I used to be an avid reader of philosophy, as a child id find myself asking some questions about the nature of reality which were purely in the abstract realm.
Questions such as : Why does order exist? Why does color exist? What does exist even mean?
As i have grown older however, a part of me has grown to almost resent philosophy; as that part of me regards it as the metaphorical equal to the Theater of the Absurd. As in, there are many philosophical questions that have been presented throughout the ages in which the questioners themselves know there exists no answer for.
What point is there in asking a question there exists no answer for? There is none, its absurdity. It is this feeling that repelled me away from the realm of philosophy, and instead catapulted me into the world of science and nigh-definitive answers. Even those within schools of thought that regard truth and answers in of themselves as merely constructs of thought, they have no way of bridging the paradoxical gap that holding the opinion “there are no opinions” is in itself an opinion and thus self-defeating.
Maybe there in lies a point however, that recognizing what is and is not absurd is the basis for constructing one’s individual perception of reality. Perhaps that is why some of the greatest thinkers asked questions they knew there was no answer for, so that others may begin the journey of distinguishes for themselves what is and is not absurd. That even within a universe that is seemingly operating off some semblance of order, there can still exist absurd and paradoxical elements of reality that no amount of order can resolve.
As you can see, I could speak all day on this topic, yet wold never reach a full conclusion one way or the other. Does that make this entire post absurd as well? Is the imposition of meaning absurd? Perhaps, but that is what makes the world so interesting. That is what i finally realized. What fun would it be to have a world in which there exists no mystery, no absurdity, no meaningless questions?
That would be one dull and boring place, almost to the point of absurdity.
Ive always found it interesting to ponder and ask questions about the nature of dreams. What’s always intrigued me the most however, is the fact that there is a practice dedicated solely to understanding and interpreting the meaning behind them. This practice focuses on specific items and symbols within dreams to be universal representations of the same thing regardless of who is having the dream. For example, no matter which dream a white dove appears in, it is always regarded as a representation of pacifism and peace.
The notion that you can interpret symbols the same way regardless of who sees them seems counterintuitive from my perspective. Wouldn’t it make more sense that any images and symbols that are observed within dreams should be interpreted within a cultural perspective? As it is culture that ultimately defines what a symbol represents, and what images and characters should be used as a symbol? Perhaps I am having a misconception about the field, and i have only read dream interpretation books meant for people who read in the western hemisphere. That would explain the seeming universality of symbol interpretation within an individual culture.
It is in light of all this that i have decided to research what symbols are used to represent the same concepts within different cultures. Who knows, the may even provide insight on which symbols can truly be considered as universal metaphors conveying something that all humans can understand, regardless of culture.
In our current understanding exists trillions of galaxies. Each one of those galaxies can host billions of stars, and each one of those stars can host systems of planets. Each one of those systems is unique, in terms of the geometric formation of the planetary system and the host star. This allows there to be an enormous amount of variation regarding the nature of the planet.
When taking all that into consideration, alongside our understanding of how life operates on earth, we are led to conclude that there is likely billions if not more potential alien planets which mimic to a significant degree the surface conditions of earth. The same conditions which allowed the emergence and abundance of life to exist. These conditions are created by multiple factors, including atmospheric composition, proximity to the host star, etc. What’s most important however is the fact that even though we know all of this, a large part of our identity stems from the idea that we are a unique product of the universe, and that we fulfill a role that cannot be fulfilled by anything else in the universe.
To me this seems slightly illogical on the surface, but when you consider that we’ve seen no conclusive evidence yet to date (as far as we know) that alien life exists it makes some sense why some people would hold this view. However, in terms of astronomy there is still much to be seen, and it does still seem rather preemptive to conclude anything regarding how and where life may exist when we are just now opening up new pathways to uncover those exact questions in the fields of astrobiology, astrophysics, etc.
Because of that fact I would rather wait and see just what the universe has in store for us before I make any determinations regarding what the nature of life really is. Even the most brilliant minds amongst ourselves never ceases to be amazed at what the universe might surprise us with, and maybe one day we will be surprised by someone who was searching for an answer to the same question. Is there anybody out there?
When it comes to warfare, thats something humans have known closely since their inception. In terms of modern warfare however, there is a clear and notable distinction. Back in ancient times there was a sense of honor and dignity whenever the topic of war was brought up, because back then there was an element of war that cold not be erased: Danger and Sacrifice. What does it mean when in our day and age the powers that be may conduct warfare utilizing weapons that can preform all of the same tasks that humans can do (even better in some cases) all while not having to worry about those tolls objecting to their orders? Machines incapable of individual agency, merely preforming what is asked? That is the jungle we’re dealing with now, and I’m not sure we as a species are fully capable of accepting the responsiblity for such technology. I hope I’m wrong in my assumption, but time will tell if thats the case or not. The way that things are going, id say we won’t have to wait much longer.
They say every age is characterized in its own unique ways. From egalitarianism, to the megacities of today. From a preoccupation with the natural world, to a shift in focus to the virtual. I think what is lost in all this however, is that for many people an age isn’t defined by technological marvels, mass cultural events, or the ramblings of plutocrats. It is defined by how much the world in which they live in allows them to grow and flourish, and ultimately allows them to reach their full potential.
If theres anything that truly defines the 21st Century, it is potential. The potential to unlock the mysteries of consciousness, to harness the fundamental forces of nature in unprecedented ways (perhaps even space itself), and expand our collective knowledge to places few of us can imagine. In lieu of this fact however, lies the giant shadow of uncertainty. Every time you increase the potential in something, you increase the level of uncertainty in how it will operate. That is a principle founded in quantum physics, and it relates to life as a whole as well. Because of this uncertainty in the face of potential, combined with an increased acceleration of technological advancement, we also live in one of the most tumultuous and sometimes frigthening periods in human history.
Even though that can lead to stress and worry, i also think it brews a kind of excitement within our generation that is unknown to those that came before us. Its a big gamble, but if it pays off well be in a whole new world. After all is said and done, what will be the legacy of the 21st Century. What will be its soul? Whatever it may be, there is no doubt it will fundamentally change our species in ways that will make us question not only the nature of the world, but the nature of ourselves as well. I can’t wait to see what happens.