Here is a collection of small ideas, too little or self contained to be a full essay but too important to be simply a message on my « interesting thoughts » tag on tumblr.
There’s a well known theory that says that every time you make a choice, you create alternate timelines. That’s not exactly how quantum physics works. My brother would always tell me that it’s more a matter of these possibilities coexisting at a potential stage, as long as you have not observed them (kinda like Shrodinger’s cat). Meaning that your choice, by making one real, isn’t creating alternate timelines but destroying them into nothingness.
When you think about it, dying is mostly giving up your flesh cocoon to pass on to your final form of fully abstract concept. It’s like everyone is ascending into some kind of godlyhood/infinity when their time comes, and live forever as a meme. It’s especially cute because they came from nothing. Your life has transformed matter into meaning.
Entropy is kinda « the measure of the chaos in the universe », the one relentlessly increasing metric. At atomic level, entropy is due to intermolecular frictions. Nothing is frictionless, some energy is constantly being wasted. It’s like a permanent leak that increases entropy. And that’s what makes time pass, and irreversible. If it weren’t for this leak, physical phenomena would be – at least conceptually – reversible. What you’re experiencing daily is the universe leaking (more on that).
So ultimately, these atomic frictions are what constitute time, its cause, its essence. No atomic friction, no entropy, no time.
And the cool cool thing is that entropy is homogeneous to an energy divided by temperature. The hotter it gets, the more subatomic friction, the more entropy. And in a way I find it super poetic and intuitive. It’s like… a scientific analogue to « the more activity, the faster time passes ». When everything is dull and motionless in literature class and that time seems to freeze, on some level it kinda does. And that’s amazingly beautiful.
You know, when you dream, reminisce or imagine stuff, it’s more or less the same neurons that fire up than when you experience « real » things. You can kinda feel it when you play music in your head. And since the world only exists through your perceptions, your brain reenactings can be indistinguishable from the real thing =o they literally ARE the same as the real thing.
If you can simulate exactly the behavior of the universe, like make a little computer program that simulates it, then this simulation can also simulate it, and so on and so on… It has the potential to create an infinite stack of interlinked simulations. Over this infinite number, the odds of you being in one in particular, i.e. the odds of you being in the original, are virtually zero. Meaning that if the universe can be simulated, you’re most likely in a simulation. Or a phone or something…
If you consider the time you’re spending on earth divided by all possible time, statistically on average you’re pretty much dead.
No but wait you dont get it, in essence there’s no difference between you watching a movie and a camera making a copy on a harddrive, its both a transfer and encoding of information.
But wait you dont get it, in essence there’s no difference between your brain and a computer, they’re both computational organisms based on a gigantic number of atomic subparts. And incidentally, there’s no difference in essence between that and a population of computing agents, be it distributing computer, or say, the human race…
The brain has evolved to have a layered hierarchical structure and in fact we simply have more layers than other animals. These layers seem to correspond to the complexity of information processed, low level layers being responsible for simple causal processing whereas high level layer are responsible for more complex, abstract and articulate processing/thoughts (art, science, emotions… and most notably consciousness).
Note that every level is augmenting the problem space exponentially due to the hierarchical structure of it all. Which makes humans “exponentially more refined” information-processing-wise than other animals.
Ray Kurzweil is talking about the amazing progress we’re going to experience when augmenting this structure by extra layers, making us able of information processing to an extent hard to conceive of.
He also points out that our ability to process information has been increasing exponentially over time, from letters to phones to computers and is bound to increase some more.
I think it’s kinda poetic to see how our artificial processing has followed the pattern of nature, and I for one cant wait to see the next level of neural processing on top of what we currently experience.
That being said if you consider human beings as inputs to a global computation system, as I kinda like to do because well it is, isn’t it somehow close to what’s already happening?
Earning a new level of neurone/computational ability would mean that we’d be each able to get the cognitive ability to the whole of mankind, then…
That sounds exciting, mankind has made incredible breakthroughts in the understanding of the universe, so if we could all have that processing level at an individual level…
Bottom line it’s important to keep in mind that everything is exponential (because multidimensional).
You know when you think about it, everything you write be it art or messenger or social media statuses are kinda like horcruxes, pieces of your soul that could be later on used to reverse engineer you when we have figured out the human brain…
And at some point in the future, you may even be able to do an explicit horcrux backup…
Clearly the universe, notably through evolution, is de facto à computing device, textbook genetic algorithm. The question is what is it computing, what is it optimizing for. Is you want an answer to the question “why death” this is as close as it gets tbh. And the answer is probably « to compute some sort of godlike creature that transcends death »
It’s funny because I always thought of nature before man as kind of a harmonious homeostasis but it is de facto a local minimum of an unstable system, ie as soon as a perturbation appears it is chaotically amplified. This is not the goal of the system. The goal is to nurture something that can fight death. It used to be strength or environmental fitness but it looks like its more about intelligence right now? though idk if you can say intelligence is the one true answer…
When you think about it doing a psychoanalysis is kinda like debugging machine learning.