#ThoughtExperiment – The ‘Dickens Process’ But Worse / 06.05.19

Disclaimer: this is quite unpleasant if you think through it properly.

Imagine the far future
Imagine yourself long gone.

Imagine the person that you’re with
The person that you love (we assume?).

Imagine them
On their deathbed
Old, fragile, perhaps a little senile
Life ebbing away
Life flashing by.

In their delirious last hours
As they cry out your name
What would you want them to say about you?
How would you want them to remember you?

Resolve to be more like that person from now on.

Photo by arriba 

#ThoughtExperiment – The Long Sleep / 30.03.19

One day you awoke from a sleep
That you did not know you’d been in.

Since then
You awoke every morning
And
You slept every evening
And you went on
Like this was perfectly normal.

You probably did not stop to consider
How long you had been asleep before
And how long you will sleep, later.

And
You probably did not give much heed
To how short the number of these days
In which you get to wake up are
Before, of course,
You go back to sleep for good.

Photo by rmathews100 (Pixabay)

#ThoughtExperiment – Millions of Friends That Die Before You Discover Them / 12.01.19

Assuming that you’re a ‘normal’, ‘sociable’ person:
You have a group of people you’re close to.
You have love and compassion for them,
And if you were to lose any of these people, you’d mourn them.

And yet
There are countless people out there that,
If you got to know about them
You’d be sad to lose.

(Perhaps not all people,
Perhaps there are some people
That you’d never get along with, or care for
…Perhaps)

And yet
Why must you wait until you know someone
To feel compassion for them?
Dunbar’s Number?
Enlightened self-interest?
Something else?

black and white crowd photo
Photo by x1klima

The Buddhists (bless them) tell us to expand our compassion to encompass all beings
Very noble, yes.
But is it really doable?
It sounds exhausting,
Spiritually taxing.

If 151,600 people pass away each day
(…as the internet has just told me)
How many of them could have been your friend?
Given the chance?

It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Photo by eschipul

#ThoughtExperiment – The Victorian Working Class Fucking For The Sake Of Their Future Descendants / 18.08.18

This is about hope.

Do you think that our ancestors,
During the grimmest times in history
Ever considered that they just had to survive
And fuck?

So that one day
Their distant descendants could enjoy living in a world of opportunity,
Free from all the drudgery and misery that typified their daily lives?

Many parents tend to think about building a better world for their children.
Maybe this, in a roundabout, drawn-out way,
Is how we got from living in caves
To having more than enough.

Photo by All made of

#ThoughtExperiment – Thinking / 04.04.18

When you think about something in any great detail you are basically running a simulation in your head.
Ergo,
Could we infer that our thoughts are simulations?
Or, conversely,
That computer simulations are the (…planned and directed) thoughts of the CPU?

And what of those who think that this universe is a simulation?

 

Photo by KNLphotos2010

#ThoughtExperiment – Psychosclerosis / 05.02.18

In contemplating the future

My partner raised the question;

What if there’s a point in your life

Where you become too old to face your demons?

So,

If you didn’t make the effort to change

When you were younger

You never will.

Did this cautionary tale ever happen to someone who is old?

Or will it happen one day to someone who is now young?

Photo by StockSnap (Pixabay)

#ThoughtExperiment – The Reverse Pascal’s Wager / 20.01.18

The idea of Pascal’s Wager is that you can live a godless life and then convert to religion right before you die, just in case you were going to go to hell for your godless ways.

Nobody seems to think about the ‘Reverse Pascal’s Wager‘, the very real idea that you could be wasting your life living as a religious person, preparing for an afterlife that may not exist.

The caveat here, of course, is how we define ‘religious’ behaviour – which, like human behaviour, can encompass both the best and the worst of what humanity has to offer.

religion black and white photo
Photo by rcamboim

The Reverse Pascal’s wager may not apply to the guy who volunteers at his Church every weekend to feed and clothe the homeless. It may, however, apply to the guy who devotes significant time and energy to trying to spiritually blackmail the non-believers surrounding him.

Then again, a Hedonist might tell you that, if a man abuses others in the name of his God and enjoys his life – that was a life well lived.

Like most things, we should probably err on the side of not being a twat.

As usual, there is no certainty and no answers… only questions.