Seven Digits of Delusion In Los Angeles


Everyone wants people to like them, right?

Even in my most “leave me alone” mood, I’d say life would be too difficult if no one liked me. It would be too hard to get anything done, and I’d most likely end up dead. That’s the practical aspect, at least. My own livelihood depends on four or five people liking me enough to do business with me. (And of course, my wife’s got to like me.)

I don’t mind the total number being in the Single digits. Double Digits works, too. I’m OK with that.

Then there’s the level of “I want everyone I meet to like me.” I don’t tend to get along with that type. Trying too hard to have too many friends. Life of the party. Trying to sell me on how likable they are. They’re annoying, so I go the opposite direction when possible. It’s fine, as long as they stay over there and do their thing. Extroverted salesmen, et cetera. That’s for the Triple Digits. When you’re selling cars and real estate, the more “friends” you have, the better. At least they’re still sane?

Then there are those who want MILLIONS of people to like them. (That’s the Seven Digits of Delusion at this point.) These are people who honestly believe everyone on earth should consider them special. “People should crave to hear my opinion. Things should be named after me. I should have a book, a show, an album, a perfume.” In this perverse parallel universe called Los Angeles (a.k.a. The Imaginary City), it’s absurd how many accept this as a simple premise and go about their day.

I was certainly one of them, and it’s how I ended up here instead of Florida. I think I’ve been here seven or eight years, and Los Angeles has had a profound influence on me: it SLOWLY forced me decide what I truly value, which is Reality.

For fun, I’m going to define Reality as the opposite of Hyperreality. As it was written by Wikipedia:

Hyperreality is a term used in semiotics and postmodern philosophy to describe an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality[…] Hyperreality is seen as a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins.

Yep, that’s it. Hyperreality is the Operating System of this place. I meet so many people who believe their own press (whether they’re actually famous or not). I happen to be someone who is not able to do that. (Understatement!)

Since shifting my focus, I’m back to Double Digits, and it feels correct.

Recommended Reading:
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (Vintage)
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business


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35-Year-Old Man Held Hostage In Pre-School

There was a comedian at the Tomorrow Show — name was Kyle Kinane — who said something like, “When I get into a debate with someone with a lip piercing, I figure… well, if you made that mistake, why should I listen to anything you say?”

Along those lines, if you haven’t solved something important… like the problem of mankind’s corporeal mortality, or that we have to play the mundane and illusory socio-economic game that is modern survival, or that we are required to reduce an entire planet of happy little life forms to food and afterwards shit them out… it pretty much invalidates whatever philosophy you preach.

Over a Hundred Billion Humans have been created and will probably be destroyed. And most of them never realize they are only cells in a larger Organism that they can’t see or understand. After a short time, they reproduce, try their best to pass on their knowledge, and die.

It’s fun to point at the other cells and believe “that guy is the conspiracy, not me.” But from outer space, we’re not all that different from each other. (So don’t get too excited about how enlightened you are, because the aliens might not even be able to distinguish Joel Bauer from The Chosen One. I know I can’t.)

Maybe we really are just silly Sneetches.

To the universe, the earth might be a concrete, steel, plastic, sodium, and carbon monoxide factory, getting ready to ship its product. And maybe all we’re doing is arguing over the fastest way to get there.

Can we learn to enjoy our ride through space, while working in this factory? Is that the point of it all? Should we narrow our focus to the context of gossip, entertainment, and sports to distract us from The Question? Give up and take some medication? Pretend we don’t know this is all a joke? Pretend we think the Monopoly money is real?

Or should we keep searching for something bigger than our imagination?

Because we know it’s there.


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Don’t Watch The Projector!

Here’s a theory.

We all have an internal movie screen. Projected on it are abstract and mystical sensations — something beyond us. It’s like a sensor that only detects the secret, underlying messages in art. It filters out the crisp details, the literal meanings of words, and what we’re left with is a strange and compelling dream viewed by a child-like caveman. Maybe we can never understand the contents of that movie with the conscious, rational, analytical mind.

Is that OK? I think it is.

Plato believed in something called The Theory of Forms. That everything we see in the real world is only a “shadow” of reality — they are only archetypes or abstract representations.

Whether you agree, it’s an idea worth exploring. Instead of claiming one mode of experiencing the world (and yourself) is morally superior, maybe you can learn to switch between them voluntarily. Maybe they are both meant to be used together for a holistic experience.

I’ve found that as I learn the science behind things like music, screenwriting, and cinematography, it’s easy to forget about what’s playing on that internal movie screen. Instead of suspending my disbelief during a film, I see acts, camera angles, and exposition.

The problem is that this can be fascinating, at least at first.

Over time, technique develops into its own language. Is that the language you want to translate all art into for the rest of your life? Maybe disassembling the machine kills it.

Here’s an exercise: when you experience music, try not to listen to the notes, scales, chords, or instruments.

Don’t watch the projector.

This is my public blog. You can also Join My Cult!

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Space Itself Was Created In The Big Bang

According to Janna Levin, a professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University: “The Big Bang is often misunderstood as an explosion in Space, as though Time and Space existed. But Space itself is created in the Big Bang.”

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Cooking With Werner Herzog

“I don’t usually do television. I believe television is killing us. So we must declare a war. A holy war against talk shows, commercials, and Bonanza.”

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Dr. Zoltan In 2600 (The Hacker Quarterly)

If you walk into any Barnes & Noble or Borders, you should be able to locate a magazine in the Computers section called 2600 (The Hacker Quarterly)

Earlier this year, Dr. Zoltan wrote an article called “Hacking Music” and it has been published in the Autumn issue:

Dr. Zoltan could scan and upload the article, but he would not want to ruin the magical experience of reading the printed magazine in your local bookstore. 

It is an honor to be in print for the first time in nearly 3 years.

Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk
Hollywood’s Most Innovative Entertainer Since Carrot Top>

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Dr. Zoltan on getFreshMinds!

Katie Konrath at getFreshMinds has written a blog about Dr. Zoltan’s 81 Ideas On Creative Career

Her site was recently named one of the top Innovation Blogs by Guy Kawasaki’s site, AllTop

Subscribe to getFreshMinds in your favorite RSS Reader!

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Dr. Zoltan's Ideas Applied To Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The Northern California Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy have applied some of Dr. Zoltan’s “81 Ideas On Creative Career” to their training.

{ This post was written and approved by Dr. Zoltan! If your pectoral muscles are good for pushing other people down, visit Speak loudly and carry a heavy backpack. }

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Are You The Same Enough To Be Different?

Are You The Same Enough To Be Different?

Humans have a hard time perceiving differences between one thing and another unless they are mostly the same. 

How much difference is there between:

Coke and Pepsi?
Sprite and 7up?
Ford and Chevy?
Forks and Spoons?
Dogs and Cats?
Star Wars and Star Trek?
Blondes and Brunettes?
Los Angeles and New York?
Mac OS and Windows?
Community Radio and Commercial Radio?
Republican and Democrat?
Condenser and Dynamic?
Lakers and Celtics?
Serif and Sans Serif?
Gibson and Fender?
Heterosexual and Homosexual?
Angels and Demons?
AM and FM?
English and Spanish?
Vegetarian and Carnivore?
McDonalds and Burger King?
Islam and Christianity?
Ketchup and Mustard?
DVD and Blu-Ray?
Yin and Yang?
White Wine and Red Wine?
Socialist and Capitalist?
Coffee and Tea?
Men and Women?
Rich and Poor?

Not much. Their fundamental sameness makes all the difference!

{ This post was written and approved by Dr. Zoltan! When your hearing starts to go, visit Or just drink some Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. It will help stabilize your psychotic mood swings. }

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Spying On You To Be Legalized On Tuesday!

What Every American Needs to Know (and Do) About FISA Before Tuesday, July 8th from Tim Ferriss on Vimeo.

The above video is from The Blog of Tim Ferriss. Dr. Zoltan followed the instructions presented below and urges all humans in the United States to do so also likewise. 

Daniel explains below several important reasons to act in the next few hours (much more in the video), but for those who are prepared to spend 60 seconds to help protect their liberties and prevent warrantless wiretapping from becoming a new standard in the US, here are two options:

1. ALL AMERICANS: Go to the EFF website here and put in your zipcode to find your Senator’s phone number. Call them and read the short script on the same page. If no answer, click the link at the bottom of the page to e-mail them.
(Tell others verbally to go to “” and click “take action”)

2. OBAMA SUPPORTERS: Go to here and join the group requesting he oppose (as he did earlier) the amendment. This takes about 30 seconds. I suggest changing “ListServ” in the bottom right to “Do not receive e-mails.”
(Tell others verbally to search “obama please vote no” on Google and will be in the top 3 results, currently #1)

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