If I could force you to read a philosophy book, it would be Beyond Good and Evil. Yes, Nietzsche was that influential. Yes, parts of this book suck. Maxims and Interludes and Peoples and Fatherlands are the worst chapters in the book. We all hate them. We all skip them when we read it. Even college professors do. It’s ok. The rest of the book is still so good that, in my mind, if you haven’t read this book, you don’t know shit about shit.
(If I could force you to read The Archaeology of Knowledge, I would, but it’s too hard a book to expect people to read. I feel like if you haven’t read The Archaeology of Knowledge, then we can’t converse. And I don’t know anyone else who’s read it. So I feel I can’t converse with anyone.)
If I could force you to read one book—just one in all the world—it would be The Little Prince. It’s more important than the Bible (in the context of this list). If you disagree with that last statement you are insane—get yourself to a mental hospital tonight. If you had to show one film to aliens to make them understand our culture, you would show them Pulp Fiction. If they preferred to read, you would give them The Little Prince.
If I had to pick one novel to force you to read, it would be The Secret History. It’s not as good as some of the classics, but fuck the classics. This is the best novel of the current age. Hear me? This doesn’t mean it’s my favorite novel, it just means I think if you had to read one novel to understand what a novel is now, it would be this one.
If I had to pick one art book, I would force you to look at H. R. Giger’s Necronomicon II. Fields of cocks and cunts dripping, fucking, covered in warts. Almost-abstract cityscapes. If you don’t get Giger, then you honestly don’t belong on planet Earth. Move to a different planet.
My favorite artists are Basquiat, Twombly, Botticelli—but I would never force you to look at them. This isn’t a list about my favorites. It’s a list about contemporary cultural necessities.
The only other visual art I would force you to look at is M. C. Escher.
One general science book
For a long time I would have said Silent Spring for a science book but Silent Spring is old news. Everybody knows that we fucked up the planet so it doesn’t have the punch it used to. Guess I gotta be hypocritical and go with Gleick’s Chaos. Like with Silent Spring, the science here is old news—five year olds understand it intrinsically. But as a story of scientific discovery, this is one of the most exciting books ever written.
I am well aware for a science book the largest majority of you would have picked Gödel, Escher, Bach. Consider your complaints noted without comment.
Semi-technical books (accessible to anyone)
For a semi-technical book, I would force each and every one of you to read A New Kind of Science (main text, not the endnotes). I’m sorry, but if you haven’t read this book, you are clueless in like a thousand ways.
For another semi-technical book, Applied Cryptography (the concepts sections, not the detailed algorithm sections). It’s embarrassing that almost no one knows what digital cash is, or a cryptographic digital signature. Embarrassing. The general concepts in this book should be known by a fifth grader. No hyperbole: if you don’t know what a digital signature is, you should be ashamed to live.
It would go against the concept of this list to pick one biography.
One children’s book
Children’s books are the most important to read. Where the Wild Things Are is the king of these. If you can’t get lost in this book, I am sorry to tell you that a piece of you is missing. And I don’t consider The Little Prince a children’s book.
I could recommend a million books—and I’d love to—but this list isn’t about recommendations. These are the nine books that I wish I could force you to read so that you would have the bare minimal framework upon which we could have a semblance of a conversation. Absent that, it is my distinct opinion that you and I reside in disconnected worlds.
Dark City by Alex Proyas resembles its great silent predecessor Metropolis in asking what it is that makes us human, and why it cannot be changed by decree. Both films are about false worlds created to fabricate ideal societies, and in both the machinery of the rulers is destroyed by the hearts of the ruled. Both are parables in which a dangerous weapon attacks the order of things: a free human who can see what really is, and question it. Dark City contains a threat more terrible than any of the horrors in Metropolis, because the rulers of the city can control the memories of its citizens; if we are the sum of all that has happened to us, then what are we when nothing has happened to us?
The Mandela Effect
Those experiencing the Mandela Effect remember, en masse, histories that don’t match up with the documented history of this world. The Effect is named due to vastly differing memories of the circumstances of Nelson Mandela’s death. There are hundreds of examples of these types of memories, shared identically by large numbers of people, which disagree with what others here remember. So the memories of the people experiencing this Effect match up with each other (in the crucial cases) but not with others making up the population.
Examples of the Effect
Company logos, product names, lines from movies, Bible verses I’m excluding these from my discussion here not because I think they’re all explainable, but because a) a tiny fraction of them are explainable, b) they’re generally the most contestable, and c) they’re generally the least significant of the Mandela Effects (in my eyes). Let’s skip ahead to the least explainable and most thorny anomalies.
The Berenst#in Bears People experiencing the Effect distinctly remember (with stories and reasons why they remember) the spelling of these books was “Berenstein Bears.” But in this reality, the name of the books and the last name of the creators, which the Bears’ name is based on, has always been spelled with an a:
C3PO’s leg Those experiencing the Effect recall C3PO being all gold. In this reality, some representations of C3PO have a silver calf portion of his right leg. But some do not. People are calling this sort of thing residue—the implication being that this reality (that we’re in) does not reign in totality over that of the ones experiencing the Effect..there is residue for some of these Effects that suggest validity for the reality of those experiencing the Effect..that theirs is also a true reality. (They can both be true.)
Carmen Sandiego’s trench coat Those experiencing the Effect recall Carmen wore a yellow trench coat. Now she’s all red.
Missing land mass west of Australia Those experiencing the Effect recall a large land mass west of Australia. It appears residually in a couple places. One of them is in the movie Dazed and Confused:
But now it’s not there. This is a Google Maps image from 2016/07/18 at 11:12am CDT:
It’s not on any world maps I have seen in Google images. I haven’t checked paper maps or physical globes for this one.
The distance between Italy and Sicily Those experiencing the Effect remember a greater distance between Italy and Sicily. In this world, there is hardly any distance.
Human torso anatomy Those experiencing the Effect had less substantial clavicles, a much shorter sternum, a ribcage that was not beehive shaped, larger lungs, and livers that were much smaller than their stomachs (not larger than their stomachs). Their hearts were smaller and were on the left side of their chests. Now the torso looks like this:
JFK assassination Those experiencing the Effect recall that the Presidential limo had four seats and four occupants while those from this reality recall that it had six. The Zapruder film in this reality shows the assassination taking place in a limo with six seats and six occupants. However, the duplicate of the Presidential limo that was an exact copy of Kennedy’s assassination car, which was placed in a museum, has four seats in this reality—hence some residue of the reality remembered by those experiencing the Effect.
The Zapruder film that exists in this reality, upon one or two viewings, strongly suggests that Jacqueline Kennedy assassinated her husband. Yes, you read that right. Many people who watch the film see this as obvious now, which is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that the Effect is real. If this was the film the Effecters were seeing all along, then why didn’t this theory surface until 2016? It wouldn’t surface in their reality because they were watching a different Zapruder film before they (came?) to this reality. It wouldn’t surface in this reality because people were prejudiced not to see this theory by blindness due to their belief in other theories..a blindness which was only lifted by the suggestions of Effecters once they arrived in this reality and saw this film with fresh eyes. That’s just my theory.
Time travel—No. Probably there is time travel going on at the same time as all of this, but if someone had gone back in time and changed these details, then we would all remember the same thing.
Mass false memories—doesn’t seem likely to me that there would be so many cases where large populations would misremember things the exact same way.
Mass mind control operation or test—If this was a mind control test, it seems sensible that the executor would choose something insignificant to change just to make sure the technology worked. This is not what we see. We see mass numbers of mostly insignificant changes. That is not conducive to an efficient and sensible test of mind control. It also doesn’t seem conducive to a mind control operation: changing a bunch of mostly insignificant details in a bunch of people’s memories? I mean, did someone actually sit down and compile this list of changes..every car logo, cereal box, food label, celebrity name spelling and geographic change to make? What would be the purpose of such an operation? Mind control operation seems unlikely to me.
PSYOP to make people think they’re crazy—Well, it doesn’t make people think they’re crazy, so if this is what it is, it’s a failure. People are generally unnerved initially, then curious, entertained, fascinated, mind-boggled, and sometimes scared. The more information you have, the less you entertain the idea that this is something affecting only you—hence it doesn’t make you feel crazy. And in my experience, the more information you have, the less scary it seems. To some of us, it even seems like an extremely good sign.
Normal feature of the universe—Whatever this is, it’s a normal feature of the universe, and it’s been going on since the beginning of time and we just began to notice it. These sorts of changes have been noticed for decades, but when people analyze search traffic on certain search terms and website domains, there are spikes in the last few years (starting in 2013)—this suggests that even if this has been happening for a long time, that some increased activity of this sort has happened in the last few years and months. If a normal feature of the universe, it’s getting some help as of late.
CERN has opened a portal between Tesla’s first and second dimensions and information was passed between those two dimensions or the dimensions were merged—I know of no way to prove or disprove this, but it seems suspiciously likely. CERN’s “Happy” video contains two thinly veiled references to Nelson Mandela, after whom—as you will recall—this whole Effect is named—and that’s not likely a coincidence. It comes off like they’re a) responsible, and b) rubbing the whole thing in our faces.
Some of our souls have been moved from the first Tesla dimension to the second—Believe me, if someone had bet me a month ago I was going to write that sentence in any context, especially a [public] blog post, I would have bet heavily against them. Why? This theory (I think?) implies that some godlike power individually moved just some of our “souls” from our bodies in the first dimension to (new? different?) bodies in the second dimension? I didn’t even believe in a classical, literal soul until I started considering this theory, btw. And yet, I have a hard time escaping how this theory couldn’t be part of the truth here. But why would someone do this? Perhaps we died and this is what happens when you die. Perhaps there was a catastrophe on Earth like nuclear holocaust or the creation using one of the Earth’s atom smashers of a supermassive black hole..maybe the first dimension was destroyed. Questions: If this happened, then what is a soul? Is mental illness a problem of the spirit/soul rather than the brain/body? I appear to be in a body whose clavicles and sternum and xiphoid process fit the body model which to me is native to the new dimension—and I’ve noticed the clavicle thing for a while, I just didn’t have any reason to further question the new shape until I became aware of the Mandela Effect. But I still have a (brain-based?) motion disorder (tardive dyskinesia)..so..is this a new brain with my disorder implanted into it? Does the disorder even really exist in my physical body? I have a seeming contradiction here: in a new body (certain differences from the old body seem certain)? And..displaying most of the characteristics of the old body (seems certain)?
Don’t worry (yet)—Even if we’re at the mercy of CERN tunneling into further Tesla dimensions (which contain demonic beings) or all being placed head-to-head with weaponized dark matter, let’s not worry—yet. Nothing about this current situation seems to me to pose an immediate problem. Fear is what gets us into most of our trouble. There is no enemy apparent here. No need to worry. No need to fight. No need to defend. And no need to fear. Let’s just all enjoy this.
Let’s work together—It doesn’t help to question someone’s reality, whether they are experiencing the Effect or not. Since there are so many people in each camp and each camp has a fairly consistent pool of memories, this isn’t an issue of one side being right or of a mass delusion. Something got merged on us, but we’re all in the same reality now, with the same official history (which contains residue from the Effecters’ history). We don’t know why this happened—if there even is a why. But we would be wise to work together cooperatively when discussing the Effect. There may be some great advantage to humanity which has been placed in our laps by this Effect. We may be in a better place, strategically, than we were before. We may be able to affect positive change for our species and our planet and our world because of this, in ways we couldn’t before. We’re all on the same side—so let’s work together.
These are ages of how we determine what is true. The age of religion has passed. The age of science, which came after, has passed. We are firmly in the age of news. It abounds, now, that people argue not as we did in the age of science, based on commonly-held research (“facts”). We live in a post-fact age, a post-science age. It doesn’t matter to people anymore, whether what they’re saying is scientifically true, or true based on commonly-held information. What matters is that someone said it—what makes it true is that a ton of people said it. In the age of religion, those who spoke for god, determined the truth. In the age of science, commonly-held, repeatable, fact-oriented information determined the truth. In the age of news, exposure determines the truth, channels determine the truth. Truth, now, comes about as a result of people following channels. Gone are the days when, in order for a trusted person to continue being trusted, that person had to make sense, logically, scientifically, factually. This is an age in which it is enough, to convince the vast majority of our population, just to keep a straight face and, with a confident-sounding voice, keep repeating the same lies over and over.