Thursday, December 02, 2004

Wooly Sweaters

I find fierce ontological discussions about the essence of things rather trying these days. Down through the ages philosophers have been aggressively polarised - but I would have thought that our present understanding of information systems is such that thinkers in both camps should now be able to own up that this is probably an unwinnable debate.

Once you accept that there is no fundamental difference between reality and virtual reality (it comes down to the issue of energy and processing power) you can reach the following conclusion. Our cosmos could be some sort of projection emanating from a higher, empyrean reality, or it could actually be "turtles all the way down" as the lady said - the virtuality of existence is endlessly repeated, and uncompromised by any ultimate essence. But how could you ever prove which of these assumptions is true? (There may be a third way, in which both these statements are partially or simultaneously true, but I'm not ready to write that one up yet!)

There's another obvious problem. Our minds are synchronised with this world, which means that unless underlying reality is as it is depicted in The Matrix (basically the same but with scruffy jumpers) we are not going to be able to get our heads around it. Human perception, thought and language are all geared up for the specific material arrangements of this particular existence. Something akin to hardware and software incompatibility would prevent us connecting up to anything else.

1 comment:

Far Dareis Mai said...

Of course one would then have to face the question of the origin of that higher, empyrean reality which is sustaining and projecting the illusions of our own existence...

Is existence nothing but an infinite series of Russian nesting dolls?

Love & Peace,

Far Dareis Mai