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What is the meaning of life?

What is the meaning of life? The right thing to do? The right choice? And so on, are questions that bother many, and rightly so.

I realized just now that I have thought about this problem quite extensively for 7 years, and would like to share my current thinking on the subject.

Extending life is the only thing I have been unable to argue against as the right thing to do.
Finding “the best stuff” or “the right stuff” and experiencing “the best stuff” or “the right stuff” can always be argued against. But if one extends life enough, at some point you can do it all. You may have to extend life for a decade every decade for a trillion decades, putting off old age by ten years every ten years, but sooner or later you have extended life enough.
At that point you can have all property, and you can do everything that is to do. And by extending life so much you cheat, because by proxy you do the right thing, the perfect thing, the meaningful thing, the meaning of life, sooner or later. Its just a matter of time before you do it, you don’t even have to know what the meaning of life is to be sure you will one day fulfill the meaning of life, even though you can pass the moment not knowing it was the meaning of life moment.

This is a feature no other option has. There’s no guarantee the right thing to own, the right house or the right car, exists today, it may exist a thousand years from now. Same goes for the right thing to DO. It may be something that will not be possible for another million years. And how much does that suck? Knowing the meaning of life could exist a million years from now, or a billion years ago, and that all the time I have to do the meaning of life- if there is a meaning of life -is 81 years.
That sucks. But luckily I stumbled upon a tiny fact; It is scientifically feasible to reverse age within yours and my lifetime if we put a few billion dollars worldwide into it annually.
Age is not coupled to growth, so don’t worry, you won’t become younger than your 25-30 year old self. But you will have the cancer and stroke risk of a healthy fetus. How is not as complicated as you would think, its no small feat of engineering, but its far from impossible. There are only 7 types of accumulating factors that lead to aging as it occurs from age 25 onwards (the main changer before that is growth, not aging). If you then remove all those accumulated things every now and again, you reset age to zero (while not resetting growth to zero, so you’re 25 with perfect tight skin and a perfectly working brain, even if you were born 150 years ago). Read the book Ending Aging by Aubrey de Grey, PhD, if you wish to know more. And send e-mails and letters to the government about putting rejuvenation biotechnology on the agenda with a billion dollars annual budget (foryngelse bioteknologi in Norwegian).

How the universe governs the speed of light.

In an experiment where you take equal size spherical particles of plastic with different density and put them in a cylindrical container and shake it along the axis of the length of the cylinder, the resulting pattern of the particles is quite uniform. When you add a little water and shake again, a stripe-pattern emerges. This is an interference pattern due to the force between water-molecules.
If the cylinder is aligned by length left to right the pattern in profile looks like this: | || || |
If you instead of shaking both directions, just drop the cylinder from an high enough altitude onto a sudden stop, to produce the effect of one massive gravitational pull. You get the heaviest spherical particles organized at the bottom and the lightest particles at the top. And in doing so, they will behave as particles. If you add some weak force between the spheres, like hydrogen bonds, by adding water, the spheres will move like waves to some extent. And it will require more energy to achieve the perfect separation of particles into two groups.
It might even be impossible to separate the light particles from the heavy perfectly in a sudden stop. The kinetic energy the particles need to move all the way to their required destinations where all the light particles are in the top-half of the cylinder, may be higher than the kinetic energy they can possibly have. The tiny interaction between the particles, or plastic spheres in this case, might be enough to stop them achieving perfect split into two groups. Even if the container is a universe unto itself, without a relativistic universe around it, so that it can travel at many times the internal speed of light before doing one sudden stop. The reason being of course, that the faster you move the dense spheres the faster the lighter spheres move, so when they both stop, the interaction between them through hydrogen bonds, is enough to stop the groups from separating perfectly. However much energy each sphere type has.
The particles without hydrogen bonds react linearly to speed. But with the hydrogen bonds the particles react in accordance with relativity in between themselves, and so can never break a certain speed relative to each other. This speed is the speed of light. This is how we have a limit to velocity in our universe, but also how our universe can theoretically move in any direction without it affecting our speed of light. This is how we can infer particles subject to the speed of light interact with other particles in the universe (or the higgs field), or spacetime itself, through forces. And we can infer how particles can avoid being subject to the speed of light. By adjusting the forces between an object and the universe, one can travel faster than the speed of light. No need to actually exit the universe or anything as complex as that.

Global warming and heat waves and cold waves.

The atmosphere is getting better at absorbing heat, and also better at transporting heat. This leads to the cold places getting much warmer, the warm places getting somewhat warmer, but also makes it possible for colder temperatures in the warm and temperate areas. Here is why.

Consider a small line of the atmosphere from the equator to the north pole. Imagine it like a steel wire on a classroom globe. Now look at it with an infrared camera. If you touch the wire at the equator you heat up that point the most, but the wire absorbs heat and transports heat. So the wire quickly begins to glow from the equator to the north pole, but only very slightly at the north pole because some of the heat is emitted out of each portion of the wire. Now, consider what would happen if the wire was made from something that was better at absorbing and conducting heat. More of the heat from your finger would be absorbed, making the equator warmer, but the wire would transport more of the energy from the equator to the north pole, so the equator would only increase slightly in temperature, while the north pole increase very much in temperature. This is what we have today. Greenhouse gases not only makes the atmosphere better at absorbing energy from the sun, greenhouse gases also make the atmosphere better at transporting energy from the warm to the cold. So the poles heat up a lot, while the equator only heat up a little bit. But the problem is, an atmosphere is not like a straight wire from the equator to the pole at all times, if it were, we’d probably be fine from a little global warming. The wire twists and turns, sometimes it can go weeks without touching the poles, equally, the wire from the poles can go weeks without touching the equator. So when we have these spirals of atmospheric “wire”, the temperate places can transport its heat to the cold places, but not get new heat from the equator. Leading to a cold wave. And a temperate place can for a while not be able to transport heat away to cold places, but still receiving more heat from the sun and the warm places, this is a heat wave.

Global warming is guaranteed to make both cold waves and heat waves more dangerous. The more heat-conducting atmosphere can more quickly transfer much of the heat from a temperate area to a cold area and if the temperate area does not regain heat from warmer areas at all times at sufficient levels, a cold wave will occur. And increasing the conductance of heat, ie, the speed at which heat travel from warm to cold areas, will greatly (perhaps exponentially) increase the amount of times heat can not be replenished as fast as it is transported to colder areas. It will also greatly increase the amount of times (perhaps exponentially) heat can not be transported away at the same rate it is received, leading to heat waves.

If global warming only made the atmosphere a better conductor of heat, not a better at absorbing heat, we would still be in a heap of trouble. Put the two together, both better at absorbing and conducting heat, and it will quickly run out of control.

We can stop climate change. But its being hampered by a curious phenomena. No, not money or powerful evil people. But imperfect fear sense.
The budget of every nation reflects the human species’ ability to fear. Imminent death like tigers and terrorists get a lot of the budget because we have a genetically based ability to fear that. What really kills the most by numbers however, aging, disease, asteroids, super-volcanoes, climate change, is not very genetically rooted in our fear-ability. If only we lived in a world where humans could fear the stuff in direct accordance with how dangerous it is, we would have a perfect world if that world was run by fear mongering politicians. But our ability to fear is not perfect. I’m way more scared of heights than cardiovascular disease, even though I’m more than twenty times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than falling (and most falling accidents are of hip fractures on old people, so really aging kills in that case).

E-mail your governing body and say they must stop worrying so much about what humans fear, and worry more about what humans ought to fear. Like aging, disease, climate change, pollution, sustainable food production, the long term future etc. They were chosen by the people to do the stuff the people CAN NOT do (protect against asteroids and typhoid fever (see water sanitation history)), if the politicians then do what the people CAN do (protect against tigers and terrorists), then the people has no reason to hire politicians anymore.

Is free will something we should want to have?

In my post about free will where I delved into the question if free will could exist or not , I came to the conclusion that it is impossible to create artificial intelligence with true free will, since no organism or mechanism can have true free will.
In my later post on the closest thing to free will we can achieve I concluded that the highest form of free will that can be acheived by a brain in the universe is an introspectral level of infinity. But I failed to ask the obvious question, is free will something we want, and should we want free will?

Introspectral level zero, spectre level zero for short, is a rock, spectre level 1 is a creature with senses, motor functions and a translator (brain) that turn one into the other (humans are in this level). Spectre level 2 is a creature making its decisions by viewing an MRI recording of its brain as it first decides it in spectre level 1. Introspectral level 3 is a creature making its decision with a recording of its brain as it decided something in introspectral level 2. There is in an infinite series of introspectral levels in the introspectrum.
If a rock has the lowest form of free will, then a creature with an introspectral level of infinity has the highest form of free will possible.
Something you will also have to know is that a brain is not 100% likely choose the same decision twice, simply because it has knowledge of its previous decision, and that makes the two events different with different possible outcomes.

Thus, the closest thing to free will we can reach, without infinite brainpower or infinite time, is to act AS IF we have an infinite spectre level. This is for example by not deciding anything at all with brainpower. Because brainpower will determine that decision X is right in an infinite number of spectre levels, and also determine that decision Y is right in an infinite number of spectre levels. So knowing this, no decision in any spectre level is more valid or “correct” than another.

But how do we decide between options without a brain? With mathematics. With mathematics, a properly encompassing formula will get the same result in the same scenario again and again, and no amount of rationalization will change the result. For example, 4×4 is 16, no amount of spectre levels can change that.

Now to get back to the original question, do we want free will, now that we know what form of free will we can achieve?
Barry Schwartz video on youtube is helpful in this question.
“The way to maximize freedom is to maximize choice. The more choice people have the more freedom they have, the more freedom they have the more welfare they have” – Is the common sense belief. Yet he finds that less choice makes people more happy. And more choice make people less happy. Because when you buy the jeans that are the only jeans, you’re X happy, but if you have a choice between a million different jeans, you expect more happyness than if you only have one choice. Its your own fault that you did not make the right choice. In a way. But when there is only one choice, if the choice is bad, its not your fault, its the fault of the manufacturer, government, salesman etc.
He also found that for every 10 mutual funds the employer offered, rate of participation went down 2%. You offer 50 pension funds and 10% less people participate, than if you offered one. And don’t forget this is free money 2% say no to for every 10 extra funds offered. Its money the employer would give them so that they can live well in their retirement.
If you have other options, they subtract from the value of the choice you have made. All the choice make it possible to do better, to find a better pair of jeans than when there was only one type of jeans. But you will feel worse because the expectations of how good jeans should be, will be higher, and you will then never be pleasantly surprised by having lots of choice.

Knowing this. Do we want free will? Yes. Should we want free will? Yes. But only when free will is acting as if you have introspectrum (spectre level of infinity). Thus, you must use mathematics to decide. Not brainpower. Because if you decide something with mathematics, you end up with just one choice, the best choice, and if done correctly, an indisputable correct choice that will always be correct. But any brain choice will be infinitely disputable. This means politics should not be anything else than mathematics. Budgets and economies should be mathematics. When you decide if you want a child or a house, or which house, mathematics. what you want to buy, if you want to buy, if you should buy, what you should eat, what you want to eat etc, all mathematics.

I do not have the faintest idea of how to calculate if I should buy a house or not. But if I have no idea how to calculate that with the tools of science then I should not expect my brain to find out if I really should buy a house or not either.

Is it right to produce offspring with finite lives?

We currently have the theoretical know-how and technology to extend life drastically (like 50% longer lives in genetically above-average cases), and can within a century conceivably eliminate about 95% of the global causes of death. Is it then ethical to produce offspring before this practically infinite lifespan becomes the norm? The ethical thing for the species is that the species survive, you’d think, but no dinosaur suffers because the dinosaurs are not producing offspring anymore. The individual dinosaurs did however suffer when they all died of one cause or another. Thus, it is unethical to allow the individuals to die, even if it means we will not produce new offspring to continue the species, because individuals that don’t exist yet, can not suffer from not existing.

PS: I could have made this as long as complex as a peer-reviewed paper, but it frankly does not need that many words.
PPS: This argument does not take into account anything else than the suffering of dieing. It can be argued that it is ethical to produce offspring if that offspring experiences more good than bad, but the definition of what good and bad is and all that would require many words and is not relevant at this time, to the argument I am trying to make.

Dette om å ta gårsdagens kunnskap som fremtidens kunnskap.

Er mye klokt i denne bloggen. Men jeg har noe å legge til. Feks en karikatur av noen betyr ikke at man vet hvorfor karikaturen ble laget. En rasist er en rasist om han/hun kommer med rasistiske ytringer eller ikke. Men en som ikke er rasist kan lage en karikatur han/hun uten at han/hun blir en rasist eller [sett inn hva du vil]. Det antas med èn gang at noen som lager en grafisk representasjon av muhammed gjør det ut av [sett inn grunn man selv blir krenket over], dermed vil tusen stykker tro tusen forskjellige ting om den som lagde representasjonen. Å forby at noen prøver å beskrive deg/annen person grafisk er å garantere at noen vil gjøre det for moro skyld, kun fordi noen forbad det, det har oftest ikke noe som helst å gjøre med personen som beskrives grafisk. Jeg kan forresten også forstå at noen som lever med verdenen Koranen beskriver rundt seg fra begynnelsen, kan bli fornærmet når noen gjør narr av det på noen måte, det er vanskelig å finne på et eksempel på en ikke-teistisk person som lever med noe rundt seg i den grad, det blir nesten som om noen om vinteren skulle gjort narr av at jeg synes trær er grønne på sommeren, jeg hadde nok reagert med noen utspill om idioti og så videre, men jeg hadde da ikke tatt det som et personlig angrep på meg selv at noen mener trær ikke er grønne om sommeren, de vet ikke bedre, og hvis jeg skulle blitt rasende hadde jeg også kun vært en bonde i deres uvitende sjakkspill. Jeg synes det er litt rart at noen mener at meninger er ment for å vare evig, selv er jeg så agnostisk som det går an å være og mener man for vær dag som går har klatret opp på en høyere kjempe (“we stand on the shoulders of giants”, eller “One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding and building on the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past”), og man bør dermed være i stand til å komme til en bedre løsning, et bedre svar på hvordan universet fungerer, for vær eneste dag som går (Og dermed, at gårsdagens konklusjon, som på det tidspunktet var den beste mulige konlusjonen man kunne gjøre, i dag er uperfekt rett og slett fordi man lagde gårsdagens konklusjon, og med den konklusjonen burde være i stand til å lage en bedre konklusjon). Se her for min definisjon av agnostisisme. Jeg mener derfor at Koranen har mye klokt i seg, som mange andre bøker, men at Koranen, alle bøker, selv setningen jeg skriver nå og tankene jeg har nå, kun er intellektuelle klosser for oss å bygge videre på. Uten Koranen, gamle og nye testamentet, buddhisme og selv et dikt eller eiendomsmerke fra en eller annen fjern norrøn familie, så ville vi ikke vært hvor vi er i dag, men selv muhammed kom ikke dit han kom intellektuelt og fysisk uten å bruke de byggeklossene han hadde til rådighet. Hvis Muhammed hadde ment at man skulle holde på vært ord han sa og leve nøyaktig slikt som han mener at man skal leve i evig tid, så hadde han selv kun formidlet hvordan de før han mener at man skal leve. Muhammed lagde egne konklusjoner basert på de intellektuelle byggeklossene som eksisterte på den tiden, da må vel vi i dag også ha retten til å lage egne konklusjoner med de intellektuelle byggeklosser vi har til rådighet i dag?