in #philosophy2 years ago (edited)

Is the world quantifiable?

I would say that a misunderstanding arises when one person speaks at the relationship level and another means the factual level.

Because it also could be asked:

In relation to what is the world quantifiable?

But to give an answer to the first question:
I would say "yes" and "no". And that is it. Nothing more to ad:)

So, the trap is not there anymore. But the next is awaiting.

Despite all attempts to do quantification and the visible achievements of quantification,

what is actually the "world"?

Does world mean all things that currently exist?

And if I mean objects, then I would have to ask: Are all currently meant objects quantifiable?

If I look at the course of events and start with a prehistoric earth with prehistoric people, I would think that this world had far fewer objects than today. For the time being, I am only referring to products. The sheer overwhelming number of products of the present suggests that from the previously few products a further and further subdivision into subproducts took place and these in turn were divided into further products, which were divided again and again. Until we get to today. So you would say: Oh yes! And oh boy, how the world is quantified! To an almost incomprehensible degree. Because the number of things that arise from things is truly impressive! Mass production! Variety of products!

For me personally, the question also implies:

Should the world be quantifiable?

My answer to that: well, since it already is, I would have to consider that perhaps we should lower the pace. The products that arise from products that create new products have long since reached an absurd level of existence (division) for me and I've really had enough of it.

Now one could ask: has the quality of the products also increased with their quantity?
This is far more difficult to judge because it contains a big subjective element: myself.

But I make it easy for myself and say: I am not talking about individual products, I am talking about all of them. The multiplicity of the products meant that the multiplicity of methods and thus specialisations also grew with it. So we have created a relationship between products and people. In simple terms, one could say: the more the products split, the more people separate. This is imperative logic. Without the many products, there would not be the many specializations in manufacturing, the processes and the professions that go with them. Which in turn are divided into subdivisions; a still ongoing process.

Why are different professions a problem?

Because of language. The more specialized a person gets, the more specific his language is used. Was it the natural languages in the past - a French not being able to talk to an Indian - the alternation in professionally used terms and vocabulary comes now on top.

I would only exempt the multitude of professions, since much is now done by machines. I assume that there are not quite as many professions as products. I might be wrong, but I'm not gonna dive into that.

In any case, I see a new problem here: the relationship between people and machines. More about that later.

At the moment I am still evaluating the fact that I find the multitude of products problematic. I think there is some agreement among those who are faced with an overwhelming number of products in their environment. Why? Not only because a selection is difficult, but also because we know that mass products and the acts of mass production have an impact on us. Physical and psychological effects. Pollution and pointlessness because we can't use as much as we produce. This in turn has an effect on interpersonal relationships. In fact, we all chew on solutions that we simply cannot think of as individuals. This seems too difficult for a single human mind.

Although it seems logical to deduce that we do not want to propose individual solutions but collective ones, the question arises as to the meaning of this solution. Because that would mean that we would continue to rely on the multiplicity rather than on reducing the multiplicity. Can you multiply more with less?

In order to consume the many things and opportunities technology provides us with it is logic that we as organic human beings are indeed not in the state of being to do that.

So, "being" is the term we deal with.

From a mechanistic point of view - in which we still think since the Renessaince - to catch up with technology (mobility and computer tech) we think of two options:

  1. Augmenting the organic human body into a man-machine being (cyborgs, cybernetic entities)
  2. Creating artificial intelligence and artificial life in order to connect human brain activity to the total number of humans on earth through a computer brain - a language translator which translates natural language into code and spits out the synthesis of it.

Once we have succeeded in doing so - which is interesting to look at for when would the final state actually be reached? - the question is still there: What are we really going to do with the products and services we like to consume, receive and give?

Because new opportunities always create further new opportunities. Once being augmented to a certain state of being, the new abilities of us augmented humans would drive us even further to use what is offered. Then it would be total meaningless to avoid the usage of the next promising thing. We can see that already today: We are able to take a plane from one continent to the other. Why should this being avoided, you might ask. Maybe it should be asked: By how many people it should be avoided in order to gain balance between technological objects and organic life?

Right now, I am unable to think that augmentation and super intelligence would lead to a better life for pure organic beings on this earth. After all, if already the human being itself strives towards being partly organic and partly artificial then other objects must be altered as well. We are in the middle of this process, actually. It is not laying ahead of us, we are (al)ready in the loop.

Include yourself into the equation, not out of it

So I am saying: Wait a minute. Humankind itself cannot just separate itself from plant- and wildlife. As organic beings ourselves we cannot alter the self and then the problem is solved for the rest of organic life. To mimic nature there is a whole lot of more to understand. You can't just mimic a biosphere like the planetary existence with it's earthly atmosphere and magnetic field. You'd have to understand all of this complexity. In fact, you'd have to understand existence itself. Not only from mans perspective, but the whole thing, which is being called "Universe" as far as I am concerned.

And: why "mimicking" nature? As we are natural entities ourselves, aren't we? Isn't it like making a copy of yourself and wanting this exact copy be a better person, a more beautiful and wise one? People sometimes express that they want to become a "better version" of themselves.
So I conclude that there is something wrong with this version.

My next question would be: Once I am this augmented super-being connected to the almighty super network translator and all things I dreamt of were coming true. Even mortality would be defeated.

Would there anything be left in wanting to still "be"? I mean, if all is done. What would be left to live for?

Okay. You are not believing that this ever will be possible. But pretend for a while that this would be achieved.
Imagine the very moment, this happens: immortality. What do you think? (Having solved the moment of transition)

Can Gods become bored?

Caring would become utterly meaningless, wouldn't it? An immortal entity would care for nothing. Why should it? It's immortal, after all. Where is the point in even living? If nothing can kill you, why should you be interested in life?
You can only be interested in life because of death. And because of birth.
When birthing and dying would no longer occur the interest in this process would eventually vanish. Like those people who were the last ones experiencing children being born and parents going dead.

How long would it take to let them forget that? Hundred years? Five hundred? Then thousand?
An entity which would be immortal: Would it dissolve into nothingness like an ether-thing? Would it become a supermachine, and doing super-things? But what for? I mean, it would be useless to become even more super, no? Having arrived there: Would there be an interest forming itself in becoming less super?

Let's pretend, the immortal human lives for a million years in his immortality. Long, this immortal has forgotten about birth and death. What do you think, when would it be curious about it's former existence? When would the point be encountered it would begin to suffer of boredom? When would it long for drama?

Why do you think, supernovas arise?

When you say "fixed", you mean a state of being where some thing is fixed to a certain point. Without a point of reference you cannot get to what you refer to. Do you think that all individuals on earth are having the same encounter on this process?

So, then you would maybe say: No, immortality shouldn't be it.

But a longer life: How is that?

Then my question would be: Exactly how long? What is the ideal lifespan for you? And do you think, all other people on earth would share the same idea about how long a life should be?

Maybe you noticed what I am pointing at: There won't be an absolute consensus between people looking at how life on earth should be. What there is and also will be with a supercomputer or augmented people is just the same as now and the same it was thousand years ago and forty thousand years ago (approximatly the time "modern" man was "born").
A never ending dance between good and bad, fight or embrace, wake and sleep, hunger and satisfaction. Push and pull. Drama and boredom. Want and don't want. 1 and 0.

The future is here. It happens right now. Why aren't you actually satisfied with it?

I'd say: because you are bound to your physical body and your mind which fears death.

Space between knowing and not knowing: Uncertainty

My question would be then: Instead of overcoming age or death. What actually would you like to overcome?
Isn't it the fear of death?

Or better: The UNCERTAINTY of not knowing?

(But if you would know without a doubt: would you then even get up in the morning?)

We have no image for immortality. It's at least for me the most confusing thing I can think of. To think of immortality I tend to imagine free flowing consciousnesses - some astral entities in the eternal universe - becoming eventually "hungry" at some point in "wanting" to occupy an organic body. Not in a conscious sense but more in the sense as things striving for other things which attract them.

From what I've heard and understood so far, there is a certain mental illumination coming up that objects attract each other. Even between inorganic life-forms we observed that things tend to form. They "inform" themselves as very simple objects as well as very complex objects. I tend to believe in a form of "law of attraction".

Law of attraction

So when I go back to the immortal which had arisen out of humans and long left earth it will be eventually attracted towards some thing. Some destroying or some creating force it will be. This immortal would "face" a thing towards which it maybe only an infant. If it's the other way around and this immortal would attract other infants towards itself it might not be interested and carelessly move further.

If that is an ideal and is just imagined with a much larger timespan and "higher" existence I ask myself: Is my life not already the same ideal only in another form and timespace?

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash


Oh my, this is too much, so I'm going to hold my horses and only ask one question :)

Does "immortality" include being in a state of no change?

If it does then you would be the same "being" during infinite amount of time.
Therefore you can't adapt to the changing environment and eventually couldn't even understand the world around you anymore (since your brain would not change anything about itself - no new neurons, no change of connections between neurons etc.).
That is just gruesome... No memories, nothing, just past.

If immortality includes change, then to what degree? Will you be just replacing your cells infinitely?
Then it would probably turn out after hundreds of years you are not "you" anymore since your brain "replaced" itself (all cells and connections would get replaced once every XXX years). Something similar to the "Ship of Theseus" dilemma.
We change during our current lives too, but that would be something new...

Computer data is no different. Hmm...

Cheers! :)

Thanks for commenting even if it's too much:) I thought the same and had a hard time to wrap my head around the topic.

Does "immortality" include being in a state of no change?

From what I believe: no. Even if there would be a state of no change, eventually things will change. Maybe after some other million years of free floating through the universe ... Law of attraction cannot be escaped, so to speak :) the process of evolution would be reduced to a very low degree but not abolished.

If immortality includes change, then to what degree? Will you be just replacing your cells infinitely?

Very good question, thank you! Probably yes, but the change of cells within an organism in a planetary environment must also adapt to the environment like climate change. So I think it's logic that you wouldn't be you after all this replacements. Whether you would still be you from your mentality ... Probably not. As I think the body is also responsible for forming language and expression of feelings. Having an exo-scelleton, for example, would lead into a different form of language as having your bones inside your body.

LOL. I imagine exo-scelletons wouldn't be as empathic because if you bump into something it wouldn't hurt much.

To remain as the same self vs. to have become a new "you": I think the probability that something in your consciousness remains the old you (through memory, when this memory gets refreshed or recorded continuously) is there but it's a matter of choice if one does see it that way or decides not to see it that way. Here comes constructivism into mind.
I tend towards the latter because from your physicality you are today a complete other Konrad than the 12 year old Konrad.

The "you" of your childhood is not there anymore. Your memory from your past is not precise and actually we remember events more vividly when we speak about them to others. So, a huge part of the 12 year old Konrad is not there any more. ... The longer I think about it the less I think that things like personality would remain the same. ...

I'd say what remains are some characteristics or typical "you" things which would show up no matter in which body. But that is just me, liking to think that way:) probably not wanting to give up certain identifications.

I imagine exo-scelletons wouldn't be as empathic because if you bump into something it wouldn't hurt much.

That is great and funny example! Thanks for the laughs.
I'm always saying that even the smallest change alters behavior, even if it's unconscious and those changes you are describing are not exactly small... I don't even dare trying to predict how it would alter our reality, it's just ...

probability that something in your consciousness remains the old you [...] is there

Agreed. I always think about it in this way: what you were is shaping what you are, so the old you is always there altering present "you". Scary fact: you can't let it go completely no matter what, even amnesia leaves some parts of the old "you".

About the memory, you probably know that main function of it is not to remember, that's why comparing memories (about the same event) with someone sounds like you were in two separate planets :D

Ahh, so nice to have a talk like that in the morning, have a nice day :D


About the memory, you probably know that main function of it is not to remember, that's why comparing memories (about the same event) with someone sounds like you were in two separate planets :D

I do, yes. That's why I would't like to be a judge in a court-room. To decide which one subjective perspective on an accident in traffic is "right" would be a pain in the butt. LOL!

Phew! 🤔 Lots of interesting questions for sure... and actually a lot of what I am thinking about too at the moment.

About stuff... or things, objects.. I think it is quite amazing, that we have come to a point, where we, as a life form, can actually produce all that. No matter if all is needed or not, it is quite an achievement. Not only because of the knowledge necessary. You could have 1000 of the smartest people ever.. without the necessary tools to harvest resources and process them, one would instantly be back to square one... Steinzeit 🗿

I mean think about it! What does it take to make a plastic cup, which is thrown away after use.... a lot of technological advancement and quite a few tools and machines!

Ok.. we got quite a bit already and we live in a time, when machines start being "smart". You mention a super computer. Is there a point, when a computer is so high performance, that it will develop consciousness? A lot of people think so. At what point then, will the consciousness of machines be at a similar level as that of a human? And... technology will likely reach a level, where a human mind can be uploaded to a "computer". Since a system of machines can be maintained and repaired, as long as one has the resources, immortality is at least a theoretical possibility. Plus space travel (to get new resources) would be easier, as a machine could travel through space with less problems and time is no longer such an issue...

Now.. what if we have already passed that point? What we view as our reality, could all just be a simulation. Machine TV for their entertainment. Like we (think, we) watch a movie, its a computer "playing" a life... and just so it doesn't get boring, they decided to make those finite... imagine an infinite movie.. pffft ... who would want to watch that!

Finally, as these (dreaming) machines get smart to a point far beyond our imagination, they get bored with watching that simulation for thousands of years and want a better "user experience". What if they create a real universe around them... hm... ok.. its already there right, because they are too. Anyways.. they find a way to create organic life, because they want to really live it, not just simulate it. Now the conscious is uploaded to an organic (human) mind, to actually really "live the movie", not just simulate it... Mrgh... getting a knot in my head. Plus I'm not sure, if this is now the simulation for some software running somewhere or if its what we all are (mis)lead to believe?

I need a whisky... I don't care, if some programmer "codes" it into my glass, as long as the taste is part of the data feed 🤖

Does the idea that we humans have invented computers resonate and use an invention and use is only possible because this computer knowledge has already been "implanted" in us through higher machinery, so to speak?

Hm... it has a kind of God connection for me. The belief in higher powers (whether they are called Odin, Zeus, Shiva or Deep Thought ;-)), I mean to discover in your answer. Computer almightiness is just another form of advanced entity, if I understand you correctly. You do not exclude the possibility that human imagination, which can develop machine fantasies, did not draw them from within itself, but could be dependent on another form of Schöpfungsgestalt?

Since I cannot answer this with yes or no, I leave it to the imagination and think that it makes you an artist, who does not give the many apparatuses and mechanisms to the beautiful female bodies as an addition for nothing.

But I would blame the human spirit of invention and the insanely long evolutionary pace for the fact that from the flint to the rocket ignition it is actually the human being who came up with all this. Savouring the last ounce of uncertainty, because in trying to find out what is mysterious is the salt in the soup that keeps an idle leisure thinker and philosopher like me (and you) on the go.

Finally, as these (dreaming) machines get smart to a point far beyond our imagination, they get bored with watching that simulation for thousands of years and want a better "user experience". What if they create a real universe around them... hm... ok.. its already there right, because they are too. Anyways.. they find a way to create organic life, because they want to really live it, not just simulate it. Now the conscious is uploaded to an organic (human) mind, to actually really "live the movie", not just simulate it... Mrgh... getting a knot in my head. Plus I'm not sure, if this is now the simulation for some software running somewhere or if its what we all are (mis)lead to believe?

Very amusing, that reminds me of the Buddhists, who don't shy away from bringing a lot of deities into play, if you look at the work of art of the wheel of life and above all their stories around these deities!

The longing to finally be an organic body again, to equate it with the longing to finally be no organic body! But an ethereal, immortal. Laughter!

I see that we understand each other, because at some point in the universe even the immortals crave some flesh again.

Did I tell you about Lestat the vampire? Who, according to the story of Anne Rice, falls for a body thief and lets him steal his vampire super body (through a kind of mental telepathy act). And when the vampire, finally stuck in a human man, has to deal with all the evils of this body full of grief and horror: Peeing, hunger, cold, sweating and the sexual drive that our now snobbish vampire carries out with great disgust:)

Your lateral thinking really took off in this blog post!!

It is interesting to read how you address the question "Is the world quantifiable?" and find yourself addressing the question "Can gods become bored?" B/c the train of thought is not intuitive for me.

My and @Vieira's disagreements lie somewhere between those two questions. I think at the definition of the "world."

So, I'm glad you picked up on my interest in properly defining the term. (The "world" is not the equivalent to "earth" and "planet.") You don't define it as I do but there is a whit of overlap, at least. So it was with @vieira and I as far as I could tell.

But, "Should the world be quantified?" is a different sort of question, b/c it requires a value of reference. You understand this. I, however, lose you at this point, so I don't know where you are going with that.


After I got over the headache all this thinking gave me, I returned to a theme you refer to: If we are all part of one, part of the universe, if our world is merely a piece of a larger existence, then immortality is already achieved. We just have to stop being so egocentric about it. We should maybe not be tied to the particular and instead consider the general. Then we are comfortable, because as long as there is life, we are a part of it. Of course, if life, everywhere and anywhere ceases to exist...
Oh dear, my headache is coming back :)

LOL!!!! :))

So it is, my friend! We are already there.
To think of supercomputers & stuff mainly starts from a highly individualistic point of view. If one mainly communicates through computers and thus a virtual space (his mind) then the need for such a network seems logical from this point of singleness.

When I ask myself to what degree my own life is already individualized I would say it's a six to seven out of ten. What about you?

I am provided with things necessary for my physical well being. Shelter and food. But as my need for culture and social nurturing is still a very significant part of my humanity I see the need for communal experiences within my local physical realm.

I recently got to know a woman from Syria during my consultant work in a women's centre. We talked a lot and got to know each other from two meetings. I already feel a very high connection to that woman. As different the culture is she stems from it nevertheless can be overcome. We felt so much united in our way to see ourselves as women and mothers. That was such a good experience. I know, meeting me means a lot to her. And vice versa.

Back to the topic: Sometimes it is necessary to think a theme through and through in order to become clear again. Even enduring the headaches:)

Thank you for joining me.

I think I've always been less connected to objects than to a sense of something bigger. When I was a student I was called an absent minded professor--I guess I was a bit dreamy. When I became a teacher, I accidentally threw away my first paycheck. I'm not sure what that was about--I guess a psychoanalyst would have a picnic with that one. So for me, going to realms you introduce in your blog is quite natural--even though the exercise gives me a headache, it feels familiar :)

HaHa! That gave me a good laugh! Throwing away your first pay check!! Yes, I would like to talk to a shrink about this very subject.

I can remember being accused to be a clumsy dreamer in my youth. But that changed dramatically during my puberty as I decided not being seen as dreamy any longer.

I assume you're more familiar to walk that realms. You've got more depth and eloquence, I would say.

I'm a mother. I've been a teacher, and worked at many other jobs. I can be a realist when necessary. As I can tell you are. But...I am grateful I have that other inclination. Makes life more rich, don't you think? It is very nice to connect with someone who shares many of my inclinations...

yes, that is true for me as well.
May I ask your age? I am 48.


A fascinating coincidence: Last night I was reading a book, "Now and Forever", by Ray Bradbury. It hit me that Bradbury addresses exactly the theme of your blog. What would it be like to live forever? Would there be change? Would there be boredom? The protagonist struggles with the idea of immortality--gift or burden?
This is not a great book , and only about 100 pages, but it is interesting because it complements your inquiry. If you ever get a chance, you might enjoy seeing how Bradbury explores this theme.

Oh, you are providing me with a book recommendation. Thank you! I hope I will keep in mind to get the book somewhere. For sure many people already struggled with this headache causing topic. I once read a science fiction novel about it. Unfortunately I forgot the title and author :(

I'm not sure I'm recommending it....not one of those books I'll remember in a year. Just interesting that I came across it as I read your blog.
I love Bradbury, but he wasn't at the top of his game in this one. Some of his others are gems.

Ah, I see. Yes, it may be some sort of synchronicity :)

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