HOW GENERAL CAN WE START?
how many questions are there?
Let’s start with infinity then.
One afternoon I stared at clouds from my Manhattan rooftop, digesting five grams of dried magic mushrooms.
Behind the clouds I found more clouds.
Beyond those clouds I stared up into space.
Being stubborn, I kept staring.
Being space, the sky above kept giving way.
This, then is the boundary of all existence that surrounds us in every dimension.
Space is the infinite, upwards and outwards.
I suppose time is also infinite, behind and ahead of us.
Our ignorance is infinite, questions outpacing facts.
Experience itself seems bound by this infinity, the unknown which lies beyond what we can know, outwards and inwards.
Otherwise things would quickly become quite boring, no?
But how does one deal with this unknown, these innumerable unknowns, the suffocation of a tiny existence bounded in every way and on every side by the unknowable?
Right you are.
So we have a name for the infinite then, as a placeholder for the undefined and a light out of the darkness of despondency.
In spirituality we call this God, the first mover, and worship him or her or it or flying spaghetti monster.
In science we call this the big bang or whatever other less romantic nouns the clinicians are yelling while they orgasm, in an attempt to push this horrific boundary further away.
Who acts more rational, the spiritualist who draws the unknown closer in worship or interrogators who seek its dissolution?
I suppose it depends on how your Monday’s going.
Sometimes the human condition involves the spiritualists exploring while traditionalists offer reverence but religious traditions have proven more static than the scientific when it comes to noodling the unknown.
One side lends itself more to experimentation, at least in the modern age.
At least one would hope.
We need that glimmer of nobility of cause remember, to give our pursuit some semblance of inspired worth.
So ours being at heart an investigation into truth, let’s try to stay on scientific footing.
Would actually be quite odd to have it any other way.
So the infinite surrounds us.
And we define it in order to either revere or explore its properties.
What are those properties?
Well, the infinite isn’t just a boundary between what is positively known and what can never be understood.
Infinity can also infect questions themselves, what in appearance is simple but in actuality turns out to be unsolvable.
The infinite can also be defined as endless repetition.
A strange loop.
a strange loop?
so… endless repetition?
Yes, a strange loop.
Well, self-referential questions, within a closed system, cannot solve themselves because they comment on both the question and possible solutions.
this statement is false
I mean no-
I mean…good job.
so… endless repetition
Yes, a strange loop.
why strange though?
Perhaps these unsolvable puzzles intrigue us because they echo the origins of consciousness.
Who looks back from the mirror?
Where is the reference point from within the abyss?
What asks what?
Is identity itself just a hiccup, data interpreting data?
Just a record skipping before the power is finally cut from the console?
Another question which cannot be answered by the questioner?
someone owns a blacklight
Regardless, these patterns of endless questioning can be labeled as easily as spatial conceptions of the infinite.
You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.
We conceptualize the infinite through origin stories, spiritual or scientific.
And patterns we conceptualize through…
Shit, how do we conceptualize fractal patterns?
Oh ya, fractals.
that sounds better than strange
It appears as though we have three tasks ahead of us then to categorize the infinite;
1) the limitless unknown which binds finite observable phenomena
2) patterns which play out endlessly in the form of repeating fractals repeating themselves…repeatedly
3) then self-referential questions which are unanswerable, these “logic fractals” if you will.
I will and I have, loved the show
can’t go wrong with muppets and a killer theme song
That strange paradox where you both agree with and detest audience participation.
Speaking of which, let’s stick to exploring the first two and offer the label of paradox to the third, which seems more scientific and therefore more useful (for now) than terms like strange or blind reverence like theism.
perhaps one man’s god is another man’s paradox
That’s…actually quite fair of you.
And of course by you I mean me.
And of course by me I mean us.
Yes, perhaps life IS but a fuzzy fraggle, a poor puppet that struts and frets his hour under the rock.
Using the power of literary acumen and the stress of financial deadlines then, let me harness these fractal loops in the form of metaphor to tease shared truths out of dissimilar concepts.
Then we can use the smaller patterns to explore the larger and shed light on the overall system.
earn that advance
I know I know, more words…
I christen this metaphor then “HISTORY’S MICROSCOPE” – or for marketing purposes the “HM 1300” – and set its power to 250 million magnification, meaning that one year will equal 250 million in our thought experiment slash metaphor slash HM 1300.
Let us now flip the power switch to ON and see what we can discover peering into time itself or at least the origins of our galaxy, the planet earth and life thereon.
First slide up…