Saturday, August 23, 2014

Metaphysics - Strength of Affect

metaphysics - strength of affect:

it may seem too simplistic to term all that exists in reality, "matter", for the world is complex, and surely not everything is made up of the same thing and it certainly doesn't seem so. and the word "matter" is unavoidably linked to the world that we see, we think of objects as being made up of "matter", even though the visible world is somewhat illusionary in the sense that it does not reflect the fundamental structure of reality. but the word "matter" seems substantial, it implies existence, so i use it in the sense of something that actually exists in this space of this reality.

what would an outside observer make of this reality? that there is an intrinsic intelligence underlying everything perhaps, that things are ordered logically. there is a "mental component" to much of reality. otherwise, physical laws would not hold, there would be no order in the world, the world would not "make sense".

the first few days of time, what you might call "creation", may have been somewhat haphazard, but there was some clever thought as to how things should be, so happenstance first, and reasoning somewhat later to explain how it fitted in with everything else. first there was rain, then there was running water. and the egg came first, it appeared before the chicken. and someone drew an animal, then it appeared, and so on. throw out the concept of logical evolution and imagine a young world with some of what we would now think of as modern 20th century Earth things already present, a world of anachronisms seemingly. houses existed yet no one had built them by hand, the original world had trees, yet no one had planted them and they had not grown to size, they always existed, and so on.

but the visible world is at the "top", if you like, what are "under" it are "concepts" from which what we see are derived. some may be eternal like the tree, and some may not be original, were created after the start of time. i put it that logically, that which we are most used to, find unshocking and most normal, are things that are eternal, that existed from time zero. anything later has more novelty.

at the micro level, considering "least bits of matter", how do they interact with each other? i have examined "seeing the world", put it that our eyesight, our field of vision, is like a 3D television set wrapped around our heads, that we actually, in reality, never shift position and are fixed in real space. an object "moving" is merely a picture being translated across the pixels of light in front of our heads. that works because neighbouring least bits of matter copy the state, or the colour, of the pixel next door, that's how objects seem to move.

there is a "strength" to visible light, it makes copies of itself. this is one example of how neighbouring matter reacts to that next door and the most apparent, but surely neighbours have an effect on change in other ways, not just forcing copying. if we think about a local group of least bits of matter, what decides the change in state of each least bit of matter? posit that each state a least bit of matter assumes has a potential to affect its neighbouring least bits of matter, has a certain "strength of affect". but its neighbours are changing too and their states have competing "strengths of affect". the answer is that the strongest decides.

what is impressive about reality is that it is built on simple "logic rules" or natural laws to create a complex visual "world" in which we can experience "life". what is at the "top", what we see and hear, depends on the order created from "below". and the logic contained is quite strong.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Being Able to Accept the Small Loss

being able to accept the small loss:

in gambling, you are always going to suffer losses sometimes. and actually, if you gamble long enough, you will have a huge losing streak at some point. this is inevitable.

i don't think i fully understood this before i began. they don't advertise this. they don't say, according to mathematical probability, a run of up to ten losses in a row is not even that uncommon after playing long enough. i suppose i was born optimistic, thinking i could win, and i can see now how this could be dangerous, always assuming everything's going to work out.

how you react to a losing streak determines quite a bit, actually. twice, i couldn't stop. i just bet larger and larger chasing my losses. this is not what you should do! you should accept the small loss, stop and walk away.

a win may not make much of a difference but a huge loss, all the money you have and even more if you've borrowed, could ruin your life.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Head Stone in the Land of Illusion

the head stone in the land of illusion:

and the head stone knew for certain then that physical motion was not real. movement was virtual, therefore material objects, the planet, the stars, the universe, all were not quite what they seemed. it thought to itself, i'm a lump of thinking matter that can see pretty lights and hear music and voices, that's all, and keep that in mind, for i'm in the land of illusion now.

how did it get here? dreams had become waking life. the mother in its dreams at the beginning had become its mother in the land of illusion. it realized that this was a world when the boundaries between dream and waking life were blurred. sometimes it thought, i don't feel real, none of this is real. and sometimes people in dreams seemed more real than people in waking life. the land of dreams lay between the old world of its past life and the land of illusion that was Earth.

and when will i leave this land of illusion, the head stone wondered. it concluded that like in the beginning of this life, it would start with an intense dream of somewhere else, for the land of dreams lies between all worlds.

CLEARCHARGE

The Unique Memory Trace

the unique memory trace:

when the thinker is active, the mind at its most conscious, it is easy to forget what you were thinking only a short time ago. when thoughts race through the mind hopping from one subject to the next, we find short term memory limited. it is not uncommon to forget thoughts from only ten seconds ago. on the other hand, we have clear memories of some things that happened years, even decades ago. we remember the mood and atmosphere of the time, what we were thinking, what we were doing then.

for time is not a linear, one dimensional journey where the future must be different from the past, rather, much of time is made up of cycles, things that repeat. we wake up, do what we do in our waking lives, go to sleep, dream and wake up again. we have habits. but are these memorable things? what do we remember?

when we think about the past few years, it is rather the things that were new at the time that we remember clearly, that stand out. it is the new flavour at the time, so to speak, that we remember, be it a mood, certain thoughts, or what we did. whatever it was, it left a unique trace in the memory. so therefore our memory is biased towards the new thing of the time. what is old and oft repeated holds no strong association to any time.

CLEARCHARGE

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Free Will

on free will:

the problem with the debate on "free will", about whether it exists or not, is it is hard to define what it is, in the first place. "will" is easier to understand, but the word "free" is somewhat nebulous. what does it mean exactly, for "will" to be "free"?

instead let us examine what cannot be denied. in many cases before we do something, some action or other, we make a conscious decision to do it. we think about doing it beforehand. never mind where the thought comes from, really, or whether it came as "free". but if we had to think about it most metaphysically, perhaps our decision engine, if you like, is like an electronic gadget, where electric currents flow, creating options, say four possible choices usually, and then the engine defaults to the option with the largest current, or perhaps it chooses the first option with current that flows, or the second. i think, where this could be construed as not being "free will", is where an outside agency interferes with the process, as in "pushes your buttons".

what influences our decisions? mostly our personality. this is a thing which limits what we do. we are people who would never do certain things because it is not in our personality to do those things. at an extreme, a person who does very little and avoids almost everything, could that person possess what we call "free will"? "free" rather implies the opposite of restrictive. you could say such a person had "restrictive will". and if life is deterministic, it is mostly determined by personality, is it not?

finally, let us look at a common social situation. in a room are several people, some friends perhaps, some strangers. all are on their best behaviour. now, if say one of them were alone in the room, she would act very differently, perhaps it is her house and everyone else is a guest, but the presence of other people, outside agency, is affecting her "will". she can't be "free" unless she is alone. this is a world, and perhaps a reality, full of people, who affect each other, so how much "free will", in a sense, could there be?

i think in the best sense "free will" is independent agency, where you make your own decisions as a person, and make the best decisions, all things considered, out of all the choices there are, given the circumstances.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What of Memory If There Is Change?

what of memory if there is change:

it is a characteristic problem in dreams that everything changes so fast that you lose things. i have a recurrent kind of nightmare where for example i am about to travel in a plane, but i've lost my passport or something else i had earlier. the world of dreams is very unstable. however, in contrast, the world of waking life seems very stable and almost permanent, but is it?

the very essence of time is that things change. you may argue that time is most real in dreams, where everything changes fast. and if things change can anything last? can you have reliable mental memory or material records that we trust will not become corrupted in time?

if i wrote something in a book in a dream, i would not be surprised if either the entry changed soon after or even if the entry or book disappeared later never to be seen again. however, in waking life, there was a time when i would be surprised if a book changed magically overnight and a passage disappeared, because i thought the world was more stable than it is. but that's time, if something were truly to stay the same, then time could not be real.

now all this is worrying, i fear my memory is at best only a partially true record of the past, where there are cases where vivid memories have been conflated and i think events happened at the same time but didn't, where some details are now false and never happened, where if the past had certain flavours to it, the flavours of my memories are now mutated, and so on. and why is this so? because time slowly destroys memory through change.

i admit to a minor crisis, where my memory does not quite agree with material records, paper and electronic. logically it's easy to say, well, either your memory is wrong or the records are, or perhaps even both, but they can't both be right at the same time. the confusion is real and disturbing. if my memory is that wrong, i'm in big trouble. if paper or electronic records have mutated to something inaccurate, then they are unreliable and lying to me.

and you then think, if only there weren't so much change, nobody can remember it all! and if material records are subject to inevitable change as well, naturally, and are therefore unreliable, what then? from experience, living randomly and impulsively leads to fragments of memory which are hard to piece together a few years later. one of the biggest problems is conflation of bright memories, and where you assume that other events, less well remembered, happened then or there as well, when they didn't. this is pretty much the case a few years afterwards. however i think that very many years later, your memory is cleaned out somewhat and what's left tends to be true and the confusion is gone, even if only because lots of other memories have been lost.

on reflection it seems that anyone who does a lot is simply not going to remember much. if you really wanted to keep memory organized you would have to devise some kind of repetitive schedule at the very least, like fish on Fridays, then you could say, well, it was a Friday, so then i probably had fish.

CLEARCHARGE

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Errors in the Matrix

errors in the matrix:

i borrow the term "matrix" from the films but what i mean is that life here on Earth cannot be quite what it seems, that the material world is somewhat illusory. some of these errors in the matrix are obvious, like when you teleport, as happened to me in Durham, England, in 1993 and 1994, or when you suddenly skip a short distance ahead when you're walking, a mini-teleport, if you will. that happened to me, my father and sister in the underground lobby of the Louvre, in Paris, in 1998. these are clear visual mistakes, things that go against the rules of movement in the matrix. the audio mistakes are more subtle, like when you can bend the lyrics of a song to what you are thinking, when your mind takes over what you're hearing.

but there are other things less obvious. if you're careful, and observant, and your memory is good enough, you will notice other errors. first of all, in my experience, text, what you see on a printed page, is not reliably permanent, is actually unstable. there are instances where i'm sure the print has changed. for example, the first time i read a certain novel, there was a certain passage i remember which i couldn't find again on rereading it. it had disappeared. i am talking about the same book, not reading a copy of a later edition. i've found discarded railway and Underground tickets in London dated in the future. railway timetable boards have changed instantly in front of me. recently, looking through old credit card statements yesterday, something else has come to my attention. now in my memory i bought Sony earphones at Bluewater, in Greenhithe, in 2009, but i also remember after that i found the unopened earphones package with the receipt one day and the receipt was printed showing the transaction as being at the Sony store in Orpington, so after that i assumed my memory was wrong and that i had actually bought it there, not at Bluewater. but now the credit card statement confirms that it was bought at Bluewater in May, 2009. now i have not bought so many Sony earphones that i have confused them with another. i can only conclude that the matrix, the Earth system, had the actual source record for the receipt corrupted or mutated to show false details.

now things like this make you think you are losing your mind perhaps, or that your memory is faulty. but if your memory is correct that means the text has changed, and that you can never rely on text to stay the same. it is fortunate that i've seen text change instantly in front of me or i would keep questioning my memory, assuming that the text couldn't change.

and another thing i've noticed and i've read about elsewhere on the web on glitches in the matrix, but am not sure about, is seeing people walk past me twice. now i wasn't paying attention to where they were all the time exactly, but am i seeing repeats?

as someone with the diagnosis of schizophrenia, i am expected to hallucinate and i do know i do hallucinate. you see where this leads, hypothetically? if i hallucinate, am i hallucinating everything? everything and everyone on Earth? am i totally alone in my own world of hallucinations? once the error in the matrix becomes obvious, becomes apparent, you instinctively move mentally to dismiss the entire world as a falsity. this is extreme, but a natural reaction.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Talk As Play Match Like and the Pitfall of Different Interest

talk as play match like and the pitfall of different interest:

to the objective observer, a successful conversation reveals that the talkers are alike in some ways, one of them reveals something about himself or herself and the other, in essence, responds that they are the same that way. what is success? obviously, where both are happy about the talk. and you can sense the truth of this theory about success from playing match like with like in personality, values and interests by thinking about what the opposite is, a disaster in conversation, namely an argument where it is apparent that both are not the same, that they have sharp differences.

where even two people have the same interest, they may have different levels of interest. one may be only slightly interested. given that you like to speak about what you're interested in, and most people are interested in themselves, an obvious example of what could go wrong is that you say too much about yourself, more than interests the other person. it would require some fascination with the other person to be a captive audience.

talk reveals what seems very real in your own world. you should be aware that these things may not figure so much in another person's world, they may not be important to them, they may not even think about them. as an example, if one remembers such and such happened when together with the other person, but the other person doesn't remember at all, it is awkward to mention it and be met with puzzled indifference.

and where talk starts going wrong, before full blown argument, when the other person is in a bad mood and suspects the worst of you, it is probably wise to say as little as possible. it's like everything you say will be used against you, that is, it will only trigger a chain of bad thoughts in the other person's mind about you. everything you say will be given a negative interpretation. or that they think you're lying.

but rather coldly viewed, to say anything to another person is always a risk, it's inherent in life. we start off knowing very little about the other person. it's actually very easy for it to go wrong in the beginning, until you have some idea of the other person, you really don't know what is safe to say, what you have in common.

subjectively, good talk seems almost to have a kind of glamour injected. mutual personal values are confirmed, essentially, we both think such and such are good things, we both want to have such and such. one validates the other.

CLEARCHARGE

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Destiny of the Head Stone

the destiny of the head stone:

one of the first questions the head stone ever had was where am i? for there was something to see, even in the beginning, which makes sense because otherwise it surely would have been blind. and the magical light in the cone-shaped field in front of it was deceptive for it implied movement. later, it concluded finally that where it was, really, bore no relation to what it saw. images may seem to move, but the head stone was truly forever immovable, like a piece of jade embedded in the rock of space.

another question in the beginning was, of course, were there others like it? as time became apparent would it meet them, be able to see some representation of another person? or at least know something of what lay far beyond it in space? how to communicate with someone else through the senses? the first moments of time were deceptively quiet and solitary.

be that as it may, it was destined to be born into the later world, really a vigorous exercise of the senses, even if such life is mostly a visual experience, a son et lumière for the mind. and like all shows, its life in this world had to come to an end. time is elastic, the return to what life was before was inevitable.

and it would think back on its period in the world, its life there, what it was to think for a time that it was someone living in a universe with billions of people on a planet called Earth.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Reactive Mind

the reactive mind:

"what i'm saying is that people are impressionable. they go by what they see. and that's obvious that materialism is built on a visual impression of the world, what we see is thought of as real. and dreams, because what we see is usually less clear, that's thought of as not real, because it's less than what we see in waking life."

"wait, what's your argument, that dreams are just as real? or they're both not real? because i would go with both not being that real."

"maybe they're equally real or equally not real, if you see what i mean. my point is that we place dreams on a lower status just because we see in waking life much more clearly and it's a more stable world. we prize clarity and stability. you could say the mind is a big snob about the clear light of waking life."

"that philosopher who wondered whether he was a human dreaming of being a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming of being human? that you could say both are true?"

"right. the mind reacts upon waking that the dream wasn't real but what if it was?"

"so you could be sharing a dream with real people just as you could be with philosophical zombies in waking life?"

"right. zombies without consciousness, human illusions, simulated people, hallucinations of people, non player characters, whatever. it is interesting that when we consider that a lot of people on earth may not be real, doesn't that mean we're hallucinating? that everyone on earth falls into the schizoid camp of people? that everyone is schizophrenic?"

"but you're equating hallucinations with schizophrenia. but yes, i agree, but not everyone is clinically diagnosed schizophrenic. i have a theory though. all real people may be schizophrenic to some degree, it's just that most people hide it better than those that end up committed to a mental hospital. they have better coping mechanisms. think of it this way, there's a statistic i've read that over 10% hear voices or auditory hallucinations. and if this earth is a simulated world, that means 100% see visual hallucinations of people. why are only 1%, that's the statistic, diagnosed schizophrenic?"

"what you're saying is most people are just better at acting normal so they don't get locked up in a psychiatric ward?"

"exactly. but that's just my theory. it's like acting not normal is illegal and they're well aware of it."

"probably from a very early age, i guess. and i've been trying to remember the first part of my life better. i'm still sure how i ended up here on earth was because i dreamed of earth and then woke up in it. born at the age of three. on the one hand, you've got the theory life on earth is a dream, then you have the theory it's a computer simulation, or that's it's a grand hallucination, but really i guess it has elements of all three."

"it's the frame of reference. like if you think it's a simulation then the question is who created it. the idea of god as the programmer just pops up like that naturally. but i think a lot of people don't ask who created your dreams last night, right?"

"it seems there's no getting away from the concept of god though. everyone on earth feels powerless really. and so everyone can imagine what god is. it's like it's one of the most common concepts that everyone arrives at. what if there is someone with power over it all, even if it's just someone who manages to hack the Matrix, if you like?"

"but is it run on what could be like computer code? are dreams coded too? what if, by inventing the computer and programming languages, we've made it run on computer code in the background?"

"and it wasn't before? so earth was fundamentally different before the advent of the computer age? and now it does run on something like C++? because now the code exists? and this is out there but like maybe before Newton's Laws of Motion, mechanical motion was different? humans somehow made motion work to the laws? who remembers?"

"right. once something new exists, it could change everything in the universe."

"what is the unconscious? is it just the material connecting our senses and the thought in our heads to everything else running in the invisible background? is it a random chaotic swirl happening around us?"

"yes. it's not easy to think about what really goes on, the metaphysics of reality. but all this talk of a simulated reality is the reaction to the Matrix movies, it really popularized the concept. the schizophrenia theory of earth and creation is not as popular."

"it's a loaded word. people fear madness. and chaos, which mentally is what schizophrenia is."

"again, people want stability. full on schizophrenia violently bends reality. it frightens people. it's like taking a sledgehammer to the world that is actually very delicate."

"the question is, if earth is hallucinatory, let's go with this, what makes it so stable?"

"maybe it's the code behind it now. computer science. now everyone knows and imagines the medieval world as a magical, chaotic place and time, it's fully in the culture. the thing is, what if we dismiss those that dismiss that as superstitious nonsense, and consider that's what life really was, nobody made it up later? ancient times really were the world of swords and sorcery?"

"and science banished that away and replaced it with today? science killed the magic? i don't know. i have my doubts sometimes that reality is even older than a few hundred years. i mean i've heard it's the Year 443. that means Year 1 was AD 1572 equivalent. it's like the dream world is constructed in an instant, and so could earth be therefore, i guess."

"that's true, it's just conjecture. but that's the way to think, i think. try to find the truth in everything. consider everything if it were true at first, without prejudice. hopefully eventually what is false will become obvious."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Talk Illuminates the Mental Board

talk illuminates the mental board:

such was a time when talk was magical and wonderful, for it confirmed we were not alone. it is in essence why we talk, we don't want to be alone. to contend with the idea that you might be alone is a miserable experience. is anyone who suspects solipsism might be true happy? the concept that within the reality there is only one person. of course there might be other people but they would be in separate realities surely, not connected at all?

but given that there may be many people in this reality, each a head containing consciousness, the prospect becomes intimidating, does it not? the situation is complex. if each head were like a lollipop contained in its own zone of personal space, the space of this reality is littered with lollipops, stuck forever in place. through whatever the real process is, the lollipops can communicate with the other lollipops, and talking is the most obvious form. now presumably, the lollipops next to you are the ones most familiar to you, let's assume distance has a real effect, even though some communications may keep integrity over large distances. and probably you share values and language after so many years together. this localization makes those far away, those beyond your neighbours, perhaps hundreds of degrees of separation away in space, seem almost alien.

beyond the initial joy of not being alone and having someone to talk to, complications inevitably arise. each has its own values, what is good and what is bad, and to what degree. you might argue there are universal values and this is true, like death is bad, whatever death is, as we who are living cannot truly define death, it remains a vague original fear in the mind. of course those who live on earth now have another incarnation and death holds a modern meaning now, different from what it originally meant. i don't think the original fear is ever lost though. and so the problem becomes what to make of opposing values.

outright hostility because of it seems the threat. if i hate something and you like it, does that not mean i hate you? that is the premise of the fear associated with talk. if we assume there are a lot of people, and they act as a buffer, it perhaps just means indifference in actuality. if we can preserve at least civility with our closest neighbours, perhaps in the final judgement, disagreement with those far away does not matter much.

for talk reveals our values, it cannot not do so. generally, we speak of things we like most of all, unless we be toxic containers of hate spewing thoughts of what we don't. if we conceive of a mental board indicating that that we think is good and what is bad, the other person talking to us has a real effect. if they think something is good also, we feel they confirm our opinion, again the sense that we are not alone.

of course, there are other things apart from personal curiosity about the other person, we like to learn truths from others, and we want them to make us believe things are not as bad as we think, and of course day to day we talk about what we do. also, as it is as sound, like music, talk is an art, it may have a quality not easily defined, and is more than just the functional exchange of ideas.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Understanding Reality with Words

understanding reality with words:

"the thing is, none of us were born knowing a lot, right? how much did we know at the start of time, assuming our consciousness existed even then? but now we know a lot more, we've built up complexes of meanings for words that are related to everyday life. now the search to explain reality inevitably involves using these complexes as metaphors, if you like, to describe how reality works. so the old either or argument is whether reality is mental or material, material in the sense that the things we see and can touch are real. these are the schools of idealism and materialism or physicalism."

"it's easy to see why materialism is popular. we're highly visual."

"right. we're impressed by what we see and touch. idealism is a pulling back from sense perception, doubt comes in. is it all in my own mind kind of question."

"yeah. it's not easy to believe in materialism when you find your mind can influence what you see. really, someone who completely believes in materialism is someone for whom everything completely works, like as in scientifically. i don't think any highly schizophrenic person can be a materialist. imagine seeing what are called "hallucinations" all the time, really bizarre things, hearing many voices you can talk to, just like with other people you can see, and so on. materialism soon seems the theory of a hopelessly naive person living the perfectly "normal" life where nothing weird happens. the idea that the mind is greater than what seems "material" soon occurs. the schizophrenic may be ill, per se, but the instability mentally that occurs during a psychotic episode shows this to be the case. i may be "hallucinating" but what if i can touch the "hallucination", what if i can talk to the "hallucination"?"

"the irony is that most of Earth may be described as a "hallucination". i mean a guy may be "normal", not clinically schizophrenic, but if the world is full of philosophical zombies, illusions of people, is he not hallucinating?"

"that's going on hallucinating meaning not real. i suppose maybe you could argue that everyone on Earth is actually schizophrenic, it's just that most don't know it, they hallucinate people all the time, assuming philosophical zombies are real, and that they all have the potential to blow out to full clinical schizophrenia at some point."

"i think the word that came up after i became schizophrenic was "belief" or "believe". because the onset radically alters your beliefs and you think if only i could "believe" i could make things real."

"do you mean like magical thinking?"

"yeah. like believing if you did something, something would happen, against all scientific reasoning of course. but like things happened. at a railway station, i was looking at a train timetable and then it instantly changed in front of me, the whole board, and the same day, i looked at the railway map, at a map where all the towns of the UK were in different places. it was like i stepped into a parallel universe for a day. if i believed any of it, things might have turned out differently on the day."

"actually that sounds dangerous. maybe you shouldn't travel when you're very schizophrenic."

"that's the frightening truth about schizophrenia and idealism. it is all in your own mind. if you're mind's breaking down, it's actually dangerous. there's no comfort that there's a solid material world out there that's stable."

"but what is beyond mental and material, if there is anything? because now we have computers and that brings in a whole lot of new concepts."

"right. so now we use computer metaphors to describe reality, like it's a "computer simulation", it's a "simulated reality", "bits", "information", "data" and so on. but there's another word that is a factor in all these explanations, it's the word "personal", like is there is a creator who programmed it all in the beginning, a person."

"maybe it's because people want to believe that there is power over it all, that there is a god, if you like. to think that it all is chaotic, non personal, and the situation is highly volatile is kind of frightening. it's like everyone's trapped in a bus going at 120 miles per hour and there's no driver at all!"

"but let's say it is all personal, it's mental, but it's the unconscious in control. what is the unconscious? we all know what consciousness is, we identify ourselves often as our consciousness. i think, therefore i am, but what if i personally am a lot more than what i think, and part of that a lot more is the unconscious?"

"maybe that's what the collective unconscious is, it's like an invisible cloud spread throughout reality that connects everyone. and everyone's head is a pinpoint of consciousness."

"yes. the head is small relative to what surrounds it. the idea of personal zones, assuming everyone is fixed in position in real space, where in that zone everything is more closely linked to and influenced by the head there, where does one person become another person, where's the border?"

"what if, using the computer analogy, it's not all personal, because that's too egocentric, it's all data, or bits? and like even a pixel of light we see is a bit?"

"yes. it's easy to see how new things change the way we think about everything. it's like a new frame of thought appears through which we filter everything old to try to refine what we know and make sense of things."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ask of What You Think

ask of what you think:

"so your thought process is often a little vague to start with. maybe what you're thinking about has been in your subconscious for a while and only now you're really thinking about it. what comes from the subconscious may seem random and disorganized. it's the conscious thinker's job to organize it, if you like, to have it make sense and to question the assumptions it rests on. it may be thinking of an action, for example, something you should do. well, the first assumption you've made is that the action is possible and the second is that it is a good thing. if we examine the action part, we need to define our terms, what exactly is the action? if we express this as a sentence, what does each word mean exactly? then we can consider whether it is truly possible or not. the second part is an opinion and based on our own personal value systems, what is good and what is bad."

"most thoughts don't come into our consciousness with everything so clearly defined. i guess the subconscious is like a melting pot of ideas, mixing and combining them all the time. and what's going on in the subconscious is often not pretty, it's based on fears."

"what makes the conscious mind different from the subconscious is that it asks questions and isn't really satisfied until it has answers."

CLEARCHARGE

Monday, March 10, 2014

From a Dream to Earth

from a dream to earth:

it was something like this, a series of dreams that were snapshots of life as a three year old. it covered a period of about a year in my life history, although i estimate the time i was asleep was only for a few days. i question why i remember the sequence so well. it must be because they were particularly vivid dreams almost like waking life. certainly the last dream became such. i awoke in the dream. i had come to Earth.

i cannot remember the day before i fell asleep and was truly born on Earth. i guess life was very simpler. i am not solipsistic by nature, even though for short periods i did consider i could be alone, even that the world was created the day i was born and that was why i could remember nothing beforehand. of course i dismissed that. from experience, i know that in a dream, memory is destroyed or unavailable and that is probably why i remember next to nothing about my previous life. i am still held in the "dream" of Earth.

to the paranoid suffering on Earth, it is not hard to imagine that an external demon, much like that of Descartes' concept, has lured us to Earth and imprisoned us against our will. because we are powerless in the process, it seems there are greater forces at work, but is it really personal? i confess, given a choice, i would not have come here. but also, i have dreamed far worse nightmares, Earth is not the worst prison. it is the lack of power that is frightening. i didn't ask to be born here.

what is the way out? can we return from whence we came? it seems logical that the exit is the entrance, we can only leave through a dream as well. i guess that before i die on Earth, dreams will become more vivid, more lucid perhaps, and that one day i will dream of elsewhere and wake up there. i will have died just as i was born.

CLEARCHARGE

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In Your World

in your world:

"in your world that might be a famous person, but i've never heard of him."

is there a metaphysical significance to that? could it be that we are really living in our own worlds, our own versions of Earth, only it just seems that we are living in the same, standardized Earth, with the same people in it? the invention of the computer and the internet showed us what was possible first of all and introduced concepts that we could borrow from to better understand the metaphysics of reality.

"ok, what if this person only exists in my world, i mean, i know when you say "in my world" you generally mean the place where you live, the people you know, etc. and that's individual but you assume that the media is the same, right?"

"maybe it isn't. how far you can test it is doubtful too. maybe you could look it up, this guy you're talking about, on the internet, and show me that he exists, but how do i know that you haven't just delivered that media to me through some channel in real space, just now, by us being together? and that he really didn't exist in my world before, but now i'm with you, he does? if you see what i mean."

"so real people meeting each other involves some kind of trade of information?"

"yes. so it opens up channels, i don't know, i'm tempted to say subspace channels but that's something else on Star Trek, maybe "interpersonal data channel" is better. i don't believe in the concept of the external world so how else could it work? i mean, of course, the data channels are open even when we're not together but presumably they're even more open when we are."

"so say we live in a more or less standardized, common Earth. i guess for it to be 100% standardized, it would require some central "Earth supercomputer" and maybe that doesn't exist. everyone has their own local Earth supercomputer, like everyone's an internet server, so to speak, in their own right."

"yeah, so data flows back and forth and yeah, obviously you each have some kind of supercomputer to render all your visuals, everything you see, and hear of course."

"and maybe data gets corrupted, there are errors in the transmission."

"and signal noise. that could explain how we live in slightly different versions of Earth. like we all live in parallel universes. because of poor connection. but i had an experience, where i was waiting to meet someone in a public place, and they appeared out of nowhere, literally."

"that happens to me too. we were going abroad and we were in a large train station and my father had wandered off and i was getting worried because i couldn't see him and then he appeared suddenly, just like that, at a distance. it's things like travel where you get paranoid whether the whole thing actually "works" or not."

"and then i was upset once, very emotional, and then either the dvd player broke or there was no electricity or something but it wouldn't come on. and then when i calmed down, it worked."

"i mean you could explain it away as, "oh, it's all in your mind", it was just an electrical fault, but the worrying thing is that if the external world is not real, it really is all in your own mind! weird things, frightening things, happen when you are very emotional."

"yeah like machines break. maybe it's harder to meet real people, assuming lots of simulated Non Player Characters, not just because there may be few real people, but because everything has to work, there has to be an excellent connection between real people."

"i don't know. real people. in one way, i think it's more frightening. what if you don't get along? a virtual character, someone simulated, you don't really care, right? it doesn't matter."

"well i don't know about that. what if the NPC came from someone else's, a real person's, database of characters, maybe they're not real but they're just like someone real, and they would know how you treat one of their simulated people."

"my army of illusions against someone else's? i still think it's less intimidating to deal with someone simulated and wouldn't you convert a character from somewhere else to someone more suitable in your own matrix? i don't know. but trade is good, right? when i was a kid, i really don't think i could write that easily. i mean, like when i was 6, we had to write an essay each weekend on that week's lesson on Native Americans, one page. it wasn't easy for me. maybe i could write better in a previous life and just forgot, but it's like, when i go to a book store and see all those titles on the shelves, that's got to come from elsewhere, other people have done all that, my unconscious or local Earth supercomputer may be able to create simulated people and a few snatches of speech but it's hard to believe it could come up with thousands of different books."

"think how much your world has changed. and you're not alone is what that shows. there are a ton of ideas out there."

CLEARCHARGE

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Extremes of Thought

the extremes of thought:

"you know i can't say it's true for everyone, but i think it tends to be that when people think, they think in extremes, in superlatives, or that something applies to everything. it's like they add words like "all" or "infinite" or "maximum", something like that. an example, the word "god", i mean that gives the impression of a person who is all powerful, all seeing, knows everything, infinite magical powers, present everywhere and so on. or when people make generalizations about nationalities, or gender, etc., it's like, without actually saying it, they're still implying it's true about everyone. it's like a common fallacy of thought."

"well, "god" is an extreme example, it's just that the word has that impact, you know? it just suggests all that naturally. but maybe that's why people don't believe in god, put like that, it's hard to imagine anyone really being that powerful. i mean what if a lesser version of a god existed, like just people who were powerful in ancient times, you know, who did things that determine what the present is today, like inventors or creators, but then again, maybe you wouldn't call them gods, i don't know. i mean it occurred to me, i had this idea that maybe someone drew a picture of a cat in ancient times and then cats appeared after that, you know something more prosaic like that. but anyway, i think the truth is that it's hard to think of exceptions or that something is only partially true, simple thought tends to initially assume the statement is generally true, that it's qualified by the word "all"."

"like space, for me, it's hard to imagine that real space, this reality, is infinite in size. i mean theoretically, the universe, which would be virtual if the external world were an illusion, could be infinite but that's only because the space of the universe is not real space. it's far easier for me to imagine and believe that the size of reality is finite. i mean maybe my own personal bubble in space, if you like, is part of the outer limit of real space and i sense there is nothing beyond that, who knows? but there are far more questions about time."

"here we go. time is change. real space is made up of discrete particles of matter and these change. that's what time is."

"or least bits of matter. even mental things are matter. everything in real space is matter."

"so it's sort of like philosophical idealism for you but mental is material, is a form of matter, in your concept. the problem for you is that the state of the language at present assumes materialism, "matter" generally means something else, something that exists in an external world, and therefore as it is, mental is not "material", is not "matter", to a lot of people, if that makes any sense."

"it's just that it's far simpler to call everything that exists truly in real space, matter."

"anyway, at least some of these least bits of matter change and in all time is a set of states that these can have, right?"

"yes, you can't assume that everything changes. the question is whether an individual least bit of matter's set of states is infinite or finite, i mean, even if change is discrete, theoretically you wonder still if the set were infinite."

"that's confusing because if the set were infinite, it would suggest that time would be continuous, because if change were continuous, obviously the set would be infinite, but maybe not the other way round, an infinite set does not necessarily mean that time is continuous. but i agree theoretically even if change were discrete, the set might still be infinite. but emotionally speaking, would i prefer to live in infinite change or finite? i mean first, you think, finite, well maybe that's not so good, i'm being limited, but then you think infinite, well, that includes all bad things as well, so rationally maybe it's not such a good idea? i think the length of time a state could last also changes. obviously, like, we can vary the length of time between blinks, for example, while still looking at the same thing, something like that."

"it's like a grand tapestry of life where everything that could happen is depicted in one huge picture, that's what finite is."

"and the whole question of immortality and death, though. again we can't help but think in extremes, what is immortality? perfect health, infinite time, free from illness and physical damage, fine food, beautiful gardens, wonderful life, etc. again, it makes it hard to believe in. and death, my thinking gets very confused. first what would it be in a metaphysical sense? when something ends? well what is time if not everything ending and becoming something else? and if you tried to stay the same forever, wouldn't that be the death of time? isn't there a contradiction there? time is a killer, it kills off the past? i mean what could real immortality, that is the opposite of death, what could it be?"

"but time repeats, at the micro level, and maybe even as a whole, at what you could call the end of time. this time now, unless it's a complete repeat already, like it's actually the year 40 trillion or something and we've already done like 300 repeats of this life but we still think the date is 13 billion or even Year 442 going into Year 443, it's a time of great change in general. actually hopefully it's just a once through event, i really don't want to repeat this lifetime."

"yes. maybe time is very "thin" now and this is not to be repeated, like once on earth is enough, never mind having to repeat this lifetime over and over again. but we think finite, and then little, but even if time were finite in a metaphysical sense the numbers are still huge. but back to thinking in general, we tend to think the word "all" about statements, but time and space make a difference, like maybe something is only true sometimes and not others and maybe something is only true somewhere else."

"like maybe it's true for someone else, somewhere else, but it's not true for me. also what about overestimation, something's true but it's not really that important?"

"well that's a problem of the mind, we can only focus on a few things or even one thing at a time consciously and everything we think, it blows up in our minds, so we overestimate it's importance. it's like, something was a huge deal when i was sixteen, but now i think, what was i thinking? and the mind is a fickle thing, because in actuality, we forget, we can't keep things in our conscious mind, but that's just time for you."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Sense of Progress in Time

a sense of progress in time:

"you might think, or rather like to think, that the world is stable, that history proves that progress is true, that time moves in a linear fashion, much like the timeline on a historical chart, but you might be wrong. there is that one idea of time which we entertain that time really is linear, the arrow of time and all that."

"but if that isn't the case, what is? the future seems different from the past. we learn from our mistakes, and so on."

"the essence of the theory that time is linear which infects everyone is that the future really is different from the past, in short that time is endless change different from the past, to infinity perhaps, or even that there is some catastrophic end to time, that everything must freeze or something like that, whereas that can't be the case. imagine a world like that, maybe i see red and blue today, but from tomorrow i will never see those two colours again, i will see completely different new colours, and the same again the next day, the past is irretrievable and life is violent change all the time."

"so what you're saying is because we experience the same things again, that we can take it for granted that some things are constants, that actually that the past repeats itself? we actually go back in time for a repeat?"

"exactly. which is a relief, don't you think? but it's not a repeat as a whole, i mean, imagine your own space in your own world, wherever that is, as mapped out with something like Cartesian coordinates, one axis goes out forwards from your body, one axis left and right, one up and down, sitting down to your computer, assuming you sit in exactly the same position and look at the same pixel of the taskbar on the computer screen in front of you at two different times, you may see the same shade of blue of the pixel for those exact coordinates, but of course everything else is different, your thoughts at the times, maybe your legs are crossed differently, etc. the point is we get localized repeats but as a whole, as in eternal return, perhaps never."

"your theory is that what seems like physical motion is an illusion, that actually everything is fixed in space and that each thing that makes up the stuff of reality can repeat?"

"yes, imagine if we were blind. motion wouldn't seem so real then, would it? so if time at the level of each discrete particle that makes up the stuff of reality, or least bit of matter, if you like, is merely a collection of changes in state, the question is whether this is finite or not. of course, if it were infinite, it would suggest that time would be continuous, would it not? however i posit that time is discrete. the question is how finite is the number of states that could exist?"

"so a simple discrete particle may only have a dozen or so states and it would look like it was leaping back and forth between them? there's the state at the start of time and it's like it's moving away from that and then coming back and then away again or something like that. but if the number of states is finite we'd end up repeating later sections of time as a whole surely, if not the start of time itself?"

"i guess so. though perhaps the time each state lasts could be variable. i think what gives progress meaning is the sense that things are getting better or rather even, that bad things have stopped. i came up with some of these ideas years ago, for example, in the 1990's but it is only recently that i've written about them, so it's like an idea popped into my head in say 1993 and then faded and came back in further thought again and again over the years but it's only now that this idea and others fully matured and manifested in this blog post."

"i used to believe a lot of things that now seem just wrong. so progress, in the positive sense, is that an idea becomes bigger and bigger until it manifests in a greater way. progress in the negative sense, it's that we stop believing in falsity. i can't stop thinking, are we more or less susceptible to false beliefs? it's so easy to be crazy. and it's frightening when we suspect we are. like relationships with people, what if we're completely mistaken about someone and their emotions or intentions?"

"it happens, but it's easy to make too much of it, i think. i am me and you are you, and we're all alone in a sense. connection brings a sense of immediacy that perhaps isn't that real. of course we have real neighbours in space and that doesn't change. it's all well and good to think about time, but space may be more important."

"like who your real neighbours are and what are they like? i mean, it's fine perhaps some of us live in a Matrix-like world that is Earth and maybe we "meet" real people in it, but what if the two people who do so are like 4 billion light years away from each other in reality? how does that work? it may seem like someone i meet is 4 feet away from me, but actually is light years away in real space and is just a hologram, in effect, to me. a real long distance relationship."

"you wonder how that works, is speech rendered accurately as to sound, or is there some guesswork in the system at either end?"

"and people are shocking. like you have in your own mind what people are like, but maybe that's just the people actually near you and people far away you meet are different, not what you're used to."

"the thing is, hoping to know everything about reality is like hoping to know all other people, it's not going to happen. the other thing against materialism, apart from the external world being an illusion, is that it makes everything seem non-personal. when i think of space i think of areas of personal spaces, beyond my neighbour is perhaps someone else who i only connect with through my neighbour."

"like what is the maximum degree of separation in reality? it could be over a thousand degrees! and what if two people a thousand degrees of separation apart got married in the matrix of Earth? wouldn't everyone in between know about it? or maybe the connection between them is secure?"

"but the signal, assume it's good, they might never know, perhaps. and maybe we're not aware of the communication traffic going on through us. but you never know, they might be a famous couple in the news."

"well it's always seemed like we weren't that alone here, maybe we live in a densely populated zone or we're somewhere in the middle of space. i imagine someone at the very end of space might think either that he or she were completely alone and living in solipsism or that there were only a few other people that existed."

"or that we are in a lonely area of space but that connection is great."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Problem of False Memory

the problem of false memory:

of course, ideally, we'd like memory, what there is of it, to be true, but inevitably some of it is false, perhaps only a little part even, but that is enough to make us uneasy, if not question whether we are losing our minds.

as an example, i remember December, 1985, on winter school holiday, as a time of staying up late watching television. in my memory, a few years afterwards, i saw the film, Night Shift, on a Thursday night but also that it was New Year's Eve. now New Year's Eve, 1985, was a Tuesday so Thursday is a false memory. now for a long time right up to today, i thought i had seen the movie on a Thursday and therefore not on New Year's Eve, but having just discovered TV Tango's website and checking the listings for December 31, 1985 confirms that it was on CBS that day. i thought for years that i had conflated two memories, and before that, that i had seen the movie on New Year's Eve and that December 31, 1985 was a Thursday. now one avenue of thought is that actually yes it was and somehow the calendar had changed after that but that is unlikely as i remember that August 27, 1986 was definitely a Wednesday and assuming the calendar hadn't changed between the two dates and that TV Tango is correct, December 31, 1985 was definitely a Tuesday and i saw Night Shift that night. where did the memory of Thursday come from? i did also have the vague memory that New Year's Day was Wednesday at the same time as thinking i saw the film on Thursday, so pretty confused there.

my dream life has some continuity as well, like a parallel world where i have a different history with the dream versions of people in waking life and in that they often happen in dream versions of places like schools i went to or old homes i lived in. it happened where i realized i was in a dream but struggled to remember whether such things had happened in waking life with people i knew. what i conclude from this is that memory is very bad in dreams, false memories are ever present, which explains why we remember so little of what happened before our lives on earth. that i was born into earth, this world, means that i had an amnesiac break from what went before, my previous life, perhaps i was asleep for days, if not months, dreaming and eventually captured and propelled by my dreams of earth into earth.

so i've muddled days and confused memories or that things had happened slightly differently or that the order was hard to determine, but most disturbingly, have i memories of events that never happened at all but which i have vivid details of in my mind? well, hopefully not, and nothing stands out.

what about when we cannot remember something, like a name, but obviously we have not forgotten entirely because when we check or ask someone, we instantly recognize that as the thing forgotten? there is some residual memory that exists even though we cannot bring it into conscious thought. how does this recognition work? i think it is something like an incomplete electrical circuit and when we introduce the missing element, the current flows and we recognize. now i digress, if the theory of eternal return of time were somewhat true, wouldn't we have a buildup of residue that got bigger and bigger with each repeat of events, that we might predict the future accurately? i don't think we do. and residue must exist, perhaps some of it's ancient, for some things feel familiar to us, without us being able to explain why.

what about the start of time? let us assume our minds always existed, predating earth. it is easy to think, because we don't think we can remember what happened before our lives on earth, that perhaps it is a solipsistic nightmare and that earth began when we were born. what do i remember of the first day? when i think about it, i imagine a scene of the ground covered with pebbles and stones, a reddish brown colour, not much visibility, there was fog, walking forwards slowly, looking around, seeing trees, and alone at first. now presumably, the first day was a shocking time and thus more easily remembered than any other day.

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Life Like in a Matrix

life like in a matrix:

"having seen The Matrix movie, it's inevitable that you ask yourself, what if i'm in a matrix? i mean it's deceptive, we know the movie is a fiction and over the top so it's easy to dismiss, but what if the concept of simulated reality were real, just a more normal, mundane version? if i were in a matrix, how does the real thing differ from the movie one?"

"but what do you mean by in a matrix exactly?"

"well, first of all, the external world is not real. i mean, some might say that means philosophical idealism is true, but i'm not so sure that means everything is mental, that is, somehow related to thought and the five senses, what if there were still non-mental things which you couldn't exactly call physical or material as in like what you see in what is perceived as the physical external world, actually, as an aside, i'm not so sure physical is the right word as that means "human body" to me and i'm guessing that was the original meaning, but like, what if there were statues of humans that really existed in space, unchanging, but you couldn't exactly call them mental things, you know? what if there were solid forms out there fixed in space from which things we see are derived? the second thing about being in a matrix is that at least some people are simulated. i guess that's what i mean about a matrix, like that in the film, The Matrix."

"but who owns the matrix? is there a central supercomputer and all the data is delivered via a connection to everyone? are there several of them? local sub-servers? what? i can see how connection was always there. everyone is connected. people who aren't connected are really people in separate realities that aren't even here."

"i think reality and creation are a little messy. it's like some things always existed, right from the start of time, like parts of the supercomputer, parts of nature, human even. i think maybe things we take for granted were probably always there, like up and down and things fall downwards and we walk on top of the ground. i mean it's completely possible to imagine a reality where the opposite holds, where everything is upside down."

"so things that seem supermodern to us may have been there since time zero? i suppose if it's possible now, then the basic parts were always there is an argument. and i guess if everyone is connected, it's probable that everyone in a matrix is in the same one."

"yes i think it's unwise to assume, once you've accepted the matrix premise, that you're completely alone in your own matrix and everyone you see is simulated."

"yes going from one extreme, assuming the external world and everyone you see is real, to the complete opposite, it's all virtual. i think that says something about the way we think, in absolute extremes."

"whereas life is a grey area in between. you say who owns the matrix, that suggests there's some mastermind behind it with all the power but what if no one has any great power at all, we're all averagely unpowerful people stuck in the matrix because reality always was and is, so to speak, "matrix-ready"?"

"well that's one meaning of own, but i meant more like, where is the supercomputer, i mean in whose personal space?"

"well, if we are all fixed in space, some people always near, some far, you know, where does one person's space become another's? some people may be all together in a cluster, some may be far spaced out. about who owns it, i guess it's probably in parts piecemeal across reality's space. it's just too simple to think that, yes, all of it is in one person's personal space."

"so maybe the work's farmed out. we have to assume connection is great, i guess. maybe the orange is somewhere, and wheat in someone's else's zone, for example. but what if someone had a total breakdown, like a key processor is in someone's personal space, her zone, if you like, and she was really in a bad way?"

"well there is the possibility everything stops working tomorrow. like i've often wondered, what if the sun doesn't come up in the morning? things like that, you know."

"so you need a backup, right? maybe that's there, hopefully. i think the key is that the situation is very fluid. the way time works, i think, is that things could change in an instant, time isn't continuous, it's discrete perhaps, is a theory. but i think the internet makes everything change even faster. it's instant. one of the reasons i'm not a solipsist is that there is all this media, you think there's no way my subconscious could come up with all this stuff, therefore i couldn't possibly be alone. maybe there are a lot of real people working in the media? in Hollywood? and so Los Angeles?"

"i read articles about science and i wonder how much of it could hold up, given that many scientists assume the external world is real?"

"well if it works, it works. but what came first? it's like the chicken and the egg, were they discovering how things work or magically making things work according to their theory? the scientist could be a god, no?"

"well then everyone's a god of something. if say, the orange were originally here, does that make me the god of the orange? maybe."

"well then if it's all personal, i guess it gets a little creepy. how much do you accept from another person? if you knew something was originally theirs? is it better to give or to receive? would we even get along if we met?"

"well everyone's done it, i guess. so it's a little late to start worrying about it now. but to give and to receive, well someone has to receive and someone has to give. i mean, we're all connected, in one reality, so give is good, receive is good. it means there's a connection. otherwise we'd be completely alone."

"if you put it that way. what about language? i mean it's just like the fruit example in a way. if you go by what the media says, English is the most common language. you think maybe space could be divided up into language zones? but what if there were, say, Russian or French speakers to the right on a map of reality but also to the far left, could they really be apart, i mean, is a distribution with isolated zones with the same language even possible, because you'd think all the speakers of a language would be in one zone, right?"

"i would say English has many contributors to make it that common. originally, a language was just the sounds in the air, so to speak, and then we attached meanings, that's my theory, or maybe even a sound was already attached to the presence of something in a metaphysical sense."

"for me, the interesting thing about The Matrix was the paranoia about the evil demonic supercomputer behind it all. what if by creating the simulation and all these simulated people we did something dangerous? i mean hopefully it's harmless and only makes us a little crazy, but what if it's really bad?"

"try to turn it off? the thing is, it's really out of our control, or it seems it is. it's like trying to stop dreaming, having nightmares. we have to roll with the punches."

"and hope for the best?"

"always."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hypotheses on Reality and Playing with Belief Cards

hypotheses on reality and playing with belief cards:

"it never comes to that. no one really talks about it, do they, what they really believe about reality? it is unspoken but everyone knows what they have to assume to go about their normal lives on earth and they get it from what they see and hear around them."

"well, nobody really talks about it, but they may think it, that reality, the world of earth, is not quite what it seems, what you say everyone has to assume: an external world, physical motion, materialism or physicalism, whatever you call it. i think the reason really is a paranoid one, that they suspect they'll be accused of being at least slightly crazy and at worst get hauled off to a mental hospital and locked up forever. but then, also, i guess, these things can't be demonstrably proved to anyone else."

"or disproved. like if i say there is no external world, and this is the major plank of belief or assumption that everyone has to go by, really, well then someone will say, "what are we, a brain in a vat?" well, the problem with that is it assumes that there is still an external world outside our brain or our mind, a room with a vat and cables hooking us up to a Matrix-like simulation. the belief lingers on, whereas it should be thrown out completely. there is no external room where our brains are in, no wires, nothing. if anything, it's completely cleanly, invisibly done or connected."

"but we are visually impressionable people. it's not surprising, when everything we see leads us to assume there is an external world out there. we believe more what we see than what we hear, i guess."

"the truth of the matter is that if everyone teleported then the belief in an external world would collapse overnight. i can claim i have, but unless you do it yourself, you're going to doubt it."

"yes. it's completely obvious that the external world is not real when you've done it, teleport that is."

"yes. it's like an epiphany. because that just can't happen if the external world is real and the transition between locations is seamless, i mean, you feel nothing. i've read of other weird things happening to people, like seeing events repeated, a person passing by twice, or finding their car on a different level in the car park or parking lot, and seeing things that weren't there before suddenly appearing and so on."

"well, you could assume you are the only one who has teleported but surely if you'd done it, someone else has as well? it's just a fault in the visual geographical system. maybe it's even a fault or bug in the system that's contagious?"

"it happened to me so it has to happen to someone else? i'm propagating errors in the system?"

"but tell me again what the alternative is to an external material world?"

"right, physical motion is not real or mechanical motion or what seems like motion. in real space, everything exists in a fixed location relative to everything else. only time makes things change state."

"but then with pop culture and everything, you think, well, what is life then if not the commonly thought? is it a dream, is it the Matrix, what is it?"

"well that's where i run into problems too. i mean they are not clear-cut binary alternative possibilities, like is the external world real or not? i mean, i remember my life on earth began as a dream, right, but computers, hey, they're completely real, the technology, right? so it's probably at least a bit of both. what i have noticed, for me anyway, is that when i'm in a dream, i'm completely hazy about the true facts of my life, it's like i have an alternative dream existence that progresses that's similar to my waking life. i dream of my old school, my old homes, but the circumstances are different and when i try to remember facts about my waking life, i often think things that are false, only to realize upon waking, that i was incorrect."

"right, the dreams sweep you up and everything moves so fast that you're completely caught up in it."

"yeah, so you have the amnesia effect that blocks out the truth about waking life."

"which explains why you poorly remember what happened before you were born into this world, on earth. but as a schizophrenic who hears auditory hallucinations, what about that? i mean the question is, obviously, whether you hear thoughts that are your own, or it's coming from real other people."

"it's extremely awkward talking to your psychiatrist about voices. because inevitably, they want to know what you hear, right? and a lot of the stuff is personal. it's either your inner thoughts as sound or it's coming from people that are truly nearby, or even far away, i suppose."

"who may or may not be on earth, as well. how schizophrenic would you say you were, on a scale of 1 to 10?"

"well, there are different aspects. you have the voices, which to every psychiatrist indicates you are schizo, right? maybe i was about a 7 in that area once, at one time i had about 7 or 8 different voices going on at the same time. but the eyesight going haywire, the teleportation, the streams of text i could see, train timetables instantly changing in front of me, different maps of the country where the towns are all in wrong places, travel tickets dated in the future, passages of novels changing, all that made me about at least 9 on that scale, if not 10."

"whatever it is, a Matrix, or a dream, or whatever, is everyone in the same one? i mean, a lot of the stuff must be shared, right?"

"i can see how, if everyone were in their own matrix, they would end up with solipsistic fancies."

"right. all the stuff about the Law of Attraction, i mean, it could work, if you were in your own world, conceivably. but if everyone were in the same earth Matrix, it would seem a little harder to manifest things. you can't control other people and events so much."

"though, imagine a modern house existed right at the start of time. i mean, running hot water and electrical machines and lights. it's like in time, they reverse engineered everything to make it work mechanically, you know, installed plumbing, connected pipes to reservoirs, built power stations and so on. but the point is, that was there, this working house, in the beginning."

"like human is original, not created. OK, if we dismiss the external world outright, since you so proved it wasn't real, i mean, that's one philosophical question out of the way, the big question really is, what about the other people in reality? OK, do we assume everyone is on earth or some are left out? on earth are all the other people we see real or are some simulated people? are there other planets with people on them, in this same universe, could this be a Star Wars or Star Trek universe? are there other simulations running?"

"i don't know. it's like playing with different ideas. if only you had a deck of cards with different ideas or beliefs about reality, i mean you could play around with them, mix and match and see where that leads you. some beliefs negate others but i can see how some could all be real in some way."

"well, i can't help feeling that it is important to know the truth. i mean we may not be able to "know" in the strictest philosophical sense but at least we could think about the truth to some emotional depth. like, if i assume my mother is not real, is just a philosophical zombie, a simulated person, is it important to know that?"

"i think it's important to at least know the true date and how much of the history of earth may not be real. i mean, i've come out with the date Year 442 as the true date before, but that's just what i've heard. a lot of schizophrenics say the voices lie to them and whatever, but what if some of it's true?"

"it would explain a lot. how little everyone knows about reality for starters. and it's not like intelligent life doesn't exist. it does. it would just be that so little time has passed from the start of time that everyone is still feeling around for the truth. but voices do lie is the problem, some of the time. you can't believe everything you hear."

"back to what you were saying. i dreamed about my mother first and then my father second and i think i woke up next to my father and sister on a plane from Taipei to Hawaii on 29 August, 1975. US Immigration stamped the date at Honolulu on my passport which i still have. but my official birthday is February 11, 1972, so i was already 3 years old when i was truly born on earth. i guess some might say that's when my soul truly arrived."

"you still dream about your parents don't you?"

"yes. and they're alternative versions of them."

"you know, some would say that you merely forgot everything that happened before."

"well, no, i clearly remember the dream sequence leading up to that. i've never forgot. so i definitely have preferences, is waking life a dream? well, no, but it's, derived from it, is that the right word?"

"of course, the other big question, is what happens when you die on earth?"

"yes. are we fated to reincarnate on earth or do we go back to whatever it was before? because whatever real matter we are, it can't cease to exist right, it could only change to something very different at worst, right?"

"but back to the here and now. i'm obsessed with knowing who, if given some people are not real, is actually real that i interact with on a regular basis. i mean, what figure should i hold in my mind? are we all surrounded by illusions of people in our daily life but we read and see and hear about real people in the media?"

"or there could be pockets of real people together in some places. you never know, you could be surrounded by lots of real people, you just don't know it."

"but what is a best guess estimate? 66% zombies? 1% real people? or what?"

"yeah. there is a danger, when you've woken up about the external world not being the case, that you assume you're surrounded by illusions. i mean, it could be really embarrassing. you might know lots of real people but suddenly assume they're all not real."

"i know. i've thought of that. but sometimes people just don't seem real. you can mentally control what some people say or there is a touch of that or they're just completely predictable."

"i don't know. i've had someone say to me before, apropos of nothing, "i'm quite real." and i was grateful to hear it. i don't think anyone, it's not like anyone would come up and say, "i want you to know, i am a zombie, a simulated person, a non-player character, a complete illusion."

"haha. i don't see that happening, you're right."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Earth System and the Shared Files

the earth system and the shared files:

"first off, let's say the external world isn't real and second, that mechanical motion, where it seems that material objects move in space, isn't real either."

"so idealism?"

"yes. or rather, just not materialism. not everything may be mental, exactly, either. but if both of what i was saying were not real, what do we have?"

"a world like in the movie, The Matrix?"

"right. but it's not explicit that the external world doesn't exist at all in it, it goes kind of halfway about it. let's call our world the Earth System instead. there is the possibility that not everyone in reality is in it, i mean, i'm sure i wasn't always in it myself."

"but let's say everyone, who, i guess, is living on Earth is in the same Earth System, i mean, that's what it seems. what runs the Earth System? is it a supercomputer somewhere? is it the collective unconscious? what is it?"

"they could be the same thing or not. maybe the collective unconscious is a supercomputer. there's no denying that advanced computing and calculation is real. but is it mental in the sense that idealism has? is all calculation mental? but anyway, say it is in the same Earth System, say some people you meet are real, therefore, but the rest are simulated people."

"but are we like plugged in and everything is from the Earth System cloud or do we have our own computing power or what?"

"maybe both. everyone can see, right, so maybe everyone has their own graphics or visual rendering devices. but going back to my theory of a chain of personal bubble spaces, everyone is still connected, like there's a reality-wide superbroadband. and everyone creates, just by living on Earth, doing things, seeing certain places, they create files or complexes, that can be shared down the chain."

"so like i go visit a certain part of a large city that no other real person has ever been to, when the next person who visits that place, i share the geographical file?"

"exactly. i think everyone makes life complexes that could be shared, even like certain foods or something, rather than some central cloud supercomputer doing everything for everyone."

"so like if i were more psychically attuned or something, i could sense these travelling life complexes arriving in my own world, my personal bubble space, meaning i could do such and such?"

"right. it's like it's been done before. it's tried and tested. it's safe."

"but do files arrive the same, i mean, what if there were errors in the transfer?"

"well speaking of errors, that's how we realize we are in a Matrix-like world, when there are noticeable errors. it's a shock. the world is not what we thought. but i guess, what you were saying, a few errors in the copy may not make much of a difference. it could be minor things, like the text of a book is slightly different, names and dates in history, and so on. or the size and colour of buildings in a geographical location are different."

"i don't know if i would dare go somewhere where no real person lives or has ever been to. to do something for the first time ever seems a little dangerous."

CLEARCHARGE

The Mistaken Path

the mistaken path:

"any regrets?"

"yeah, i'm not someone who can claim they have no regrets. the problem with life and choices is that when we set off on a new path, so to speak, we often don't know where it leads. it's like we have a map with parts missing. and the problem is that even if we're told what could happen, we don't really believe it, not without first hand personal experience, for example, gambling. it is a mathematical truth that inevitably a regular gambler will hit a huge losing streak at some time. how does he or she deal with it? the worst kind of gamblers are those who cannot accept losses, who may start off little but the bets get bigger and bigger until they are broke, or worse, heavily in debt with no more credit. and it's all a blur. it starts off with a tiny bet maybe, but hours later, down thousands. it's like once you start on the path, there's less resistance to go further and conversely, it's harder to get back, to stop."

"so don't make the first step onto that path?"

"right. once you start, you keep going. it's like now my map of life is covered with "danger" warning signs for several paths where i fear to tread again."

"well, maybe it's best to make all your mistakes early in life?"

"yeah, so there's time to recover. but the fear is, what if you couldn't recover from some mistakes?"

"it's all a learning experience. you do get better at identifying potential hazards."

"hopefully, where your fear becomes entirely rational, correct fear, i guess."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Chain of Personal Bubbles in Space

a chain of personal bubbles in space:

"to common sense, or what assumptions everyone has to make, solipsism seems almost absurd, those afflicted grotesquely delusional. what's worse, if not true, if there were many minds, not just one, in reality, it's extremely embarrassing. i mean, it's like, too bad she's crazy, she's thinks she's the only one and doesn't believe i'm real, i'm supposed to be like a figment of her imagination or something. or he's a solipsist, he thinks he's God, only less powerful."

"well, it's not that hard. that's why you have to consider all the possibilities. either it's one mind only or at least two, right? though, on the balance of probability and all that, and what it seems, if it's more than one, it's got to be many, surely? but let's not get into what exactly is a mind by definition, what they have in common and if each mind is unique could you really consider there to be more than one? that's a mind boggler in itself."

"yeah, someone who can think independently, ok, to an extent, i mean, is there any real independence if everything is connected?"

"that's a whole other question. but yes, a mind can think. but how to visualize space? how connected is everything or everyone? i mean, it's like, i think things like other person at 80 degrees mark 7, four light years away, that is, again assuming that everyone is fixed in position in space, that nobody really moves."

"yeah, if space were densely packed, like thick vegetable soup or something, there would be like billions of ways people are connected, right? but what if it weren't? what if everyone was, like, in their own personal bubble space and there were chains of bubbles, different people, connecting people together?"

"so you could be the bubble next to mine or you could be 20 bubbles down the chain. it's like six degrees of separation, sort of."

"only the completely real, nothing could be more real, version. i mean it could look like a diagram of the world wide web or something more complicated, there could be clusters, there could be sections only connected by one link, there could be multiple ways two personal bubble spaces were connected. and so on."

"great. but i'm imagining it now and i'm thinking what if you could move your personal bubble to another personal bubble?"

"that's just the illusion created by light and time. my theory is that nobody moves. you'd think, in the end, you'd have a fair idea who your neighbours were, at least, you've got to know them better than someone 1000 degrees of real separation away."

"well communication is a wonderful thing, the internet, the press. but i guess you're right. where does this image of bubbles come from? i guess it's from blowing soap bubbles as a kid."

CLEARCHARGE

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Earth and the Sceptic

earth and the sceptic:

it may be that everyone, at least once in their lifetime on earth, experiences something that makes them question the regular view of the world that is naive realism, that of an external world that exists with material objects independent of our sense perception, that we can move about in this world, etc. sometimes it is apparent and sometimes only subtle, an incident that jars our assumptions.

"well, i mean, first of all, like is physical motion real? when i walk to the door, is my body really moving to the door or do i just see the door moving towards me? and this can get very strange. last night i walked across a building floor, firmly set in my mind the thought that i wasn't really moving at all but that the walls were moving towards me, and there was just some feeling in my legs, i.e. the walking part, that was making this happen."

"but you said you teleported before. what came first? the suspicion that physical motion wasn't real or the teleporting that led you to this conclusion and then all this?"

"OK it's true. the teleporting came first. it certainly set in motion all this thought. i mean it's probably true to say if i hadn't i might still be completely delusional about motion or at any rate uncertain. but it's like, you teleport, so then you know, right?"

"tell me about the teleporting. i mean, like, how many times did you teleport? and how far?"

"twice the full teleport, what everyone would think teleporting is. across town in Durham, in the north of England, in 1993 and 1994. first i teleported from outside Barclays Bank in Market Place to the railway station and the second time from the Market Place area to Elvet Bridge but then there are what i call unapparent teleports. you really have moved suddenly to another location but it's not obvious because there's no sudden change in what you see. it's like what happened to me outside Cannon Street railway station in London. i walked eastwards but then, some time afterwards, i realized i had teleported somewhere to the west of the station and onto the road towards Bank, i guess Queen Victoria Street looking at the map, but the scenery, the shops and buildings, seamlessly flowed from one location to the other, so it wasn't obvious. of course, that's what i think happened but because it was "unapparent" i still have my doubts. and it happened in Paris, down one street and a left and then another left so should have been walking back on a parallel street but ended up back on the same street. at least that's what i really suspect happened."

"there's no control? it just happens?"

"yes."

"but if physical or mechanical motion is not real, we're all wherever we are, is everything an illusion?"

"well that's the problem. when you whack that part of your assumptions about reality away, you start to question everything. i mean, next, are other people real? and it's compounded, because my first memories of this lifetime on earth are those of a dream. am i dreaming? of course it's not what usual dreams are made of, but that's the source. and then you have computers. you see what's possible. and the first time i used a calculator when i was little, i was amazed! you have all this computing power, it's proof positive on earth that this exists. so is earth a dream or a simulated reality run by a sometimes faulty supercomputer?"

"right, when you teleported, it was like a bug in the system or you had a corrupted download of the location visuals."

"yeah. and even if science were real who said it was constant and worked perfectly? nothing else does. but to go back to whether other people are real, my natural assumption is that they are. or at least some of them. i found solipsism extremely frightening personally speaking. and i always thought maybe people shared a dream sometimes."

"but of course it's theoretically possible that everyone is in their own simulation? but though it seems probable there is overlap."

"right you can look at it all ways, i guess, the extremes being that either everyone is in the same world or everyone is in their own and everything greater and lesser in between. what you conclude is that reality is like a star map, with each star representing a person with vast distances in between perhaps, but that everyone is fixed in place."

"yes, but when you doubt some people are real, how can you tell? i mean how do i know if this other person is real or just a character in a simulation? it's been bugging me a long time."

"well i don't know if this qualifies as a proof, but sometimes you know what other people are going to say. they're completely predictable. i always thought real people must be a little more shocking but that's just a suspicion."

"but how did we come up with all this, the history, the language, everything?"

"the truth about language is there is an emotional impact to words and therein lies the real history. i believe there is a common reaction to many words. obviously, that's why we share languages. for example, the word "god", it instantly conjures up an impression of immense agency and power. that is the common emotional impact of the word itself."

"so it's like when the word was first discovered, first said, everyone thought the same thing and all religion must follow?"

"exactly. other pressure words are "kill" and "die". they really push people's buttons, so to speak. these things can't be ignored. just as in the beginning, they still have the same impact today."

"so imagine a little group, say, a family of girls, in the beginning. they gather round, come up with words, but they're not in isolation. other people come up with the same words and they mean the same thing and so some kind of connection is made. i suppose it's the words with the strongest emotional impact that last."

"or are the oldest. the problem with words, the powerful ones, is that they give rise to meanings that stir the imagination to think of things that are not quite real. it's like they have a hallucinatory effect sometimes."

"but of course there are other languages."

"yes, if you assume people can be categorized by what language they naturally speak, it's a real identifier."

"so there's a French zone of reality perhaps, a Chinese zone, etc. but everyone thinks about the same things in the end."

"right. that's assuming a language zone is spread like a brush stroke across space and in isolation."

"somehow, i doubt if we'll ever have a complete map of reality, showing exactly where everyone is. but these things that everyone thinks about, i mean, i imagine that what everyone thought about the first day at the start of time was what is time, right? imagine time zero. a few seconds on, what happened? am i alone? and so on."

"yes. it's the ancient tension in life."

"i guess it never goes away. and the need to know the truth."

CLEARCHARGE

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Consider Simulation Earth

consider simulation earth:

"it's called naive realism but it's completely what everyone has to go by in life here on earth. you have to accept the external world as a model in principle at least, you know, you have to learn to navigate from A to B on the planet, and assume everyone you see is a person you could interact with."

"what i always had a problem with, even when i was a kid when i more or less accepted everything, is this, i see things in front of me, you know, really at a distance, well, are they really things in front of me or is that just like a physical part of my eyesight, my field of vision, in front of me, and could it really be both? and then when i teleported, i knew physical motion was not real, so the world had to have some kind of virtual aspect to it."

"yeah, there's a kind of duality between naive realism and science against what's thought of as magic, don't you think? it's like, you teleport, well honey, mechanical motion and the external world were never real, so hey, why not? it's like you're watching a 3D YouTube video that just jumped to another scene, right? you're walking along and you suddenly teleport to another part of town. clairvoyance and telepathy? well, you just pick up what the people actually right next to you like forever because nobody really moves in real space think. objects not behaving scientifically? well, nobody said the laws of motion work perfectly, especially when people are emotional. telekinesis and mind over matter? well, as idealism has it, the world is mostly a mental construct. shapeshifting? well, i've had different bodies in my dreams. no big deal."

"yeah but still, what i'm saying, when you realize that earth is not what it seems, that it must have some virtual aspect at the bare minimum, i mean, you go a bit wild in what you think. right, if you dismiss solipsism to start with, the concept that you're the only one in existence, as too depressing for one, and two, it doesn't seem likely that my own unconscious could produce this much on its own, there must be other people, and then on the other end of the scale, you dismiss naive realism, that everyone you see is a real person, that there are billions of people on earth, i mean, even if one person you saw on the street were not real, was a fault in the system, that would deny naive realism, wouldn't it? so then you try to strike a median view, so let's say just under half the people are real, you still need a lot of people to produce all this media, right? but then you think, is there really just one simulation earth running? maybe it's like most people are still in alpha version, i'm running beta version, and there are details that are different in different versions, though fundamentally the simulations are the same, like, i think Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States but in alpha version, Abraham Lincoln doesn't even exist, or something like that. and then you think, well, maybe some other countries are completely virtual, you know, maybe you shouldn't go there, it would strain the simulation. and you think, maybe all the Russians are in like the Russian sector of real space, maybe the English speakers are spread out. how are real people connected and what data flows through, anyway?"

"yeah, but doesn't it make you paranoid about the virtual people, the NPC's, the non player characters? is there any control over them? i mean, it's like someone a long time ago imagined someone, someone who never exists really, and then eventually when simulation earth is up and running, they've manifested as a character in it. how else could they have got there?"

"well no, in the end, they're not real, they're like some kind of electronic configuration. i mean, it's not like they're external demons trying to enter this reality!"

"in a paranoid fit one night, that's exactly what i thought. it's scary, people that are not real, like, taking over reality."

"i mean the unconscious produces details, the imagination constructs personal like data or something, it's probably harmless. just think of them as robots."

"well that just leads to the question, is it programmable in some way? can we somehow break into the system and change the outcome? code the Matrix? you know, if it's like an electronic arcade game, can we cheat?"

"yeah, there's lots of stuff on that, you know, the law of attraction, consciously concentrating on outcomes, writing stuff down, and so on. and there's a quote from Star Wars: Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn says to Anakin Skywalker, "your focus determines your reality." but what you said about an arcade game, i was thinking, if in an advanced amusement arcade you had the most convincing virtual 3D reality game, wouldn't there be a moment you think to yourself when you took the headset or whatever off, this is just what the regular world is?"

"and would people take life so seriously if they thought of it as just an arcade game, a virtual experience? but i guess for now, there's nothing else. i mean, it's not like there ever is an external world that's real, that there's a room there where my brain is and there are plugs leading into the computer, no, it's completely cleanly invisibly wired, you know? i haven't got the best memory. i would say i have impressions and ideas of what life was before earth but nothing i can definitively say is a memory. it's not convincing to me the theory that time is a linear chain of progressive change, that the future will keep being different from the past. i don't think that's the case. i think it's most likely that when i die, game over on earth, i just go back to what it was before, you know?"

CLEARCHARGE