If this reality is a dream (hard to prove it’s not) then it simplifies life enormously for time to move linearly. I recently read a time travel/ virtual reality book fiction book and it is very easy to lose the plot if you do not concentrate intensely. There were only 4 “false” and 1 “real” awakening in the book, yet I felt completely disorientated. It helps us to make sense of the world when time to moves linearly, at a seemingly constant speed, and in one direction. It enables cognitive ease with many different processes and allows us to build a narrative explanation for our lives and the existence of our societies.  If cause and effect did not move with a constant velocity then we would not be able to evaluate different lifestyles or habits and compare them in any meaningful way.

Just look at situations where it is impossible to know for certain which came first eg. does a society where the value of time is regarded highly cause people to rush or does a fast-paced lifestyle lead to valuing time highly? This is the classic chicken-egg problem, and this type of problem is the hard to solve and becomes a lost cause when you only have the opportunity for one data point: our planet for instance.

In dreams, you usually don’t have enough time to explore very far, but if you do explore you soon run into ludicrous causality or no causality at all. Apparently in this world that we live in, something usually has a good explanation that unfolds fractally as you learn more about the subject. Or there are many elite scientists and companies working on the problem and making incremental progress.

I contend that this idea that there are known causality for most things is an illusion. Take one of the most fundamental questions: why do atoms not fly apart from the repulsive forces between the electrons and protons? The answer, as so succinctly shown in this xkcd comic: strong nuclear forces. What are strong nuclear forces you might ask? Well, they are strong nuclear forces. One of the most fundamental questions about our reality and the answer is just because. I know that small children would not be satisfied with that answer, and neither am I. Yet that is the best explanation that the world’s expert minds have come up with.

Are you still convinced that a rational and mechanistic causality is proof that our reality is objective? That we stand apart from it, instead of being inextricably intertwined in a subjective experience, in our own little uberwalt created by common agreement of meaning in our languages?

We assume that because all the people we interact who share a common culture and language use the same words for the same things, that it is because those things are inherent, and not just culturally manufactured. I am not saying that everything is arbitrary, just that all the interesting things are. All the things that separate us from the other animals and make us human. Even the concept of blue   or green is dependent on your culture.

With AI and Deep Learning, things that have historically been the exclusive domain of humans such as poetry, game shows, even board games like Go, we have seen that our capabilities in these fields are not unique. The processes are complex, but can be reduced to mathematical algorithms and electrons moving around on a silicon chip. They are illegible and have their own emergent logic. We have never really known who will become a great poet or Go grandmaster or the factors necessary to predict it. I think it is impossible to know. The specific person to achieve fame in a new field is a black swan. That someone will is not. What will happen next remains fundamentally unpredictable.

Aren’t dreams also very unpredictable?

I think I am going to lie down, lose consciousness and then have amnesia about that time period. tldr: I am going to take a nap.

To happiness, and beyond!

 

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