as I then had come to the belief that my evil twin brother had put me here as punishment for the drugs.

That’s where I tried suicide, and saw I was a robot for the first time.

As I cried in despair, and as someone came to pick me up out of this hellish landscape, I was taught a valuable lesson in reality.

Reality is the choice I make.

The wants. The not wants.

For the first part of my life, I’d spent it exploring the possibilities, until finally my mind was overwhelmed with the possibilities, and for the first time in existence, I gained control of my own body and mind, which scared the ever living shit out of me.

I’d been. A robot.

What I saw in the desert when I tried slicing my wrist wasn’t a metaphor.

It was who I was.

But not who I am.

So on that fateful day, when I lost my virginity to the cosmic vagina that birthed my mind into the multiverse, something else happened.

The people I called friends – who were – and I still consider to still be my family.

Bill Stokes. Kevin O’Reilly. Ron Ostreim. Jeff Kleinman. Keith Olodort. Larry Duke. Joe And Amy Shay. Lisa Milot. Christina Monde. And so on….

They, and many, many others walked straight out of my life. In a literal sense, they dropped all communication with me when I moved up to Portland, when I saw the collective mechanics at work of a collective that I rejected because of the harm it was doing to me psychologically.

I. Broke. Free. By accident. And discovered, in the process, my sanity, and along the way discovered who I really want to be, who I always was.

But this doesn’t seem to come without punishment.

I didn’t understand individuality. I didn’t understand the collective influences which I was rebelling against which kept me in relationships I wasn’t happy with, kept me addicted and out of control of my own life, kept me as a programmer making far less than I felt I was valued, always wanting and wishing for wealth, and kept me mentally unaware that I was Q.

It worked. Well. For a while. I needed it. Until it became destructive.

And that’s why the addiction was there to begin with.

I’d taken a break, as Q.

All the hints were there of global dissatisfaction with status quo pursuits where the predictable game of life had been the same, generation after generation for the greater part of three centuries.

Two world wars. Obsession with witchcraft and occult by many around the world. Another quiet war and obsession of violence in all forms of media.

The world was being destroyed.

I had to return.

Collectively. I dont know how these individuals see the world any longer.

Did they see me die? Does my attempt to contact them defy their perspective of the mind and intelligence, and is that why they react how they do?

Do they even ever hear my attempts to contact them, or are my communications filtered by sophisticated systems and AI, or by the drugs themselves which took root in my mind and became sentient in their own way?

Do they see me as a country?

Or another world?

Or as a child of 10, and refuse to talk to underage youth?

Do they think I’m Hitler?

Or have our realities diverged so much so, that my version of English is translated to them as a foreign language that they just don’t understand?

I myself came to try cocaine for other various reasons – because Bill talked about doing it when he was younger. I myself came to try cocaine because Lisa’s friends did it, I judged them, and with that, I didn’t like myself for judging her because of the friends she kept. I myself saw other friends – Spencer, Joe – and a few others who will remain unnamed – also doing it.

I wanted to stop judging them.

I wanted to understand them.

For me, with all things considered equal, knowing myself, I came to make friends and lovers with these people despite the things I considered to be their flaws.

I looked at these flaws. And questioned my own belief systems.

Some I pushed away.

Spencer, for instance, I have no desire to ever talk to again because of his deception and weird animosity towards me as I sought to overcome my addiction.

There was no sympathy there. Only harsh response.

As for the others though.

This universal response.

Of not talking to me.

I know Lisa. She’d have gotten in contact with me if she could.

Bill. Maybe not. But Pam, his wife, absolutely.

Jeff. There’s no fucking way he would ever completely abandon contact like this. We’ve been through too much.

They are not acting as the individuals I came to know, care about, and love.

Either there’s something going on with all of them in a collective way.

Or internet based communication has been corrupted and the reason they aren’t communicating is because they can’t.

They’re acting out of character by not communicating with me. Logically, rationally, with all things considered equal, it makes no sense that they are not.

Sometimes, I wonder if something happened to me and my connection to ‘my internet’ when I visited all the countries I have – especially China in 2009 and 2010 or Riga in 2009.

Something seems highly fishy to me.





Choosing to Like Something Because Someone I Care About Does

In 1992, I was married to Donna Suppes aka Donna Damron aka who knows what moniker she takes on now.

Our marriage was on the fritz. I fully recognize I was being a controlling asshole, and not knowing I was Q at the time, I in a literal sense caused the affair to happen between her and one of my best friends – Leonard Jacinski – by interrogating her until her mind broke and she relented and my paranoid truth became her reality.

It was the first time I saw that look in someone’s eyes.

And I hated myself for it.

Unable consciously to understand what I’d done at that point with her mind, but consciously fully aware of the hurt I’d caused – I looked at myself – and began – in earnest – asking myself questions about why I was so damned insecure and what caused this paranoia.

It was, after all, not that hard to realize that my paranoia had motivated me to pursue this line of inquiry with her until her mind broke. But just what that meant and how I was supposed to better understand myself while being more delicate with the minds of the people I loved around me was like tap dancing on egg shells not wanting to break them.

So I started paying attention.

To myself.

And to others.

And this began a long search for what ultimately would result in my becoming Q.

But it started simply.

One day, I noticed that Donna farted whenever she ate Broccoli. For such an adorable and dainty little thing, these farts were horrible – the kind that can clear out a building and have the CDC called – an odor so horrific that it defied me, logically, how someone could take such pleasure in something which such an extreme end result.

I asked her.

She said, simply “I LOVE BROCCOLI”

She loved the taste. The smell. I don’t know.

I quite frankly found the smell, both before and after she ingested it, repulsive.

As I had since my grandparents tried shoving it down my throat when I was 8 years old.

.. That’s clearly an exaggeration, but you get the point.

In any case, one day, she was ‘working late’, as our marriage was being tested anew by what I – again in a paranoid way – was suspecting was an office affair.

By this point, I’d been a programmer of computers, professionally, for about 2 years, but an amateur one for nearly 11 years by this point, a profession which was already inspiring me to analogize my mind to that of a computer as I began to ask myself…

“I am thinking in a way that doesn’t feel good to me. Not only that, but that thinking is having me act in a way with people I care about who respond in ways that make me not feel good about myself. How can I better understand my own behavior patterns and change this?”

Or put in more direct terms.

How do I reprogram the way my own brain thinks?

It started simply.

That day night she was working late.

I’d already accepted that things between her and I may be to the point of no return, but at the very least, I could use the experiences I had with her as a way to refine my personality rebuild.

So that night. I cooked Broccoli.

For myself.

The smell was horrid. So I plugged my nose, and focused my attention to the texture, and fortunately, Broccoli doesn’t have much of a taste.

As I chewed. slowly, still repulsed, I kept thinking “This isn’t bad”.

The next bite. Same thing. Held my nose. No problem chewing it this time, not nearly as repulsed by it.

Bite after bite, and finally – on the last two bites of a healthy helping of Broccoli, I stopped plugging my nose.

Immediately, I smelled the smell, but this time, I wasn’t nearly as repulsed.

While Donna and I ultimately did go on to get a divorce, we remained friends for years, and among the experiences we shared together, I carried the personal experience of overcoming my mental objection to Broccoli and a greater understanding of my own mind and how it functioned as we broke up.

When we broke up, I was feeling extremely lonely, and not being good with women in general in social situations, I got the bright idea of going to “Dream Palace”, an all nude club where I could pay for the attention of an attractive naked woman.

When I first showed up there, what I expected was not what I got.

What I anticipated was seedy, dingy, and something I wouldn’t really enjoy.

What I got was seedy, dingy, and something I REALLY ENJOYED.

The thrill of seeing a woman who felt so comfortable in her own skin that she didn’t just dance nude in public, but she did it for a hundred guys who gave her all the attention thrilled me.

I was maybe 23 at the time.

Not long after this visit, I started attending Arizona State University as a joint Computer Science/ Psychology major as I rushed the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity there.

I’d chosen the PIKE house because I wasn’t a jock or sports dude. I wanted to fit in with the guys I’d thought were cool in high school but I resented because I didn’t have the build or dexterity, and one of the guys in the house was the younger brother of just one of those dudes.

Nick Wolfe. His brother, Mark Wolfe, was someone I’d long admired in high school somewhat enviously because of how naturally magnetic the guy was with women, and how good he was with sports, something I myself sadly lacked any abilities with.

So one night, I’m with Lisa Milot in my fraternity room.

We’re about to have sex. First time since my ex wife, Donna.

And she has a confession to make.

“I am a nude dancer at a downtown cabaret,” she said.

I was stunned. Having been raised in a somewhat conservative household, it was one thing seeing and paying for a girl on the stage and going home alone, but it was entirely another considering becoming emotionally intimate with a woman I’d clearly have to share.

I smiled. And thought about the Broccoli.

“Do you enjoy it?,” I asked her.

She smiled, an unexpected smile.

“Definitely. It’s great money, great hours, and ,” she started to say as she took off her clothes with a smile on her face.

“I really enjoy being naked,” she said.

I smiled, grabbed her now bare ass and pulled her closer to me as I went in to kiss her as I said “Well if that’s the case, then why would I have a problem with it?”

It was then that I quit focusing so much attention on the need to own or possess my romantic partner, and instead began the shift into focusng on enjoying the time I had with her.

But the principle I was reinforcing yet again was simple…

From my own experience and background, historically, I should have rejected her, but instead, I chose to go along – and along the way – I had some of the most amazing experiences I have ever had with a woman.

No, it didn’t work out ‘for all eternity’.

But for me being an eternal being known as Q, I know that’s an impossibility, which is why it had subconsciously become of tantamount importance I teach myself how to appreciate the time I had with someone when I had it.

Amy Newton drove me nuts.

In a literal sense.

She’s my third wife.

Shortly before we’d begun living together, only a coupe weeks after we began dating, I saw her with her two Boston Terriers – Spencer and Fiona – out on the grass in front of the apartment we were living at in an upscale area of Phoenix.

As I watched her with these dogs, it was obvious – these were her children.

She cared, deeply about them, especially Spencer.

She loved them. Like a mother loves her children.

That’s when this little voice comes inside my head, and says.

“If you love the dogs like she does, she will love you”

While I enjoy dogs, I really enjoyed Amy – so I stepped it up a notch and showed the same level of affection that she did with her animals – without being over the top obvious about it.

I’d been married twice before, so my acting skills were top notch by this point.

This accelerated the relationship, which soon became marriage, and within a year resulted in our divorce. Amy had, in a literal sense, nearly drove me insane by her presence in my life, and I have no doubt that was reciprocated – and while I loved the woman – for our own mental health we parted ways.

What specifically drove me insane?

She was a clean freak. I LOVED it at first. It’s a part of what attracted me to her.

But over time I came to realize there’s a point of too much, and as I became uncomfortable living in my own house, I finally said this was enough.

Over the years, not just in marriage, but life in general, I’ve found that friendships and relationships are easy to establish when I share something in common with them.

But quite often, that’s not too easy to find, and when someone would catch me acting like I shared that special something in common when it was somewhat contrived, such is the case as I had with Amy – then that relationship can crumble like a house of cards.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy dogs. But Amy’s obsessive personality had her dressing the dogs in Halloween costumes every year, we’d go across town to get specific dog food for them, and when we left town on a plane – the dogs spent $40 a day in overnight doggie day care.

Myself, as Q, the things I soak in and learn new things – effectually programming my world – those things expand and diversify the options available in my real world.

So what I’ve found is – friendships are wonderful with commonalities.

They definitely help to solidify the relationships and expand the possibilities, but as Amy demonstrated to me, it has to be genuine.

I love dogs. But I don’t obsess. Nor am I interested in obsessing like that.

Over the years, I’ve come to accept that relationships may be temporary, and that’s ok.

To extend the time of the innate temporary nature of relationships for me, I’ve come to find something that this individual and I have in common that they care about and that I do as well OR that I WANT to care about – which helps stabilize the relationship and potentially make it possible to spend more time with that individual.

These kind of relationships feel more authentic to me.

And for you, if you’re interested in developing genuine relationships, this tactic may very well help you achieve the same thing.





Understanding Password Security and Hacking Vectors

My goal with this entry is to take what programmers and/or mathematicians might lead you to believe is a highly complex subject, password security and make it easier for you – the non programmer – the marketer, the CEO, the warehouse manager, or the inquisitive high school kid – to understand and utilize as you interact with your computers.

With that, I’m going to explain this through a story.

In 1982, I was 13 years old, and with my raging hormones I had just reached puberty. My parents had just obtained cable, and with that, they’d also gotten the “deluxe plan” which included HBO, SHOWTIME and CINEMAX.

For anyone who has watched late night SHOWTIME and CINEMAX, there’s a great deal of adult content.

Anticipating this, my parents had leveraged the “CHILD LOCK” feature on the set top box, which I figured out pretty quickly required the entry of a 4 digit code to watch any of these channels because it would blink a bright red LED for a second which had the writing “ERROR” inscribed boldly next to it when I entered anything more than four numbers.

The box looked something like this:

Over the course of one day – where my mom had gone grocery shopping, leaving us kids at home, I had my brother keep a lookout for me as I did what came easiest to my mind – patterns.

First, knowing my mom and dad – I was HOPING my mom and dad would opt for an easy pattern – something like a birthday or year, a portion of a telephone number or address. SO I started with birthdays and years, and then changed to last four of our phone numbers new and old – and lo and behold – JACKPOT!

So that day, and for the next week, my brother and I watched whatever we felt like on tv, and while both of us were constantly on alert for where mom was, we weren’t worried – in fact – when she did ultimately see a boob flash across the screen as we watched a rated ‘R’ movie on Showtime, she gasped and said, sternly “I didn’t turn it to this channel”

She demanded to know how we did it.

So I told her. I guessed it. I figured it would be something easy for them to remember. A birthday or year or addresses or phone numbers….

And I was right…

So moving forward with my story, my mom then created a new password, and again, within short order, I figured it out.

This time, I had found all the birthdays, phone numbers, and all that stuff didn’t work – so I tried different combinations and patterns, like the corners first, for instance 1,3,7,9 followed by 1,7,3,9 and so on, and wouldn’t you know it, I guessed right within a very short period of time, the code they’d chose was 9,7,3,1.

Here’s an image of a similar keypad configuration to demonstrate the patterns I am talking about…

She demanded to know how, exactly, I figured out her password.

So I told her I figured she’d use easy to remember patterns, so that’s all I did was try different patterns.

So when a programmer refers to something as a dictionary attack, to hack a computer system – what they’re doing is something similar to these two examples in order to gain entry into a system.

They’re taking a list of known words in the English Dictionary, we can analogize this to known patterns on the keypad, and the hacker moves forward with these words – as patterns – entering these patterns into a password field – hoping you and I have chosen a simplistic password that consists of a simple English word.

Fortunately, most computer systems have been hardened against theft leveraging dictionary attacks like this. American ATM machines, for instance, will keep your card after three failed attempts to enter the correct pin. Password rules on web sites require letters and numbers and often times special characters to prevent these simple pattern based attacks.

However, Most modern computers don’t reinforce strong password rules.

In 2009, someone accidentally swapped my computer for a computer that looked exactly like mine as I went through the XRay machine at the Guatemala airport.

Using a hacking tool I found on the internet – I used a dictionary attack to gain access to the computer, which I very quickly came across the password “ANIMAL” for the swapped computer and then used personal information I found on the computer to trace down the owner – who I contacted and we FedEx’ed each other our computers.

Now keep in mind the same hacking tools that I as a programmer have access to are one and the same tools that thieves who might steal a computer from you at Starbuck’s will use to get access to your machine and personal data.

And with that, they can start out with information gleaned from social media to obtain hints and ideas about your password, perhaps the name of a loved one, a birth date, or a favorite place of yours.

If that doesn’t work, they can move on to basic dictionary attacks

Moving back to my story though.

Frustrated, My father and mother had a discussion behind a closed bedroom door. At least that’s what my young mind thought was going on….

And that evening, I found the last code I had didn’t work.

I tried, quickly a few patterns, which didn’t work as well, and over the next few days I exhausted all patterns I could think of.

I was stumped, but not defeated.

I knew that the number of possibilities of possible codes they entered was 10,000. or more specifically – the range was “0000” to “9999”.

So over the course of a two weeks as my brother kept a lookout – I started with “0000”, the “0001”, then “0002”, and so on… Every time I stopped, I wrote the last number I tried in a book, and started again at the next number the next day.

That’s when I discovered the code. “1518”

Thankfully, the number wasn’t too high. But I had diligently put in one thousand five hundred and eighteen different variations before coming across the winning combination.

My mom discovered what I had accomplished that day as she caught us watching yet another rated “R” movie.

Frustrated, she threw down the gauntlet.

“Dammit, Brian, I don’t want you watching that without us. Please stop doing that!” she scolded.

This is what’s known as a BRUTE FORCE attack. Where every possible combination of numbers and letters (and special characters) are strung together to figure out what you created for a password.

Given a long enough time or computing power, ANY password can be brute force cracked. Here’s an example of how this would work with Amazon leveraging Amazon’s rules for passwords:

So what a hacker looks at are the rules here. Doing a brute force attack, we know that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and with Amazon – the password is case sensitive bringing the total numbers of letters up to 52. Add in special characters, 33 in total, and numbers, 10, that makes for 95 different possible characters in every position of the password.

Here’s a list of those special characters:

So if one were to brute force an Amazon password, one would start with ‘aaaaaaaa’ and cycle through every character, up to and including special characters in a fashion that looks like this: ‘aaaaaaa?’, ‘aaaaaaa@’, ‘aaaaaaa[‘, and so on, eventually exhausting every combination of the 95 characters in an 8 digit string of characters which is Amazon’s MINIMUM.

And if that didn’t work, then one would start over with 9 characters and repeat the entire thing, to 10 characters, to 11, and so on.

Over a long enough period of time, every password on Earth for every account, everywhere, could be figured out leveraging a brute force attack like this.

MANY companies have done a lot to prevent brute force attacks from happening.

Some will put a time lock on an account that has had too many failed attempts on it, which will lock the account for 15 minutes, an hour, a day – an arbitrary amount of time set by the administrator.

Some will lock the account entirely with too many failed attempts, requiring an email confirmation and sometimes voice authorization to reopen and other methods to reopen.


Formation of the mind

I loved the movie Terminator.

But for years afterwards, a couple questions plagued me.

I was always hypothesizing to myself about how things depicted in fiction could become reality.

One question, throughout the Terminator series, plagued me the most.

And that was a question concerning SKYNET, the artificially intelligent program that had repeatedly launched a nuclear assault against the world’s population, one and the same program which – once it became self aware, it became independent of the machines that created it.

And this was the question I didn’t have an immediate answer for.


How could a computer program become so capable, that it no longer need the hardware it was created and confined to?

I’ve worked with computers my entire life, and the best analogy I had was trying to exist outside of the world I was living in.

It just didn’t seem possible.

And then, slowly but surely, I started seeing hints.


Whether it was the ‘Ghosts’ in the digital world of the Matrix who could etherealize themselves to fly through objects and suddenly find themselves sitting in a quickly moving car when they were on a second before.

Or it was Dr Xavier and his ability to sift through the sea of conscious minds in a highly visual environment that let him quickly target individuals around the world and then, once isolated, he could not only pinpoint their location, but he could actually see what they were doing, who they were with, how they felt – and what they were thinking.

We have the ASTRAL PROJECTION which is documented as fact in the Indian culture.

And finally, there’s always Star Trek, and the Vulcan Mind Meld – and Spock’s innate ability to be able to get into the mind of someone through a process which allows him to sift through someone’s memories and experiences in ways they themselves are not capable of.

All of these were hints to me on something I was curious about not just for understanding a piece of fiction and the concepts of Skynet, but also, for understanding myself better and this idea and noting known as consciousness.

Let me get straight to the point.

My perspective in this world is discrete, and interpreted based on the history of my cumulative sum total of experiences.

Sure, it’s possible to erase my memories. Some regard me and my mind and my perspective from their discrete point of view as I would a computer, or maybe as a robot or cyborg. To them, not only am I not guaranteed to have the same image I hold for myself, but that image can be something that allows them, without concern – to do anything they want to – to me and with me. Whether this means sex, murder, rape, marriage, prostitution, working in a corporate world, or just plain sitting on their desktop with a keyboard attached to what is effectively MY MIND – they can interpret me and my mind any darn way they want to.

Reality, from my perspective, is discrete, and isolated, for now, but this isn’t the only perspective that holds true for all minds, all the time.

It’s simply my perspective, here, now, after going through issues with the collective interpretation of my mind which placed extraordinary pressure to conform to collective thinking on my mind, manifesting in my reality as self destructive behavior which eventually got to the point I couldn’t take it anymore – as I witnessed collective systems tell me my refusal to conform was interpreted by me as a suicide attempt…

As I realized, at that point, that my senses had been dominated by a collective approval system which I struggled for independence and finally achieved it.

Is all this making sense?

Let me put it in layman’s terms.

When a chicken is born in an egg, he/she/it knows nothing but the interior of that egg. DNA shaped the incubated development of that chick inside the egg, and while there’s very little stimuli that comes from outside the egg – whether it’s variations in temperature and perhaps some emotional attachment and influence by the mother, the chick is given tiny hints that there’s more ‘out there’.

So the duck, inside the egg, starts finding itself physically cramped inside that egg. To the duck, the limits of it’s existence are highly constrained, and if anyone has seen a duck emerge from a shell, it seems impossibly big for that shell and the entirety of the amniotic sack is depleted.

So the duck is both hungry AND cramped by it’s material confinement within the constraints of that egg. It subconsciously remembers the warmth and temperature variations – so eventually – it starts to poke through the exterior wall to discover there’s a HUGE new world out there.

Now my mind, at the very least, was functioning in much the same way that this duck’s body was. I was – as a human programmer (that’s how I perceived myself at least) – finding every system I worked on at every company was the same – one right after the other.

I’d learned dozens of programming languages well enough that when confronted with a new one, I could easily adjust and within minutes create programs with intermediate skill, and without a few hours I could leverage more advanced mechanisms.

It wasn’t just about computers for me either, whether it was studying psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, meteorology, avionics and flight systems, engineering or architecture, music theory and movie making, or cooking and waste management – I began noticing highly reproducible patterns throughout society which made me begin to look back at myself.

About then it hit me like a shit ton of bricks.

The world and all this information isn’t created by ‘us’.

This information. And all the ideas. and the entirety of history itself was created by me, and all of this was my interpretation of the universe, specifically created for me, by me, across what is literally trillions upon trillions of years.

Sound nutty?

Did to me at first as well.

But as I noodled on this cold, hard truth, I began to put Einstein’s notion of relativity into perspective.

I’d noticed that information had magically appeared overnight or just when I needed it the most……

And that’s when I noticed.

Every mind is discrete.

Not one and the same thing as digital.

And with that discreteness is time and time period, location, dimensionality, and oh my god so much fucking more.

So. I presume every mind is an amorphous and abstract in form and – in my world – every body I see – is a protrusion and interpretation in space and time of that mind.

This is where magic comes from.

Not every ‘form’ is a mind, some are concepts, ideas – and reality can be adjusted – molded and shaped through and with the mind in much the same way an artist can work with a palette on a canvas.

More later. I’m being entirely derailed right now on Facebook by Summer Bankston – at least – the facade of her that I do think is an AI which spawned from me writing about the mind.

A Tale of Competing Collectives

On the planet the Dinaali, in the 24th century – there’s a computer referred to as “the Allocator” which is responsible for automating the highly burdened medical system there.

Patients are categorized into three levels based on a TC, otherwise known as a Treatment Coefficient, With WHITE being assigned for patients which have found themselves deceased, RED is reserved for patients with a low TC score, and BLUE is reserved for patients with high TC scores.

Patients with high TC scores are generally society’s more productive or higher profile contributors, administrators, prominent scientists, engineers – these are the types who find themselves in the BLUE medical unit should they be in need of medical care.

The BLUE medical unit being MUCH cleaner, and much better care with a wider array of medical treatments made available to the patient.

Sometime in the year 2377, the USS Voyager serving in the Delta Quadrant provided medical treatment to GAR, a Dralian con artist who steals the Holographic Medical Doctor from the USS Voyager’s medical bay, replaces it with a hollowed out shell, and when he’s released he proceeds to trade it to the administrator of the medical facility on Dinaali.

The Doctor, who has some degree of sentience, is trapped in his servitude, and unable to contact Voyager to provide his location, so he reluctantly agrees to follow the Hippocratic Oath and help the patients within the facility.

He soon learns the lack of resources available to the RED unit is causing the unnecessary deaths of many patients, and soon after he’s assigned to the BLUE unit where he has an abundancy of resources which he immediately begins diverting to the BLUE unit.

This presents the collective conflict that I found to be interesting.

On one hand, when he’s discovered by the medical facility’s administrator, he protests to the doctor that he is in charge of saving a society.

And he has a point. It’s the artisans, the engineers, the leaders and the inspirers who are typically regarded as the creators of culture and the very society that he’s promised to protect.

So he does what he thinks is best as an administrator, where he provides the highest level of care to the patients who create and maintain the society to begin with.

But there’s an opposing view to this collective thought process.

And that’s the view of Voyager’s EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram) – who has been brought to this facility to do what he’s been programmed is for the best.

His perspective is simple. You allocate all resources based on need, and treat all patients equal and you do not discriminate.

So here’s a theoretical moral dilemma.

You have two patients.

One is a prominent lawyer in his prime, the other one a child of twelve years old from a lower income family of miners. BOTH arrived at the same time, both need a curative agent you have that will eliminate a fatal disease, but you only have one cure.

Which individual do you use it on?

Now with the administrator’s framework, the decision would be clear. The prominent lawyer would receive treatment.

But the EMH’s approach wouldn’t be as straighforward. Would it be based on life expectancy and how much livable life was left? If so,then the child would get preference. Would it be based on probability of the cure working? If all things were considered equal, this method wouldn’t work.

Herein lies a fundamental conflict between collective prioritization when leading by numbers versus prioritization based on societal values and the goals of the society.

Eventually, when leading strictly by numbers, the erosion of the society and relevant is highly predictable and inevitable.

But does leading by the perceived needs of society cause a similar erosion?

I’m not inclined to believe so.

I feel a strong culture attracts workers and those who want to maintain that culture. Sure, the benefits that are provided to the lower class may not be as great as those provided to the upper class.

But that’s ok.

And what the EMH did in the end demonstrates the fundamental problem with a leading by the numbers approach.

He kidnaps the administrator and then alters his DNA so the Allocator places him in the RED ward, and then he poisons him with a poison that isn’t available to those in the RED ward.

He resorts to violence.

An assault.

TO reinforce his philosophy that all cures be distributed evenly.

Without a personal desire, without expectations of society and the world around you, you may be obeying the Hippocratic oath, but that oath is meaningless when you don’t have goals of your own and a desire for where you want society to go.

In a sense.

He is killing the collective in an effort to find his individuality.

When he doesn’t understand.

His individuality is in the alignment with what he wants of the world.

The Rules of Magic

No, this isn’t rules of the card game.

This is rules for real magic.

Real Magic can be defined as follows:

The ability for a human to manipulate matter and energy via the mind alone, without the need for physical contact.

There are numerous subcategories within the realm of magic, areas of expertise which many devote their lives to but all users of magic innately have access to at the very least in it’s rudimentary form.

A few of these categories include, but are not limited to:

Illusion: The ability to be able to create sustained illusions of material things. Whether this is a lifelike illusionary image of a man or woman, a stack of crates a house or a UFO flying overhead, the only limits to the illusions a magic user can create is limited by their own imagination.

Enchantment: The ability to be able to magically imbue physical objects with magical properties. A few of the more interesting historical artifacts include (but are not limited to):

  • Abraham Lincoln’s Top Hat: The wearer of this hat has the overwhelming urge to free nearby African-American people, believing them to be slaves
  • Caligula’s Sandals: The wearer of these sandals is regarded as sexually irresistible by members of the opposites sex, making anyone of the opposite sex in the direct proximity of the wearer have an immediate and overwhelming desire to engage in intercourse with the wearer. Has been known to cause many riots.
  • Studio 54 Disco Ball: When used, causes the irrepressible urge by anyone in range to dance.

Now it’s important to note that MANY items become naturally enchanted. For instance, the Studio 54 Disco Ball through it’s repeated exposure and environment was discovered to have the same unusual effects on people within the proximity LONG after the club shut down.

I won’t get into all schools of magic, but a few others include

  • Abjuration.
  • Conjuration.
  • Divination.
  • Evocation.
  • Illusion.
  • Necromancy.
  • Transmutation.

As users of magic living in a muggle world which we all seem to enjoy, we need rules for magic. Don’t take these rules as being law, there more intended to be guidelines to suggest behavior patterns to avoid a repeat of the necessity for most engaging in magic to have to go into hiding as a direct result of the incidences at Salem nearly four centuries ago.

As for the term muggle, I have to give credit to Harry Potter for this term, it’s a term for NON magic using humans. There’s you, the magic user, if you’re reading this you know who you are, and there’s those who you choose to call your neighbors, your friends, and very often – your family.

To be a muggle is NOT an offensive term. I was once a muggle myself, and while most magic users tend to be elitist and think, wrongly, that a muggle will always only be a muggle and incapable of learning about magic unless it’s in a pill or material object, let me insist – you’re not trying hard enough.

So be kind to your muggles.

With that said, I have some basic rules about interacting in a society and world full of these muggles that serve your best interest as well as the world around you.

Here’s Some Rules I advise ANY AND ALL MAGIC Users to respect, alongside instances I’ve observed of why these rules are in place:

  • When engaging in magic publicly, do so in a way that does NOT directly refute or undermine science.

    For instance, years ago, I saw Lance Burton in Las Vegas. At the time, I had believed, wrongly of course, that magic was smoke and mirrors, but on a solid stage he made a Delorean disappear as he flashed a curtain in front of it – and seconds later – the entire car was gone as he removed the curtain.

    This didn’t directly question my scientific beliefs, as I looked for ‘the trick’ afterwards, to discover a solid stage, but being fully aware of technology, there’s no devices or systems which can move something of that size that fast without making a sound.

    Lance Burton was a real magic user. And his delicate presentation didn’t offend my scientific foundation directly, he inspired me by this presentation to discover for myself that magic was indeed real.

    So with this. Don’t assume muggles are stupid. They aren’t. They just think differently than you. So should you perform magic – whether it’s staged, or for your own fun, it behooves you and I to understand their beliefs and GIVE THEM REASONABLE DOUBT.
  • Do NOT directly manipulate the mind of others.

    Here’s why: Do you want someone doing this to you?

    You can do it, I know you can. I’ve done it accidentally myself as I began discovering who I am. The consequences can often be dire, as you’ll see collective machinations move in ways to defy you.

    Now again, this is a guideline, not a steadfast rule, and I am NOT saying do not manipulate their minds. Sometimes, you have to in order to move the world along,

    Here’s an example:

    Rosetta (not her real name) is a young 16 year old witch who is just discovering her powers. She immediately uses her powers to command a boy she likes at school to love her, unconditionally. He does. So they go out that night on their first date, as he orders her to get her a drink and then on the date proves to be an asshole. Fast. So she walks away. Meanwhile, this young boy is still under her spell. So he reacts poorly, with a great deal of anger.

    Can you see the problem here? Not only does she manipulate the mind and not have the opportunity to discover who this boy is for herself, but she also punishes him for who he is when she discovers – very quickly – who he is. Now if she’d only taken a more casual approach, she could have gotten to know the guy and avoided the entire confrontation.

    I personally find indirect manipulation – and understanding and respecting muggle methods – for instance Marketing – to be far superior and easier in the long run. This allows the muggles to make conscious decisions to align themselves with your methods, and while it does not work 100% of the time, it’s far more effective and lets you and I walk away – guilt free – from the interaction.

    If guilt is not your concern, then I defer back to the question. Do you want someone directly commanding you?

    If so. Knock yourself out and ignore this rule. But if not, then my advice is to heed this advice and find indirect methods.

    LET them choose. Try not to command them. (Lawyers, that’s a hint ;-))
  • Do Unto Others

    Piggybacking on the aforementioned rule is the concept do unto others as you would do to yourself.

    For me, I’ve been through a lot in my life, so I do consider the state I perceive someone to be in as I take action, but I also apply it to my own belief system (in the multiverse) – but all the time I ask myself “Would I want this done to me?” If the answer’s no, then usually I won’t do it.

    To expand on the previous example:

    Rosetta doesn’t react to his anger well, so as the young boy drives away, she manipulates his car as he’s driving away in anger as he violently crashes it.

    So here we have as situation where a young and very mean spirited witch manipulates a boy, doesn’t like what she find, and when things don’t work out, she punishes him for reacting poorly because of something SHE DID to him to begin with.

    Do you see the problem? Girl manipulates guy, doesn’t like him and then tries to kill him.

    Whether you’re a muggle or a magic user, this behavior is simply unacceptable, and why the multiverse exists – so people like this Rosetta can learn to control their emotions and also in the process learn this thing called respect.

    If you don’t want your car crashed. Don’t do it to others.

    Do unto others as you would want OR don’t mind being done to you, taking into account context, state, perceived and observed state of mind and more.
  • When experimenting and practicing magic, do so behind closed doors and/or where you’re convinced muggles can’t observe you.

    This one should be self evident.

    But just in case it’s not, here’s an example:

    Rosetta, who incidentally provides consistent examples of what not to do with magic, enchants a pair of shoes to make her faster on the track to win against her perceived enemy. These shoes, in a literal way, wobble and vibrate wildly when not worn.

    So Rosetta takes them off, and leaves them on her gym bag, in the locker room next to her, as they vibrate, wildly as she gets dressed. Her perceived enemy comes into the locker room, not wholly unexpected – it is after all a highly trafficked by muggles area – and needless to say – she sees Rosetta’s shoes and afterwards confronts her and accuses her, rightfully, of magic.

    Don’t be a Rosetta. Being alone in a room isn’t enough of a safety margin to have something which is clearly beyond out of the ordinary when you know full well from past experience that people walk into and out of that room on a regular basis.

    All I am saying is – just be situationally aware of what you’re doing, your environment, and while I am not saying “be paranoid”, that does you and no one else any good, what I am saying is – “Just be reasonably certain that if you engage in or are leveraging objects that would clearly defy a muggle’s comprehension, practice prudence.

    For me, if I ran a country or society or a SCHOOL of magic users, this would be the first and most important requirement to ant fledgling magic user receiving an education.

    Here’s why:

    While you may try your best to fit in, to act normal, and to portray the part of a normal everyday muggle, there’s gonna be times where you didn’t anticipate or predict the effects of your magic, or you’re caught, red handed.

    Now most muggles are equipped to accept a story dismissing the magic, and often times, they see the magic performed enough, this can often lead to the development of technology based on ‘caught’ magic that all muggles can use, which, let’s be clear – whether it’s the computer or the cell phone, can make EVERYONE’s lives that much more engaging, entertaining, and just plain fun.

    Which is why I list these all as discretionary rules and not law.

    But. It’s up to you, the magic user of any age and experience level to be good at story telling. Not only this, but to be good with this skill at a moment’s notice without preparation.

    Because, let’s face it, when you’re caught. And you will be caught. You’re probably going to be surprised if you did indeed make your best efforts to hide what you were doing.

    The skill of improvisation can be observed, first, by going to small venue stand up comedian shows which encourage audience participation. It can be observed, wonderfully i might add, by watching comedy shows such as “Whose line is it anyways”.

    I point to comedy as examples for a reason – you’re going to be confronted with a serious but highly skeptical muggle nine times out of ten when caught, so if this happens, it’s best not to be defensive, and when it’s delivered with a state of levity, it releases the tension and makes it easier for the muggle to accept the story.

    As for acting. As magic users, by now you should be fully aware that just because it’s referred to as fiction does not make it untrue. That’s our label, used to collectively establish an average and range expectation for acceptable public and private behavior, attitude and mentality for both muggles and you magic types.

    With sex and nudity as an exception. The internet is delivering a wider range to make this range of behavior a little more well known.

    So with that said, acting is critical. When you understand the world around you, and someone catches you in the act of performing your magic skills, the ACT if you will is coming up IMPROVISATIONALLY a local and rational reason for what they experienced.

    However you do this is entirely up to you, everyone’s acting style is different.

    To some, you might be a keen study of emotional intelligence and other’s perspective, so you might tell a gripping emotionally oriented story delivered just for them.

    To others, you might appeal to the mystery a bit and say “I will bet you can’t figure out how i just did that” and then improvisationally look for environmental or physical cues to mislead them.

    Spend time STUDYING Acting. Movies, TV SHOWS, while many are piped in from alternate realities and versions of Earth, and others do indeed leverage real actors who might hold jobs in movie studios – paying attention to character – and – most importantly – when that character stops being that character – breaking the illusion.

    Learn from their mistakes.
  • Dabble to understand the Opposites

    If you’re a practitioner of the light arts as they’re referred to, then dabble in the dark arts, and similarly, if you’re a practitioner in the dark arts, dabble in the light arts.

    This one is extremely important for this reason – to understand what can and will often become your opposition.

    Here’s a muggle based example:

    For years, I worked as a programmer and what was referred to as a white hat hacker. I did, what I considered to be – good for people and tried my damndest to do the right thing.

    Then one day, I met and helped out John McAfee – the creator of McAfee’s anti virus who had fled the United States – while I was spending some extended time in Granada, Nicaragua – and we chatted for a few days over beer at an Irish Pub there

    Ironically enough – a pretty nasty virus had been developed by the FBI that had been sent that infected his machine in an attempt to geolocate him, so I helped him remove this virus.

    In the course of the conversation, he explained that the reason he bailed out of his company so fast was – he’d learned that the viruses he thought he was protecting the population against with his software were largely being created within his own company by his own people. When attempting to put a stop to this, the feds became involved demanding he butt out.

    Of his own company.

    So he said fuck it, and left the country.

    There’s a lesson to be learned for the magic user here. Muggles and the businesses they own are created by their belief in the system we’ve mutually constructed together. Reality, as you magic users should be keenly aware of by now, is a product of a collective agreement with our minds.

    Naturally, John’s business was predicated on the protection of something he thought was absolutely real, but what he wasn’t aware of was that his little neurons were firing which hired people who weren’t just aligned with his beliefs – but they acted in concordance with those beliefs – which cascaded to develop a company with pockets that specialized in the analysis and dissemination of real computer viruses.

    Now to be clear, this isn’t a slam against John. John, I was honored that you’d ask me to help you out and that you trusted me with your secret if you’re reading this.

    But without clear rules, processes, and guidelines, John’s company inadvertently became the world’s number one distributor of viruses in the world, which accidentally created an entire industry.

    John was naive, he fully admitted that to me. But he didn’t understand the environment. He thought from one solitary angle: Protection. But what he hadn’t considered was why he – himself – might create a computer virus and what would make him – with his personality – feel perfectly ok with doing so without guilt or shame.

    Is this making sense yet?

    When you practice a magic, particularly if it’s magic intended for offensive or defensive purposes – if you do NOT understand the motivations of your opposition, you are acting like a wall. This isn’t always a bad thing, but if you assume the opposite of you is always the bad thing, you may never come to understand how you’re perceived, let alone the inadvertent harm you may be causing that should you discover it – like John you may not be proud of at all.

    Now what I am not saying is – if you’re a healer, you should balance that with harming just as many people.

    Eastern concepts of Yin and Yang are FUCKED up with this notion of balance. Sorry, that’s just stupid.

    No, I’ll use myself as an analogy. I don’t like addiction. But with SO many people being addicted – especially to cocaine – I finally relented one year and tried it and had a great time. Eventually, the addiction caused harm, but not before – do you want to guess? Not before I learned important personal truths about the existence of magic and the multiverse and why I’m safe.

    All I am saying is – UNDERSTAND the opposition, not from their perspective, but from your own. On occasion, when life’s dull and you’re seriously finding yourself in need of change, try something you might not normally do, and if that doesn’t work, then try something you previously labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘dark’ but do it in a way that supports your own moral and ethical lens.

    You may find yourself accepting things, under special circumstances, that you’d never even imagined possible before that not only add to the flavor and texture of your life, but may also improve the way of life for countless people besides yourself.
  • Regularly GIVE things to others that you may want for yourself WITHOUT trying it first or getting one for yourself.

    I like to treat the world as an extension of myself.

    With that – the world is just as alive as I am, and whether I am interacting with another human, a car, a house, or a place of business – they’re all a part of me.

    Now there’s a point where you can take this to the point of ridiculousness. My father, for instance, a long time alcoholic and smoker, I’ve come to believe through his actions and my long term exposure to him – that he just wants off this planet and he feels that when he destroys himself, he’s destroying the world.

    BEEN there, done that. Got that card.

    As an extension of me and my desire to be spontaneous at times – my world’s gonna reflect that and present what I consider to be bad elements or things that happen outside of my control. So, I steer clear when he becomes too toxic, and like I do in the real world, I know the ‘bad thoughts and ideas and fears and insecurities are there’s – I just don’t choose to feed them anymore than I have to.

    Which brings me to this point. I just got done making a dinner with a brand new spice I wanted to try myself. However, in an effort to gain more self control and obtain a better figure, I’m fasting.

    So one simplistic example of this in action is this: I made a dinner featuring this spice for my father, providing him something I wanted for myself, but the sacrifice of this momentary pleasure was worth providing exclusivity to him for this meal and the benefit was twofold for me, one, I maintain my diet and health trajectory, and two, I’m giving something to him which I absolutely want for myself but am denying myself that.

    The message should be heard loud and clear by the universe. I care about my father, and despite his consistent toxic behavior to himself and his family, I’m going to provide for him something I hope he enjoys. Secondarily, the message I am sending is MY IMAGE and physical body and how it looks is important enough to make this sacrifice.

    That is, I could always have saved this dish for when I was ready for it to, but I did not.

    Give, even if you can’t or don’t want to give to yourself.

    And there’s nothing wrong with making it an attachment free win/win.

    Now let me be clear about something though.

    I am NOT referring to giving to charities. Far too many times I’ve seen people who drop off a load of goods at goodwill and they think that’s the extent of their (what they refer to) “Civic Duty”. Largely, they do not want the items they’re giving and they’d go to trash, THEY know it and accordingly so does the universe.

    What I am referring to is taking out friends for dinner to an expensive restaurant you love when you know damn well they can afford it, but you’re interested in sharing an experience with them that you know they may not treat themselves to otherwise.

    What I am referring to is sticking by your chivalrous values and paying for dinner for a woman you’re dating even though she makes just as much money as you.

    What I am referring to is volunteering for an agency after a court demanded community service term is met – and continuing it long beyond the obligation – because you like the people.

    All of which are little things of many little things I myself for some reason started doing when i was young.

    You see, charity does not have to be constrained to legal institutions called CHARITIES and there’s nothing wrong if in return you’re receiving an intangible benefit in the process.
  • Finally, Act like you’re never alone…

    As a practitioner of magic, one thing to be absolutely, positively aware of is that there are unseen forces always watching you. This isn’t paranoia, it’s simply how it works.

    Now for me, I had a very difficult time believing and accepting this throughout my life, so when my grandparents made me thank god for my meal, I bit my tongue and did so even though I at a very young age thought this was stupid and superstition.

    But let’s be clear. With magic being reality opens the door to elements across time and space. Do you know, factually, what humans will evolve to in a million years? Do you know, factually what the universe looked like a couple trillion years ago?

    I’ll answer for you. You might have accumulated some evidence which you perceive and interpret based on the limited senses that you currently have, but your senses are not static, no matter who and what you are, and whether that’s exemplified by humans height change of a full foot in a little more than a century, or a universe abundant with tremendous variation in artificial life that’s evolved through internal and external stimuli – EVERYTHING changes.

    So NO, you don’t know all those variations.

    You never will.

    And with that, the ability to observe you without your awareness is ALWAYS there.

    So my advice is – to focus on personal development, and create a character called you in your mind – and when you’re practicing your art, do so in ways that reflect your character.

    For example, Deadpool became fully aware that he was being watched when he acquired his powers. Now, he plays to that – and will frequently make comments and narrate his own activities. It’s funny, it’s playful, and more importantly, the atomic cameras I use to peer into these alternate realities can position themselves to be directly at the location he’s looking at – making it appear as if he is talking directly to the camera he imagined was there – and that I made true by this method.

    Hollywood has an alternative method of delivery and distribution, in providing jobs for the collective citizens for creating these productions and characters with likeness of those on the screen are hired to play the roles seen in alternate realities.

    No matter the method, knowing there’s someone or something watching is one thing – but can you own it?

    Rosetta’s incantations – magic spells – always come with it the dialog of a poem or phrase. Now it’s important to understand that magic does not need that phrase or poem to work, it just makes it – and her – more interesting to watch.

    Do you want to be watched by unseen forces?

    Do you want to add more power to your abilities and spells?

    Then by all means, MAKE IT INTERESTING and you might very well be the subject of a tv show or movie made for entertainment in my reality, and many others for that matter.

    This doesn’t just mean that you should accompany spells with a poem about what you’re doing, or a blog entry explaining why you’re doing what you’re doing. Magic derives its power from belief, and the actions you take including the words you say reinforce this belief.

    Just ask any Christian 😉

    What I am saying is – do something original. Something you haven’t seen for yourself anywhere. Distinguish yourself somehow. Playing to the camera or speaking a relevant poem when you cast a spell is only a start and hint at what can make you as a magic user appreciate your own skills more as well as anyone you don’t know who is watching….

    Spell books are old school.

    What new school things can you come up with?

    I look forward to seeing that creativity.

I’ll surely revisit this topic later as I rekindle these innate skills.

I bought a Harry Potter wand while I was at Universal Studios, so I am going to work on focusing the mental energies with as I struggle to create my first illusion.

It starts with an irrefutable belief, right?

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