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musings

In the river out of Eden replicated and survived the first pieces of matter that could, unleashing a long sequence of ever complex adaptations and phenotypes, leading to self-contained danger-avoidant,  preferentially-optimising safe-deposit boxes that lumbered around carrying these vials of replicators with instructions on how to make more of such vial+box combinations.

In the arms race of the safe-deposit boxes, genotypes  made trees taller, giraffes longer necked, and chimps hierarchical. The extended levers of the genotype eventually reached around to designing safe-deposits with self-contained simulation units powerful enough to avoid dangers and preferentially optimise more than any safe-deposit box had ever done before (in the neighborhood).

“Minds” could remember the past, and anticipate the future, model other minds and game-theoretically anticipate the actions of other safe-deposit boxes. Holism came first, and then subsequently came reductionism, and yet later, the understanding of the tangled interplay between them.

From the 2% of the genes that formed the divergence from our ancestor chimps, man emerged gloriously after his Great Leap Forward with the shines of culture, and the Frankenstein monster-child of the gene, the meme. There was now an avalanche of tools, language, mathematics, music, literature, sadness, happiness, poetry, dance and humour, ideas of war, peace, colonization, racism, sexism, liberalism, beauty, progress and enlightenment, civilization and… morality.

The tiny blue planet was now teemingly populated with ‘valuers’. Matter had strange-looped around, carrying within itself messages about itself. For the first time in the known  parts of the universe, entities found meaning in “meaning”. Initial jubilation upon the discovery of the ability to reason gave way to an awareness of its shortcomings and limitations. With visceral and atavistic typicality, humans compared against their own towering fantasies, and dolefully discovered a cocktail of cognitive biases barfed up by their blind safe-deposit-box-maker. Physical abilities drag baggages of primate ancestories, and mental makeup and brains throwback to our ancestors from reptilian times to our hunter-gatherer Dunbar tribe ESSes, to current postindustrial post-postmodern ethos.

Amidst the victories and falls from grace, the chimp within the man grows smaller, as he spreads for that gigantic sprawl, and in him burns the flicker of the flame that the universe accidentally but inexorably lit to shine some light on itself. Through man-made “words” such as “economics”, “peace”, “love”, “future”, “nuclear”, “environmental-danger”, “evolving to extinction”, “Drake’s equation“: man makes “sense” of the human condition to effectively try extend beyond it, as we “teme” up to dream of creating our own Frankenstein monster and other dreams to come.

The flicker may be headed for a wimpy extinction. Or an inglorious explosive annihilation. Or perhaps the seeds have been sown for a long eventful march all the way toward the heat death of the u.

Meanwhile, oblivious or regardless of the ambiguity of the understanding of understanding of uncertain futures and false certainties of what will be written in its blank pages; and incomplete grasps of incompletenesses in “frameworks” that only make sense to a colony of cells that have a human-evolutionary history, another “revolution” of the blue-orb is complete on its dutiful sojourn around this rather unremarkable much-larger-but-yet-insignificantly-tiny yellow-orb, thereabouts where the embers were lit through evolutionary-kisses-of-death from our parent-stardust, and this colony of cells in front of “my” monitor tells this tale to other colonies of cells in front of other monitors, changing their simulation architectures by a wee bit, influencing their futures by a wee-er bit. In characteristically defiant, intrepid, raucous dignity – the.man.burns.

*Apologize for the gender-specific-language. Man=man&woman.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ” – Gandalf

We go to the gym. We work out. We don’t work out. We complain about not working out. We eat. We don’t, and starve for no reason. We talk about eating good food. We talk about eating bad food. We complain about poor service in restaurants.

We prepare for the future. We are impetuous. We are selfish. We aim to please others. We think nobody notices our flagrantly whimsical behaviour.

We say grandiose things. We ask profound questions. We ask inane questions. We claim to speak for humanity. For women. For people of our kind. For people of the other kind. We are all supposed to have commonalities that connect us like threaded beads on a lace. We are all supposed to be different and unique.

We define ourselves. These are the movies we like. This is the music we listen to. We are financially responsible for our dads told us that’s a sign of character. Character is important, now. We carry the burden of our past on our shoulders. We mother and smother our friends. We are confident, and the Red Sea parts for us.

We spray perfumes on ourselves. We have our fingers on the pulse of the zeitgeist of fashion.

We are entitled to several things. Dignity. Love. Happiness. Universal brotherhood. That sort of stuff. Our pet peeves. We are to be treated with respect. These are important things. We get misty eyed over these ideas. We are smart. We are entitled to position and status. We are poor. We are entitled to social welfare. We are well read. We are entitled to a finer level of awareness. We are inexperienced. The universe owes us experience.

Things don’t work out for us. The world owes us one. Things do work out. We deserve that. We form communities. The world owes us that of course. We are entitled to get invited everywhere. Everyone is. We are someone. Hence so. To sad movies where we can shed tears and console each other. We are entitled to get mad at anyone when we are in a bad mood.

We are reclusive. We don’t socialize. It is because no one lives up to expectations. Just us. We do of course. Even when we don’t.

We say things out of line, randomly. Overreachingly. Out of scope. Inarticulately. Irrelevantly. Irreverantly. Uncontainedly and incoherently. Immaturely.

We hold consistent opinions. We have faith in several things. Don’t call us on that. It is a free country though. We believe in them because they make us warm inside. We believe in them because they are true. We don’t know that of course. No one does. But then again they must be true, why else would we believe in them?