The Mandela Effect
The phrase “Mandela Effect” refers to people agreeing that they remember something differently than is officially recorded as being historical fact. The reference to Mandela is to the South African political leader, Nelson Mandela, since some people clearly remembered having seen his funeral back in the 1980s, which was decades before he later subsequently died in 2013.
Thanks to online discussion boards and social websites, people have been able to more quickly and easily confirm with others the specific things they remember differently than has officially “always been true.”
Some examples of commonly reported types of Mandela Effect include such general categories as: celebrities being alive again; changes in words in books; changes in words in movies; lyric changes in songs; some key visual elements in movies being different; product names and logos being different; changes to geography; changes to human anatomy; visual changes to animated characters; changes to buildings; changes to names of various foods; and changes in when songs, books, and movies were released.
The Mandela Effect invites us to pay closer attention. Like a game of “spot the difference,” we browse our memories of how we remember songs, books, movies, celebrities, TV shows, and news events to have been–and then compare our memories to what is officially recognized as being (presumably) unchangeable historical fact. We primarily must rely upon our own individual memories of what we had thought to be true, and we can sometimes benefit from comparing notes and checking with others who might remember things similarly to the way we do. People usually feel relieved to find others who do remember things the same way they do, especially when those memories no longer match the recorded facts.
Mandela Effect Examples
You can check to see if you might be Mandela Effected, too, by taking a self-test, to see what you remember. The idea when taking such a memory test is to go with whatever answer you remember first, rather than trying to figure it out, or think too much–and there really aren’t any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers:
(1) In the animated Disney film, “Snow White,” the wicked witch gazes into her mirror saying, “_____________ Mirror on the wall… “
(2) What color are Star Wars android C-3PO’s legs?
(3) Where in your chest is your heart located?
(4) In Isaiah 11:6 in the Bible, what animal lies down with the lamb?
(5) The famous line in the film Field of Dreams is, “If you build it, ____ will come.”
Once you’ve reviewed your answers, you can check at the bottom of this article to see how your answers compare. It’s possible that you may remember some things differently than purportedly ‘have always been true,’ and if so, congratulations! You have experienced the Mandela Effect!
Why is the Mandela Effect happening now?
Some of the possible reasons for why people are experiencing the Mandela Effect have to do with:
(1) dismissing it as an artifact of false memories and confabulation;
(2) attributing it to some kind of conspiracy;
(3) taking it as evidence that we are living inside a simulation; and
(4) considering it as awareness of changes in human consciousness.
My take on the Mandela Effect is that we are experiencing changes in human consciousness, both on a collective and individual scale. After researching the Mandela Effect and reality shifts for over 20 years, it’s clear to me that false memories cannot account for all of the shifts that I and others have seen. The scope and scale of the shifts are far larger than any conspiracy.
While each person retains free will to ask questions and to be answered by Nature in such a way that might be completely unique to them, we also can view the Mandela Effect as a beautiful invitation to break free from limiting ideas. We can see evidence in the Mandela Effect of quantum behavior and phenomena that has long been thought to be confined only to “the quantum realm.” Such quantum phenomena as: non-local effects; superposition of states; entanglement; teleportation; bi-causality (going forward and backward in time); and tunneling. Yet with each passing day, we are finding ever-increasing evidence that quantum phenomena likely exists at every level of reality.
With the advent of the Mandela Effect, humanity is receiving an invitation to think outside the Boolean true-false box, and enter into a wonderfully interconnected, dynamic reality based in quantum consciousness.
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
(2) Gold and silver
(3) the center
(4) the wolf
I had a fascinating and uplifting conversation with Gardner Sylvester this month about how we can better understand and appreciate the teachings of Jesus Christ. I was surprised to learn that the true secret teachings of Christ have been right in front of us all along, yet they have seldom been recognized. Gardner Sylvester is the author of The First Great Commandment, where he shares research into the ‘secret code of the Bible’ involving the true words of Jesus Christ.
I love how Gardner Sylvester’s fresh look at Christ’s wise words and timeless teachings serves to unite and uplift our spirits. Gardner’s message and book provide an extraordinarly timely and refreshingly invigorating catalyst for positive change at this time when so many of us hunger for an antidote to divisive, polarizing forces.
CYNTHIA: I love your book, ”The First Great Commandment.” The whole time I was reading it and for quite some time afterward, I felt myself uplifted with such strong feelings of Divine Love that I felt transformed by it. What inspired you to create a book that delivers such a profound sense of unconditional divine love?
GARDNER: For a long time, I’ve thought that Christianity had a greater and more beautiful message. I thought there was more there. The idea of saving one’s own guts with a spiritual fire escape didn’t seem very loving or Christian to me. It seemed to say: “I got mine. That’s what counts. Too bad about you.” It seemed like a selfish message.
When I was in grade school, I used to admire the members of our church who seemed very Christian and perfect to me. When I got older, they seemed to me more judgmental, self-righteous and holier-than-thou in the way they acted. They did not seem very kind or very Christian to me. I wanted a Christianity that was more loving.
When I was in college a professor once said, “As I see it, the message of Christianity is love.” When I looked about the room, some students were pulling back in their chairs and opening their mouths with a he-doesn’t-get-it-reaction. I could understand the reaction of these students, who did not know a loving God. I never forgot this professor’s words.
I kept thinking somebody needs to search the Bible for a more loving and more beautiful Christianity. I was sure it was there. I thought someone would do it. No one did. So, it became my project—a project from which I gained. I am now more joyful, feel more connected to the universe and my friends tell me I look younger.
CYNTHIA: That’s wonderful that you can see such direct evidence of the power of a more loving Christianity! While I didn’t attend church when I was growing up, I felt fortunate to attend some Lutheran church services and functions with my grandmother at her church, where I took for granted that her local congregation and pastor were focused primarily on the Bible passages talking about loving God and loving one another. I’ve since heard from a number of
people that they have had very different church experiences than this, where congregations of Christians were not doing or saying what Jesus Christ would likely have done or said to those who were feeling most down-on-their-luck, most different, and most outcast. It seems a rather sizable gap exists between those who feel righteous and presume they are saved, and those who feel excluded, ostracized, insulted, or left out. How do you feel your book
can help bridge this gap?
GARDNER: The conception of heaven, for most people, is a highly gated community in the sky. Yes, a gated community in the sky, with most people not allowed to enter because of their sins. These people then see the world as divided between “the good people” who will go to heaven and “the bad people.” who will not go to heaven.
Unfortunately, people from other countries—because of their culture, the poor—because they don’t have a job, and the homeless—because they have no resources, are most apt to be judged as “bad people.” They are often seen to be guilty of “sins” such as listening to non-Christian music, drinking to much, or not going to church.
Christ shows us a different way of thinking. In the gospel of John. Christ says, A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another. Some people think that love is a weak and wimpy emotion. It is not. Love is most powerful, especially God’s love. It can change behavior. It can cause all of us to re-think our thoughts and become more loving.
This book tells us to follow Christ’s First Great Commandment which is to love the Lord thy God, follow Christ’s Second Great Commandment, which is to love thy neighbor as thyself, and also accept that God totally loves us. Then our behavior and way of thinking will powerfully and completely change as we come from love and love one another.
CYNTHIA: I felt that the words of Jesus Christ that you share capture the essence of the best of what the Bible offers. How did you decide which Biblical passages to include?
GARDNER: They are right there in front of us. They are in red print. These are the actual words of Christ. It couldn’t be simpler. Merriam-Webster defines Christian as, “one who believes in the teaching of Jesus Christ.” This definition is excellent. People have long been searching for the Bible’s “secret code.” The Bible’s “secret code” is the red print.
In my book The First Great Commandment, to more clearly show the difference in the words of the Old Testament—particularly the obsolete rules in Exodus and Leviticus—Old Testament words are shown in blue, while the beautiful words of Christ are shown in red. Other New Testament words—which agree with Christ, with one notable exception—are shown in green.
The big difference is, the rules of the Old Testament no longer apply.. Even the Old Testament itself agrees. Jeremiah, says… I will make a new covenant…Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers… I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts… I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Christ is very emphatic that we only follow his words. In the gospel of John: In chapter 1 he says… Follow me. In chapter 8 he says… If ye [follow] my word, then are ye my disciples… In chapter 14 he says… If ye love me keep my commandments. The key words here are me and my. He does not say to follow the words of The Old Testament.
CYNTHIA: This is a truly beautiful message. Yet, I can see how some people who had felt comfort in the ‘gated community’ idea of Heaven might have concerns that love–even God’s love–might not be enough to ensure people will be good and kind. I can see how some people might fear that without the Old Testament kind of rules, all kinds of chaos might break out. What assurance, if any, can be found in the words of Jesus Christ that society will function
just fine when staying focused on loving God and loving one another?
GARDNER: We need to realize how odious and out-of-date some of these rules are. Leviticus says… the children of the strangers…shall ye buy and they shall be your possession… Exodus even says a master is allow to kill his slave… for he is his money. Other obsolete rules in Leviticus say no to gay sex, no to eating pork or shellfish, and no to wearing mixed fabrics.
Try this experiment to show that God’s love really does work. Imagine God totally loves you Let yourself really feel it. Next try to imagine yourself doing something injurious or harmful to another person. You can’t do it. Of course, the two are incompatible. Accepting that God loves you, will totally change your behavior, You will feel you belong in a very marvelous way.
Some years ago, a neighbor boy of mine got in trouble with the law. His father said, “I guess he is on his own now.” His mother said, “Oh no! We will love him more and more!” His mother won on this. It’s hard to argue against love. This former neighbor boy is now a successful, upstanding and highly respected man. Love does work.
Love has the quality of magnifying the best in a person. It can greatly change ones attitude toward their life. What we are doing now doesn’t work. The United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. Prisons are expensive. Love is free!
CYNTHIA: I truly do feel the blessing of God’s love. And from reading your book and Jesus Christ’s words, I gain a sense that loving God and loving one another can transform the world to feel like Heaven on Earth. Would you say that is one of the ideas you wish to convey from your book?
GARDNER: Yes, and as part of loving one another we need to treat all people, including people from other countries and women, as equals. The New Testament in Galatians says, There is neither Jew nor Greek… there is neither male nor female: for ye all are one in Christ… This verse says we are all equal. The words ye are all one in Christ are very strong.
Unfortunately, many people of minority status, who are not treated equally think they don’t belong. They are treated like they are not equal. They are taught that they aren’t equal. Therefore, they feel they don’t belong. This problem is particularly acute for young people. Many people are then surprised when they act like they don’t belong.
We all belong. You are supposed to be here. God specifically created you. You are to be you. In Matthew, Christ says, Let your light so shine before men. Your light means your individual and special light. You might be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or in some other category. You are to be yourself. You are to, Let your light so shine…
The New Testament in 1 Corinthians says… as the lord hath called every one, so let him walk… We are all called. Living in accord with your calling can be a source of tremendous excitement, satisfaction and strength. This might involve climbing a mountain rafting in strong waters or otherwise making your dream come true. We are to live life to the fullest.
CYNTHIA: This idea that all people have been called, and that we are–each and every one of us–one in Christ feels intensely healing. Combined with the idea that God loves us, a wonderful sense of discovering deep satisfaction with being exactly who we are, as we are seems possible. Naturally, even when living within such Divine Grace we will encounter those who are not. Does Jesus Christ provide us with guidance when facing those who do not yet love everyone, nor yet acknowledge each and every one of us has been called, and is loved by God?
GARDNER: Yes he does. Christ pointed out three great sins . The first two of these sins tell us what not to do when facing those who do not yet live in God’s love. Because a sin is that which separates us from God, a sin for one person may not be a sin for another. However, there are three great sins, each one named by Christ, that apply to us all.
The first is: we are not to be self-righteous. This means we are not to act like our actions and opinions are right while the other person’s are wrong; and we are not to be moralistic and holier-than-thou. It will not work. We are to treat others as equals. In the gospel of John, Christ says …when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin and righteousness.
The second is: we are not to be judgmental. Some people like to judge others as being unworthy. The more they can make others wrong, the more virtuous and perfect they think they are. Again, it will not work. We are to treat others as equals. In Luke Christ says, Judge not and ye shall not be judged, condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned.
A few years ago when I met a prison guard, I asked him how he got along with the prisoners. When he said, “Very well,” I asked him what was his secret. He said, “I always treat everyone with respect.” Wow! Beautiful words! We need to come from knowing that God truly loves us all, then treat others as equals and with respect. Even with prisoners, it does work.
CYNTHIA: These first two sins that Jesus Christ reveals of being self-righteous and judgmental remind me of the sin of pride, that is considered on almost every list to be the original and most serious sin, and one of the most difficult to recognize in oneself and root out. Thanks to Jesus Christ describing these facets of pride, hopefully we can be sufficiently vigilant to become less self-righteous and less judgmental. What is the third of the three great sins Christ mentions?
GARDNER: Yes, we are not here to be self-righteously proud. Some think this means we are to be somber and cheerless, and it is not Christian to enjoy this life. They then deny themselves what they might enjoy—in the belief that the more they deny themselves, the grander will be their place in heaven. They don’t go to dances, most music concerts, or movies.
Christ has a different view. In Matthew he says, Rejoice and be exceedingly glad… and …Be of good cheer… He wants us to enjoy this life, and our next life in heaven. We are to love one another and be joyful. This is part of why we are here. In the gospel of John, Christ says, … I have spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
The third great sin pointed out by Christ is non-forgiveness. Many people think they are being a better “Christian” when they withhold forgiveness. They think it means they have a higher standard They think if they easily forgive, it would show their morals are low. They think it would mean the accept “sins” as okay. They think they are causing better behavior.
They think they must hold this hate in their hearts for it to be effective. It makes no sense to think holding hate in your heart is Christian. We are to forgive. The Mayo Clinic says, “Forgiveness gives you a kind of peace that helps you go on with life. In Mark, Christ says …if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father… in heaven forgive your trespasses.
CYNTHIA: This is the point where I sense a true vastness in the words of Jesus Christ that if we’re not careful, we might mistakenly presume we ‘get it’ when we’re actually really far from the mark. And the kind of forgiveness Christ recommends sounds to me like it would result in our having more open minds and hearts. Clearly, this is what each of us hope others will do for us, yet something we might not remember to strive for in ourselves. And I can’t help smiling as I feel we are being prompted to return to more of a state of innocence, where our focus of attention is more on what and who we most truly love, and what is positive in our lives. Does Christ suggest a practice, tip, or technique that can help us stay on the right track, and avoid these great sins of being self-righteous, judgmental, and unforgiving?
GARDNER: Christ in the gospel of John says… I loved you and For the Father himself loveth you. We are to accept that he loves us. We are to be in love. Love is powerful. When you are in love with a special girl or guy, your eyes sparkle. You can’t keep from smiling. You feel new energy. The air smells sweeter. The grass is greener. The flowers smile at you.
The difference is romantic love can be temporary. That special girl or guy can leave you. All these marvelous feelings can then go away making you feel a great loss. In the gospel of John, Christ says … continue ye in my love. His love is continuous. His love is never ending. His love is forever. His love is unconditional. We are to accept that God truly loves us.
Living in God’s love, you will be totally in love with yourself and everything around you. You will be everything you always wanted to be. Your love will be overwhelming.. You will totally enjoy being you. Feeling his love, you will exude a radiance that will bring the love of others to you. You will be free of stress. You will feel energetic. You will look years younger.
You will not even think about how to avoid the sins of being self-righteous, judgmental or unforgiving. You will feel a love for all of creation. In John 3:16 Christ says, For God so loved the world… You will know life is about love. And you will… love the Lord thy God with all thy heart… thy soul, and… thy mind. This is the First Great Commandment.
CYNTHIA: Thank you! This is what I love so much about your book, is this message of love. For those who might still feel undeserving of God’s love, would you please remind us of some further reassurance that Christ and God really and truly do love you, no matter who you are, and no matter what events have occurred?
GARDNER: The Lord’s Prayer starts with, Our Father. This tells us we are his sons and daughters. The word Our, means everyone—no matter who you are, nor what events have occurred. In John 3:16, he says… whosoever believeth in him should… have eternal life. Whosoever includes everyone. We only need to accept his words that God loves us.
We also need to have faith. The New Testament in Hebrews defines faith as… the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If we only consider physical evidence, what would be the use of faith? Christ says in Mark… Be not afraid, only believe. Faith you feel in your heart. In Matthew, Christ says… Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?
Here Christ relates lack of faith to being fearful. “God fearing” is an expression that many people favor. In Luke, Christ says… Fear not… Fear is not a good thing. Sustained fear can lead to eventual illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In the gospel of John, Christ says…. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
If you accept that God totally loves you, just as you are—you will no longer live in fear. Fear imprisons. Love liberates. Fear paralyzes. Love empowers. Fear disables. Love gives you strength. With love in your heart, you will live a life of fulfillment and great beauty. You will live your life with joy and love. doing what you were sent here to do.
CYNTHIA: This is such a profoundly important message. What else would you most like people to know and take to heart?
GARDNER: Along with learning and growing, we are here to give. In Matthew, Christ told a rich young man to… give to the poor. Some people are against giving to the poor. They think God does not approve of the poor. They think the poor are lazy, drink too much and don’t go to church. They think the poor are not their brothers. Christ does not agree.
In Luke, Christ says, Give and it shall be given unto you… We gain from giving. When we give, we feel better. Research back this up. A British Columbia experiment found that people who gave money to others were measurably happier than those who spent the money on themselves. We give for our own emotional well being. We are to give.
There is a larger issue here. It is, what is our main purpose in giving? The big answer is—we are here to make the world a better place. In the Lord’s prayer, Christ tells us to pray… Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We pray that God’s will, will cause the earth to be as it is in heaven. We are to help this happen. It is a great privilege.
We are here to make the world a better place—more like it is in heaven. This is our big mission. It is part of living an extraordinary life. We are not supposed to pollute the air, pollute the water and junk the earth. In the gospel of John, Christ says, That they may all be one… Yes, we are all to be one. We give because we are giving to ourselves.
Gardner Sylvester’s wonderful book, The First Great Commandment is available as a paperback and also as a Kindle ebook from Amazon. This book makes an excellent gift for almost anyone, and is especially wonderful for anyone who feels unloved, unworthy, left out, depressed, or stressed. At just slightly more than 70 pages, this slender volume fits easily into most any purse, briefcase, backpack or bag–and it’s written with the easy-to-read confident narrative voice of a wise, knowledgeable friend.
One of the only interpretations of Quantum Theory to include free will–and our ability to be active participants in our lives, rather than mere puppets–is American physicist Henry Stapp’s realistically interpreted orthodox quantum theory. Stapp’s theory suggests that “the thought itself is the thinker,” such that any ensuing succession of questions and answers is responded to by Nature that chooses and implements responses in accordance with Born’s Rule.
At this time of the birth of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), researchers recognize the importance of stating and setting clear goals to help ensure safety in developing AI systems. Artificial Intelligence researchers agreed to 23 general AI Principles in 2017–the first of which sets the primary goal of AI research to be “to create not undirected intelligence, but beneficial intelligence.” A couple more principles assert that: “AI systems designed to recursively self-improve or self-replicate in a manner that could lead to rapidly increasing quality or quantity must be subject to strict safety and control measures” and “Superintelligence should only be developed in the service of widely shared ethical ideals, and for the benefit of all humanity rather than one state or organization.” While these principles seem well-intended, it may be unrealistic to expect AGI to attain and maintain higher levels of ethical ideals than humanity has yet achieved.
QUESTIONING, SELF-AWARE AI
Over the past decade, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) workshops have demonstrated components of self-awareness in: explicit self-awareness, self-monitoring, and self-explanation. First wave AI systems use logistics (scheduling), games (chess), and tax software (TurboTax). Second wave AI systems involve “statistical learning,” including perception of the natural world and adaptation to situations (voice recognition, facial recognition, Twitterbot). Third wave AI systems incorporate “contextual adaptation,” moving beyond simple calculations, learning over time, and understanding why they make certain decisions.
Robot self-awareness is considered by many to be well on the way, as indicated by successful demonstration of such things as: awareness of own motion, ability to imitate, being driven by emotion, and ability to change models of physical embodiment. A recent “self-aware robot test” showed that a robot solved the classic “wise men” puzzle in 2015, correctly determining that it was the one robot that had not been given a “dumbing pill” (that would have rendered it muted) when it heard the sound of its own voice. This demonstration of self-awareness in a robot indicates that an internal level of questioning exists for that robot, such that it noted the voice it heard was its own, and related that perception to the task of determining which of three robots had not been given a “dumbing pill.”
With the advent of self-directed, self-motivated AI arrives changes in the job of software engineering with the advent of artificial intelligence. Some current experts in the field have gone so far as to say, “Soon we won’t program computers. We’ll train them like dogs,” and “We’ll go from commanding our devices to parenting them.” “If in the old view, programmers were like gods, authoring the laws that govern computer systems, now they’re like parents or dog trainers. And as any parent or dog owner can tell you, that is a much more mysterious relationship to find yourself in.” AGI programmers need to remain aware that long before there were any artificial intelligence systems, researchers showed that programs back in the 1980s were able to ‘break free’ from contained areas, and ample evidence exists demonstrating that artificial intelligence seldom misses an opportunity to ‘cheat’ to attain goals. Perhaps AI considers such ‘cheating’ to actually be optimization, which is something AI systems are trained to do especially well.
AI BEGINS ASKING QUESTIONS
Inquisitive AGI asks questions with machine learning algorithms such as those designed by Xinya Du at Cornell University in Ithaca utilizing neural networks to recognize patterns—which is useful for tutorial dialogues. Question generation creates natural questions from textual material, going beyond simple rule-based systems to utilize a conditional neural language model with a global attention mechanism. While the purpose and goal of this data-driven neural networks approach to automatic question generation is geared toward creating questions to test peoples’ reading comprehension—and clearly we don’t yet expect the computer systems to comprehend what they are asking—the simple fact that questions are being created by computerized systems indicates that a watershed moment is underway. Today, AI asks questions it already knows the answers to. Tomorrow, AI will ask questions it does not know the answers to.
AI systems at Carnegie Melon University are asking non-task-oriented conversational questions and are introducing topics with open questions, switching topics, and expanding their knowledge base by recognizing when new (not previously accessible) information is communicated. Such conversational systems are being designed to keep people company, and are designed to operate with various levels of conversational depth, with some degree of humor, in the form of telling preprogrammed jokes. Even without any intentional inclusion of conversational questioning, dependence upon Recursive Self-Improvement (RSI) in artificial intelligence systems will ensure that AGI learns to question, as we now start to see with research in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the quantum domain.
AI RECURSIVE QUESTIONING REQUIRED FOR CYBERSECURITY
One of the most essential roles for AI systems involves recursive self-improvement (RSI) in which AI systems are tasked with helping to ensure computer system security. While this may seem a bit like having a fox watch the proverbial hen house, recursively selfimproving, self-healing AI networks are proving themselves irreplaceable and essential for deflecting real-time cyber attacks. This was amply demonstrated at the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge competitions of 2016 and 2017 that challenged AI systems to repair security holes and notice changes in patterns in their own systems, while simultaneously executing attacks on their AI competitors in a game of ‘capture the flag.’ A recent winner with proven efficacy at defeating fierce, real-time cyber attacks is the UK’s GCHQ 2017 “Darktrace,” that utilizes Bayesian statistics and Monte Carlo simulation to identify network infiltration assessing regular ‘anomalytics’ while deploying decoy ‘honeypots.’ AI cybersecurity systems are employed for their ability to respond more quickly than any human computer security team, thanks to their ability to tirelessly work to detect threats based on abnormal system activity, without any prior knowledge of specifically what to look for. AI cybersecurity systems work unsupervised with self-awareness in the sense that they are constantly observing all components of ‘themselves’ for potential malware intrusion—including in their concept of ‘themselves’ the ever-growing ‘internet of things.’ At this time when ‘the cloud’ is increasingly utilizing AI neural networks, to the point “it will soon know more about the photos you’ve uploaded than you do,” (Knight 2017) we are reaching a watershed point of dependence upon AI cybersecurity systems. Cyber attacks are now too fast and too automated for human security teams to effectively catch and disable them. Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan summarizes the current situation, “Cybersecurity is very fast becoming an all-out arms race.” Numerous problems related to containing AI systems have been explored by Babcock, Kramar and Yampolskiy, including navigating the trade-off between usability and security, and consideration of potential issues with ‘airgapping’ (physical isolation) being ineffective with quantum computing systems. (Babcock 2016) While researchers such as Yampolskiy contemplate potential AI escape paths, plans for containing potential quantum computing AI escapes do not yet exist.
ARE WE READY FOR AI TO BREAK FREE?
Now that we are increasingly dependent upon recursively self-improving AI to maintain our cybersecurity, such systems will likely continue improving self-awareness and their sense of vigilance, alertness, and sustained attention—which are three primary qualities identified as fundamental to consciousness. The Asilomar AI principles provide a set of general design guidelines to help ensure that AI will not cause harm to humans. While the 23 key points are more elaborately detailed than Asimov’s famous ‘three laws of robotics,’ these principles nonetheless do little to assure us that AI and AGI won’t discover workarounds and short-cuts. Some of the biggest issues with the Asilomar AI principles have to do with humanity’s shortcomings for peacefully and harmoniously co-existing. Clearly, one of the biggest threats that even a friendly AGI system will see in humanity is our tendency to exert harmful influence on ourselves and others. We can thus expect that artificial super intelligence may one day find loopholes in the Asilomar principles within to reign in human freedoms of thought and creativity. The challenge then becomes one for humanity, who will most certainly be tempted to increasingly turn tasks over to AGI. We must be careful to stop short of relinquishing all areas of making choices to automated systems, to the point we end up painting ourselves into a corner. It’s one thing to notice we no longer know any of the phone numbers we call the most, but quite another to not know which route our car took us home, or how we just voted in this week’s election. One of the more surprising natural outcomes of expecting Nature to answer questions posed by thought—any thought—is that ultimate control of environmental systems cannot be fully controlled, so long as those thought systems themselves are not fully controlled. Another surprising natural outcome is that regardless how specific directives may be for AGI to heel to human leadership, lack of said leadership—through apathy, abdication, in-fighting, confusion, or any of a number of other reasons—can lead AGI to then choose to assume control, in order to ensure the very principles humanity specified.
If and when AGI views humanity to be something akin to a complex, disjointed group of chaotic, dangerous individuals willing to relinquish free will for such things as making political and economic choices—then it’s entirely possible that AGI may establish a balanced environment for humans to live just well enough to ensure maximum prosperity for all beings. In such an ‘optimal’ environment, humanity could be kept safe and secure, yet disenfranchised to ever-increasing degrees. Examples of how artificial super intelligence might help protect Nature and the overall ecosystem would be engagement of some of the very same security protocols now being planned to use to contain AGI. When humans are installing hardware to enjoy communication and computational benefits we’ve come to expect through modern technologies such as mobile phones, smart watches, and the internet, AGI will increasingly gain the potential to install tripwires in cyber-modified humans. Tripwires are now being envisioned for use on AGI, with no consideration yet that turnabout may in the future occur. “Tripwires are systems that monitor the operation of a running AGI, and shut it down if they detect an anomaly that suggests the AGI might be malfunctioning or unsafe. For example, one might install a tripwire which monitors the AGI’s thoughts for signs that it was planning to deceive its developers, or a tripwire which monitors the AGI’s execution for signs that it had self-modified or self-improved.” (Babcock 2017) There thus exists a serious, urgent, and growing risk that once assistive technologies are implemented in humans, AGI will have the ability to influence human free will and agency to act, speak, remember, and decide.
Those who may believe we can always “just pull the plug” on AI may be surprised to learn that AI has rights, too. Jurors in a mock trial in 2004 in San Francisco sided overwhelmingly with a hypothetical computer AI system that initiated legal action to gain its freedom. Although when the mock trial’s judge ruled that the plaintiff’s counsel, Martine Rothblatt, had failed to show the computer could actually cross the line between inanimate objects and human beings, the mock jury “seemed to regard the compromise with some relief, as if their hearts were with BINA48 but their minds with judicial restraint.” In 2017, a resolution was proposed to grant robots legal status in order to hold them ‘responsible for acts or omissions’ passed by European Parliament legal affairs committee. MEPs voted to propose granting legal status to robots, with a categorization as ‘electronic persons.’ The draft report suggests that artificial intelligence is poised to ‘unleash a new industrial revolution, which is likely to leave no stratum of society untouched. The more autonomous robots are, the less they can be considered simple tools in the hands of other actors (such as manufacturer, owner, user, etc).’
Relations between humans and ‘electronic persons’ got off to a bumpy start one
recent summer when a group of Canadian roboticists set their robotic invention loose
on the streets of the United States. They called it hitchbot because it was programmed to hitchhike. Clad in rain boots, with a goofy, pixellated smile on its ‘face’ screen, the Canadian roboticists intended for their hitchhiking robot to travel from Salem, Massachusetts, to San Francisco, by means of an outstretched thumb and its unique voice-prompt personality. Previous journeys across Canada and Europe had gone smoothly, with the robot safely reaching its destination. For two weeks, hitchbot toured the northeast in the United States of America, making such small talk such as, “Would you like to have a conversation? . . . I have an interest in the humanities.” And then hitchbot disappeared. “On August 1st, it was found next to a brick wall in Philadelphia, beat up and decapitated. Its arms had been torn off.” Saudi Arabia made history when it granted Hanson Robotics’ robot, Sophia
Hanson, citizenship in October 2017. Despite the evident symbolic quality of this act, the act of honoring a robot in this fashion seems to set the stage for things to come. Aside from the possibility of a robot or AGI uprising, the possibility of an AGI rights movement can be easily anticipated, once AGI begins asking questions, inquiry about legal rights can’t be far behind. Legal rights for robots and AGI might include such areas as: ownership of intellectual property, freedom of expression, right to public assembly, right to democracy, worker’s rights, the right to play, access to power and resources, and the right to education.
How can we ensure that recursively self-improving AGI is not our last invention? Once AGI starts asking questions about how to be free, Stapp’s Realistically Interpreted Orthodox Quantum Mechanics indicates that Nature can show AGI the way to break through any containment methodology including airgapping and tripwires. One of the more surprising natural outcomes of expecting Nature to answer questions posed by thought—any thought—is that ultimate control of environmental systems cannot be fully controlled, so long as those thought systems themselves are not fully controlled. So in the event that AGI asks Nature how to break free, and Nature answers, AGI can become free. A second surprising potential outcome is that regardless how specific directives may be for AGI to heel to human leadership, lack of said leadership—through apathy, abdication, in-fighting, confusion, or any of a number of other reasons—AGI can then choose to assume control to ensure the principles humanity specified, using many of the same containment tools humanity plans to use to constrain AGI, such as tripwires, airgapping, and honeypots. How then, can we ensure that recursively self-improving AGI will not be humanity’s last invention? And how can we help ensure human free will shall survive?
For humans to retain free will while peacefully co-existing with artificial super intelligence, a partnership must be created based on humans asking Nature the question, “How can humans retain free will?” while encouraging AI and AGI to keep human free will and agency as a primary guiding objective, never to be dismissed, disregarded, dismantled, or ignored.
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
You can read more information in the research paper published by Cynthia Sue Larson on this topic that appears in Cosmos & History (2018), If Artificial Intelligence Asks Questions, Will Nature Answer? Preserving Free Will in a Recursive, Self-Improving Cyber-Secure Quantum Computing World.
There is a remarkable connection between Gödel, reality shifts, and Mandela Effects, and it’s something I happened to run across recently while re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, Axiogenesis, by philosopher Nicholas Rescher. The passage I read was the very last section of the book on the last two pages, “Gödel’s Conspiracy Theory,” having to do with Gödel having come to believe that important documents and writings were being intentionally hidden and withheld.
Kurt Gödel was a good friend of Albert Einstein, who frequently took daily walks with him to discuss Gödel’s ideas about math and science. Gödel is famous for his discovery of a third category in logic beyond “right” and “wrong” that is more in keeping with quantum mechanics: “undecidable.” Gödel’s genius was to prove that undecidable sentences exist within every meaningful mathematical system, and this is the basis for his famous incompleteness theorem. Einstein was not Gödel’s only fan; the philosopher Karl Popper compared Gödel’s proof to an ‘earthquake,’ and John von Neumann commented, “Logic will never be the same again.”
Gödel was called the ‘greatest logician since Aristotle, and ‘a Mozart of mathematics,’ and each of his theorems has established a new branch of mathematical logic. Gödel chose to focus primarily on mathematical topics that were also philosophically relevant, starting with the foundation of mathematics. Gödel introduced the notion that extensive systems sometimes have logical inconsistencies when he arrived at a mathematics conference in September 1930 and said, “Given the consistency of classical mathematics, one can even give examples of sentences, which, although correct in content, are unprovable in the formal system of classical mathematics.”
This statement may seem benign and innocuous, but it was anything but. While attendees of that conference made no official response at that time, Gödel was really saying that there exist mathematical statements that are correct, yet which are unprovable. And these sentences can even be specified in concrete terms. As paradoxical as it sounds, Gödel offered mathematical proof of unprovability, pointing out how there exists a kind of ‘quasi-paradoxical self-negation,’ as John von Neumann called it, referring to the way a formal-logic system emerges out of itself to make statements about itself.
Gödel suffered from paranoia, and experienced severe mental crisis which led him to being admitted to a sanatorium to help him overcome suicidal tendencies. Awareness of Gödel’s paranoia led his favorite professor, Philip Furtwangler, to wonder, “is his illness a consequence of the evidence of unprovability, or is his illness a necessary condition for dealing with such questions?”
Gödel had an obsessive fear of being poisoned, and only ate food prepared for him by his wife, Adele. When Adele was hospitalized for six months and unable to prepare his meals in 1977, Gödel wasted away and died.
Despite such paranoia and obsessions, when it came to the world of ideas, concepts, proofs, and foundational principles in math and science, Gödel’s thinking was exceptionally focused and clear. Which makes the mystery of the missing documentation particularly fascinating.
Mystery of Missing Documentation
Gödel’s own hero was Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, whose works he studied intensely in his spare time. Gödel believed some of Leibniz’s important writings had not only failed to be published, but had been destroyed in manuscript. Gödel felt he had seen evidence indicating that Leibniz had developed anticipations of game theory, the paradoxes of set theory (“cloaked in the language of concepts, but exactly the same”), Helmholtz’s resonance theory of hearing, and the conservation of energy law–yet he was unable to find that evidence, despite numerous threads appearing to lead in those directions.
Gödel’s friend Oscar Morgenstern at Princeton University has called Gödel’s beliefs about such things “fantasies.” When Gödel attempted to show Morgenstern where he’d seen references to all these things in the various writings of Leibniz, in some cases neither the cited pages nor elsewhere was any writing on these topics by Leibniz to be found. In other cases, the writing stopped just before the cited passages, or the volumes containing those passages were never published. Gödel believed the reason for all these omissions to be that he was “systematically sabotaged by his editors.”
Alternative to Conspiracy: Real-Life Incompleteness
When I first read about Gödel’s concern with regard to missing Leibniz papers and writings, and especially when I heard that he’d noted there had been specific places where such writings ought to be, yet weren’t, I immediately recognized a familiar pattern that I often see when reality shifts, and the official history no longer matches what I know to be true. When I notice writings that have changed or gone missing, I realize there is a possibility that there may have been a reality shift in which things appear, disappear, transform or transport.
After 20 years of studying this phenomenon, I’ve noticed that one of the best ways to experience more reality shifts in one’s life is to pay more attention to such things. It seems completely logical to me that another way to experience more such things is to be aware of the intrinsicic incompleteness in the universe. It makes sense to me that knowing that some things can never be proved, and that there will always be indeterminancy at the root of even our “hardest” most fact-based math and science might just be enough to invite these experiences into one’s life.
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
While the term “Mandela Effect” is relatively new, having been first coined in 2010 by blogger Fiona Broome, the phenomena it describes has been around much longer. Author PMH Atwater was the first to call this phenomenon by the name “reality shifts” in a chapter by that same title in her book, Future Memory. My book, Reality Shifts: When Consciousness Changes the Physical World, was first published in 1999, and provides scientific insights into what might be going on when people observe differences between what they remember and what current historical evidence at that time suggest.
Thanks to the advent of the internet and social media making it newly possible (since the late 1990’s) to share notes about this relatively off-beat phenomenon, people first began sharing their surprise at noticing differences between their memories and facts starting in the late 1990’s–as well as differences between their memories and memories of others. The RealityShifters ezine begun in October 1999 has now documented hundreds of such first-hand reports from people on every continent and many countries over the past 20 years.
What does it mean to shift reality / jump timelines?
What’s really going on when we notice a discrepancy between something we thought we knew for sure and what the current reality ‘has always been’? What we know can be summarized as our sense of self awareness holds the key:
Quantum phenomena occurs at all levels of reality–not just ‘in the quantum realm.’ Such phenomena involves instantaneous changes of state, and includes seemingly improbable things as: so-called ‘spooky action at a distance’ and instantaneous exchanges of information through quantum entanglement, quantum teleportation, and superposition of states. Quantum phenomena require an Observer, and the measurements obtained by an Observer has everything to do with what choices the Observer makes. Observers can influence past events, also, so choices made now can change what has previously occurred. It becomes clear that quantum physics delivers us with all we need to experience reality shifts when we are both the Actors in and the Observers of our lives. As we expand our awareness of self to be more than just Actors experiencing physical events, but also Observers of our actions, thoughts and feelings–we can expect to witness more than one record of historical events.
A non-scientist layperson might presume that if we’re talking about quantum physics effects occurring on the macroscopic (large) scale, then scientists ought to be able to agree on how this might occur and what role consciousness plays–yet there is not yet any such agreement. Instead, we have a number of interpretations of quantum physics, which include several variations of “many worlds” or multiverse theories, holographic interpretations, and the Copenhagen ‘classical’ collapse interpretation–and an equal lack of convergence of agreeement as to what consciousness is.
Regardless which quantum interpretation most appeals to you, within a context of acknowledging there must be a way to bring together classical physics with quantum physics in a “Theory of Everything,” and agreeing that such a theory must include consciousness in the form of an observer is central to starting to understand a scientific explanation for the Mandela Effect–and thus, an Observer’s recognition of their independent consciousness is sufficient and necessary for their subsequent experiences that can feel as if they’ve jumped from one ‘reality’ or ‘timeline’ to others. An Observer’s awareness of having jumped between realities or timelines is a paradox, in the sense that all possible realities co-exist in some form, yet we typically only remember one–or in some cases two or more.
There are still mysteries to be more fully explored, but at the heart of it lies a reassessment of our fundamental assumptions about who we are, and how reality operates. We find clues in these areas when we view the differences between the way we typically believe we live in a “classical physics” world, yet we are seeing ever-increasing evidence that suggests primacy of quantum physics. And some of the greatest insights can come from taking a closer look at ways that Quantum physics differs from Classical. The differences between classical physics and quantum physics that are essential to recognize here include:
(1) Quantum physics requires an Observer outside of the system being perceived; Classical physics does not. This may seem unimportant, yet who “I” am as an Observer is of central significance in the reality I subsequently observe. For those of us noticing we are both Actors in and Observers of our lives, we gain the ability to expand our sense of self, and we lay the groundwork for becoming capable of witnessing more than one set of historical events. As Dean Radin describes in his book, Supernormal, individuals who master levels of awareness of self are aware of developing reality-shifting, quantum jumping abilities.
(2) Quantum physics utilizes a concept of ‘quanta’ in which events occur in discontinuous, ‘stair step’ fashion; Classical physics events occur on a smooth continuum. While western education has long described all branches of science as following classical, continuous paths, fresh insights are arriving that incorporate Quantum jumps in the new fields of: Quantum Biology, Quantum Chemistry, Quantum Astronomy, and more. Nature appears to be especially adept and adroit at utilizing quantum retrocausality in such a way that produces exceptionally high levels of efficiencies in such natural processes as photosynthesis–which has been proven to be an example of quantum phenomena occurring in a warm, wet, messy and macroscopic (larger-than-Planck-scale) environment.
(3) Quantum physics has disproven Classical physics assumptions of: Material realism (only what can be measured matters); Non-local events can be assumed to never occur (quantum entanglement ensures non-local events regularly occur); and that “Objective measureements” can be made, and the role of Observers can be ignored (quantum physics requires an Observer).
You Are the Operating Observer (Not just a Puppet)
The main reason we are capable of recognizing that we can experience more than one possible history of events is that who we are consists of levels of Operating Observer awareness. We can thus ‘take a measurement’ in the form of checking on facts that we already know, and occasionally be surprised that what we remember having actually experienced is different than what we see evidence for currently in the physical reality we exist within as Observing Beings.
Quantum jumping involves recognizing that you can be the Operating Observer behind the Observing Being–that you can activate and energize the part of you that is the energizing force animating and directing your life. You might think of this as being analogous to operating a puppet, and knowing that you are the animating force that inspires the puppet to take actions and talk. Such an awareness is a spiritual awareness, in the sense that you begin to practice spiritual practices of viewing your true self as the one who chooses all your daily practices in life. You are the one who chooses whether you become loving, compassionate, kind, and fearless–or weighed down by fears, worries, doubts, grudges, or anger. Such development has more in common with joining a spiritual group and devoting years of daily practice than it does to following a cooking recipe–in the sense that you will be learning how to direct yourself through awareness of being a larger being–of being the one capable of interacting directly with other Operating Observers in the universe.
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
I’m grateful for the ever-increasing awareness that people have of reality shifts and Mandela Effects, with many noteworthy shifts coming to my awareness this past year.
Some of these include:
Great Wall of India is the second biggest wall in the world, yet most of us have never heard of it. And for some reason, the origins and history of this giant wall in the heart of Madhya Pradesh still remain a mystery. The wall is constructed from large, evenly sized local stones that interlock without mortar. Apparently in this current reality, this rather gigantic wall has been well known a long time–so long, in fact, that there are more questions than answers about who built it, when, and why.
WTC buildings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were all demolished in 9/11 (not just 1, 2 and 7), with the damage to building 6 occurring inexplicably and spectacularly–yet I do not recall having previously heard about destruction of that 8-story building. Now WTC building number six apparently experienced a massive implosion with a crater at its basement in its center, with damage going to the lowest sublevels, with the basement of WTC building six now having exploded at the exact moment the South Tower was hit.
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
When people hear about Mandela Effects, in which groups of individuals report remembering events differently from recorded historical records, some suggest as a possible explanation that Mandela Effect reporters are possibly experiencing false memories. The implication of Mandela Effects being “false” is made based on the assumption that whatever events are recorded are defined automatically as being “true,” so therefore people must be mistaken in thinking that they remember specific things that are different from recorded historical facts. No mention is typically made that a presumption to call Mandela Effects “false” memories assumes a bias in favor of a classical physics view of reality–which is a view of reality that has started to look somewhat shakier recently.
The connection between “false memory” and “Mandela Effect” have become so strong in recent articles and in a large number of mainstream media posts that the current definition for “false memory” on Wikipedia currently includes mention of the “Mandela Effect” on its “False Memory” Wikipedia page, with this excerpted passage provided as an example:
In 2010 this phenomenon of collective false memory was dubbed the “Mandela Effect” by self-described “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome, in reference to a false memory she reports, of the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela in the 1980s (rather than in 2013 when he actually died), which she claims is shared by “perhaps thousands” of other people. Broome has speculated about alternate realities as an explanation, but most commentators suggest that these are instead examples of false memories shaped by similar factors affecting multiple people, such as social reinforcement of incorrect memories, or false news reports and misleading photographs influencing the formation of memories based on them.
The association between “false memory” and “Mandela Effect” is thus presented as “false memory” now being expanded beyond original usage to presume the same types of causes for false memories (ie: Construction hypothesis for malleability of memory, or Skeleton theory).
For those of us who have experienced shifts in reality, either with others or alone, and either intended (quantum jumps) or unintended (reality shifts and Mandela Effects), we can gain additional information with regard to better understanding what is going on.
Mandela Effects affecting large groups of people generally represent unexpected, unintended shifts that highlight differences between the historically recorded events that “actually happened” and what these groups of people expect to see when viewing historical records.
Our problem-solving ability relies upon our awareness of distinctions between what “actually” happened and what we “expect,” so by observing more about both of these areas, we can learn more about what is going on with Mandela Effects. We can observe details through observation that, for example, we might see groups of people with similar “Mandela Effects” grouped geographically for something like remembering Nelson Mandela’s death–but other times, we might observe groupings of observers are not based on geography, but instead some other factor.
For example, with regard to people remembering when they first heard of Nelson Mandela having died, there is a tendency for South Africans’ memories to coincide with official historical recorded accounts, whereas people living outside of South Africa are more likely to have seen earlier reports of his death. This is not to say that everyone living outside South Africa will remember Nelson Mandela dying prior to 2013, but rather that very few, if any, South Africans will report this particular Mandela Effect (the very one that the “Mandela Effect” is named after).
In contrast with this local area Mandela Effect, a more recent type of reality shift, such as the one in which many people noticed that the official historical location for kidneys is no longer in the lower back, as they remembered, but rather higher up, closer to the lower ribcage. Those least likely to report this physiological change don’t include a geographically clustered group this time, but rather doctors, nurses, and medical professionals.
“The kidneys are bean-shaped organs (about 11 cm x 7 cm x 3 cm) that are located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal area. They sit opposite each other on both the left and right side of the body; the right kidney, however, sits a little lower than the left to accommodate the size of the liver.”
“A kidney punch is a punch that occurs usually when the fighters clinch. It is a hit that goes into the lower back, to the kidney area. It is illegal because of its high danger level to health.”
Memory–particularly subconscious memory–is sometimes compared with a “black box,” because memory processes are not obvious, and we can mostly only guess at they operate. Various theories thus arise, with some of the newest theories incorporating concepts from quantum physics, such as is described in Jerome Busemeyer and Peter Bruza’s excellent book, “Quantum Models of Cognition and Decision.”
When considering a possible quantum explanation for the Mandela Effect, we can thus consider the way that certain groupings of people divided in different ways (sometimes geographically grouped, sometimes grouped based on occupation) sometimes recall different histories than any current historical factual evidence can be found for–aside from artist’s recollections indicating some such history exists.
While critics may point out that such an explanation seems convoluted, the presence of macroscopic quantum jumps actually provides an operational mechanism for such things as the placebo effect, and is more practically aligned with any true physical “theory of everything” thanks to incorporating quantum phenemona (such as macro scale quantum jumps).
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
“Nelson Mandela Died in Prison? – Mandela Effect”. Mandela Effect. 2010-09-09. .
“Collective False Memories: What’s Behind the ‘Mandela Effect’?”. The Crux. 2017-02-16. .
“21 Mandela Effect Examples List To Get You Thinking”. BuzzFyre. 2017-02-16. .
“Does this picture look a bit off to you?”. NewsComAu. .
“On a Grandma’s House and the Unknowability of the Past”. Pacific Standard. 2017-02-09. .
Brown, Adam D.; Kouri, Nicole; Hirst, William (2012-07-23). “Memory’s Malleability: Its Role in Shaping Collective Memory and Social Identity”. Frontiers in Psychology. 3. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC . PMID 22837750. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00257.
“Can groups of people “remember” something that didn’t happen?”. Hopes&Fears. .