Stuff to ponder about

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#1 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Stuff to ponder about

Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:53 AM

I've always found these sorts of things to be very interesting. Quotes and such that makes you really think and wonder about what it means. Like how the universe is either infinite or it ends. Or how everyone who has ever lived has once been an innocent kid. Or something like this:


What stuff do you like to ponder about?

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#2 Dormilich  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:13 AM

yea, good ole astronomy lessons* in school …

what I find is astounding is that we can’t even compute the simplest molecules, while nature realises it in a whim.



* - B A F G K M (Stellar Classification)

This post has been edited by Dormilich: 28 May 2012 - 06:13 AM

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#3 Alderdragon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:01 AM

Yeah, I've been into that kind of stuff for a while now. Started reading books by Michio Kaku in my early teens and took an interest in space/theoretical physics. Got to meet him last year. That led me onto other science material. It's funny that, at the same time I was reading about chemistry and physics in my spare time, I was almost failing the courses in high school because I found them so horribly dull :\

If you haven't yet, check out the Symphony of Science videos on youtube. One of my favorite quotes on there is from Dawkins, albeit sort of out of context: "Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you; some people find that thought disturbing, I find the reality thrilling."

Also check out the sixtysymbolschannel for physics stuff. Vsaucehas a great channel too, about some random interesting topics.. very watchable.

Something I've been "pondering" about is consciousness and your sense of self. What makes you, you? I know it's really cliche and no, I'm not going all pseudosciency on you. Just, biologically speaking, who are you? I suppose we can rule out physical makeup--Stephen Hawking is still Stephen Hawking even though he can barely move now. What if you slowly replace parts of your body? The car analogy is ubiquitous: even if you replace all of the hardware on the car, you still think of it as the same car. The same is true for humans who get organ transplants and such.

The reason I was thinking of this is the idea of teleportation of information. If we one day had a device that read your genetic/atomic makeup, destroyed you, and recreated you somewhere else, is that you? At face value, I've always said yes: the atoms in your body right now are not the same atoms that were there years ago, but that doesn't make you different, necessarily. This is hypothetical of course. Some arguments can and have been made suggesting that this would be impossible for purely physical reasons (the uncertainty principle for example). But regardless, I'd argue that you're still just a collection of (abundant) atoms in a certain configuration in space... it's that information that makes you you. Because a change in space and a change of matter doesn't constitute a different person, the teleporting thing leads me to say that it's still you.

The weirdness comes in when you imagine you aren't destroyed by the first machine but instead left unharmed yet still replicated. Cloned. Now is that you? From that moment on, you're both creating different memories. But consider the viewpoint from either person.
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#4 strawhat89  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:32 AM

I started reading the Yajurveda a month back... Its pretty awesome. Has stuff like how to build a plane and shit. Note this was written way back in the B.Cs... Also lot of interesting ideas about life and death.
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:36 AM

View Postcreativecoding, on 28 May 2012 - 08:53 AM, said:

What stuff do you like to ponder about?

I like to pick up a meaningless object, say a coffee cup, a plastic fork, a cell phone, & think about how relative it is to the very moment in which I am using it. I like to think about how that item will be thrown away, start to break down, & years after I'm dead it may become so important as someone finds it & possibly tries to imagine how it was used by us now. I imagine someone finding my computer or laptop hard drive, long after I'm gone. Reading through my code, reading through my documents, & trying to recreate events in their head. Magical to them, not because of anything specific was accomplished, but only because it's new & strange to them.
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#6 Dormilich  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:13 AM

View PostAlderdragon, on 29 May 2012 - 12:01 PM, said:

Something I've been "pondering" about is consciousness and your sense of self. What makes you, you? I know it's really cliche and no, I'm not going all pseudosciency on you. Just, biologically speaking, who are you? [...]

The reason I was thinking of this is the idea of teleportation of information. If we one day had a device that read your genetic/atomic makeup, destroyed you, and recreated you somewhere else, is that you? At face value, I've always said yes: the atoms in your body right now are not the same atoms that were there years ago, but that doesn't make you different, necessarily. This is hypothetical of course. [...] it's that information that makes you you.

which leads to the question, how is the mind/soul manifested? does it automatically happen if you have a given configuration of atoms* (etc.)? or in case of teleportation, do souls travel? very difficult to answer, if you ask me.

technically, if you’re near-dead, there should be no significant change in the atoms’ configuration, yet the mind is ...
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#7 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:02 AM

Also, the way to go with teleportation is to learn how to create atoms and having the ability to figure out exactly what atoms are in you and where. That way teleportation will essentially be cloning. Which raises some questions. These cells and organs will be brand new, does that mean with enough teleportation you can live forever? What if people started paying to get snapshots. They say in your 20's your brain has fully developed. So what if at 25 you had a snapshot of your currents atoms and such and then in your 70's, you teleport yourself using your snapshot if when you were 25. You can live forever. Heck, maybe we could master the ability to keep the brain. Cancer could simply be deleted. There would be no need to donate organs. You can DOWNLOAD a kidney. If you wanted to, you could have the same dick as any pornstar you want. It'd be quite the technology. Heck, maybe even download a girlfriend, with a brain programmed to instantly fall in love with the first person she sees.

Also, it's amazing to think about our brain. After all, it is the only organ that named itself. And it's your most important organ, but remember, that's what your brain says :P. It's amazing to think that through chemical reactions we are self-aware. This also makes drugs pretty interesting. The ability to change the chemistry in your mind. How long until we master that ability? How exactly have we evolved to such a point where we have this amazing ability to think, while other animals act on primitive instincts?
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#8 a username  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:03 AM

View Postcreativecoding, on 28 May 2012 - 05:53 AM, said:

I've always found these sorts of things to be very interesting. Quotes and such that makes you really think and wonder about what it means. Like how the universe is either infinite or it ends. Or how everyone who has ever lived has once been an innocent kid. Or something like this:


What stuff do you like to ponder about?

stuff like , am I the same person I was 20 years ago? will I be able to handle getting old very well?
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#9 The_Programmer-  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:57 PM

The one question I ask is: "Atoms. People say they were just made from nothing, but something cannot be made from nothing so how were the atoms made? And also, why were atoms made the way they are?" There has to be an intelligent life force that made us.
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#10 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:45 PM

Quote

something cannot be made from nothing

unless there is a fundamental unit of "something"...say energy perhaps or strings ;)
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#11 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:04 PM

please don't turn this into a religious debate.
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#12 The_Programmer-  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:29 PM

View Postishkabible, on 29 May 2012 - 04:45 PM, said:

Quote

something cannot be made from nothing

unless there is a fundamental unit of "something"...say energy perhaps or strings ;)

Then how was that fundemential unit made?
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#13 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:53 PM

that is a very good question that our best minds our working on. our best idea, as I understand it, is that all energy existed in a singularity and then the big bang came along and spread it out in the form of various elementary particles that made hydrogen moving very quickly(movement is a form of energy as well). eventually enough hydrogen came together to form a star so that heavier atoms could be formed.

I *think* that one of the ideas, known as string theory and other variants such as M theory, propose that elementary particles are made up of vibrating "strings" of energy.

I like the idea that everything is made of energy personally; the idea that just 1 thing allows for all of this is really neat. it can exist as movement or as matter, it's just a bunch of numbers and information.

where the singularity came from I have no clue. it's such an abstract thing I'm not sure that's even a valid question. before it was a 'where' and a 'when' at all? questions must be put in perspective when you get to these things.

I think 1 mistake people make is to assume that the universe is anything like they see it. the idea of "tangible" doesn't really apply. the way I see it, it's all just information and we humans place odd human interpretations on it that simply don't apply. asking where the fundamental unit(perhaps energy) comes from is to me like asking where logic came from, it simply is. I think that's an even more interesting question in fact "where did logic come from". the most beautiful answer I can think of would be one that shows that they are the same, or that one defines the other.

back the the "soul" thing...
consciousness is a really interesting idea to me. it makes me wonder if computers have a consciousness the way animals do...assuming animals do. it seems so hard to define what a consciousness is to me. to me consciousness is what I would call as "soul"

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 29 May 2012 - 06:02 PM

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#14 The_Programmer-  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:16 PM

I completely agrer with you. I bet no one on Earth will ever be able to answer the question "how, when or why energy was made." Everyone will have their opinion but I bet none of them are right (even mine). Sorry for any spelling mistakes. I suck at typing on my Nook Tablet.

This post has been edited by Atli: 29 May 2012 - 10:34 PM
Reason for edit:: Wall-of-text quote removed.

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#15 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuff to ponder about

Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:28 PM

quoting the wall of text right above you is REALLY annoying btw.
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