Deterministic World

Back Matter


Science - the search for truth - burns away hope, coincidence, will. In relentlessly seeking and finding the answers, we are uncovering more and more knowledge, at the cost of destroying more and more dreams. Science is a cold and ruthless process, seeking complete control, picking one possibility out of infinitely many. At one point, all of Earth was mapped out, and then no more tales of strange mysterious lands could be supported while upholding rationality. Now slowly the myths of bigfoot/chupacabra/ghosts/loch ness monster are dying out as omnipresent camera devices and internet access instantly disprove their existence. Religion will soon follow the same path, and it has been adapting to this by changing to more of a social gathering/group interaction function as opposed to true education or soul guidance as in the past. We are an evolutionary experiment - preceded and followed by countless others - the only known lifeform to be able to understand evolution and even surpass it in recent years. But we find ourselves in a universe where interacting atoms can experience feelings and emotions, and where it is conceivable for an organism to have an existence filled with nothing but pain and suffering. Such horrifying possibilities ought to make us question our purpose here, but instead we live off the flesh of animals killed for our pleasure (animals that once, too, felt pain and were afraid of death), and pretend that all the "inanimate" systems around us have no feelings or experiences just because they don't have a face and can't speak.

Adults slowly drift further and further from their childhood dreams, having gained the knowledge that the dreams were misguided and unrealistic. Children, not having as much life experience, don't see the barriers that adults do; they still have the spark of excitement which jealous people call 'naivete'. They also get glimpses of the world as it is - a cold place - glimpses so terrible they lead to hours of crying and definite mental blocking of such a logical worldview, instead seeking escape in emotional comfort, love and hope. Those who study science, the natural philosophers, must stare at the void without the luxury of comfort. If a rudimentary model says the end is nigh, well maybe we missed some stuff here and there. But we keep looking for truth and - if an empirically proven accurate model says the end is nigh, you better prepare for the end. But why keep kidding, we already know the end as far as our lives are concerned: everything turns into heat, distributed and uncoordinated motions of atoms. Even this book, and your memories of it, will eventually fade into the heat bath of the universe; it is only a matter of when, not if. Seeing the world through this lens is overwhelming, it removes any hope for a miracle, it shows the real limits to what will be, to the future that we like to delude ourselves into thinking will be better than the past. It shows that human systems are irrational and arbitrary, and that as humans ourselves we are a rather incoherent combination of evolutionary qualities. But it also shows the amazing resilience of lifeforms, the operation of the world, the ways to gain true control. It shows physics as the language of the magic spells of our universe, not the spoken orders of fairytales but the real magic of turning a bunch of atoms from the earth into a car or computer or nuclear reactor. I mentioned earlier that the universe doesn't care about numbers, or energy, or models. It sounds absurd to say this, and I would have disagreed before writing this text, but analyzing consciousness as it relates to the rest of our physical world makes it clear: The universe cares about feelings. I can only hope that you would seek to improve the life of the atoms you care for. To make the deterministic world a warmer place.

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