“The only way humans have figured out how to move forward is to leave something behind.” — TARS#Best robot ever.
The quote registered in his mind, as he watched the blockbuster movie “Interstellar” for the umpteenth time. It lay there dormant when suddenly it returned to him as he went through his daily philosophical motions on the loo. Going through his Instagram feed, he felt sadness for there are innumerable things he could be doing instead of doing this…..
Our time here is fixed and our free will allows us to choose anything. There may be infinite freedom to choose anything but we do not get free from the burden of choosing. We must choose at each moment and live with it. There is a cost to each decision and moving forward we always leave something behind. The countless worlds we could have lived is the opportunity cost of being alive.
But why is that a bad thing? We are lucky enough to be living at least one of the worlds. The ability to walk on a path is a privilege onto itself.
I don’t feel the privilege. All I experience is a feeling of dis-ease.
It is because the stupid self is designed to be always be looking for something. The planning agent that helps us find food and fight predators, does not stop planning. It wants to predict the future. No. It wants to realise the future. All the futures possible have rewards and we want them.
That is why looking at other people invokes jealousy. You can be doing this. It is not even surreal. Nothing can be more real than the photos that people put on social networks.
Wait!? Are you saying Robert Frost was an existentialist? Two roads diverged in the yellow woods and reaper stands at the ends of both?
More like — 2^N roads diverge in the yellow woods and N tends to infinity rather. Who cares about Mr Yamraj after making these many accords, I gather ?
So the logical extension of Robert Frost’s poem is Kierkegaard’s Either/Or. Kill yourself or don’t kill yourself or just think about the choice. In any case, you would regret it. So should we accept his advice — Why not enjoy the possibilities?
That is where he erred. Even though there are possibilities, they all can’t be realised. One of it is real and like your first time…, it feels disappointing. Even if I don’t breakdown reality into arduous discrete steps of decision making, I can integrate along one path only.
Hey. But maybe we can go through all the possibilities. In the near future like in Black Mirror, we can simulate your life along all these paths and accumulate the experience. Would it reduce your “regret” of making choices and leaving behind so many possible worlds?
It might. But if I have any handle on our nature, I think we shall end up unhappy then also. What makes you think you won't choose the same choices(like 997/1000 times) each time. Would there be a system forcing you to take all forks in your Lifestream?
Or we can be subtle about the design of such a “Regret Minimization” machine. The system will force all possible life paths onto you. If you fight the system, you have finally accepted the absurdity of life truly. Else the machines keep on iterating your life along these paths and you save yourself from these regrets?
Matrix was surely ahead of its time. Blue pill or the red pill? That all it would be when the computers take over.
Yes, you are right. So the machines in the matrix were not enslaving us out of their will but because we programmed them to do so. The Oracle makes more sense now!
But won't you be unhappy in all scenarios? It is just a choice between an unhappy single reality or infinite unhappy simulated lives.
If we go by Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, we must imagine even our non-simulated real lives to repeat itself without any changes. Only the supermen who don’t want even a single detail changed have a chance at redemption.
Even the suggestion that we may want to try out different realities implies that we cannot be the Übermensch.
Well by now, that debate is settled. But yes! It will be an empirical test for his hypothesis in some way. You can check for the Superman by passing through this simulations
So Neo was the Übermensch! These Hollywood writers are genius!
But what about how we feel? Do we want simulations? Do we want to face the world in all its absurdity? What are you going to do next?
Well, that is a good question. As I think about it, I feel our time here is fixed and our free will allows us to choose anything. There may be infinite freedom to choose anything but we do not get free from the burden of choosing. We must choose at each moment and live with it. There is a cost to each decision and moving forward we always leave something behind. The countless worlds we could have lived is the opportunity cost of being alive.
As he sat, his palms folded in a fist below his discernible chin that arcs into the half crescent of his frown, his body was whizzing past the clock dials. The singularity of the mind creates a bottomless well that dilates the time around him and the world around him crumbles as he stares into its abyss.
He finds there are no roads to be taken, no forks in the yellow woods — there are no woods at all. All there is a grassy field that slowly undulates to the tunes of his thoughts as he stands in its middle. It is unclear where he should walk next and his confusion grows as he considers each possibility. No steps have trodden on these plains, as he searches for a beaten path in the patterns of the flowing savannah. The ricocheting thoughts drumming through his mind reaches a crescendo as he slowly lays down with hands on his head into a fetal position.
Suddenly, the noise in his mind crosses beyond the range of human perception and he feels the quietness creeping on him. The dreary sterility of his surroundings was now getting to him without his thoughts, however banal, keeping him company. He cannot find respite from this helplessness no matter how hard he tries to grasp at the lingering echoes. This is even worse.
But it is not worse, he realised eventually. “It is what it is.”
As these words reached to his lips, he sprang to his feet in a swift acrobatic motion of a triumphant acrobat. The jump made him see the path that always lay ahead of him and he starts walking in a certain direction, one choice among an indiscernible infinite.
He moves in a curved bending path, sometimes making a circle in the field. Not sure where he is going, everyone must be curious about how his face looks as he walks along the path. To them I say:
One must imagine him happy!