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Are We All NPCs?

Let me answer with what I think right away. To me, this is not one of those yes or no questions because it's impossible to tell. Simply put, the theory behind the question is most likely unprovable. Not from the within anyway. 'Simulation Hypothesis' and the phrase 'Non Playable Characters' are concept relatively new, born not that long ago, when digital computing came to be fast enough to produce graphically demanding multi-player games sophisticated enough to hint this question and probability that we might also be inside one of those simulations. And to dispute the question about the nature of reality is quite useless, because everything that surrounds us, no matter how strange we think it is, can also be real and not part of the code. Even if our reality was simulated, its origin would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to prove. By design, nothing inside the simulation could be able to see the lines of the code, only the outcome of its work. In order to

The War No One Wants

Before the start of the Great War, the prevailing sentiment in most, if not all, European countries was that victory in any major military conflict was guaranteed only if it was fought with a large, durable, well trained and modern army. The dawn of the 20th century established the environment in which countries entered the race to mobilize the largest part of the qualified population, to create faster motorized transport for troops and logistics, to use state of the art communications and the greatest range of artillery as well as to use various new drugs in medical treatments like morphine and even a cocaine to boost the troops and fuel their fighting mood. Comparing to 19th century wars, new warfare was revolutionized and upped to the next level. By June 1914, the stage was set and only a spark was needed to fire off the conflict. But was it really inevitable? Was the military race alone enough to cause the conflict in which 20 million died and many more wounded? Or did it need a pl

Time Travel and Superposition in Dark

I was no more than four years old when our car got stuck on a snowy hill decades ago. Everyone but me went outside to push to get us out of frozen road. More people gathered from other cars to help each other and soon everyone was engaged in a small rescue operation. That certainly didn't mean I didn't help - as well as others pushing the car from the outside, I did the same from the inside. From the back seat, I put my hands on the front and pushed hard. In my defense, deep down I knew that what I was doing was kind of weird and useless. At the time I just didn't know why. I was just ashamed sitting alone and doing nothing. Well, like they say, with age comes the wisdom and now I know that what I did was physically impossible, just like in the case of baron Münchhausen - when he got out himself and his horse he was sitting on out of a swamp by pulling his own hair upwards. And just like in old expression about an absurd and impossible thing one can do - if I were to pull b

Neanderthal Burgers

It was commonly believed that ancient hunter-gatherers, both Humans and Neanderthals, had a simple lifestyle in which most or all of their food was obtained by gathering from local sources or by hunting animals from their environment. We simply assumed that beside the meat they hunted, their diet consisted of only raw foods such as wild plants, edible insects, mushrooms, honey, or pretty much anything that was safe to eat. Well, according to the recent study performed by Ceren Kabukcu* and her team from the archaeobotanical department of the University of Liverpool, we couldn't be more wrong. Researchers analyzed charred food remains at two locations - the Shanidar Cave in Iraq and the Franchthi Cave in Greece. The food remains from the first cave, originated from both Neanderthal hearths, 70,000 years old and those from ancient Humans thirty millenniums later and also those from Greece consumed some 12,000 years ago by our modern ancestors under microscopic examination reveal

Insights Discovery

It's amazing how different people react to the same thing. Consider the famous question "Is the glass half empty or half full?". What do you see inside such glass when you spot it on the table? The water or the air? This is of course not a school-grade-sort of a question. Actually, there is no right or wrong answer here. There's no definite reason to consider anyone thinking that the glass is half full to be overly optimistic or those who see the emptiness of the glass to be unreasonably realistic. It is just a point of view and nothing more. But, it tells a bit about your character or how Carl Jung, a well known Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst defined it - your personality type. The point of inquiries like this one is simply in the fact that if we ask ourselves enough questions they would have potential to unveil our personality type fully, or to the high degree of accuracy. However, we would need to be careful in both, selecting the questions and defining all r

Reality of Double-Slit Experiment

More than two hundred years passed after Thomas Young performed the famous double-slit experiment as a demonstration of the wave behavior of visible light and still it's revelation puzzles our sanity ever since. In short, if we shoot a beam of light at a panel with two small slits (less than a millimeter apart), the photons - elementary particles that light is made of, have to figure out how to get through the slits to radiate out the other side. If they are truly particles, like in macro world, they would project a solid image of two piles on the background wall behind the slits. If they travel similar to the waves, like water does in macro world, the image would resemble a wave-like interference pattern: alternating locations, equidistantly spaced, where particles leave a mark on the wall. Thanks to the outcome of the experiment, we know that light is capable to do both. It always travel in wave like fashion, even if we shoot photons in a row towards slits, one after another. Qua

Norse Valkyrie vs Slavic Vila

It is hard to pinpoint the exact period in human history when religiosity we are all familiar today emerged and started to form itself with all of the colorful myths, supernatural stories, vivid deities and numerous super powered entities. It happened probably at some point around 10.000 BC in the same period of time when humans slowly progressed from being pure hunters and gatherers into next stage of civilization and started to build modern settlements with domesticated animals and cultivated plants. No doubt, religiosity, superstition and spiritualism existed all the way from the beginning in the history when our ancestors started to paint cave walls but only Neolithic revolution and invention of agriculture gave us enough free time to start daydreaming and to think outside pure survival. If we compare all previous beliefs with vignettes, we can safely say that the evolution of religiosity after Neolithic revolution began to fill volumes of graphic novels. According to the theor

Corfu Between Tales and Reality

Among all religious beliefs, the Greek pantheon of colorful gods is perhaps the best described in the history of all human religiosity. There is literally no piece of Greek land or portion of the sea or the tiniest island that has no origin in radiant old mythology. The island of Corfu is no exception as well. Apparently in the mythological history, it was one of those unnamed islands in the region of Scheria where the mighty Poseidon spent a portion of his eternity with fresh water nymph Korkyra. Their descendants, the Phaeacians as described by Homer in Odysseus' adventures inherited the island and named it to the Poseidon's lover. The final shape of the island owns the appearance to Poseidon as well when he separated Paxos from Corfu with his trident in order to create a love nest for him and his wife Amphitrite (sea nymph this time). I don't blame him, both Korkyra and Paxos are beautiful and colorful islands and he obviously knew his craft well. I understand his affect

Eta Team - Will Crawford

Three weeks earlier Will stormed through the dense crowd of the large entrance of the MIT CSAIL. It was the lunch break time and students were emerging from every direction. He came directly from the Logan Airport without stopping by his small apartment. Organizing a fast return trip from Key West was no easy effort. Or cheap one. But he had no choice. The message he received yesterday was a potential disaster. His little sandbox in his office he was working on for the past five years apparently is not a sandbox anymore. Will's extended weekend this year was supposed to be his first getaway from Boston ever since his MIT career launched more than a decade ago. It's not that he loved fishing rods that much. It was more about reconnecting with his family and old friends for one full vacation and it looked like this April would be the charm. He literally slept in his office ever since the major breakthrough in his research of self-programming AIs. Computer Science & Artifici

Star Wars: The High Republic

I've always wondered what genre exactly "Star Wars" belongs to? I guess it is safe to say that the entire franchise is one giant space fantasy or space opera if you will, genuinely influenced by human history and religiosity wrapped into a futuristic world of (science) fiction. I sincerely admire George Lucas when he began the story fifty years ago, especially how he imagined a spiritual background without the need for the existence of religion we are all familiar with and without presence of actual deities. The main premise simply described as the Force gives to those sensitive to this spiritual energy extraordinary abilities, such as telekinesis, access to the minds of the living beings, potentiality of healing and what is especially interesting to me, the power of seeing things before they happen. Even though the visions and predicting the future seem to be the most fantastic feature of the Force, it is perhaps the only fiction understandable by the real science. T

Eta Team - Prologue

Somewhere in Atlantic ocean Dave checked his watch again. Almost two in the morning. His small transatlantic speedboat was gently stirring calm water of a moonless night for nearly four hours since he corrected the course last time. He was approaching the coordinates and soon this epic journey around the world will come to an end. It took him almost ten days of preparations and travel, but in the end the job was simple. Collect and deliver. Pretty much what he does all the time only this time with a weird exception about the delivery part. But he knew better not to ask questions. After all, this job, like the most of the other assignments came from the dark web and those deliveries nowadays are stranger and stranger by the month. To say the least. He didn't care. His crypto wallet will be significantly ticker by the dawn and his business will finally take the next step. After tonight he will proudly be the owner of two new and fancy transatlantic speed drones. Business will go ro