#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.

#ThoughtExperiment – Time / 18.12.17

As, on one level, time is an entirely subjective thing, could you live longer (…in a psychological sense) if you slowed your perception of time? And thus make life seem longer?

If so, can we train ourselves to do this?

If so, how?

More boring experiences? The practice of daily mindfulness? Something else?

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

Photo by Free-Photos (Pixabay)

#ThoughtExperiment – Self Sacrifice: Apocalypse Edition / 11.08.17

Consider a hypothetical scenario;

A catastrophe faces humanity – everything and everybody is doomed.
Some cruel twist of fate dictates that only you can avert the apocalypse.

To do this, you have to give your life in a heroic, but painful fashion.

The caveat; you will never be remembered for this act. Your sacrifice will go completely unnoticed.

No glory, just ‘the right thing’.

The choice comes down to dying now, in anonymity and perhaps doing the ‘right thing’. Or dying later, alongside everyone else, perhaps your loved ones.

You’d have no conscience to nag you because you’ll be wiped out with everyone else (…unless you happen to believe in some kind of meritocratic afterlife… perhaps)

There is an old saying that, paraphrased, ‘glory is eternal’; this is a lie.

Whatever good (or, dare I say, bad) that you do, will eventually be forgotten. The paper or hard drives that hold the information about you will eventually fail and never be replaced. The people who hold you in their memories will eventually pass away.

Knowing that, would you still be willing to ‘do the right thing’?

Can you find a better reason to do the ‘right thing’?

Is the ‘right thing’ even right for you?

“Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”

#ThoughtExperiment – Quantum Mechanics vs. Free Will / 11.08.17

On free will…

First, your thoughts;
As we understand it, your thoughts are tied to electrochemical processes in the brain
Electrochemical processes which, at their root ,
Are tied to subatomic , quantum processes
Which are random
And by their nature unknowable.

…Here we have randomness

Secondly, your desires;
You can choose to act upon your desires or not
But you can’t choose your desires.
…Here we have determinism.

Neither randomness, nor determinism, are compatible with Free Will.

Obviously, you are not ‘a robot’.
Or, if you are, you are at least a fleshy robot that is, much more unpredictable than a regular robot.

Inspired by things I read in ‘Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow ‘ by Yuval Noah Harari 

Photo by MassiveKontent