Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The inspiration for this Blog

This blog and it's possible subtitle "Reality Deficit" is in large inspired by the blog "Imagination Deficit."

Here is a very short story that I would like to dedicate to "Imagination Deficit." Be advised that the author of this short story (myself) received less than excellent grades in High School short story writing class. Please look past the lack of dialogue and adventure and into the analogy.

Once upon a time there was a pseodoscientific research team that was searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. They went by the name, SPAGETI (Search for Petite And Grande Extraterrestrial Intelligence). They decided that once they received a radio signal that could not have "possibly" been created by natural processes (didn't bear the mark of natural processes) then they would know that intelligence was the most likely explanation.

So, the researchers were sitting around their computer screens one day and they all noticed a peculiar looking radio signal. It was composed of different and distinct frequencies repeating themselves randomly. It was interesting since it was not periodic, such as those signals from spinning black holes or the like. The sequence of these frequencies seemed to be perfectly random, until on closer inspection it was found that certain sections of the signal repeated themselves, yet even these repetitions seemed to appear randomly. Well, one of the younger and more curious of the group of researchers decided to take a closer look at these signals.

He came to the conclusion that they did behave rather oddly, and he was puzzled by the random recurrence of sections of what seemed to be a random string of signals. In fact, this string of radio signals seemed to act as if it were some type of code. So, he began running tests on it in an attempt to decode the signal.

He eventually discovered (don't ask me how; he's smarter than I am) that the signal could actually be separated into five different signals and upon converting and running each of their codes in DivX (I guess aliens use DivX as well), you would get five different instructional videos. The instructional videos each showed how to put all five signals together to create a code, and then how to create the computer and the program to run it. Well, this young researcher was ecstatic and upon showing the result to his team members, was allocated the finances and manpower to create this alien program.

Of course it took a long time ... blah blah blah ... many trials and errors ... blah ... sweat and determination ... blah blah ... he finally completed the program. However, there were some glitches in the original signal that he had to correct, which he could because he gained an understanding of the program. Furthermore, there seemed to be a couple viruses which liked to destroy some parts of the code, and these viruses seemed to be in the original signal so he was quite sure that they weren't mistakes on his part. Then there was the extra code that didn't seem to fit in anywhere and a few mistakes on his own part. But, in the end, he decided to turn it on and see what happened. Well, the program started to spit up more information on the screen. But this time it was all in English. It was providing more information on how to hook up sensory apparatus onto the computer.

In the end, with the sensory apparatus hooked up, it seemed that an intelligent, conscious being was created. It had its glitches, but the researchers were able to actually teach it basic English in the course of the year and they were able to carry on conversation with it that you could have with a six year old.

Well, now that they had knock out proof of an intelligent source for the original signal, they could publish the results and confidently determine that we are not alone, and unfortunately but still definitely not the most intelligent beings, in this universe.

However, thankfully, the scientific community came to the rescue and showed how this research was completely pseudoscientific and was performed by ignorant, imagination deficit, religiously motivated pseudoscientists. (for effect one can preclude with "fundamentalist")

The scientists were fortunately able to display to the general public that all that was missing was a healthy dose of imagination. "There are other, actually scientific explanations for the data," the scientists pronounced. "We can't allow intelligence, since it is a cop out and pretty soon we'll be explaining everything in terms of 'an-intelligence-that-we-can't-see-did-it.' This would indeed be the demise of science since we all know that science doesn't allow such explanations."

"Furthermore, experiments have already been performed in the lab by Dr.s Iller and Murey that show that each of these frequencies can and have been produced naturally and that gravitational fields can and do bend radio signals to create two of the same signals and these signals can cause interference with other signals to easily produce the sequence of frequencies in the signal that was picked up by SPAGETI. Additionally, the universe is so vast, and there is so much gravity and radio frequencies out there that practically anything could have been done to the signal as it was travelling for billions of years. So, this is most likely a common occurence that happens all over the universe, and it just so happened that we were in the path of one of these signal.

And didn't you say that the end product -- your so called intelligent creature -- had some viruses and errors within it? Well, that is obviously the result of the aforementioned processes of random signal accumulation and error due to interference and gravitational effects. Therefore, it is obvious that the whole process was completely unguided and the result of random natural processes. See, all that is needed is a healthy dose of imagination.

In fact, the scientific community was able to link most of the researchers to organizations that were explicitly religious. Furthermore, some of the scientists were interested in UFOlogy. It was obvious that as a collective whole the SPAGETI researchers were a group of ignorant fundamenalists with a deep desire to create the idea of aliens so that they could prove UFOlogy, have some foreign entity to worship, and discover an advanced race that would be able to take over our government and install an Alienocracy. Even more damning was the direct correlation between the organizations name, SPAGETI, and the religion of the FSM.


Anonymous said...

I am left with the impression, by the last line of Reality Cheque that the writer is trying to insinuate that FSM somehow influenced these scientists actions as opposed to simply being something they all enjoyed giggling about in their spare time. I don't suppose that if the whole SPAGETI team of scientists played basketball there would be any mention of it in that article.

CJYman said...

Well, of course my post was quite allegorical, and I thought it quite humerous to link the SPAGETI researchers with the FSM, as a legitimate religion.

Hopefully, upon reading the full post, one would realize that a belief in the FSM had no real relation to the actual scientific research. Therefore, the connection of the scientists to the FSM or UFOlogy becomes completely irrelevant and superfluous to the actual events (signals) uncovered and scientific research performed by the SPAGETI team of researchers. I'm sure the connection to our reality is quite obvious.

Anonymous said...

Holy Ravioli, that yarn was brilliant!