Searching for Philip K. Dick’s Signal

What if extraterrestrial life is trying to contact us through laser beams?

In his later work, the great science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick speculated that an alien intelligence had transmitted information to Earth via laser beams or other forms of light.

The $100 million Breakthrough Listen project aims to search one million stars for signals, from “the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane.” It will broaden our search to include laser transmissions, testing Dick’s theory. Continue reading

Welcome to the True Pictures Community

TruePics_CompBground-02True Pictures invites you to join our new community of moviegoers, storytellers, readers and thinkers.

On this site, we will lead a conversation about life-changing ideas from the disciplines of science fiction, psychology, physics, philosophy and theology.

Our readers will be fellow-travelers, helping shape our movies from the first moments of creation.

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Writing With Artificial Intelligence

Will artificial intelligence write compelling stories someday?

Over at the Literai, a community of writers and programmers build neural nets to write “artificial fiction.” Check it out:

“Artificial fiction is now possible, mostly through the use of modern neural networks that can learn how to write in English (or any other language for that matter). Generally the writing from these neural networks isn’t very good, but it can be remarkably insightful into the patterns and styles of the genre it is taught to imitate. It is possible for anyone with a laptop to easily train neural networks and create their own artificial fiction.”

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Spinoza’s Most Dangerous Idea

8405820653_7fc3f1d9b4_zWould you share a powerful idea, even if you knew you could be killed?

In 1670, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza anonymously published Ethics, a work of explosive philosophy, theology and scientific thought. He shared a revolutionary idea that God and nature are bound up in the same “eternal and infinite Being.”

He called this entity “God or Nature,” and Spinoza saw how this revelation showed a great potential in human beings.

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Looking for the Future in Your Dreams

clocksWhat if you could find bits and pieces of the future in your dreams?

Here at True Pictures, we are fascinated by stories and ideas about the mysteries of time.

Back in 1925, engineer and philosopher J. W. Dunne published An Experiment in Time, a long-form essay arguing that we see bits of the past, present and future all jumbled up in our dreams.

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Gravity & Your Cosmic Journey

sun

What if you could follow your own gravity field and travel millions of miles?

Scientists at the Ligo Collaboration project have twice detected gravitational waves from the interstellar collision of two black holes, confirming Einstein’s predictions about gravitational waves.

“It seems we’ve officially entered the age of gravitational wave astronomy,” wrote Gizmodo.

The project’s executive director explained: “It’s the first time the Universe has spoken to us through gravitational waves. Up until now, we’ve been deaf.”

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The Eternal Archive

5D data storage.jpg_SIA_JPG_fit_to_width_INLINEWhat book, music or work of art would you store in an eternal archive that will outlast humanity?

Researchers at the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Center have created a virtually eternal 5D data storage method.

This revolutionary technology carries a staggering “360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000°C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190°C ).”

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The 10,000 Year Journey Home

2871333638_4a15219343_oWhat if it took you ten thousand years to get home?

Inspired by popular speculation that Keanu Reeves could be a time traveler and this photograph, Reddit writer americanpegasus wrote a short story in a conversation thread.

The story imagines Keanu’s epic journey across time to reunite with his wife after a time travel accident.

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The Vision of Jack Kerouac

830772541_46ef0988e0_zWhat if you could see behind the illusion of reality?

In 1960, Beat novelist Jack Kerouac collapsed in the grass outside his house, overcome by a mysterious spell while smelling flowers. He remained unconscious for a minute or so. “I had apparently fainted, or died,” he wrote.

During that brief collapse, he had a transcendent vision of what he called “the golden eternity.”

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