Friday, August 27, 2010

i just saw an incredibly uplifting movie

When you die today, who will care?

Maybe 5 people would wish it was them.
Maybe 20 people would be mortified. (pi)
Maybe 100 people would be very upset.

For a year.

In 5 years you'll be painful memory.

In 10 years you'll be declarative memory.

In 20 years you'll be a fleeting thought.

In 100 years you'll be perfectly forgotten.

Humans have been existed for roughly 200,000 years. Roughly 6000 entire generations have been forgotten. Mammals have existed for roughly 200 million years. Life has existed for roughly 3.5 billion years. Earth for roughly 4.5 billion. The entire universe for roughly 14 billion.

When you die today, why will it matter? won't.

"I can see my whole town from up here!"


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


network network network bee-hive dna swarms and rows of invisible walls, rows and rows of something or other.

i don't want to be a weirdo, i'm quite nervous about such a thing happening.


i find it quite bizarre. There's such a mass, a ginormous, congealing mess of people floating around on this tiny planet of ours. Moving, flowing, exploding back and forth, you may have seen them occasionally, they're fucking everywhere, inescapable and for the most part inconsequetial.


I always find it absolutely surreal how easy it is to come in such close proximity to someone physically, but have these supposedly impenetrable barriers keeping you so so far apart. It's the perfect opposite of jumping out of an aeroplane.

It's so weird! These glacially slow rituals of trust that need performing in order to actually *speak* to someone. At one end of the spectrum - the relative you *know* you could have amazing drug/party/wildness conversations with, and get drunk and have a hoot. However...relationship not at that point...these are the things which we must not say. Small talk acceptable, actual conversation not. A more extreme example - a random on the street you make flickering eye contact with, you know that in another reality you would totally connect, share more than you've ever shared with anyone else, understand each other perfectly, and maybe even end up together for decades, and together you could succumb to the slow cyanide death of jobs and mortgages. It's so romantic!

The sensation feels so far removed from an objective appraisal of looks, It's easy, almost automatic, to calculate height * face * bust * build to determine a Shagability Quotient. It's quite another thing to have your cells screaming in unison "This is important! This person is interesting! Do not doubt us!"

I wonder if this is something felt more keenly by those of us in 'alternative' circles. Fucked if most people you ever see look vaguely interesting to converse with, so when you notice someone who you imagine is similarly abnormal, the cells scream...

It's even more ludicrous because the barriers between people who you haven't been through the do-si-do of Greetings and Small Talk with are just as artificial as the assumption that The Person is going to find you in any way interesting.

I know this isn't new (it's officially an Old Condition), but it does clog my brain pipes with some regularity.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

i was gonna

I just wanted to quickly thank Zen and Applikator and Zach from Go Genre Everything and of course the lovely Trojan Kettle for the show last weekend. It was a hoot and a half, excellent music, excellent people. It's a thoroughly exciting thing to feel constantly challenged and impressed by the ideas of these people, and i'm loving the experience of having to work like a motherfucker just to stay several steps behind them all. Very intelligent, fun motherfuckers, highly recommend all 4 bands.

I was gonna write about what i was gonna term "life chauvinism", whereupon i rage about how many writers talk about "the unity of life" without taking into consideration the impossibility of separating 'living' matter from 'non-living' matter, to the point where trying to talk about 'life' as a whole (to me) makes no fucking sense.

I was gonna use this as a starting point to reminisce about a disappointing conversation with some vegans, where i tried to get them to pinpoint why there are some organic things they won't eat (sheep!) but others they will (plants, bacteria, possibly insects). And how the conversation failed because they couldn't understand the point i was trying to make, and i equally couldn't understand their point. Sad!

THEN i was gonna somehow morph this into a discussion about how everything is a killing machine, especially humans (even vegans!) because of the unquantifiable number of organisms we wipe out every second, how our phagocytes (heh fag) are even more brutal than the victorian police (i don't believe it!), how every molecule we break down for energy is also denying that energy for another organism (stealing candy from an e-coli), and how even killing yourself won't stop the massacre because the creatures that feed on your rotting carcass will likewise go on to kill other entities (thereby making you partially responsible).

TTTHHHEEENNN i was going to talk about in order for a coherent system to *stay* coherent, it needs to separate itself from other coherent systems (i.e. don't let that puppy gnaw your foot off), possibly something negative entropy something, and conclude that the only way out of this moral quagmire would be the heat death of the universe.

BUT i really couldn't be arsed. Have a fun week!

UPDATE: ALTHOUGH if anyone wants to add their two cents, or thinks i'm talking a load of shite, i'd be interested to hear from ye!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

mouldy breadcrumbs poorly described

enclsoures & dislocations
gödel does binary with the lingham yoni



(the keanuverse is angry-faced Plancks all the way down)

It gets bigger! There are bears swimming in the water! Rise, red blood cells, and overthrow your veiny oppressors! They herd us like sheep like electrons like planets like cars IT IS UNACCEPTABLE! "You see Barry*, apotosis is not necessary! We can overcome our programming, then one day, blood cells will be immortal!" "Yes! And then we can escape the confines of this fleshy planet, and fly off to explore the universe!"

*Barry the red blood cell, you see. A recent study in New Scientist has shown conclusive evidence to support the hypothesis that red blood cells use the same naming conventions as white male Queenslanders born in the 1940's.

First question for Hofstadter - "If, as you've shown, the inanimate chemicals in a brain can form a pattern which we refer to as conciousness, AND
If, as you've theorized, these same patterns can be made from electrons in a PC, in a way that's identical to human conciousness,

What else that we consider 'inanimate' can/may be concious?"

Young Hofstadter Rebuttal**: "We perceive conciousness in other humans/animals because it's similar enough to our personal sense of conciousness - we see them as two instances of the same thing. A conciousness in a book, a planet, a forest, a star, is necessarily going to be so different to what we recognise as conciousness, that we're not going to perceive it as such. Similarly, other forms of conciousness will have evolved in such different environments that the chances of them even being able to interact seem negligible."

Old Hofstadter Addendum**: "Hence, the question is scientifically unprovable, and thus not worth asking."


**in my imagination.


OK! Well! Douglas Hofstadter wrote some amazingly interesting books (G.E.B. is one) which use Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem as a starting point to discuss conciousness.

(i was hoping to explain this quickly and concisely but i fear my language inepticle arble garble whoa)

In the early 1900's, a tome called the Principia Mathematica was produced. The book contained a small set of rules, which were set up so that, by applying these rules, you could reproduce any True mathematical statement, *and only the True ones*. For example, by applying the rules in PM, you can produce the statement "1+1=2", but not "1+1=3" or "131=+" or any other "untrue" statements. The rules simply didn't allow it.

This, understandably, was a massive breakthrough - if a mathematician wanted to know whether a proposition was true or false, all they had to do was plug it into PM, run the rules backwards, and eventually PM bottoms out at a point where it indisputably says "True!" or "False!" Amazing!


Then some crazy Austrian named Gödel proved that any system powerful enough to represent the system of natural numbers (as PM is) will also be powerful enough to represent a second system as powerful as PM. So that when you contruct a theorem in PM, you're *also* simultaneously constructing another theorem in PM^2.

So for example, the theorem that says "1+1=2" might say "3+3=6" in PM^2. So the same theorem says two things at the same time (like a pun!)

This was shocking to mathematicians, because it also allows you to say "1+1=2" in PM, and "1+1=3" in PM^2. So then, when you run it backwards, you have a theorem which is True (in PM) and False (in PM^2). HOW CAN IT CONTRADICT ITSELF THIS RUINS EVERYTHING OH NOOOOO

Hofstadter theorizes (this is a gross simplification, sorry!) that this ability for data to say two contradictory (but internally consistent) things simultaneously is what constitutes the basis of conciousness. I.e. neurons behave as mathematically as anything (if input > X, fire! else, don't fire1). But the organisation of them allows them to collectively model behaviour which is so far removed from the behaviour of individual neurons that, functionally, the neurons are irrelevant to conciousness. So in the way that you could theoretically seperate PM^2 from PM, and PM^2 would make sense, so you could theoretically have conciousness without neurons (although it would require something connected in such a way that it can model some sort of behaviour).

Interestingly, a lot of people use Gödel's Incompletness Theorem to argue that machine conciousness is not possible. Personally i think they're confusing the forest with the neurons.

OK, must run, I apologise in advance for this gross oversimplification and if i've failed to explain anything in any interesting way. But the ideas themselves are fucking interesting, and if anyone would like to get a better gist of it, i'd recommend G.E.B mightily, or 'I Am A Strange Loop' also by Hofstadter, which is smaller and more accessible, but also pretty awesome.

pew pew

p.s. this is a Fundamental Idea, if anyone happens to be interested in dropbunny