There's a point during my daily jogs where the music blaring on the ipod becomes white noise, and I'm left with my own thoughts to contemplate life, the universe and everything. I think it happens at around the 17:42 mark.

Friday, October 1, 2010

5.15 Miles

Happiness is the evolutionary carrot on a stick.
Happiness is ephemeral, impermanent; a transient state.
Happiness is attained by fulfilling biologically advantageous objectives.

How to be happy:
1) eat/drink
2) have sex/kids
3) gain power/status (derivative of 1 and 2)

Contentment is lost upon self-reflection and self-awareness.
Contentment is a stable state of inner equilibrium.
Contentment is attained by unhooking biological imperatives.

How to be content:
1) forget self
2) don't try to be happy
3) empty the mind (derivative of 1 and 2)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Quick 5K

INSIGNIFICANT...Some feel that modern science has diminished the role of humanity in the big scheme of things. I think it's quite the contrary. Judged in terms of information theory, a single human being is more significant than an entire galaxy.

A supercomputer can create a convincing simulation of the motion and evolution of 20 million galaxies simultaneously. We don't yet have a convincing simulation of a human being on a supercomputer, and we probably won't have one any time soon.

Human beings, and living organisms in general, are information-dense assemblies of matter. We're the polar opposite of black holes. Unlike black holes, we do have hair.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

6.69 Miles

THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE states that the observed laws of the universe are fine tuned for the existence of conscious life simply because if it were not that way, we wouldn't be around to observe it. This may sound tautological, but I believe there's a way to validate this principle through a simple thought experiment.

Imagine a universe called "A", where the laws of physics are such that they provide the absolute bare-bones minimum requirements for intelligent life to just barely eke out an existence. In that universe, intelligent life would only exist in 1 solar system, and evolve on a planet in that system just before the the end of the star's habitable lifespan.

Now imagine a universe called "B". In this universe, the laws of physics are super-ultra conducive to the creation of intelligent life. There would be earth-like planets revolving around each and every star, and each planet would be populated with a plethora of intelligent species.

So, how does our universe compare to these two hypothetical extremes? I think we are closer to "A" than "B." Many wonder "Why are the fundamental laws so fine tuned to allow for intelligent life to exist?" I think an equally good question is "Why aren't the fundamental laws MORE fine tuned to allow for intelligent life to thrive?"

The observation that intelligent life in our universe is rare and fragile supports the Anthropic Principle quite nicely, and consequently lends a bit of credence to the various theories that propose a multiverse.