Quantum Mechanics as an approximation of some deterministic discrete theory: towards the Great Unifi… hidden variables

Michio Kaku in the prison of calculus

You probably remember Einstein’s famous saying: ‘God doesn’t play dice’. Yes, he probably does not if QM is an approximation of some (semi) discrete theory. Just imagine that. There are no such problems as wave-particle duality or wave function collapse anymore, Schrodinger’s cat is definitely dead (unfortunately, cats die) and there is a very simple explanation how energy can take the form of matter (‘mass’ is a quite vague definition). However, the world becomes a very strange timeless semi-deterministic place we already saw before. There is a hope for the freedom of will as an emergent phenomenon though. Can’t imagine? Read more.

Ridley Scott's Exodus: what a real miracle really looks like?

Ridley Scott shows a miracle to Sigourney Weaver

Hey, that’s Ridley Scott’s movie. Do you really find it dull or hollow? There should be something more than sandy cityscapes and spectacular battle scenes. Surprisingly, there is, but it takes time to see this, so there are high chances that you may ban the movie in your heart or country before you accept it. Its reception definitely correlates with the amount of flexibility in one’s psyche. Yes, Scott tries to rationalize the Bible. But why he does this? Is this a straightforward rationalization, which dissolves miracles into the chains of facts without any alternative – the something shown, for example, in Hercules? The answer is “No” if you believe in miracles. Miracles may still be miracles, and this reminds us what a real miracle should look like. [spoilers]

To the discussion on Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem: to drown in post-materialism or the infinite regress to authority

The Zero Theorem is probably the least surrealistic, the most relevant and timely Gilliam’s picture. It delicately conveys the current state of affairs related to the influence of the modern information technology on our lives. Has our society reached Orwellian dystopia in a some twisted way, so the movie does not look like a fancy hyperbole but resembles a satirical sketch on the surrounding reality? There are no definite answers, though. All what we can see is a solid framework of ideas which is widely open to interpretations, although it can lead us to interesting consequences if we look at its origins.

Hard to be a God: maybe that's why God is silent or the muddy way of social progress

You may have watched the "Bruce Almighty" and enjoyed by it. But to fully understand this film you probably need to be a Russian who has read Strugatsky's book of the same name. And you probably should be familiar with the works of such prominent Russian masters as Andrey Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa and Alexey Gherman to fully accept it. If you are troubled with the question why this black-and-white neurotic carnival of filth, mud and blood may be considered as a gem of the world cinematography, the following explanation may shit shed some light on this.

Kill la Kill: cybernetics for kids or how the layers of a viable social system are interconnected through the limbic systems of their participants

Although KlK is still ongoing as of January 2014, its central theme is utterly interesting, and the already disclosed picture allows to discuss it in great detail. In this show the girl named Satsuki Kiryuin manages to build a viable and successful social system on the base of her school, but the system has strictly autocratic nature. Ryuko Matoi is Satsuki's rival backed by a secret rebel organization, she tries to ruin this system in retaliation for the murder of her father by a minion of the Kiryuin family.
Below we will look at the formal structure of power from the cybernetic point of view, understand why democracy is a form of soft autocracy, how the liberal values without the rule of law may lead to caste society, and how the liberal values enrooted by the system without any thoughts about civil responsibility may hinder the process of the creation of civil society.

The term "viable system", a system which is able to survive in a constantly and unpredictably changing environment, is coined by Stafford Beer, a prominent cybernetic theorist who developed the viable system model for economical applications as a model of a firm at 1960-70s. At the present time the cybernetics is decayed and specialized over the multiple disciplines including the control theory, the elements of AI such as expert systems, cognitive systems and so on, although Beer's works are deeply fundamental and are still actual.
The limbic system is a part of human brain which is responsible for basic instincts and emotions such as fear, pain, pleasure or reward. In Beer's theory, a system should utilize the equivalent of the limbic systems of its subsystems to avoid the "manual control" in the fields in which only the subsystems have a specialization.

Certain points of view presented below may be shocking or unacceptable for some readers, although this particular text does not intentionally contain any hidden subtexts.

Avalon: illusions of the higher order

You might say that Avalon is about addiction to MMO games which forces people to get lost in virtual reality because they are dissatisfied with their lives, and there is no principal difference between the perception of reality and illusion. But author's name (Mamoru Oshii) tells us that the movie should be a little bit deeper, and it indeed is. The guide to its depths is the legend of Avalon, a mysterious island where king Arthur had found his final resting place. It leads us through the chain of illusions which goes beyond the virtual reality and touches themes of some fatal flaws of certain social orders along with the place of art in them. But let's look at the virtual reality first.

Ghost in the Shell: only diversity wins in the game of evolution

The new GitS OVA (Arise) and the adventures of Edward Snowden is a good opportunity to dip the probe into holy cow of the cyberpunk genre: the "Ghost in the Shell" franchise. The franchise includes the following most notable works:
  1. [1] Angel's Egg by Mamoru Oshii (1985)
  2. [2] The original manga by Masamune Shirow (1989)
  3. [1] The original movie by Mamoru Oshii (1995)
  4. [3] The Standalone Complex TV by Kenji Kamiyama (2002)
  5. [3] The Standalone Complex TV 2nd GIG by Kenji Kamiyama (2004)
  6. [1] GitS Innocence movie by Mamoru Oshii (2004)
  7. [3] GitS SAC: Solid State Society movie by Kenji Kamiyama (2006)
  8. [1] GitS 2.0 (renewal of the original movie) by Mamoru Oshii (2008)
  9. [3] Arise OVA by Kazuchika Kise (2013)
The number in square braces is the "lineage". Although the lineages incorporate common setting and characters, they are diverse by offering totally different stories, so each lineage is a totally different work disconnected from the others. You may wonder, why I've included the "Angel's Egg" movie into the franchise, but it may be clear from the feathers at the image above. Basically, the both Oshii's GitS movies being taken together is "Ange's Egg" staged in the world of GitS, the other lineages are not connected to Angel's Egg in any way. Since the lineage #3 is made by the authors (including Dai Sato) who tend to use the straightforward filming language, there is almost nothing to discuss because everything is clear. Below I'll try to discuss mostly only Oshii's works, because Oshii prefers a complex figurative manner of expression. A lot of spoilers, of course. If you are not familiar with GitS, it's better to follow the lineage order.

Aku no Hana: to make a right choice

If not so annoying main character, this probably would be not bad show in the terms of screenplay. And it even would be possible to enjoy it despite of, hmm, roto peculiar graphics. But it's a mystery, was the excessive doubtfulness of the main character director's choice, or it's an inherent part of actor's personality. May be all this was needed to add a sense of cold "hyperrealism" into the cozy upcountry atmosphere to make it look boring and annoying? It seems, that this "hyperrealism" shown up in the characters' characters and the ways how they estimate each other is the thing which makes this controversial show interesting.

The Last of Us: to make a right choice

The hardest puzzle in this beautiful and touching story is the words Joel said Ellie at the very end. There are at least two ways to treat them: this may be the truth or this may be a lie. But this may be the truth and a lie at the same time. Let's see, how this can be. [spoilers]

Psycho Pass & Shinsekai Yori: a just social order is possible. Somewhere at Lothlorien. Probably.

It's hard to reason about the social justice, and it's even harder to put it into practice. The general formula is that someone's freedom should be limited to achieve some kind of equality or order. Probably, a story about an absolutely fair society would be boring, and no one would author such stories, even if a way to build a utopian society would be known. Undoubtedly, the authors of the both stories discussed below tried to show us what a society may appear from particular limitations of freedom, and in the both cases the result is hardly fair. Let's try to sort out the details [spoiler warning].

A Short Vision of the Sky Crawlers

Like most of the other works of Mamoru Oshii the Sky Crawlers give you a feeling of dissonance at first, and you're wondering what these guys are doing, why they are doing this, and what the hell they are talking about. But the more times you watch it, the more beautiful it gets, and finally you understand why that girl moves her face so strange or why this guy smiles so bittersweet. "Every day could be your last. Live life like there's no tomorrow.", says the slogan. One of the last moments of the movie raises a question, though, whether or not you should do so. Below is the answer I've got [spoiler warning].

The world as a cellular automaton or a simple definiton of consciousness

The question about what the consciousness is is probably as old as time, and the time itself somehow should be related to this phenomenon. Among the others, the religious tradition of Zen Buddhism contains probably the most profound insights on this account claiming that the consciousness is a some fundamental process of nature, but it does not answer the question itself. On the other hand, Roger Penrose offers the hypothesis that the consciousness may be a result of some non-computational physical processes in the depth of our neurons, because brain is somehow able to solve problems which are proven to be not solvable algorithmically (e.g. the halting problem). But actually, it may be a very simple process which differs from understanding and reasoning, and it closely related to the question about how our universe is constructed and what the time is. Let's see how Zen teaching combined with some scientific views of the universe may give an answer to this question and produce an interesting picture of the world.

The Analysis of Prometheus: between religious and science fiction

The actual meaning of Prometheus is not obvious, and after I had watched it, I thought that it's a yet another dull parody to Aliens. I tried to answer some open questions, though, and found that the movie contains signs of the same obfuscation technique that was applied to Neon Genesis Evangelion, it implies intricate underlying plot and many diverse possibilities of interpretation. It seems, that this is actually the case, because after several unsuccessful attempts in the religious and Alien franchise contexts I was able to find a moderate interpretation which concerns with technology, immortality and sacrifice.

The Construction of Puella Magi Madoka Magica

It's believed, that Madoka is a deconstruction of mahou-shoujo genre, in the same way as NGE is a deconstruction of mecha/shounen genre. There are no doubts that NGE is actually a deconstruction, but it's unclear is Madoka a deconstruction too, is it brings or discloses something new, or the device of deconstruction was used just to get an original meaningless work? To verify this, we need to make out what deconstruction and mahou-shoujo is, and what Madoka is about.

The Analysis of Evangelion: a conscious approach [v1.10]

Metaphysical biology is not a joke.
- Kozo Fuyutsuki

At the first glance Neon Genesis Evangelion is a story about strange things that fight other strange things, and it doesn't make any sense at all. The second approach reveals that it's not so simple as it appears to be. But the truth is that there is a consistent, profound and beautiful story hidden beneath and scattered over the whole series. It could not be revealed easily because of extreme fragmentation and powerful emotional induction which blows your head off (although, the comprehension of the whole story may ignite a supernova in your heart). The only way to see the whole story is to watch NGE more than once (and probably more than twice or even more) connecting scattered facts with the ones you already have in your memory. But even in this case it's very hard to see all because there are a couple of places which are very hard to understand by using the straightforward logic. Only the understanding of what exactly makes it's so hard to comprehend the story will help to discover all the truth, and I will try to show this below. Note that you might not want to read this if you don’t want to lose the mystery of Evangelion which actually makes it such an outstanding work.

I'll also try to interpret and reconstruct the core story (which actually is not only just a story but a world by itself) in this essay, specifying an information source (a character) and the episode number if possible. Why another interpretation? Simply because I haven't yet encountered an interpretation that completely resembles my own. It should not be treated as precise and it's also not all-embracing, but on the large scale this is probably the most precise interpretation ever made. It's focused on the discovery of the character motivations and the psychological value author has hidden between the lines, which are the topics I'm personally interested in.