Tuesday, August 29, 2023

A Thought Experiment for Indi

Let's assume for the moment that there is God. Not a god, as I like to say, but primordial Mind which must, by my read, coexist with physical reality. Indeed, I suggest that there is no physical description of time without the anti-entropy of life. And that this entails elemental mind to be coherent. Coherent here means nothing different from physical coherence, which disintegrates at the extremes.

So I then suppose that God imposes various tests on life formation. No, let's pick a better verb. Life passes through various choke points which test its overall direction toward life or decay. Call it decadence if you will. Life is more quiet than physical reality toward the start. Of course "start" is arbitrary from the aspect of any conscious "observer." Some sense of I was already here before any I was conscious of it.

In Earth's case, life has passed many hurdles with flying colors, especially with the evolutionary advent of humans. It is our capacity for love which makes us apex creatures. Our intelligence, artificial or otherwise, mostly gets us in trouble. We are in trouble now, but I'm not quite so sure that we're as f***ed as Indi would have it.

If we are it's because we do it deliberately to ourselves. Because we refuse to grow up. I watch my granddaughter grow and grow, and she does it by interaction with all and everyone around her. Her mind is not composed inside her brain. Hers is a whole-body touch and feel and taste mind. So is ours. And she is fortunate in her parents. The love glows.

Now our current impasse is all about fossil fuels. For the sake of our assumption here, let's call fossil fuels an extravagant, though perhaps earned, gift from or by or with God. So far, we've squandered it at the expense of all life on earth. Fossil fuel is, after all, but another legacy, along with DNA, of the life that preceded us.

But we've also developed a marvelous set of sciences, terrific music and literature, wonderful ways to live comfortably without disturbing our natural habitat (if we so choose) and a terrific communications network. If we eat well, we consume a symphony of love. And there is and always has been wine.

Growth dependent capitalism, based on what Indi and I both call the artificial intelligence of the corporation, has turned most of these accomplishments to shit. I might extend usage for artificial intelligence to politics as well, which responds best to the power sources of capital (especially to our military industrial complex) and seem increasingly to move away from moral behavior toward the same AI which guides large corporate decision-making. Indeed, they are in cahoots; two aspects of the same reality. Revolving doors don't begin to describe it.

All of this is easily fixable if we wish to fix it.

We are on the cusp, but I'm not sure we've lost our balance quite yet. Recovery can move as quickly as destruction has, as in most cases of discovered destruction. Large dinosaurs proved dispensable, though their successors and heirs remain. Their DNA. Their stored energy from the sun.

Now just because I can prove my scientific conclusions doesn't mean I can convince you or anybody else. We seem skeptical of the best science in any case anymore, but in my case, I draw my knowledge so eclectically that I'm pretty much an idiot in any particular field. And most experts are embedded pretty indelibly in their fields of expertise. I don't expect my narrative to change a thing.

Just as I won't win any physics argument, most world-class scientists might look ignorant politically or sometimes even morally. So I'm not all that embarrassed. These days, my hero Richard Dawkins should feel embarrassed.

But anyhow, I do declare that the world we live in is not just a mostly comprehensible physical world composed of particles and forces. Our actual world must also include a living world composed of concepts and the forceless relations among them, ordered by the narrative processes of DNA formation. Evolution, mediated by DNA, must move in the direction of love for life to develop and prosper. Love is life is God. Any other formulation is a distraction from the real.

This is my set of definitions and not a description yet as such. A description can be made coherent to the very roots of cause and effect and life and evolution. That would be a project for the next generation of scientists. Of course, physical entropy - decay - must always be a part of life. And one might suppose that the earth and all the life it composes must also decay. In the end.

But do we really want to fail right now at this particular impasse? We have squandered the gift of fossil fuel, but we don't often weigh what we've gained in the burning. And that gain may (or may not) be precisely as bloody as all evolutionary gains. The pains imposed by "climate" have been mild so far.

I'm not talking about human development into outer space beyond us. We are not nearly ready for that, viz the Elon and Jeff show. We need a lot more time on Earth to even think about life elsewhere - ours or anyone else's. We will know such life only when we are mature enough to take our full responsibility for life, the universe, and everything else. 42. Right Elon? (what a f***ing a-hole)

Odious though the term has been made, let's suppose also that there is in fact a moral majority. Not the one that the brain-dead Christian Right has referred to, but the truly invisible one which resists the false authority of those, mostly men, who would speak for God.

And furthermore, I say with wagging finger, I do not advocate conscious revolution. The changes we need to accelerate are all very little. A Gentle Rain of Compassion, as one writer put it. A gentle rain will wash the ugliness away. Without that from us humans, the raging climate will wash us away.

Clamoring for revolution feeds the beast. It is energy powered by false certainties. Or little certainties made too large. Our conglomerate media empire makes pulp of those efforts so very easily. So desperate is the AI beast. So utterly abused is our vast communications web. Q and the previous guy are the obvious result. 

Indi is right that we can't "fight" climate change. These are natural processes beyond our agency. All that you hear about what you must do is fuss and diversion from the facts of life. No wonder the Right is so obsessed with the facts of life. They are obsessed with repression of the woman in each of us. What we all must do collectively and post haste is to regather locally, Concern about immigrants dissolves in the face of one actual such person. Concern about a fetus dissolves in the face of one anguished woman or family.

The moral questions are real. The over-certain conclusions are a cop-out.

To allow our local concerns to be hijacked by the forces of manipulative monetized hate-speech such that we hate people right in front of us according to stereotype, is to allow Artificial Intelligence to kill us off. Its Avatar is Tucker Carlson and his ilk, who don't believe a thing that they spout "on air." Money is a much more powerful fuel than even oil. It hijacks the soul which believes that this right here right now is all that there is.  And that he is so individuated from the all.

If you're not confused you're not paying attention. There is no authority - certainly not I - who can turn your confusion into certainty. The certainty that you feel is surely false. Even your certainty that the end is near. The end is fear.

Let us pray.

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