Monday, November 26, 2012

there are no facts in science

I keep getting sucked into these evolution vs creationist debates that arise from every YouTube video that even remotely touches on the subject.



The funny thing is, not in the way most people do.  I don't argue with creationists.  When people deny the validity of  evolutionary theory, they're basically starting from the premise that they don't believe in science.  They may not realize it, but its what the basics of their argument boils down to, and there's just no way to have a rational discussion with someone like that.

No, what I end up trying to get to the bottom of is a disagreement between people who do believe science.  A disagreement which usually starts with one person saying that evolution is not a theory, but a fact, and the other person trying to point out that there is no such thing as a scientific fact.  That point tends to go right over the first person's head, and they move on.

It looks like semantics, but I think it's much more important than that.  The Scientific Method is at the very foundation of science.  For some reason, it isn't taught in grade school, though.  It's taught much later, when students have already memorized countless facts, and the idea that science doesn't operate on facts has become extremely counter-intuitive.

The reason the scientific method does not involve stating anything as a fact, has to do with its purpose, the human drive to get ever closer to the truth.  It must be able to look long and hard into the abyss of all that we don't know, before it can even begin honestly figuring any of it out.  As soon as you start calling something a fact, it ceases to be a process, and becomes a conclusion.  Conclusion being the antithesis of progress.  Science uses hypothesis, phenomena, laws, and theories as tools in this process. Like a means to an end, in which there is no end.



What really strikes me as important though, is how this applies beyond science, and in a way, to all human thought.  It's a more elaborate way of thinking about the world, that's about always putting external and unknowable truth above our own egos, and the impulse to just settle on something.  It is a key step in human thought, which allows us to face the unknown, climb out from ruts of tradition and habit, towards actually making sense.

It only leads to intellectual stagnation to think in facts, to think that you really know something.  It's a path that ceases going anywhere.  It's really not surprising that the more righteous a person is, the more they'll tend to be wrong about everything.  Personally, I find it amazing, the way science transcends that way of thinking entirely, and yet it's so frustrating, that this isn't common knowledge.

We still have well educated people trying to insist that gravity is a fact.  I know it sure seems that way, but that isn't how science works.  That's kind of what makes it science.

Friday, November 23, 2012

if wishes were horses

Sometimes people find out i'm on disability, and they seem to not only wonder why, but how I expect to get anywhere in life without doing more. It's as if it doesn't t occur to them that this is something that I've been trying to figure out my whole life.

It's all too easy to fall into the trap of dwelling on how differently my life could have gone. How what I'd really want to do, would involve things going very differently for me, decades ago. I'm almost forty, and the longer my life goes on this way, the more impossible it gets to even imagine doing anything differently.

I wish I'd had someone to help me get through school, when I went off the rails way back then. I wish I'd followed a path into science, computers, engineering. I could have landed myself somewhere serious, like MIT, and made something of myself.  Maybe even lived up to some of that potential everyone seemed to think I had, when I was a kid.

but now.. I have to aim lower. Maybe a whole lot lower. I need to figure out what my options are. Realistically.  I need to aim higher than flipping burgers or stocking shelves. but I don't even know.  People are so full of drunk sincerity, it can feel impossible to get real answers about what my prospects are. Of doing something that would be at least somewhat rewarding and engaging for me.

because this isn't even just about money. this isn't how I want to spend my entire life. aimless, drifting, no fucking clue what to do with myself. Even if nothing else, it is unbearably boring.  I just don't know how I can get out of this ever deepening hole, of just living day to day, the only way I know how.

isn't that pretty much true of everyone, though?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

this is your brain.

I'd planned on going into some brief detail, like an outline of my entire life, from Syracuse to Montclair to Long Island to Pittsfield to Minneapolis.  Maybe even including some cursory mention of Georgia, Philadelphia, Cambridge, and New Orleans, pervaded with references to Manhattan of course, all the way up to landing here in Chicago.

I have trouble sitting still for very long, but apparently, so does my brain, because I seem to have lost my focus on all that.  Maybe I'll get back to it some other morning, when I feel like typing it up.

this is your brain on video games.

I used to play a lot of video games.  Lately, not so much anymore.  I still dabble, I still check out new releases all the time.. but I can't get into most of them.  Even when I do, it's very short lived.  Somehow, I still manage to find the focus to discuss them every day, though.  When I find myself unable to think about much of anything else, including what game I even want to play, I can always head over to some gaming forum, and rant about everything that's wrong in the gaming industry.

Honestly, I don't get that.  I'm sick to death of talking about it.  I barely even play them, lately.. but its like this groove of thought that's been so deeply embedded in my mind, I keep returning to it.

Maybe one of my major motivations in getting this blog going again is an attempt to get away from that.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

high quantum proliferation theory

Reality creates itself along the paths of what's possible, steered by what's probable.  I would sum this up with the simple statement, "what works, works."  This absurdly simple concept explains how everything can exist, including past, present, and future, without us realizing it.  Due to biological blinders, both obscuring this truth, and yet helping us proliferate.  Even thinking non-linearly, that simple concept, of "what works, works" explains why proliferation in any direction would be probabilistically steered into further proliferation, just as if it were true in the obliviously linear temporal sense.  Equally functional, but the latter being simpler, easier.  More likely.

Incidentally, this would also line up with how quantum mechanics implies all possible states to exist at the same time.  As if what's possible is somehow more real as what is.  Due to how it's "what's possible" that really matters, and drives everything forward.  As opposed to what just incidentally is, and could have also been anything else.  Anything else, within the absolutely concrete limits of what's possible.

Hold on, I need another hit.

for happy

Hmm, was that an abrupt and random way to end the last entry?  It seemed long enough, and I have bit of the ADD.  Might have something to do with my AGHD, or maybe just all the pot my parents smoked around the time I was born.  Who knows.

Anyhow, so we moved from that apartment on Henry St, when I was still just a few years old.  Still, I have lots of memories there, of things like getting covered with ants, who didn't like me sticking twigs into their anthill.  An early morning, being jolted awake by the yelling of my dad, when he dropped a brick on his toe.  The day I got home from Jowonio hippie preschool, just as my dad was digging a grave for our dog, Happy.  I remember knowing what had happened immediately, since she'd been at the Vet a lot lately.  I remember being so upset, I dropped my cup of popcorn, spilling it all over the gravel at the side of the road.  I still almost tear up, to this day, thinking of that moment.

It seems amazing to me, how much I still remember from so long ago.  How much it still effects me.  It feels as though that doesn't quite add up, with how we normally think of the human mind.  How much emphasis we put in the present.  If time is just another dimension of space, and it's all just as real, at any point, past, present, or even future.. maybe, as mere three dimensionally situated beings, we've developed this instinct to overemphasize the significance of the present moment.  That view would certainly help with prioritizing growth and survival, whereas a little too much awareness of the grand scheme of things, maybe not so much.

I guess we only lived in that place for a year or two, before getting a loan to buy a quaint little ghetto house, where we settled down, and stayed for most of my childhood, where I pondered the infinite size of the universe, and how that must logically imply that somewhere out there, there was someone else exactly like me, thinking exactly the same thing.  Times infinity.

I was so naïve.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

123 henry street

This morning, I awoke from the wispy tendrils of a dream, in which I was trying to tell my life story.  Maybe write my life story.  Wait, no, maybe it was a song I was singing.  Ok, I don't know, it all slipped away pretty quickly, but I held onto the idea of how I might manage to get this writing exercise here up to speed.  I could simply start with telling my story, maybe.  I'll probably ramble a bit, but you know, something like that.

My parents settled in Syracuse, NY, when I was a toddler.  Aside from a hazy image of sitting outside watching leaves dance in the wind, I don't remember anything before Syracuse.  I only remember that much, because the way I'd phrased the observation seemed to get my father all excited.  That was possibly the proudest he's ever been of me, so maybe its not surprising that I've spent so much of my life trying to get the hang of making language more interesting.

Ironically, I kinda hate it though.  English, anyhow.  It never seems to really cover what I'm trying to say.  No matter how well I try to articulate, I can't seem to get past the feeling that, for the most part, I might as well be making hand gestures for chimps.  Making them more elaborate doesn't exactly help.  Not that I'm any less of a chimp, myself.  but nevermind that, for now.

I keep trying though.  I might not be able to express much of what I really want to express, but if I could just manage to be entertaining anyhow, that would be something, right?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

the war for drugs

I used to be pretty straight-edge.  Even refused to drink any alcohol, for a while there.  I had this idea that my mental faculties were of utmost importance, and that it would be foolish to do anything that might compromise that.  Life was my battlefield, and I had to be at my best, ready to fight whatever I had to.

Well, aside from being a rather narrow-minded view of intellectual prowess, all that fighting never really went all that well for me.  I certainly didn't win, in any case. I suppose that it depends on how you look at it, but for the most part, I've come to realize that I am who I am.  My life is what it is.  I was naive to think any of it mattered all that much.  Wait, that sounds terrible, doesn't it?  No, I don't think it really is.  It's just realistic.  It's about learning to relax so that I can appreciate life the way it is, in whatever ways I can.  Up to a point anyhow, but moderation isn't something I've ever had much trouble with.

So eventually, I came around to some more serious drug experimentation.  Hallucinogens, dissociatives, and THC, mostly.  I find myself wanting to talk about this stuff a lot, as aside from enjoying it, I find a lot of it fascinating.  but then it turns out, not only is there all this moronic stigma against it, there are even laws against it.  How ridiculous is that?

So, I've been watching the news, the controversy, the states trying to legalize it, and the federal government trying to do something about that.  People are saying that Obama has been cracking down even harder than his republican predecessors, but to me, it looks more like a natural escalation.  As more states push for legalization, it only makes sense that the government will do what it can to stop it, more and more, until it catches up and goes along with it.  It's just that this is going to take a while, and in some ways, it will likely get worse before it gets better.

I am getting really sick of arguing with nitwits on YouTube, though.  There's gotta be better ways to express myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the facebook is not enough

I have a lot to say.  Just ask Jenny, she loves hearing me go on and on.. and on.

For some reason, I seem to have stopped blogging, though.  Couple reasons for it, like the latest trends leaning away from anything that can't be summed up in semi-literate one-liners.  Also, just being in a relationship seems to have diminished my biological imperative to tell the world what I'm thinking.

I get the distinct impression that the world doesn't care all that much, and yet.. seems like a healthy thing.  As human beings, there seems to be something vital in how we share ourselves in some way, cooperatively striving to be more than what we are.  Even if we don't really get anywhere, maybe there's something to be said for the effort.  Something to be said for not just giving up entirely on the impulse to contribute.

I'm tired now, though. and have a bit of a headache.  Maybe I'll post more later.