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Posts tagged ‘Philosophy’

Life is a movie

Life is a movie. You sit in the cinema, watch it, eat some popcorn. Stuff happens to you all the time. You are passive.
But it’s not a normal movie. It’s a VIP cinema and a VIP movie.
You can change the script while it’s going on.

As you are watching it, if you don’t like the plot or theme of the movie, you can ask for a switch.

If you notice you are in a romantic comedy while you want drama, you can tell the conductor “less humor, more drama and plot twists”.
If you lack action in your life, just shout it out, and suddenly you’ll be a car chase, killing some dirty cops and sleeping with hot babes.

You can take the director’s seat of this movie. You usually just watch this movie… but it’s totally up to you to be the director.
Or, if you like the plot and the actors, just keep watching for a while… you can also change it later.

The power of names

The power of names has been discussed in our culture for millennia. In fantasy novels, people guard their true names and banish or control their enemies by invoking their names.

There is a basis to this lore.

Giving something a name, or learning its name, is powerful. It allows you to refer to that when conversing with other people, to seek knowledge about it, to attack it or connect with it. It allows you to build upon it.

Language is, by and large, a never-ending collection of names. Names of people, of actions, of ideas, of things. When you reason about something without giving it a name, your thought process is more cumbersome than it can be. The act of naming a thing encapsulates it into a box, and allows you to build greater and greater ideas from these boxes.

P.S. I can’t finish this post without giving one cool example of a name used as a key theme and plot point – our beloved Doctor Who. This idea is pivotal to the very name of the show … Doctor Who. What is his real name? Nobody knows, he is just “The Doctor”. His name is later in the show actually used as an incantation, a secret his enemies seek, a riddle, a signal of trust. There is even an episode called Name of the Doctor.


Reality is what happens when the tension between different people’s dreams is resolved.


I just work up from another dream.

I’m in a very tough place.
I don’t remember the details, but me and other people are all being picked on, monitored, punished for every mistake, real or imagined. Constantly. Severly. This has always been the situation.

Then, at some point, we discover the power of the do-over.
We find in ourselves an ability to go back in time, and Choose Again.
We start doing-over small things.
Gradually, we build up the power to do-over larger and larger tracks of time.

We take back our life, our freedom, our happiness. We reach the state of always being able to choose our absolutely optimal, happiest reality. It’s wonderful.

Cut to the next scene. I’m with family, about to do something cautious, “just in case”.
And then I get it.
With the power of do-over, I never ever have to be cautious again.

Being cautious is what’s holding me back, even after I found the do-over power.

With this power, I never ever have to be cautious again.
I can do what I want, when I want it … and if something really bad happens … I can always do-over, even do-over years or decades of my life if need be.

I wake up, and realize … this may apply to real life.

In this life, it feels like I don’t have any do-over power.
I certainly don’t _feel_ like I have the power to rewind time even one millisecond.

However, what may be happening, is that since I always do have this power, completely and fully, I am choosing to never use it right now, but rather explore each situation to its fullest. I can always “do-over all the way back” if I reach a fork I don’t like. Even dying – isn’t that the ultimate do-over?

Imagine the quantum multiverse, the one with every chance ever taken, with ever coin landing in a super-position of heads and tails … the multiverse with an infinite number of collapsed universes as parts of it.

Imagine a single timeline along this multiverse, cropping from it out a single four-dimensional universe.

Imagine a being, a soul, traversing this single timeline.

The soul remembers the infinite nature of the multiverse. The soul knows that everything happens at once, all possible outcomes materializing in different branches of the multiverse. The soul can only see one timeline at a time, it cannot be everywhere at once.

The soul has the power to rewind arbitrary short or long tracks of time. However, as long as she remembers she has this power, she keeps using and abusing it, only exploring “the most perfect reality”. By always staying on this one specific “perfect branch of the multiverse” and never accepting any setback, any downside, no matter how minor, the soul is missing out big time. It can never explore the true depth of the multiverse, because she is afraid of the “not perfect”. Perhaps it is even bound to a local maximum – it is on a “hill of goodness”, but because it doesn’t dare venture off this hill, it can’t reach the huge mountain awaiting it across the valley.

So in order to truly utilize her amazing powers, the soul makes a conscious choice. She vows to never use this rewind power until “the end”, until she really really needs to … until things get too shitty to stay. To make it so, she sets it up so that we forget we have this power. The soul remembers, but the mind doesn’t know … and so we continue on believing that we only have one life, that there may be such a thing as a “wrong choice”, where in fact all choices are equally beautiful and valid in a multiverse where you are free to do unlimited do-overs.

Imagine the power you would have if you remembered this simple fact.

And the kicker is – there are indeed infinite do-overs!

Read about Quantum Immortality.
You can never experience the “sensation of dying”.
Your consciousnesses is created from this physical reality.

All physical realities happen simultaneously in parallel universes. The many-worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is the one requiring the fewest philosophical assumptions. It is the best way I found to understand the concrete data we have about how the world actually works (if you’re not convinced that Quantum Mechanics is how the world works, please stop using your computer, because it depends on QM to function).

If I’m not mistaken, I just made a breakthrough, connecting there core parts of my worldview.

  • I believe in the idea of “the multiverse”, the many-worlds interpretation of QM. That is the interpretation of QM that I adhere to.
  • I also believe in the idea of Quantum Immortality – essentially the idea that there exist infinite versions of you, and you can never experience dying, then you are immortal and will literally live forever – we all are.
  • Finally, on a personal note, I also believe in Zen Buddhism … my best yet very crude explanation of Zen would be “nothing really matters, just live your life and don’t worry too much”. It is the “religious” or spiritual attitude that has best served me personally over the years.

However, until now I haven’t made the connection between these three major parts of my belief. I haven’t realized that the reason nothing matters is because everything happens everywhere on some branch of the multiverse, and that “we” always get a do-over … because of the very way we define “we”, as something that is generated out of a physical reality.

There could be something more core to the definition of “we” or “I”, that isn’t derived from this physical reality … a soul, if you will … or perhaps it’s bullocks and everything is strictly physical. I don’t know if we will ever have the means of creating an experiment to separate a soul-less, completely physical universe, from a universe with “souls” … I think it’s more of a philosophical exercise.

In fact, there another “interpretation” that can be defined here … just like the many-worlds interpretation is by now one of the standard interpretations of QM, we can define a “soul interpretation” of the phenomenon of consciousness … and every person is then left to decide whether they identify with this interpretation or not … there can never be any physical experiment to distinguish between the “soul-less reality” and the “soul-full reality”, so it would be up to each person to make up their philosophical mind about the matter.

And so, the Soul Interpretation of Consciousness, combined with the many-world interpretation of QM, may lead to the conclusion at the core of this dream and that lies in the core of Conversations with God – you are all-powerful, you can do anything you want, you can check out multiple realities and do-over whenever you want … you just temporarily forgot how to do it.

Why I believe that 1≠2 more than I do the existence of God

Well, personally I am agnostic/atheist, but I’ve heard from several people that believe in God, that they believe “he exists” more than they believe that 1≠2.

Please put aside for one moment the exact meaning of the sentence “God exists”. All knowledge is, to an extent, subjective. I know that 1≠2 because it is a mathematical theorem, but also is a theorem that Zorn’s Lemma is provable from the Axiom of Choice – my level of confidence in these two theorems being true is rather different.

I claim that anyone (if he understands logic), even if he believes that “God exists”, should place more confidence in the statement “1≠2” than in his belief in God *. Why? Let’s assume 1=2, and prove God does not exists:

  1. Assume 1=2, and suppose by negation that God exists
  2. 1≠2 (from standard arithmetic axioms and inference rules)
  3. If God exists, then 1=2 and 1≠2 (from 1 and 2)
  4. Therefore, God does not exist (from 3, by Proof by Contradiction)


So, one can prove from 1=2 that God exists, but I doubt you’ll find a proof that 1=2 from the assumption God exists. So believing 1=2 requires more faith, and provides more information, than believing God exists (because it implies God exists, but the other way around does not hold).

* Of course, there is at least one flaw in the above argument. Can you find it?

The Little Things

Rarely do we appreciate enough the little things in life. I believe this sentence is true on many levels, and today I want to focus on one of our basest assumptions. We live in this physical universe, and are gifted with the unique ability to influence it. Firstly, this universe has a dimension of time to it, our lives are not static, boring, never changing. Instead they are dynamic, changing for good and bad, giving us a steady flow of new experiences. This is a basic requirement for the very definition of good and bad, because in a constant universe there is no differentiation, and everything is just plain zero. Living in a dynamic universe, we give meaning to each experience in relation to the previous ones and to the experiences that follow, and are thus able to observe and appreciate these changes, and enjoy at some of our moments in time, in contrast with other, worse moments.

Secondly, we are not simply watching our lives go by as if it were a movie playing in a theater. We are conscious, living beings, who can act of our own intent and purpose, and bring change to the physical world surrounding us. I’m not talking about grand plans and designs, I think we should be grateful about our simple ability to pick up an object, move our hands and feet, throw a ball and marvel at the effects we cause. The simple Newtonian rules of cause and effects govern our day to day lives and give us the simple pleasure of mobility. Furthermore, we wield tools to our every whim, and can rule over other physical objects. Of course this causes problems sometimes as some people forget that other people are not merely objects but willful beings of their own, and their will conflicts … but I digress.

Before thanking God, chance or math, whichever you believe is responsible for creating this universe (I believe that physics is a subset of math) for gifts like wealth, happiness and health, remember to first appreciate the more basic qualities of our existence, without which there would be no questions of health, illness, happiness or sadness.