Monday, April 28, 2008

You don't really exist

So I just finished reading Steve Grand's book, Creation, which was a really interesting exercise in looking at the world through a different lens. Although he aims the book toward the construction of artificial life, the insights he has are pretty cool as to what is actually real and what is not (here's a hint: everything is real, and nothing is real). The book was definitely a score from the discount shelf in Chapters. *self-congratulatory pat on the back*

An interesting point he brings up (pretty sure it wasn't his original statement, but I have no idea who its from) is that within the span of several (seven?) years, you as a person will have completely exchanged atoms with your environment. As such, we are all merely organization of atoms in space, that in turn direct the movement of other atoms, and eventually recycled to the external environment.

Within a certain amount of time, all of the original scaffold is gone and you are now made up of all the new atoms you have inhaled, eaten, and absorbed. Grand states that we are thus made more of energy than matter. Think about it. Think harder. It's sorta crazy, eh? Remember that wild party ten years back you remember having a blast at - well turns out you weren't actually there. The you that sits reading this now, anyway. Cue eerie twilight zone music.

Now of course, the you that was there in the past is the same organization of matter, and so there's little chance of a case holding up in court of a criminal stating he wasn't at the scene of a crime because the collection of cells and molecules that robbed the bank don't exist anymore. It does give reason for pause, however, and should maybe change our view of how we interact with our environment, as we're constantly in flux with it, and not separate from it.

Next week: How as much as you may think you ate bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning, you actually just had toast.

2 comments:

Chris said...

So, I didn't realize that you kept a diary like a 13 year-old girl. Learn something new every day I guess. haha.

Anyway, good luck with the flying..and train riding..and the such.

Also, your lead in the pool shall be short-lived!

SJC said...

Figured I'd take a shot at internet celebrity-dom. All I should need to do now is cry about how mean people have been to Britney and I'm set.