Sunday, July 19, 2015

Is chaos a necessary evil?

When I was 16 I learnt the periodic table in school. I learned about protons and electrons and neutrons. I found out that knocking protons out from the nucleus actually changes the element. Every atom interacts with the adjacent atom in a consistent way. Which is what leads to inter atomic bonds and molecules. Once that realization set in I felt like we have no control over anything. Its all physics. Everything in this universe is a macroscopic representation of the microscopic interactions. For a period of life after that, I lost all interest in everything. But then gradually other practical things in life started distracting me from this realization. There were people who were mean to me, which lead me into an introspection on, how can I avoid this from happening again in future. There were things I envied, but couldn't have. I felt the world was a mean place where the powerful always had their way. I eventually developed this dream of seeing a united world exploring space. I felt if I could work towards that goal, that would be a meaningful life. Then one fine day I read another article on how the entire world could actually be a hologram. This was not a novice speculation, but an article reviewed by scientists. This thought had crossed my mind, like many other people, before. But it was never legitimized by scientists. Could it be true that we are all in a simulation? None of this is real? Then it suddenly struck me that all my problems and hurdles in life keeps me distracted from bigger potentially depressing truths. Is this true for all humans? Would we all go insane if we had a perfect trouble free life? 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A world without countries

There was a time in the history of mankind where our ancestors were extremely territorial. They probably spent their entire lifetime living in and defending a few square miles of land. As time went by they realized that cooperating with the neighboring tribes to form villages meant they had to share their space, but at the same time the food security and social safety net that came with it, made it totally worth it.
      Fast forward to about 10,000 BC. Ancient Sumerians (in the current day Iran Iraq region) invented kingdoms. They had shared ideas which led to the development of organized farming. People realized that individuals could focus on one task only and get really good at it. They didn't have to be a jack of all trades. There were other individuals who had expertise in other areas. This led to the evolution of professions. This meant you were more dependent on the society for the skill sets you lacked, but at the same time it raised your quality of life, leaving aside a lot of free time for non survival related leisure activities.
   Fast forward to the present. We have grown far beyond kingdoms to a society where we have fenced out gigantic amounts of lands as countries. Now even a severe drought or a flood only means the inconvenience of picking up and moving. Most of the natural disasters that would have caused mass casualties in our distant past, is not a survival threat anymore. Sure we have a many inter cultural and inter racial strife that our ancestors didn't have to face. But statistically the quality of life and odds of survival are way better today than it was in 10,000 BC.
      Now the question arises, is the forming of one world without borders the next logical step? I am sure there is at least a few hundred years if not more before that is possible. There is an enormous wealth gap between countries. There are strong religious and cultural differences. The mainstream media has spread an extraordinary amount of fear of people, who are different from the rest of us. We are at the verge of what seems to be the third world war. Which if happens would mean total annihilation of whatever we have achieved in the past 12,000 years. In a geological scale, that is actually not a lot of time (Homo sapiens evolved over 2 million years ago). But at the same time it also means that neither us nor our many future generations would have the extra ordinary amount of comfort which we otherwise could have had.
    So being the hedonistic individual that I am, I strongly hope that the rest of the mankind would pick comfort and pleasure over religious and national pride. I remember reading in a book on EQ that a part of our brain called amygdala and the part of it that connects it to the spinal cord has hardcoded information that ensured survival of our ancestors in our wild past. Most crimes of passion and bias emerges from that subconscious part of the brain. It would take at least another few ten thousand years of evolution before our amygdala evolves to keep up with the neocortex (intelligent part of the brain). But at the same time it seems to me, that as a society we have a collective bias which seems to override the native bias that emerges from amygdala. For example in the animal kingdom (from which we evolved) killing helpless baby cubs born to competitive animals is a very natural choice. However in our society except for the most depraved few, no one would think of hurting an infant. What if we start a strong organized push towards educating kids in schools, that our happy future lies in identifying ourselves as humans first and every other difference is trivial? Would it mean that in a few decades the youth of the world would see people from other so called countries and religions as just fellow humans? Could that lead to a softening of inter country borders that would usher in a new era of united world force? Would that united world force also mean that the exchange of ideas and working together towards current technological problems, would take us to a level where we begin to colonize space and harness the unlimited resources and energy out there? I remember reading that there are more stars than the number of humans in the universe. That IS unlimited energy. If we work together that could all be ours. There is no other known life form that stands in our way of colonizing our solar system. However if there is an alien life force that might technologically compete with us, that would mean that there is an even more urgent need for us to unite.

Here are some benefits I could think of, off the top of my head of having one world.

1>You could travel to any part of the world without worrying about passports or visas. There is so much natural diversity to explore out there.

2>We might develop really fast economical means of transportation due to the large scale nature of the world travellers. (Almost anything is profitable if its large scale enough). This would mean we could live in an isolated tree top house in the dense lush green beautiful forests of Congo and work in the bustling heart of New york city.

3>One world force would also mean that we could have an extraordinary number of world brains working together, really fast towards enhancing the human body. This also means that aging could be reversed leading to an infinite life span.

4>The advancement in technology would also mean that life on Mars is now actually possible.

5>We would reach a level of automation where self fixing robots would harness energy from the sun and minerals from other planets. Leaving humans a lot more free time for leisure and pleasure activities.

I could keep going on, but you get the idea :). Now the only question remaining is are we smart enough to give up our petty differences, to work together and achieve this? Only time will tell.