Sleep As An Option

•March 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I am a night owl. It’s now 4:07 am and I’m wrapped in thought. But before I begin, I’d like to apologize for my long absence. Things have been very strange in our lives as of late. Which I will volunteer only that the former administration had something to do with it.

With that said, I offer for your consideration a new idea: OPTIONAL SLEEP. With the exception of only a few people on this planet who have a genetic mutation preventing them from doing so, every man woman and child must sleep for a certain number of hours each day.

But what if this wasn’t a genetic requirement? What if we slept only for pleasure? Like reading a book, or playing the piano. What if we were able to be perfectly lucid and functional without needing to “shut down” for the night?

Have you ever tried depriving yourself of sleep? I don’t mean staying up past your bedtime by a couple of hours, or pulling an all nighter at the hospital, because someone called in sick. I mean forceably staying awake for 24 hours or more. There have been countless studies about the science of sleep, and it is a well documented fact that we as mammals are genetically incapable of maintaining bodily function without REM sleep.

I am a caffeine junkie. I admit it. I LOVE ME SOME CONSCIOUSNESS! But I’ll admit I’m an avid sleeper too. Many mornings have seen me hitting the snooze button multiple times to get that extra 30 minutes of sleep. Now keep in mind, my alarm clock is 8 paces from my bed. I actually have to get up and walk across the room to shut it off.

But when I want to be awake, I want 110% wakefullness. Which is where the no-dōz come into play.

I drink alot of water. I like water. I actually like water more than coffee, tea, pop and milk. Which is how I’ve managed to justify supplimenting my caffeine intake with OTC stimulants.

But what if it weren’t necessary to do all that? What could we accomplish with an extra 8 hours a day? By reclaiming the 1/3 of our lives that we’ve lose each night, we  could be making the world a better place, or spending time with our family and friends or better yet, learning a new language, or an overly complicated musical instrument. I honestly don’t believe we would want to squander these extra penalty free hours if we had a choice.

This extra time is completely voluntary mind you, so it lies squarely outside of the 8 hours designated for work. And no, the additional 8 hours we get prior to our going in to work are not available to our employers. Just because we dont need to sleep doesn’t mean we’d prefer to work more.

If there was a way to hypnotize yourself into not needing this absurd biological requirement, I would leap at the chance. If I was offered a chip to replace the instinct for sleep with enhanced mental clarity, and desire for personal enrichment I’d be the first in line.

What would be a fair biological price for this upgrade, obviously the monetary cost would be high, but with the increased mental acumen, would finding the money to pay for the enhancement really be a problem for very long?

I don’t think so.

What I’m referring to as far as a biological cost, is “what’s it worth to ya?” I think shortening my lifespan by 5 – 10 years would be a fair trade. If  my life expectancy is about 80 years, how vigorous would I be during those last 10? Probably not very, and I’d probably choose to sleep anyway. So dropping off at 70 doesn’t seem like an unfair arrangement to me. Especially if I’ve increased my conscious life by 10 years.

Will this technology ever come to pass? I doubt it, because just like the common cold, there’s more money in helping people escape from their lives through sleep and medication than there is in actually finding a cure for it.  I think children have the right idea in never wanting to go to sleep. They instinctively know that all the good stuff happens at night.

Thoughts and comments are welcome and appreciated!

Sincerely

Mr. Black

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The Second Chance Booth

•June 4, 2008 • 3 Comments

Ok here is one that has doubtlessly been thought of and wished for by millions of pregnant teenage girls, drunk drivers, and most miscreants in general.

The Second Chance Booth

How many of us have sat in the back of a police cruiser, filled with remorse over whatever crime (inadvertent or otherwise) that we’ve been apprehended for, praying for a miracle that would undo that last few hours of our poor decision making skills.

The Second Chance Booth (SCB) Gives the user 1 opportunity every 7 years to rewind up to 3 days of their lives for the opportunity to make a better decision.

The Process

As this decision impacts a great many people, it would have to be approved by a qualified panel of brilliant experts who would include: an astrophysicist, an ethics professor, and a temporal judge. Each panel member would review the case and provide their decisions individually, and later within a quorum to decide if the applicant qualifies for a second chance.

At the time of detainment every citizen is marandized with the standard legal disclaimer of “you have the right to remain silent etc.” but it now also includes “If you are eligible for a temporal second chance, please inform the arresting officer immediately so that you may be quarantined from human contact until a temporal judge reviews your case.”

It is always best to enter the SCB with a minimum of human interaction so that you do not interfere with their time line. The more interaction one has with people the more intrusive the impact of rewinding time is to the rest of the world. Because the SCB is nothing more than a well controlled time machine, it is critical that the person is isolated from the general population so as not to create a paradox.

The Rules

At the age of 18 all children are given a subcutaneous Second Chance Beacon which is provided after a 3 month compulsory training course. When activated, this beacon will:

  1. Alert those around you that you have activated your SC Beacon, and not to interact with you in any way
  2. Notify the Temporal Authorities to detain and isolate you until the Judge has an opportunity to review your case.
  3. Release a powerful truth serum into your bloodstream so that the authorities can accurately report the reason why you need to roll back your time to a previous moment.

The beacon is replaced after each use and should be replaced every 14 years regardless.

The Booth

The Booth itself is fairly nondescript, a small closet sized room about 6′ x 8′ with an easy chair located in the middle of it. The interior has wallpaper with a vertical gradient going from navy blue to white. There are no windows, and the door has no interior handle.

Because the trip backwards typically causes stress to most users, the chair emits pure oxygen which gives the citizen a feeling of temporary euphoria. Before every Second Chance episode, the citizen is given a brief list of things not to do:

  1. Upon your return it is not advisable to mention what has transpired in the alternate reality, as it will confuse others and possibly cause them unnecessary anxiety.
  2. Do not – under any circumstances – attempt to capitalize on your knowledge of the future i.e. gambling. Winning a lottery with knowledge of the future equates to 1st degree robbery, and you will be prosecuted with an expected penalty of 15 years in a temporal stasis field

The Second Chance Process creates a divergent path of time, on one path there is what you would have done without activating the SCB, the other path leads to this moment where you are now (an entirely new path). Due to possible overlaps in time as well as creating a paradox by re-encountering your alternate self, you will be isolated for a period of 1 hour past the point of time of divergence whereupon you will be returned to the location of beacon activation. From there you are free to go on your way, hopefully with care and knowledge that will stave you off for the next 7 years.

Comments Welcome,

Sincerely,

Mr. Black

10 Seconds of Foresight

•May 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It’s amusing for me when I see my children using their burgeoning foresight in times of potential trouble. And while it thankfully is happening more and more frequently, I see people ignoring this wonderful nuance of intelligence all the time.

So today, I would like to share with you what I would readily give a full year of life to have as a human upgrade:

10 SECOND FORESIGHT

We as a species are born with a decent set of senses, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and of course sight, well wouldn’t it be handy to have been born with a sense of foresight as well?

With an extra week at His disposal, G could have easily given all of us the ability to see not just the present, but an addition 10 seconds into the future for emergency purposes. This gift would prevent us from traipsing blindly into dangerous situations, random acts of violence, embarrassment, and of course death.

This ability would also have to be both reflexive and voluntary – Just like our ability to blink.

As a species we’ve already proven that we’ve barely tapped into more than 10% of our brains cognitive abilities, so it stands to reason that we have enough dormant computational power within our minds to discern and vet all the additional data that would exist in both the present and the immediate future.

Besides, 10 seconds is more than adequate to avoid a sharp knife falling towards your foot from a countertop, or an unobservant driver plowing into your car through a red light.

Can you imagine a world in which there were no spontaneous accidents? Stuff that kills most people usually happens within a 10 second window.

Here’s my top 10 list of things that would be good about this sensory upgrade:

1. All car accidents would stop unless it was intentional, and there would be no speed limit (I mean what for – right?)
2. Slips and falls would be a thing of the past
3. Slamming any body part in any-thing would be unknown to mankind
4. All slow acting poisons would be removed from the market.
5. Knowing what lies at the end of every dark alley
6. Knowing whether or not it’s going to be a home run just before the pitch comes
7. Finding the sliver of glass in the baby food jar before you spoon feed it to the babyspoonfeeding baby
8. Stopping the jumper before he leaps onto the tracks
9. Shutting off the lawnmower before you reach that hidden piece of wood with the nails in it.
10. Deciding not to mention the $500 poker loss to your wife until the morning.

I’m sure there are countless instances where having 10 seconds of insight would be appreciated. And if there are any concepts in the works for this type of device, please feel free to send me the link so I can check it out.


Sincerely,

Mr. Black

Life Choice Machine

•May 27, 2008 • 1 Comment

If ones life is a continuous series of “if – then” statements, some choices we make are going to be small and insignificant while others will completely alter the course of our lives in a major way. It is precisely for these types of life altering decisions that I would like to present the idea of the:

Life Choice Machine

Imagine being a woman with two seemingly perfect suitors vying for your hand in marriage. This would be a truly nerve wracking situation under any circumstance, however with the Life Choice Machine (LCM), one could simply visit any of the 1,000+ Life Box locations in their metropolitan area. By following these simple steps your decision is as good as made:

  1. Write the names of the suitors on one of the available LCM-Decision slips
  2. Enter a dollar into the bill accepter and when prompted
  3. Feed the slip into the LCM.

Moments later you receive a printed receipt indicating the name of the winning suitor as well as a percentage of success based on “Higher Power” algorithms and quantum analytics.

Every response is guaranteed to be the best choice for that individual within a seven year cycle of “life-time”. If you are deciding between two jobs, medical treatments, colleges, or even vacation destinations the LCM is going to provide you with the best decision possible.

Thanks to the LCM the quality of life for all people will be markedly improved. With rash decisions taken out of the equation, people will be more able to enjoy happy and more productive lives. It’s not required that you take the advice of the LCM, you are free to make all the unwise decisions you’d like, however there can be no pursuit of litigation should you choose not to heed the advice of the LCM. (Please note the “Disclaimer of Usage” found on the reverse side of every LCM-Decision Slip.

As with all devices intended for good, there will be the criminal element who seeks to find the best opportunity to capitalize on an illicit venture. Fortunately for all of us however, the LCM would already be aware of the users intent and prevent them from using the device for unproductive ends. They would receive a refund of their dollar as well as a list of local help centers that offers pertinent counseling.

As a child you believed you’d have all the answers when you grew up just as your parents seemed to know everything, only to find out that the confusion you had as a child is a lifelong condition. The LCM allows you to capture some of that parental wisdom while simultaneously retaining the spontaneity of life.

With the Life Choice Machine – you can be confident in knowing you’ve made a wise and prudent decision.

Sincerely,

Mr. Black

A New Presidental Election Process

•May 15, 2008 • 3 Comments

New Presidential Election Process

Concept by Mr. Black II 12/2005

As a citizen of the United States of America, I think it is important to have only the most qualified, intelligent, and level-headed leaders we can possibly find to represent our country.

I feel that it is also universally agreed upon that our leaders should truly represent the best that America has to offer, especially in terms of knowledge, wisdom, integrity, and diplomacy.

Our process of electing leaders is antiquated. We elect our officials strictly on the basis of their history, their beliefs, their rhetoric, and most of all how much money they spend to get elected.

Imagine corporations hiring their leaders based on these simple, easily modifiable standards of quality. How easy would it be for the average unqualified “Joe” with minimal skills to cajole his or her way into a highly lucrative position that will affect millions for as long as 8 years?

Fortunately, the majority of our financial infrastructures have multi-layered, in-depth interview standards that are designed to filter out unqualified applicants, leaving only the best to vie for that position.

This is my proposal for a new election model.

I propose a reform in our current election methodology, in favor of a multi-tiered testing and election process.

The testing is available to every US citizen over the age of 35 with a clean record.

It is based upon the SAT standard of mass testing, where there will be multiple testing centers throughout the country. A registration fee of between $500 and $1000, is required to take the test (tax deductible). The test will be based upon the following categories:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Government (US & World)
  3. History (US & World)
  4. Global Business & Economy
  5. Ethics (Business and Character)
  6. Human Rights
  7. Civil Rights
  8. Foreign Language (of their choosing)
  9. Law (Domestic and International)

10. Diplomacy

These tests would be geared for a college level applicant, and would be split over the course of two days. To avoid cheating, each persons test would be randomly generated with varying question structures and combinations in each of the subjects covered. Applicant tests are tracked by their social security numbers.

It will be independently run by a national testing service. The top 10% of the applicants move to the next stage of testing. Which includes:

  1. Lie detection testing
  2. In-depth background searches
  3. Drug testing
  4. Character/Psychological evaluations


The top 2% will be interviewed by national news reporters (representing the people), college professors and two former Presidents from previous administrations (1 from each political party) each applicant will be interviewed privately, and then before a group forum.

The field is then reduced to the top 5 applicants from each party, based on interview performance. If only one party qualifies (i.e. 15 republicans) there will be a secondary testing date scheduled for those in the unrepresented parties until there are 5 candidates in each party.

The remaining candidates will then be allotted $10 million dollars each for their campaign advertising. No other service or financial contribution is allowed. They will campaign alone for the first month; they will have 2 intra-party debates and 2 extra-party debates during the 2nd month. All debates will be government sponsored and televised for all to see.

During the third month primary elections will take place, This will decide who will become presidential candidate for each party.

From there each candidate will receive another $10 million and will follow the primary schedule of campaigning alone for the first month and debating 4 times in the next month. The following month, the election will take place and a winner will be decided. Although this is not a requirement, it is advisable that the candidates take the second runner up from their party as their running mate.

At the end of the process, we should have the most qualified candidate for the most important job in this country. A well read, intelligent, level headed, charismatic leader with a conscious vision of the future, and a clear understanding of the past. A leader who has the foundation, and the confidence of the people to lead the country. This is the president of the United States.

I think this is a much cheaper and streamlined way of electing our presidents.

Thoughts? Comments?


The Displacement Button

•May 14, 2008 • 1 Comment

Hello World,

Today I present to you one of my most favorite concepts that in a perfect world would likely be completely unnecessary, but in our rather shitty existence would be without doubt the most functional of all devices.

The Displacement Button

The Displacement Button is a vehicle mounted device thats sole purpose is to render the bad drivers of the world insane.

Imagine you’re running late for work one morning and are driving a bit more recklessly than is advisable by the Secretary Of State, you slalom between cars in a futile attempt to get to work on time when all of the sudden you see a brilliant flash of light and you find yourself instantly parked back home in your driveway.

You have been Displaced!

The premise is really very simple, every licensed driver is provided with a free displacement button for their own personal vehicle. They are empowered by the state to displace anyone who drives poorly, unsafely, or those who aren’t paying adequate attention to the road.

Jane Smith is a cautious and defensive driver, never had a ticket, and never been in an accident. She observes John Doe driving like a bat out of Hell to wherever he needs to be so urgently. She presses her displacement button and speaks the license plate number aloud. A pleasant voice chimes from within the device asking for her confirmation, and with a polite “yes” the car and it’s driver are instantly teleported back to his point of origin.

The displacement process temporarily disables the cars engine so that when they arrive back at their point of origin there is no unexpected movement from the vehicle.

The rules are simple:

For the Displacer

  1. You are alloted 3 displacements per running session – meaning once you start your car you get 3, and once you turn off the car the displacement counter resets.
  2. You may not use the displacement button on the person who last displaced you – this would count as revenge displacement and is not allowed.

For the Displaced

  1. You are allowed 3 instances of displacement per day – if you are displaced more than 3 times in a single day you must wait 20 hours before your vehicle is again operational. The engine is disabled. You will probably lose one day of work unless you find alternate means of transportation which may equate to the cost of your average reckless driving citation.
  2. If you are displaced more than 10 times in a month you will be required to attend a driver safety course at your expense. Or if your time is more valuable than money, you may also pay a sizable fee in lieu of attendance, however you will accrue points on your license.

The Displacement Button would certainly change the commuting world as we know it. Lives saved, fewer accidents, less overall insurance costs, more money in everyones pocket. And let’s face it, the world is full of angry, irresponsible drivers who really shouldn’t have gotten their license in the first place. This device would change the daily grind into something much more fluid and better for everyone….God would have done it if he’d had the time.

Sincerely,

Mr. Black

Animals Diets

•May 10, 2008 • 2 Comments

Hello World,

I recently read a report about the utterly cool Koala Bear, which stated that the eucalyptus tree (which is the Koalas only food source) has been slowly absorbing higher levels of Co2 which in turn depletes the nutritional value of the leaves.

My question is this:

Why are they forced to exclusively eat this plant? How in the world did G. miss this? Certainly there are other less pleasant animals he could have punished.

There is only one solution to this problem as I see it, and that is to genetically modify the Koala to be able to process a more diverse food menu.

It wouldn’t take that much effort in the grand scheme of things, and we could certainly learn a lot in the meantime. I think we should do it for all cool animals like the panda who only eats bamboo shoots, or the monarch butterfly who only eats milkweed.

When we discover the cure for all of our really virulent diseases, we should spend all of the surplus cash on making the lives of animals better. Yes I know “Spare Cash” is like an oxymoron, but it seems to me like the right thing to do.

Just to put things into perspective: Can you imagine eating PB&J sandwiches for the rest of your life? You’d have to eat a whole bunch of them to stay healthy. And your bound to miss a few key vitamins along the way.

This is an easy fix to save some cool animals.

Until time where my topic will be: The Displacement Button

Sincerely

Mr. Black