I began to ponder the significance of those things, and how little they meant in the melange of millions of people all about me.
I've read an awful lot about technological singularity, as well as the never-ending theme in my head in regards to simulated reality.
One of the things that occurred to me, as I wound my way downtown, was the ego of human, which so often gets in our way when making sensible or meaningful decisions, plays such a large role in our perceptions. There is this gross assumption that once technology passes us by, we'll still have a viable place in the world. An important place (I think this may be true for a short period of time, but thereafter, not hardly at all). What I began to wonder this morning, is if we even have a significant place in the world now?
One of the reasons I liked the movie M.I.B. is the animated segment which comes at the end of the movie. Powers of ten. Homer had a good take on it too. The concept of size and importance seems intrinsically linked in our perceptions of the physical world. That clip does a wonderful job of putting that in context. Despite our perceptions of linked size-importance dynamics, AIDS, which is so small you can't see it with your naked eye, has killed way more people than crashing planes and falling buildings ever will. The sun is much larger than the planet we live on, yet I can block "seeing" it with my hand, or a hat. Size, its importance, and the significance of things size is very much skewed in reality, despite instinctive perceptions.
So, too, is our sense of importance.
When you get deep into information theory,you start to question the importance of storage medium. How reliable is it? How much can it express? How durable is it?
What if we are all just bits? How is that for importance? The sum total of our being is to store the most basic building block of information. We start when 0 becomes 1, and scurry around our medium for an uncertain passage of time, then go back to being 0's. What if all our mad-dash live, love, tears, pain, laughs are just the agitated particle state of being a 1?
Six years ago was a sector fault.
Krakatoa and Vesuvius were head crashes.
I'm not trying to dehumanize, or minimize. I lost people - there are still holes on my insides. The world changed. My city changed. I could spin words on how it hurts, how the aftermath makes me angry, or sometimes disgusted to be considered the same species as some of the people who have taken advantage of the shift in the winds.
I could do it, but why bother? It changes nothing. Awareness of recursion, apparently, does nothing to change it. Ask the Ottomans, or the Romans, or the fucking Dinosaurs. Without that big comet a few million years ago, we would have very little interest in the sandy parts southwest of the Mediterranean to begin with these days. In that world, would there have even been two scyscrapers to miss?
Entropy abounds, and when in interacts with us, it seems to take very predictable patterns. The more history I read, the less I believe that any real forward momentum has been made.
This is all perception-level stuff. System level? I bet the events six years ago barely registered. At the motherboard, things are moving about impossibly fast. At the monitor, the keyboard and mouse seem like the only moving parts.