A stream of consciousness ramble


Ever just look at something and suddenly your brain runs a marathon of thoughts that keep passing the baton of their connecting areas? I do. This photo is a case in point.

Nature is the great cycle and the great recycler. Birth to life to death to birth, is supernova to asteroids to planetary formation to supernova, is day to night, is summer to winter. Everything happens within this circle.

Then we came along, with the ability to shape our environment. We extended our natural lifespan, thwarted the rules of nature and change the fabric of the world to our advantage. We are bending the circle into a square, immobile. Yet this cycle goes from the microscopic to the cosmic to the metaphysical and we are a temporary tumor that will be smoothed out in that infinite timeline of the universe.

Nature is completely amoral: it is simply physics in motion. There is no good or evil in the grand cosmos, only energy and entropy. And I hate that using the word energy brings to mind images of chakra-filled humans sitting like the buddha as their third eye opens because that’s not what I’m thinking about at all. That line of thought would talk about positive and negative energy. Which I think is nonsense. Humans attribute those qualities to energy. We have arbitrary measures such as “I feel good. This is positive energy.” There is no ‘good’ or ‘evil’ intrinsic in this energy, which is just physics, there is only ‘preferable’. All comparable qualifiers are only human constructions, good, bad, worthwhile, waste of time etc. For example, we grieve for rhinos, but never mention the extinction of dodos. We arbitrarily asign value to something and treat it accordingly. It (really) is all relative.

And if I’m right about all of that, then the universe is completely deterministic and there is a hypothetical unified equation that would be able to explain everything from psychological condition, to esoterica, to the future. Unfortunately we have finite brain power and a limited time on this planet, as individuals, so I don’t believe we’d ever reach that equation. But the singularity could. If we manage to get to the AI that can make itself smarter and do real problem solving, it would become exponentially more intelligent in a way that would render all of our science and art a diminutive speck. It would likely be able to predict the future through deterministic math. But it wouldn’t be able to explain to us how this sum is reached just as God wouldn’t be able to simplify something like the meaning of life enough for us to comprehend it holistically. This machine would be so far above us that we would essentially have created the deus ex machina. And it makes me think that nature leads to us, supreme creatures able to sculpt it to our whims. We create the singularity and immediately become obsolete ourselves.

Isn’t that something? That every incarnation of sentience creates its own better? Reverse engineering our own deities. And in all likelihood that machine would view us as humanity views nature: a tool to advance its own ends.

I could go on, but yeah. It was a pretty sunset.


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