Monday, June 20, 2011

Murphy's overstatement

We humans are so interesting! I'm just trying to understand, as many of you might have already, why is it that we're naturally so inclined to negative thinking. In fact, there is no historical record that I know of about anyone ever inventing any anti-Murphy laws. Nobody ever said that given the chance that something might go well, it is very likely to go well, or maybe better than expected.

Also, why will we always try to leave home minimally prepared for an unfortunate event, like randomly taking an umbrella "just in case" when spending a long time out far, and we are not really likely to take, for example, a camera, just in case we see something really interesting that deserves being photographed? As a matter of fact, in modern society, but I believe ever since the existence of mankind, the circumstance where "I'm feeling lucky" isn't considered unwise is while Googling. My take on it is that our mind is built to let us be happy with all the imperfection in and around us. We are imperfect beings, and the randomness of events will naturally not synchronize with our needs: if we are in a bad mood, there's no increase in the likelihood of a positive event, and vice versa.

Let us analyze how positive and negative "karma" affects our brain machinery. If we are leaning towards the negative side of our perception of reality, some brain functions will slow down, or show certain inertia. If we are in a neutral state, brain functions will work just fine, as they are needed to do so, at average pace of everyday activity. If we are "happy", the brain gets stimulated to work faster and more efficiently. However, the superior efficiency is not always needed, and does not necessarily improve the quality of what we are doing (if we need to solve a simple mathematical operation, positive mental incentive might not have any impact beyond what's physically possible in neutral state already, while negative incentive will decrease efficiency proportionally, possibly until mental blockage).

So we will only notice positive incentive on more complex tasks (that do not make up most of our normal activity), but negative input will always affect efficiency. So since our brain is so masterfully engineered, even though we don't really know this consciously, our subconscious takes care of keeping us aware that all we really need is to focus on not getting negative input, and we don't waste extra energy frustrating ourselves while attracting unnecessary positive input. So to me, though it may seem at first a symbol of negativity, our way of always keeping danger and bad luck in mind is indeed nothing but another ingenious stress defense in our amazingly complex and clever gray mass – a positive control technique seamlessly hidden in common social behavior. Once again, all I take from wondering about the issues of humanity and the complexity of our minds is just how great of a piece of machinery with a well-measured touch of humor we are.

It would be interesting also to see what Albedo (Happy birthday by the way ;) ) has to say on this, since she is far more than me into sociology and human sciences than I am. I'm just a curious bystander. Good reading folks!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Poem in a white box*

I have a box.
It's white inside.
It has a hole.
Wow! You can see the sky.
It has the size of your eye.
Can you see?
It's like me.
A purple leaf.
Above your head.
Drawing your thoughts.
Singing for me.

Oh but can't you see!
Inside the box
there is a dream
made of gold
and dust from a palm-tree
Woman, what are you saying
That's not a poem!
It's just words!

Well my friend, rocks always stay rocks.

*Inspired by "Gift in a black box"

Gift in a Black Box

Hello again dear reader. I have a question for you: how many times were you thankful for your life? I suppose many, but then... How many times have you felt glad that you will die? Strange question, I know. But it certainly deserves that we take a deeper look at it: what would happen if people, and for that matter animals, and every lifeform we know, simply stopped dying just like that? Just how chaotic and scary can that get?

Overpopulation, resource exhaustion, socioeconomic chaos, biotic unbalance...

Living forever would literally become a curse, an infinite hell as experienced by Tantalus. Our brain was not made for thinkign of infinity, and that is why imagining an infinite universe is so hard. We were made to think of temporary, finite things, and we can't base decisions, behaviors, actions and even thoughts on an infinite timeline. We would never feel compelled to anything, not even living! Besides, if there was no death, there was no justifiable reason for protecting life, and ethic values would be awkwardly improper and inadequate for the human condition. Living beings would maybe evolve into ones that don't reproduce at all to avoid overpopulation, sexual organs and functionality would be lost, the mental processes of socialization and affection, related to the natural sexual needs as a thriving mechanism among species, would disappear. Full-fledged feeling, thinking, reasoning humans would live mixed with cold, stupid and inert ones.

Life has gifted us with some ingenious emergency mechanisms. Our brain will shut down if extreme pain, confusion, or emotional overload occur, both temporarily (comma), or even permanently (brain death). More interestingly, still, our brain will tell us to do it ourselves, inducing feeling of suicide when life becomes unbearable and mental stress is beyond what our system can endure remaining sane and viable. If this is taken from us, imagining a world of constantly wanting to suicide but always failing will resemble the tantalizing agony as well, and pretty much becomes a paradox: if you go crazy enough, you die to prevent being a dysfunctional being, but since you can't die, you become a living "not-supposed-to-be-alive" thing; if you can't eat, you become biologically dysfunctional and you die, but since you can't, you become a huge question mark again.

Isn't it scary? Are you so afraid of dying, or is it a blessing that something makes you feel that what ends is more enjoyable, and that you have a reason to live well while you can? I feel glad that one day I will die. It gives my offspring a chance to live as well or even better as I did, and it preserves this wonderful spinning cycle of life. Exactly... death is necessary for the existance and viability of life.

Have a good day everyone and enjoy your life, 100%.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

How do you know?

How big is the universe? 
- Infinite. 
- How do you know? I know because all the data indicates it's infinite. - But it hasn't been proven yet. 
- No. You haven't seen it. No. How do you know for sure? I don't, I just believe it. 
- It's the same with love I guess.

"A beautiful mind"

You're all the music I'll ever need

Minnie: Oh, Mickey! When I hear you play that harmonica, my heart sings! Why don't you play some music for us? 
Mickey: Don't you think you should open your present first? And by the way, what time is it? 
Minnie: I think it's time to open your present. 

they both open their presents

Mickey: Oh, uh... a case... for my harmonica. 

Minnie: Oh, a chain for my... watch... but I traded my watch to buy you that case. 
Mickey: And I traded my harmonica to get you that chain for your watch. 
Minnie: Oh, Mickey. I can't believe you gave up what means the most to you! 
Mickey: Don't worry, Minnie. You're all the music I'll ever need.