seeds wrote:It never ceases to amaze me in how our exponentially growing accumulation of knowledge is revealing mind-blowing levels of complexity and order in how the universe is constructed, yet the more complex and ordered it seems to be, the more willing some humans are to think that the order is somehow founded upon “serendipity.”
But you see, Greta, that’s the crux of the dream-like “illusion” of objective reality.
It is so perfectly executed with such rich and exquisite detail that the participants (us) who are literally held within the context of the illusion are completely fooled into thinking that nothing could exist above and outside of the illusion...
...hence my prattling on about the somnambulistic nature of our situation.
Yet order occurs blindly all the time. You grew from zygote to toddler with nary a thought. Dawkins fascinatingly describes the early development of the blastula in The Greatest Show on Earth.
It seems that reality simply does do things by itself based on knock on effects extending from an initial imbalance, and from then on the universe has chaotically moved towards a return to equilibrium. I am reminded of Leo's comment about physicists - "give us one free miracle and we'll explain the rest".
Yet nothing in reality is perfectly balanced, at perfect equilibrium, so it should be no surprise that a slight imbalance of matter and antimatter should result in persistent knock on effects. Within primal chaos, probabilities (at least within the framework of known physical laws) made it inevitable that ordered structures would form. The structures that persisted were the ones that were able
to persist - the rest fell back into chaos.
When people claim reality as an illusion, I think of it as scope creep. Illusions lack cause and effect, so the idea is poetic only. Still, our limited animal senses and brains miss most of the reality that passes us, too quickly too apprehend. So we live in a sea of practical abstractions - "path", "trees", "grass", "sky", "birds", "people" - entities with a vast array of complex qualities to reduced to simple abstractions and functionalities. So a path is for walking, not the very topmost layer of a planet with almost 13,000kms of material beneath your feet, with numerous life forms and unknown structures beneath your feet. That information is not normally needed for survival.
Trees are for shade or aesthetic pleasure, not beings in their own right that dominate their landscapes like apex predators, which grasp the ground tight with strong, porous roots that absorb water and chemicals needed to contribute to their physical systems, to the multilayered trunk and numerous branchings occurring in various areas. Or consider the slow motion battles for sunlight and nutrients trees conduct with their peers. Instead we ignore all this and might say, "let's sit under that tree", reducing everything around us to simple abstractions, almost completely unaware. Even the human relationships that take so much of our focus are based on abstractions, albeit more complex ones, which of course is the problem of other minds. Kant, of course, knew these things long before us.
I about the human tendency to dismiss that which they have not yet perceived. If not for so many reckless and unsubstantiated claims touted as "truth" then perhaps this would not be the case. As a result, the journey of humans has been one into an every larger and more complex reality. Once humanity lived on a central Earth surrounded by a nearby tiny Sun and tiny stars, run by God's clockwork. Today the most extreme postulation is a multiverse consisting of 10⁵⁰⁰ universes of unimaginable scale and complexity.
We are becoming ever less somnolent as a group while individually becoming more so as we increasingly change from being active agents to managers of active technological agents, from direct engagement to abstracted relationships. As individual skills and depth are lost, they are replaced by highly functional machines and the loss of individual depth is somewhat replaced by our growing bodies of knowledge. Swings and roundabouts, I guess.
It seems to me that, due to the limitations of the brain and its inability to control the extremely complex, eg. societies, governance, environment, the body, it seems that our brains will need to be augmented by AI to comprehend the ever more complex systems being created.