Living in the Matrix, or something like it

An online article caught my eye today. The title, “Is Our Universe a Fake?” was intriguing all on its own, but it dealt with a topic that was right up my alley; Science Fiction.earth

Robert Lawrence Kuhn is creator, writer and host of “Closer to Truth,” a public television and multimedia program that features the world’s leading thinkers exploring humanity’s deepest questions.

Kuhn asks readers to think about the possibility that our world might be a simulation by another, more advanced, planet, and that our existence could be nothing more than a history lesson or a computer game.

Philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University,  said it’s like the movie “The Matrix,” except that “instead of having brains in vats that are fed by sensory inputs from a simulator, the brains themselves would also be part of the simulation. It would be one big computer program simulating everything, including human brains down to neurons and synapses.”

The article goes on to suggest that if this was the case, that our world is being simulated, we could actually learn the answer to the ultimate question (what’s life all about?) because of possible miscalculations from the programmer. Those “freaks of nature” could actually be slip-ups by the gamers.

It’s a subject that won’t sit well with some people, who may not have an open mind, but it’s  a subject I have been exploring for quite some time.

Could life really be just a game, where learning life lessons enables us to level up? Or maybe, as one scientist puts it, we could be a science project for a junior high student from another world.

No one really knows why we are here and what happens after we die. No one has ever seen God. And if there is a God, no one knows what He or She looks like, or what God’s intentions are for us. With that being said, how can anyone be 100 percent sure the scientists are wrong?

Right now, all we have is hope and faith to help us deal with life and accept what we know; we are born, we live, we die. Everything else is really anyone’s guess.

Three things I learned today

Ever have one of those days when you want to write but can’t really think of anything exciting to write about? It’s Monday and I’m nearing the end of my 13-hours day, and I want to write something. But what?Monday

My work is done and I have 30 minutes to kill.

This is what I learned today:

  1. If people don’t want to be bothered, they will avoid eye contact with you. My boss, Jennifer, thought it would be a great day to set up a table and try to sell the discount cards that is this year’s fundraiser for the district; 10 bucks for an assortment of discounts to businesses, not only in the Czech Village/New Bohemia neighborhoods, but businesses outside the district, as well.  All the proceeds go back into the district in the form of revitalization. It’s a win-win situation, right? While some people were interested in what we were doing, others did their best to avoid us all together, afraid to even enter into a conversation with us, for fear they will get hooked into buying something they didn’t want. What happened to a simple, “Thanks, but no thanks”? Their reactions started a conversation between Jennifer, who is 30, and myself, 52 and young at heart, about the differences between the generations regarding socializing. Besides the awkward social graces experienced by people her age and younger, she admitted that she entered into a world where she didn’t have to sit through commercials or wait very long for something to cook like her parents. I already knew there are quite a few differences, but it was interesting coming from her. She didn’t offer a solution. It was just an observation, but semi-entertaining regardless.
  2. I learned that the average human can consume 400 mg of caffeine and still be okay. I got this information from an article (Businessinsider.com) that explains the effects of caffeine on the human body. It was interesting, but caffeine consumption has its pros and cons, just like anything else. I’ll take my chances. Besides, I was told by a reputable source that I should drink a cup of coffee before I sit down to work so I can focus better. Know what? It works.
  3. The Stock Market. Scary, isn’t it? This is nothing new to me. I don’t play the market, but my boyfriend does. He told me a long time ago this was going to happen. Last year I commented on the low price of gas and he said it was because the economy was doing “too good.” It was a good indication that the market would eventually have to correct itself, which is what it did. And maybe it’s not quite done. But the way it was explained, for those who have been investing wisely, they should have no problem making it up before they hit retirement age.

Twelve minutes to go. Not bad for a Monday.

Wedding Day

I did it. I survived my son’s wedding. It was touch and go a few days before, but my sanity was kept intact … for the most  part.

Aug. 15, 2015

Aug. 15, 2015

Their story began a year ago in June. They met online and after only two months, Sean asked Ashley to marry him. She said yes, and though I had my doubts they would actually go through with it, I stood in front of guests at the reception and told them I truly believed the two are meant for each other.

Those who know Sean, nodded and smiled. They know his story. Those on the outside may not understand how far this young man has come, but on Aug. 15, I realized my little boy had grown up.

He asked me to dance to the song, “I Hope You Dance,” by Lee Ann Womack, and my first thought was, “Sean can dance?” But he proved he could, and very well.

As we twirled around the dance floor I told him I was proud of him, but I wonder if he even understood how much.

Sean was 6 years old when he was diagnosed with ADHD, along with a list of disorders, which would prevent him from learning the traditional way. In fact, he still has problems today, which has hindered his ability to keep a job for very long.

He has struggled his whole life socially and emotionally, and people don’t always understand where he’s coming from. Carrying a conversation with him is sometimes difficult because his brain is constantly working overtime. He switches from one subject to the next without even taking a breath.

But Saturday, I saw that none of that matters to Ashley, who accepts Sean just as he is. She knows he has limits but loves him anyway. That’s true love.

Two weeks before the wedding, he asked me to help him write his vows:

Me: So what do you want to say to her?

Sean: I love her.

Me: Okay, but what else?

Sean: I’ll be there for her.

Me: Do you know what a marriage means, Sean? (I wanted to make sure he knew.) Because it’s more than just loving someone.

Sean: Yes, it means helping her up when she falls, and being there for her. Being her best friend. It means being nice, and caring, even when I’m mad at her. It means taking care of her and wiping her tears when she’s sad…

Me: It means you’re committed to her.

Sean: I thought I said that.

I smiled to myself. Yep. He did say that, in so many words. After talking with him a little bit more, this is what I came up with:

Ashley,

I never thought I would ever meet someone as wonderful as you. You have taught me so much about love and what it means to be in a loving relationship. You accept me for who I am and I am so thankful you said “Yes” when I asked you to be my wife.

I know I’m not perfect and I make mistakes, but I promise that I will do my best to take care of you and give you the life you deserve.

I promise to help you up when you fall, be the shoulder to cry on, and be your best friend in every sense of the word. I promise to love you through good times and bad. And when we disagree, I promise to respect you and to listen to what you have to say, even if it’s sometimes difficult to hear.

Every day I find another reason to fall in love with you. You have made me so happy, and I am going to spend the rest of my life making sure you’re happy, too.

I love you, Ashley, always and forever.

I wasn’t sure how we would be able to make everything come together for the wedding day, but it did, perfectly. It was hotter than blazes, the cake melted, and I forgot the centerpieces, but the Noelridge Gardens backdrop was gorgeous and everyone had the time of their lives.

A great day, to say the least.

“Sometimes in the middle of an ordinary life, love hands you a fairytale.”

It is a laughing matter

Facebook has reported that a study was conducted in May that shows the acronym LOL (laugh out loud) has gone the wayside, and using “haha” or even “hehe” along with emojis (the little faces that show what emotion you might be feeling at that moment) is much more popular, and according to one source, “way cooler.”graphics-lol-358887

I’m sorry, but I don’t really care if my statuses on Facebook are politically correct (unless it’s about politics), and I will continue to use LOL whenever I feel like it.

Will I be banished because I prefer the LOL over hehe or haha (which I use sometimes anyway, when the mood strikes me.)  At least I don’t use the vulgar OMFG or LMFAO  (my mother would be horrified) like my own kids do. (Do they not know I know what they’re saying?)

Maybe this is just another pitiful attempt to control the masses. Maybe the techs at Facebook are bored with their monotonous lives and sit around trying to come up with creative challenges for each other.

“I bet you can’t make millions of people stop using LOL….”

“Betchya I can.” 🙂 (LOLOLOLOL)

 

 

Whose write, whose wrong?

Most of you are probably cringing at the title. I know I would be. I don’t point out writing errors in other people’s writing to be rude. I do it because it’s what I do for a living, and I’m also pretty sure I’m OCD.GrammarPolice

I’m not perfect. I’m terrible at editing my own content. I re-read the text over and over (See? OCD) until I can’t see straight. I rush over sentences and don’t see the typos or missing words until I come back to it an hour later. (I use spell check, but it doesn’t count words that are spelled correctly but misused.)

The title was all in fun, intended to make a point. Not so much about using words correctly, but because I want to know, who decides what’s right or wrong in grammar and punctuation?

I recently read an article about how some of the grammar rules we were told were wrong are actually correct. (Just last year I learned it’s okay to pronounce the “t” in often. I grew up thinking it “wasn’t proper.” When did they change the rules?) The rules in the article were familiar to me, but they weren’t what I would consider really important. But maybe they are to some.

And so, it brings me back to my previous question, who decides what’s acceptable?

It can be debated until the subject is exhausted, but I am going to go with what  I have always believed. Unless someone is paying you to write a certain way, who cares?

Writing is meant to be creative. When we clog our brains with too many rules, we become rigid in our writing and it shows. And besides, if everyone wrote the same way, with the same style, the stories would be dull and listless.  Give yourself the freedom to write the way you want to. (But don’t tell your editor I told you so.)

 

Blogging by accident

Happy 6th Anniversary to me!

Happy 6th Anniversary to me!

I was informed by WordPress yesterday that I have reached a milestone in my blogging history. I signed up for WordPress 6 years ago. But looking back, I didn’t write my first blog until almost a year later.

My memory is kind of foggy,  but I remember it’s because I didn’t know what to write. I looked at other blogs to get an idea, but my life, at that point, isn’t what I would consider exciting.

I started attending classes at Mount Mercy and my professor told us that blogging would be a requirement in one of his classes. He suggested we acquaint ourselves with popular blogging sites.

My first blog post  was a letter I wrote to my younger self. I got the idea from a book that was given to me. It was compiled of letters that women celebrities wrote to their younger selves.

Though I only wrote the one blog a week that was required by my professor, I continued to write even after the class ended because of something he said:

“Write every day, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. You can’t help but become a better writer.”

He was right. The more I wrote, the more comfortable I became and the easier it was. And somewhere in the middle of it all, writing became a part of me.

When I want to unwind from a busy day, I write. When I have a few minutes while waiting for the doctor, I write. I even “itch” to write, which could be considered either an obsession or a passion, depending on how you look at it.

I also read as much as I can. I believe it also makes me a better writer. I am inspired by my fellow bloggers, and their stories help me look at life from different perspectives.

It might have taken a little while for me to get used to the idea of blogging, but the desire to write was no accident. It’s something that has been inside of me all my life. And when I die, I will most likely be at my computer, typing out my last words.