“Movies are about telling the same lies over and over again,” Michael says at one point. “You know, good beats evil, things happen for a reason, attractive people are interesting.”
You will never know all the answers, the best you can do is destroy the part of you that wants to know all the answers.
Well, I like to lead with good news, so let me assure you that at no point this evening will I read from or quote the poet Rumi.
What Tainter really means is that their explanations are not quantifiable, therefore not scientific, and therefore unworthy of further consideration. This is a most unfortunate mistake. Insight is insight regardless of whether or not it is quantifiable. If a scientific approach to societal decision-making always worked Robert McNamara’s faith in body count statistics should surely have resulted in a U.S. victory in Vietnam.
Russell’s paradox is often explained using the tale of the meticulous librarian. One day, while wandering between the shelves, the librarian discovers a collection of catalogues. There are separate catalogues for novels, reference, poetry, and so on. The librarian notices that some of the catalogues list themselves, while others do not.
In order to simplify the system the librarian makes two more catalogues, one of which lists all the catalogues which do list themselves and, more interestingly, one which lists all the catalogues which do not list themselves. Upon completing the task the librarian has a problem: should the catalogue which lists all the catalogues which do not list themselves, be listed in itself? If it is listed, then by definition, it should not be listed. However, if it is not listed, then by definition it should be listed. The librarian is in a no-win situation.
A More Useful Way
"How do we know when we've switched dimensions?"
"Wrong way of looking at it. You don't switch dimensions. We're all in one sea of possibilities, there is no flow of time, there is no motion, those are only feelings, sensations. You could say illusions, but that makes them seem less real, they are very real indeed, it just depends on your perspective.
From another, larger perspective, nothing is moving, all that is happening is information is being processed. If you process information in one way, it feels like motion, it feels like time, if you process it another way, it doesn't."
"Are we living in a computer simulation then?"
"Hah. Wrong metaphor again, but an easy mistake to make. We always want to describe things in terms of other things we know. Sure, there are some parallels to a computer simulation, but remember, a computer is a very, very rudimentary information processing machine. Just because its the best thing we have available to us, certainly doesn't mean its the best at doing that. Its just a crude tool. In the same way that punch cards seem so simplistic to us now, so these machines will be laughable in the future. Beyond that though we can't even comprehend of the scale of how information can be processed and manipulated in realms we don't have access to.
So sorry, short answer, yes and no. It feels like a simulation, but I would argue that's not a useful way of looking at it. I'd start with, "things are not as they seem" and see where that gets you.
Stick A Fork In The Road
As I sit in the airport and watch everyone on their laptops and cel phones, I wonder two things. One, is this how easily we are distracted and that we'd rather interface with machines then other humans? Are we losing that ability? Or is it that these machines are really crude 'external' representations of us wanting to be more connected, not just with each other, but with knowledge. Its crude mental telepathy. Its crude intelligence. Its crude knowledge.
The answer is, its both. As we expand our intelligence, we expand our technology and we need to be careful to use that technology as a tool to continue to expand, and not get too distracted by it. This is our path, for better or worse. The best path is that we move through this period and realize that this was a transition phase to more self realization as a civilization. Worst path is we completely get distracted by the technology and end up become slave to it.
My sense is, no matter how hairy it may get, the human in us will always prevail.
A spider that builds elaborate, fake spiders and hangs them in its web has been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon.
His name is Craig Douglas Fleshman, though he won’t answer to that, just as he no longer carries a driver’s license or pays taxes. Pastor Paul Revere doesn’t recognize the authority of the State of Oregon, the United States of America, or anyone else that presumes to have some command over him. He answers only to God.
Both the Hopis and Mayans recognize that we are approaching the end of a World Age... In both cases, however, the Hopi and Mayan elders do not prophesy that everything will come to an end. Rather, this is a time of transition from one World Age into another.
This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a "posthuman" stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
Back in the late 1960s, Peter Glaser proposed the idea of solar powered satellites (SPS), what he envisioned as space-based photovoltaics that could transfer energy wirelessly back down to Earth.
Growing But Not Getting Old
You would think, as folks grew old, and they really started feeling the reality of death starting to hang over them, they would start shedding the 'personas' they had adopted while young, and just become more human. To start releasing themselves from the pressures of society and just be. But it rarely happens. The fear of death perhaps isn't what it used to be. We cling to our misperceptions right to the bitter end.
Today we have people who think that they are wild and free and crazy because they are engaging in risky, insane, round-the-clock sex, using drugs, defying everything decent in society. But that’s not freedom, is it? That’s not even anarchy. What it is, is simple conformity. That’s all it really is.
It is amazing how easy it is to go medieval in the space of a week. News travels house to house, until fact and rumor are indistinguishable. No one believes half of what they hear from any official source, assuming they have any means of receiving news. And bad news, no matter the source, is the most believable.