Dear Mole, Stupid Questions

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Perhaps pondering unanswerable questions is our version of playing Angry Birds.  It’s certainly no farther up the scale of practicality or importance.

It also serves to alleviate the tedium of the daily grind, though I’m not sure why.

Whether or not those “other beings of the Cosmos” exist to question their own existences might be a moot point and quantum physics, as usual, is the culprit in rendering the query meaningless.  Since over a century’s worth of research and experimentation has shown time and time again that the result of an experiment must take the experimenter and his or her laboratory equipment into account – literally inextricable from the equation – is “why are we here?” even a viable question anymore?

This bizarre and counter-intuitive theory leads me to only one conclusion: we are all mortal gods.  Animals, too.  Any living thing, in fact, that can be said to be “experiencing” is among the pantheon of temporary gods.  We created “all this” with our own perception of it – if there is no one to perceive it, can it be said to exist?  This then leads to an even stranger question: did anything exist before the first being had its first moment of sentience?  All of that background radiation leading astrophysicists to posit the 14 billion year old event called The Big Bang – what if this 14 billion year old shit is actually only as old as the first person who thought about it?

We cannot conceive of nothingness, though it’s the (non) state in which we were(n’t) prior to being born.  We go through hours of it every night in dreamless sleep.  It’s a pretty safe bet that it’s precisely where we’re headed after our century or so of melodrama comes to an end.  So…if I, Desert Curmudgeon, were to die in my sleep, would anyone else wake up to experience another morning?  I mean, everything I’ve ever perceived has necessitated my observation to manifest, according to the aforementioned quantum theory.  So is this like a Truman Show situation for just one of us or are all of us simultaneously conjuring different experiences of reality?  Does it matter?  Would our ultimate destiny of eternal non-existence be changed one iota by either answer?

A recently trendy phrasing of the same existential conundrum goes like this: “Why is there something instead of nothing?”  Think about nothing again, but this time extricate yourself from the equation and just think of the physical, inanimate universe.  No living beings, no intelligence whatsoever to observe the phenomenon of cosmic flotsam and jetsam colliding and exploding and disintegrating and reintegrating in perpetuity.  Is this possible?  Obviously, I’m excluding “god” from this question, too.  Lifeless, chaotically moving stuff having no living stuff to observe it and with which to interact.  To my mind, this could not have been the case nor could it ever become the case.  “Stuff” without an observer isn’t stuff – it’s nothing.  “Nothing” with an observer isn’t nothing – it’s empty space or blackness or silence.

This is why I envy my dog.

I’ve no questions, as such, with which to leave you today.  I’m just interested in hearing your thoughts about…all of the above.

Try not to hurt yourself.

Intangibly,

‘Mudge


26 responses to “Dear Mole, Stupid Questions

  • Phil Huston

    Perhaps pondering unanswerable questions is our version of playing Angry Birds.

    Perhaps like dropping in to make a deposit at a sperm bank without a fridge? I get it. But why? When there are so many things to experience, real or imagined. Time is a gift. The planet and all the weird creatures and stuff on it are a gift. Get out. All this do be do be do be meaning of life shit is for Scoobie and Sinatra.

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  • Phil Huston

    I perceive, therefore I am. Cuts out a lot of the brainiac poser vocabulary and long winded expostulations. Just sayin’. However, if gas is proof of existence, there you have it. In spades.
    So, you fuckers ever gonna create again or is all this another workaround form of excuse? Or is this cleverly disguised “practice?” Flatulence is the run up to a good shit. But it’s time for me to ask, as is my custom, where’s the duece, bros? This is like yawn-thirty.

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  • Sam "Goldie" Kirk

    I wish my workplace ceased to exist the moment I left it…

    Liked by 2 people

  • mydangblog

    I have no problem with nothingness. It’s the whole idea of “the Universe as infinite” that throws me into a full-blown panic attack. I can’t even write anymore about it now…how can something not be contained within something else? Where’s my dog?!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Anonymole

    If we could attach some sort of casino payout to existential discussions…
    You’re right, this is like Angry Birds, Tetris, or Conway’s Game of Life, pointless, unproductive, but entertaining (as any good diversion should be).
    I’m generally a fan of Occam’s razor. So when it comes to “if a tree falls in a forest” kind of questions I side with the practical, yeah it made a sound. Semantically speaking, saying that ears are required to hear sounds, is rather like saying every time I think a genuinely new idea—a new universe pops into existence whose physics and history are based on and start from that idea.
    Provable? No. Fun to contemplate the multi-verse? Yes. But I don’t get high anymore (sadly) and so can’t really spend time stewing in a phantasmagorical inner-movie where I rush up to the edge of possibility, gasp at chaos trying to order itself only to fall back and wonder if there are any lemon-squares left and should I just finish off this bottle of Merlot. Does an aurally equipped life-form need to witness that tree falling to justify the existence of a sound? In my book? No.

    I just read another theory on Fermi’s Paradox: all the aliens are sleeping. They’ve all managed to create computationally equivalent models of themselves into which they’ve uploaded. Determined that the Universe is too hot (@ three degrees K) and have decided to aestivate until they can more efficiently cool their sun-sized processing cores.
    Both of the “experts” admitted this likelihood slim. Much more realistic to accept that either: we’re it as intelligent species go, or the exterrestrial-super-intelligences are in a galaxy far far away.

    “And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.” (At which point all of you figments of my imagination will cease to exist. Poof!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • desertcurmudgeon

      Oh, I get your discomfort with the implications of “no real unobserved stuff” and I even share it to a large extent. Theoretical physics is very conducive to such plays of language, of course, and that’s what makes it fun. However…the tree in the forest non-paradox isn’t a good example to use. There is a definite answer to that question and it’s not the one you indicated. Sound waves — vibrations — exist if nothing’s there to hear them, very true…but they aren’t sound until they interact with an eardrum.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole

        So, I looked it up. And indeed these waves of mechanical radiant energy are not “sound” until they strike the aural sensing mechanism of a living creature. So in the same vein it’s not a flavor until it’s tasted, not an odor until it’s smelled, not a feeling until it’s touched and not a sight until it’s seen.
        All of these manifestations of the physical universe exist, of course, without our senses. But we humans love a tautology.

        The Universe only exists if we’re there to experience it. That’s bullshit. But then it’s not. To me, this animated bag of chemicals, it’s worth a few minutes of contemplation, but it’s kind of a dead-end thought process; once you’ve figured it out, you’re done.

        The Nothing from which we came to the Nothing to which we’re headed – Titus Lucretius figured that out a few centuries ago. Though we can label it we can’t understand it, it’s like anti-matter, we’re either something, or nothing, never the two in any combination.

        Then there’s life. This one has me a bit conflicted. I suspect humanity is still early in its analysis and recreation of life’s “magical” properties. But as of now, it seems out of reach. Somehow, heat, chemicals, light, electricity perhaps all percolating in some coffeepot of early earthen tide pools or volcanic vents were able to spontaneously generate life. But decades of deep analysis and experimentation by hundreds of biochemists can’t reproduce it? As I said, maybe we’re still young in our efforts. If not, from whence life, that spark that flickers, lives and dies? Perhaps we are all mortal gods.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymole

        I did experience the Nothing (well, not experience it, I experienced it’s probable existence) during my recent surgery. Two hours cut from the tape of my life. I might equate it, still out of ignorance mind you, with being brain dead.
        I was in one place, then two hours later, measured only by my memory of the hour prior to the Nothing, I was someplace else. I could have woken up a thousand years into the future and not been the wiser; time did not pass while I was in the Nothing. Then again, maybe some other experience was occurring while I was under. An entire other existence lived in those two hours — I’ll never know. Mutually exclusive, the something, this, and the Nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Tom Being Tom

    Kamal Ravikant once challenged his readers to find the one thing that would change everything from that day forward, like he found self-love and his buddy found “acquisition.” It was kind of a poetic twist on the idea of the “one big thing.” I searched and searched until I came upon your conclusion: that nothing matters outside of what I perceive matters. That the universe, from my perspective, exists only for me. So to answer his question, which was posited as a sort of “all things being equal what could you not live without?” my answer was, quite simply, “me.”

    For a while when doubt crept in I would say “I am the universe.”

    Or some such nonsense. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  • George F.

    That’s why I envy my dog. The best conclusion ever!

    Liked by 5 people

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