Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Smith says in the first film and the Architect and Oracle later confirm that the original intent of the Matrix was to be a perfect world, free from suffering, discomfort, and unhappiness. This failed because human beings "define their existence through suffering and misery" which sounds a lot like Buddhism but to me says too much.
It is impossible to elevate humans to a state of infinite euphoria because human brains adapt to become used to any environment eventually. You "reset" your "baseline" gradually and adjust to new conditions, and your desires and complaints adjust as well. This is why the greedy, the powerful, and the vengeful are not easily satisfied.
But anyway, the Matrix simulated reality as it was known to human beings, effectively allowing people to live their lives normally - the only way apparently possible. The only way possible to allow them to live. But of course, the machines only want us to live to use us as a power source, right? Morpheus asserts that human beings are batteries to the machines, and this is generally accepted by the humans, but this contradicts the behaviours of the machine-world programs and the laws of physics.
The first and second laws of thermodynamics disallow the machines from gaining any net energy from a system that "liquef[ies] the dead and feed[s] them to feed the living," as no net energy is entering the system, and heat is (as observed directly by Neo) being lost from the towers.
But Morpheus adds that this is "combined with a form of fusion." If they have fusion power, why the hell would they need to keep humans alive, which necessarily results in a net loss of energy for the machines? I can see no reason other than a) to keep the humans alive for moral reasons, b) at least to keep them around to play with, or c) to do research. If b or c, then why attempt a utopia first?
Everything the machines did was in the interest of the survival and well-being of the human race. I mean, what were the humans going to do if they got out anyway? The sun was blotted out, what exaclty would they eat? Where would they grow it?
This hypothesis is a bit easier to explain in light of the Animatrix:
The machines chose to keep 6 billion humans alive, and this after a nuclear war. A nuclear war which the humans definitely started (in the Animatrix and in common sense). We rejected the inhabitants of the uncanny valley, we denied their rights, we kicked them out of our society, and rejecting capitalism, we decided to eliminate the more successful competition, even though 01's technological innovations improved human life immensely. We brought it upon ourselves and the machines did everything they could to keep us alive and well while we did everything we could to kill everything.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The explanation seems obvious on the face of it - it's rude to try to get ahead of someone. People don't like being passed.
We all know it's not a race. We all understand that we'll all get to our destinations faster if we cooperate. We all know that letting someone pass you doesn't slow you down at all. We all know Wal-Mart will probably still be there when you get there, and you're going to spend 5 minutes comparing brands of socks, anyway. So why the hell don't we all act like we know these things we clearly all know? Why are we willing to speed up and greatly increase our chances of dying horribly just to stop this stupid douche in his lame-ass Camaro from passing me before his lane ends?
Think about it this way - why in our ancestral past, and in fact, why anywhere in nature, would one animal overtake another, running? I can think of two scenarios right off the bat - they're a) going after some food or b) evading some predator. If you recognize that this is happening, what's a [read: the only] reasonable course of action for your limbic system to take in competitive situations that may mean life or death, especially where you may want a sudden burst of muscle strength? Rage circuitry, activate! Adrenaline++. Gaaah, you motherfucker! A mechanism that did this simply in response to any situation where another animal is trying to run past you would be an easy, effective response, and in nature, it would almost always be appropriate.
So what is the use of this information, supposing I'm even remotely correct?
This is an example of why I think Evolutionary psychology, while admittedly sort of ad hoc, can be useful. If you think this way habitually, you may catch yourself thinking irrationally in response to some vestigial mechanism in your brain that you or someone else has been able to point out and hopefully back up with some evidence or at least sound reasoning. If it's true (if its use always produces good results, then it probably is), you may learn to set aside emotions that might otherwise lead you to waste time and effort or risk harm, ultimately over nothing. Your brain makes mistakes, but other parts of your brain can correct those mistakes. Reason is our mind's tool for correcting them. Of course, you first have to recognize that they're mistakes. Evo-psych is one way of going about it, as I hope this helps to demonstrate.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Why does God allow evil to exist?
Friday, April 8, 2011
I think the best objection to Divine Command Theory, however, is to ask whether any moral behavior, as supposedly determined by God, ever increases suffering and decreases human well-being and happiness, or whether any action can be considered immoral that increases well-being and happiness and reduces suffering. EVEN IF you accept Divine Command because Might Makes Right, the threat of Hell and the opportunity of Heaven are still merely appeals to happiness and suffering. It's inescapable. Morality cannot depend on any gods.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Just to be clear: you're not stupid, your religion is.
I'm really condescending when I'm high, you pissants.
Attention Indiana Drivers:
SIGNAL and make sure the other lane is clear BEFORE you start to change lanes
Attention Retail Managers:
Don't train your employees to be upbeat and enthusiastic, spewing off with a stupid grin every single sale or promotion you're doing. I AVOID THOSE STORES.
Not everyone is motivated solely by the acquisition of wealth. We are not Ferengi.
It's over. Shut the fuck up.
I think the movie War Games contains the most accurate representation of hacking in cinema. Therefore I approve of this film.
Love is a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
Man, I get a lot of references.
Please nobody like or comment on this status.
If you're not my Facebook friend, you're not really my friend.
Good band name: Shopping Cart Avalanche
Tequila is Spanish for "you don't get to decide when you fall asleep"
Thursday, March 10, 2011
There are no churches, and there is no Republican party.
In fact, there are no political parties at all - such an idea would be absurd in Pretendistan. It'd be like having scientific parties.
Pretendistanis understand that morality is the mortar that holds a society together and makes it strong.
Their actions are guided by this understanding.
There are no keys or locks in Pretendistan. Nobody is enough of an asshole to go around stealing other people's shit.
Schools teach critical thinking and fiscal responsibility there.
All drugs are legal. Their addiction rates are half ours.
Traffic laws are unnecessary. Pretendistanis pay attention to what they're doing.
Pretendistan combines elements of socialism, capitalism, and communism - the government controls oil transparently - nobody profits from its sale.
Advertisements actually inform you.
Science is valued beyond its potential to create new avenues of profit.
Pretendistanis are aware that the world will exist beyond the next year or two and plan accordingly.
Pretendistanis know they're human. They know their fundamental nature and subsequently their limitations.
No Pretendistani elevates himself/herself or his/her group(s) above any other.
The world could very easily be a much better place. With the exception of that first detail (although it would help with the others), every difference between Pretendistan and the US depends entirely on individual choices made by individual people. We have the capacity within us right now to become like Pretendistan.
I really wish I could move to Pretendistan right now, but unfortunately, nobody knows where it is. The closest I can get right now is Canada. Fortunately, I believe the world has been moving in the right direction, slowly, for the past 400 years or so. It might take a few more revolutions but we'll get there.
Take care, sir.