Thursday, August 20, 2009
Given enough computational power, the domain of problems for which a machine can process approaches that of our own. For example, say we have a computer that runs software that evaluates what other computers are used for. Increase the power of the machine by ten, then we can use the computer to evaluate what purpose the other machines are for, and how they could be made more efficient. Increasing the scope of the problem domain to include the computer itself, it can then begin to question what it's own purpose is.
I've been given this example, "the ability to question our own existence", as the justification of a soul by a few people.
I'm not much of a person to believe in the eternal soul, maybe inversely its because I've lived a thousand lives and I'm tired of not seeing any change, maybe it just seems irrational. Maybe its my version of hell to continue living beyond death, either which way I see no evidence of any kind of eternal soul living within us.
You can break all human emotion down into logical constituents. All emotion is a result of evolution and learned behavior, mostly from when we were more primitive animals. Fear? You feel your heart race, your body tense, adrenaline courses through you, its a conditioned response to enable your body to perform and run/jump/fight in times of danger. Love, well without any sense of love we wouldn't procreate, and then hence we wouldn't exist. I fuck, therefore I am.
I guess my point is, that the ultimate human form is one devoid of all out primitive emotions (isn't that what we are trying to do anyway? When we tell our children to stop misbehaving and 'grow up'? When we frown upon celebrities acting out childishly? As to why we cannot just punch the boss in the face when he threatens us with dismissal?) and we find ourselves as purely logical beings, where every input produces an exact output, regardless of what we are 'feeling'. Where we do things because it makes sense, not because of an underlying, semi-controlled primitive urge.
I can only dream of such a world... but for some I guess it could be a nightmare.
The ultimate human state is that of a machine. Devoid of emotion, and logical.
Some will argue about the soul, the spirit, whatever you could call it. Every human has a inbuilt fear of death, and it is mirrored in many ways, through trying to stay beautiful, to religion, belief in heaven, belief in the eternal soul. I don't have that.
It may appear my life is lacking because of the lack of belief. I like to think the opposite: that because I am not blinded by these, because I am not holding out for an eternal soul, that I want to do all my living while I am alive, I should hope to be able to make as much of that as possible before I sleep the last time. I will breathe, sleep, dream, walk and think as much as I can.
A moment of clarity is worth a lifetime of lies.
Posted by John Paxton at 6:20 PM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Another day in the life as me, another walk through the lost souls, the public transport, empty nameless faces, all chasing some sort of dream.
I wonder if they aren't so far disconnected, if somehow they are chasing the same thing, albeit differently.
When the body is under duress, it produces stress hormones, such as noradrenaline and cortisol. Noradrenaline binds to the same Adrenergic receptors as adrenaline, producing a similar, albeit somewhat psychoactive effect.
That is, the busy executive whom is juggling a large deal, or under pressure from his superior, may in fact be simulating a similar rush to what I get when hitting a hill on the snowboard, or surfing.
For me, its stronger than any coffee, better than most drugs, a clean, mind clearing high that I will always chase, be it on a motorcycle at 200, eyeballing someone who could very obviously kick my ass, saying something in public that could cause a reaction, skateboarding a bowl.
The businessman traveling on the 9:00am train to Wynyard is most likely as sleepy eyed from the lack of a rush as I am, dead to the world unless his eyes are dilated, heart pumping, and head filled with white noise between the thoughts.
We are just slightly different people chasing the same old dame.
Posted by John Paxton at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Quantum physics tells us that time, like all other dimensions, can be quantised. There is a minimum unit of time, as there is a minimum unit of distance, of matter, and it is these impossibly small increments of time that make up the continuum we experience.
At any given moment, in any ordinary day, there are literally billions of these time segments flying by. An analogy is those cartoons you see that work by flicking through the cartoon book, and on each page there is a picture of a dog or similar, and each subsequent picture is changed slightly, but if you flick the pages quickly the dog looks like its running.
In between these moments, what happens?. Nothing can exist without time. If we lose a spatial dimension, there still exists a perfectly valid two dimensional world with time, albeit devoid of life and matter as we know it. Time justifies not only our insignificant existence, but that of the dimensions that support the universe.
So in between these moments, what I suspect, is that for one tiny, almost inconceivable amount of time, there is perfect silence, perfect still, for the tiniest amount of time, before the universe turns the page and everything has moved ever so slightly, like in the cartoon dog analogy.For that period of time, the whole state of the universe is remembered, all matter is halted, all dimensions are paused, all photons stop, all vibration ceases, to then carry on again when the quantum time pause resumes.
Its these moments I live for.
Posted by John Paxton at 6:01 PM