I’ve always claimed that I have proof the universe is full of intelligent life (according to our definition of intelligence), and it’s simply that we ARE the perfect example of intelligent life in our universe as there is literally nothing about our existential circumstances that’s special or unique and most of our planet’s complex life evolved within the last 600 million years. Now look at all we know about the universe from its largest parts (galaxies?) to the smallest (quantum particles?), there is not one thing in our universe that’s one of itself. Everything has billions, trillions, and beyond, of itself; even at the scale of a single galaxy.
Our recent technological awakening is laughably small compared to the age of this solar system or life on this planet; or even how long homosapiens have been around. Electricty was discovered in the 1800 as well as radio waves and first combustion engine invention. Took about a hundred years or so to get to the first airplane. Then about 70 to send humans to the moon, and 15 years after, the internet. We are on a crazy accelerating ride towards a completely unkown reality and at any given point we have no concept or notion of what possibilities lie beyond the next major civilization disrupter until after the thing actually happens!
Imagine attempting to explain to a normal person in 1900 that someone will create a machine that allow men to fly in the sky 3 years from today, you’d be laughed at or called insane. We are so shit at predicting how our reality is going to change next, it’s a genuine miracle we made it this far.
Our tiny technological awakening means that 100% (or pretty damn close) of all intelligent life in our galaxy has been around significantly longer. Imagine another intelligence that had a tiny technological headstart on us, could we ever be capable of comprehending something that will be invented after 5000 years of exponential technological advancement from where we are now? that’s impossible.
Some great scifi writers were able to somehow navigate beyond the limits of our imagination and explore what may lie on the highway to wherever all of this is going, one of the best examples of this I’ve ever read is a short story by Isaac Asimov called “The Last Question”. In it Asimov imagines how the very nature of humans will change across vast amounts of technological time co-evolving and eventually superseded by a thing that suspiciously resembles where Google is going for.
But what about the Fermi paradox?
That thing is not a law of physics or even a theory, it’s simply a philosophical question making many assumptions that could be completely wrong. In other words, it’s nothing more than a question without a clear answer and doesn’t really prove or disprove anything.
The biggest problem I have with the Fermi paradox is its assumption that what we know at this very moment about our reality, physics, and the universe.. are most of everything there is to know. That has already been proven false in so many ways. For example there is an assumption that radio waves are how all other intelligent civilizations communicate simply because that’s how we do it? Well, I’m connected to the internet via a focused light-beam travelling through an optical fiber cable.. no radio waves involved and it’s impossible to detect from outside the system. How about quantum particles? gravitational waves? whatever the heck is that weird energy pushing the universe to expand? or many other things we haven’t discovered or know anything about yet.. any of them could be used for communication somehow.
So I say.. the Fermi paradox is no longer valid.
UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) are what the US government calls what previously was known as UFOs. They changed the name because UFO became synonymous with crazy people trying so hard to make space ships and little green aliens a reality because they believe it almost on a religious level without following a valid process to prove or disprove. And also because a lot of the alleged sightings are not even an object but a weather phenomenon of some sort or a reflection of something.
Ouch my conspiracy theory
One of the most wide spread and oldest conspiracy theories is that the american government are hiding that they are in posession of alien technology and/or they are in contact with some aliens on some level. You must have heard of area 51, roswell, alien abductions, or the endless stream of holywood movies portraying the government covering up alien involvement in things.
I was watching a series of short videos that investigate and interview military personale involved in the recent government released UAP videos and I realized there is indeed a conspiracy, but it isn’t that someone has some secret information.. rather that the US government wants to pretend none of this is happening because executive military/government people who like ambition ladders consider any “aliens” like talk to be a threat to their ladder-climbing so they look the other way when it comes up and bury it in any way they can when no one is looking. There is a lot of stigma about it and it’s not just in the military but in society at large. This stigma was behind how long it took for this phenomenon to be confirmed.
A bunch of videos of these UAPs that were leaked previously were confirmed and re-released by the Pentagon, in essence proving that a portion of that UFO nonsense may actually have been real all along. What’s even more is that some military people who were present and involved in these recorded incidents stepped forward and talked about their experience and all they know and they all repeated the same thing: the government doesn’t care about this even when it’s evaluated as a potential risk to equipment or life.
The same reluctance and stigma are echoed by the majority of the science community. They have been constantly pushing anything related to possible intelligent life or looking for signs of extraterrestrial technology under the rug. This is going as far as blocking funding to research or projects that openly mention anything that can be connected directly or indirectly to “aliens”.
Here’s a podcast by Lex interviewing David Fravor who literally attempted to engage one of these things in an F/A-18 IRL:
So now we believe in UFOs/UAPs?
Only that these things are impossible to identify and appear to be technological in nature and purposeful. If you saw those confirmed videos and heard what the eye witnesses involved said, these things whatever they are do not come from space but actually seem to hangout in and around our own oceans!
I was considering what this means. What they could be and how to find a way to logically think about this whole thing. And I felt I want to share my perspective.
But this post is long enough already. I want to write a lot about this as the non-sensical nature of these things intrigue me lol.. so in the next part I’ll examine some fun theories as to what these things could be in my very-madeup opinion.
This a self-contained cheatsheet I created for TIC-80:
And a hi-quality PNG:
I resurrected a bunch of old projects done for either fun or while job hunting:
This is a demo made to breath life into a mockup screenshot I found online. Don’t remember where I got the mockup from but I like the vibe :)
This is a simple shapes application written in Typescript/Angular. It lets you: create/delete shapes, select and transform existing shapes, and saves everything by default so if you refresh the page it should restore your scene.
This is a demo to try to imitate Super Mario Bros character controls as close as possible. Written using Typescript/PhaserJS in Cloud9 (when it was usable). I didn’t intend for it to be a full game.
Through October, myself and my brother worked to remaster an old game of mine, Zamron Encounter. We had two goals:
- Porting game graphics to use hardware accelerated Stage3D in Flash. The game used Flash/AS3 software rendering for graphics which is awfuly slow and buggy.
- My brother wanted to re-make game art for fun and so far he did a great job!
Technically the re-master is 95% done, there are two bugs left to resolve (albeit tricky ones) and we can re-release a much better version of Zamron.
Artistically, my brother finished level art and a bunch of other stuff. Still working on monsters and player textures.
There is a larger goal to eventually start a new project to remake Zamron from the ground up using a modern engine into a full product. The re-mastering effort serves two purposes: having a usable prototype to base the remake on, and developing a work pipeline between us two.
Will talk more about Zamron’s remaster progress in the future.
Here’s a sneak peek for what we currently have:
Currently working on: Game Off 2019
Game Off 2019 is a relaxed 30 days game jam that just started a few days ago that me and my brother are participating in. The theme for this one is: Leaps and Bounds. So far we have a few concepts in progress and I hope by next week we’ll be able to show some progress.
A while ago I used a simple benchmark to very roughly compare performance on multiple platforms: PC-6002 vs 80s Computers Benchmark and got some interesting results.
Recently I got a Raspberry Pi 4 and wanted to figure out how its new CPU compare to other platforms so I went back to that simple benchmark I used, scaled it up by 1000x and used it in many different ways on many different devices and platforms. I think the results are noteworthy :) but it’s still just for fun, this is by no means a benchmark that should be taken seriously.
The simple bench I used looks like this:
import math import time import os all_primes =  t1=time.time() skip=False for i in range(2, 100000): skip=False k = math.floor(math.sqrt(float(i))) + 1.0 for j in range(2, int(k)): k1=i/float(j) k2=int(k1) if k1==k2: skip=True break if skip: continue all_primes.append(i) elapsed=(time.time() - t1) print("Prime count = " + str(len(all_primes))) print("Python Time=" + str(elapsed))
Here are the systems I ran simplebench on:
- Raspberry Pi 4: Cortex A72 1.5GHz, Raspbian
- Raspberry Pi 3: Cortex A53 1.2GHz, Raspbian
- Raspberry Pi Zero W: ARMv6 1GHz, Raspbian
- Desktop PC: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz, Windows 10
- Desktop PC: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz, Windows 10
- Mini PC: Intel Pentium 4415U 2.3GHz, Kubuntu 18.04
- Laptop: Intel Core i5-4258U 2.4GHz, Kubuntu 18.04
- Laptop: Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz, Kubuntu 18.04
- Laptop: Intel Pentium 4415Y 1.6GHz, Windows 10
- Laptop: AMD E-450 1.6GHz, Debian
- Mobile: Snapdragon 855 2.84GHz+1.78GHz, Android 9
- ShieldTV: nVIDIA Tegra X1 2GHz, Android 8
Here are the runtimes I used to run the benchmarks on:
- GCC 7+ (alternatively clang) with -std=c++14 and -O3 flags
- Lua 5.1+ and luajit
- NodeJS 8
- Godot 3.1
- Python 2.7
- termux for Android devices
I wanted to put minimal time into this so I didn’t try to run everything on every platforms, just what’s easily doable.
For each measured time, I ran the simplebench script/binary more than 10 times and took the shortest achieved time:
|RaspberryPi4/Cortex A72 1.6GHz||0.61s||4.3s||0.14s||0.061s||0.045s||0.136s||0.087s|
|RaspberryPi3/Cortex A53 1.4GHz||1.191s||10.22s||0.34s||0.157s||0.092s||0.49s||0.163s|
|Laptop/Core i5 4258U 2.4GHz||0.22s||1.2s||0.041s||0.018s||0.015s||0.045s||0.025s||0.637s|
|Laptop/AMD E-450 1.65GHz||1.17s||7.2s||0.210s||0.110s||0.079s||0.233s||0.152s|
|Mobile/Snapdragon 855 2.84GHz||0.36s||1.68s||0.013s||0.020s||0.758s|
|Laptop/Core i7 8550U 1.8GHz||0.18s||1.0s||0.037s||0.012s||0.011s||0.053s||0.018s||0.004s|
|Laptop/Pentium 4415Y 1.6GHz||0.46s||3.65s||0.094s||0.020s||0.030s||1.411s|
|Desktop/AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz||0.22s||1.38s||0.031s||0.008s||0.011s||0.011s||0.725s|
|Desktop/AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz||0.156s||1.26s||0.026s||0.007s||0.008s||0.014s||0.496s|
|ShieldTV/Cortex A57 2.01GHz||0.745s||4.73s||0.049s||0.012s||0.056s||1.496s||0.012s|
|Laptop/Atom x5-z8350 1.44GHz||0.998s||8.78s||0.433s||0.095s|
|Mini/Intel Pentium 4415U 2.3GHz||0.269s||1.52s||0.043s||0.014s||0.014s||0.063s||0.016s||0.007s|
Mobile phone processors are catching up to laptop processors very quickly. I’ve read that Snapdragon 855 is similar in performance to a current gen core i3, and these results confirm that. It’s especially impressive that Snapdragon 855 is almost exactly matching a desktop PC Ryzen 5 1600 in Godot/GDScript and very close in Lua and Python.
CPython is so incredibly slower than everything else which comes as a no surprise, some of my old CPython/PyGame games struggled to hit 60 fps on laptop processors at the time without some sort of just-in-time compilation thrown in (back then I used Psyco)
Pypy runtime (which is a decendent of psyco, full jit compilation) is impressively quick in comparison to CPython, it almost matches mono actually, it’s a surprise pypy hasn’t become the dominant python runtime yet! I think it ought to be.
Lua and LuaJIT
As expected, lua is very fast for a fully interpreted language. I wish CPython was closer to that.
LuaJIT is damn impressive. Actually really close to native C++ performance! Which is insane.
The anomaly here is NodeJS which uses the excellently optimized Google V8 engine. Not only did it match but actually surpass native C++ performance on several platforms. I have no explanation other than blaming it on timer precision? but I’m not surprised its performance is that good as it not only runs 100% of the web, but a growing list of desktop/mobile applications like this very editor I’m using to write these words now.
It’s worth noting that the startup time when running
node simplebench.js is almost as slow as compiling the C++ version. This indicates some hardcore jit compilation taking place before actual execution of the script starts.
Godot’s GDScript is not as bad as I thought it’ll be, about 2x CPython. Alone it would make Godot a terrible solution for bigger games, but luckily Godot allows C++ modules to be used for critical bits and Mono/C# support is almost ready for prime time. I’m hoping at some point in the future they decide to reimplement GDScript to compile to Mono in the future.
Weather not being so nice through this weekend with an upcoming quick 2 weeks vacation where it’s summertime, I thought I’ll do a fun indoors thing on Saturday.
A while ago I set up TIC-80 on NVIDIA Shield TV and hooked up a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the idea is to do some light gamedev directly on the TV while chilling on the couch. It’ll be like the most relaxed form of development possible :)
I thought I’ll try something very simple, a minimal tetris written as straight forward as possible was what I went with. I enjoyed it thoroughly and how easy and fast developing it on lua was. It only took me a few hours to finish covering all features I wanted. I think this might be the fastest game I’ve ever finished to date!