Thursday, March 15, 2007

My head hurts, does yours?

My daily metro journeys are simple affairs. I read if I have a seat; I stand and switch off if I don’t. Yesterday evening was different. I was standing but not switched off. I was thinking so hard that my head hurt.

I stood there wondering if my fellow-passengers had been created by me. I wondered if the friends that I’d seen in Nottingham this past weekend no longer existed now that I wasn’t actually seeing them. My son is arriving on Friday next week to spend part of his gap year with me. He’s in Cape Town at the moment, out of my sight. Does he exist?

I’d been reading this article (by Robert Lanza) in the office just before leaving for home. You need to read it to get a clear understanding of its implications but I’ve summarized it for you. I used to read a lot about this kind of stuff but, in recent years, my mind has got lazy, happy to read nothing more complicated than the Sunday papers. I think Lanza’s article manages to get a bunch of concepts across in 7500 words whereas it takes many other writers a book to get across.

Be prepared for a long, roller-coaster journey from ancient Greek philosophy to modern-day scientific reality. A scientific reality that, despite the theories of quantum mechanics, largely fails to recognize those special properties of life that make it fundamental to material reality. To recognise how the subjective experience relates to a physical process you need to take a biocentric world view.

Read more..
Do you see what I mean about a sore head? Are you wondering if I actually exist? I’ve never seen most of the people who read this blog so I really can’t be sure if any of you exist. In fact, I can’t be sure that those I’ve actually met actually exist. Although I saw Mike last weekend and I’m sure that his collaborative book for Comic Relief, ‘Shaggy Blog Stories’, will be available to buy from tomorrow (BUY IT!!), I’m not sure if he exists right now.

This kind of sore head feels so different to the one I had on Sunday morning after a night out in Nottingham.


Anonymous kyknoord said...

If you say anything about red or blue pills, I'm going to have to get violent.

2:02 pm  
Blogger Terri said...

"quantum weirdness" indeed.
I got to the Halfway toggle before I stopped... I don't need that sort of headache thanks. I'm still busy with the whole the-universe-never-ends thing which has had me befuddled since childhood.

2:09 pm  
Blogger J. David Zacko-Smith said...

Darlin' - NOTHING exists - it is all socially constructed - there is NO "there" there.

Get it? Got it? Good!

Hahahahahahaha! *EVIL LAUGH*

2:50 pm  
Anonymous basil said...

you lose one freakin jumper and one scarf and turn into an uncertainty principal (sic)

5:20 pm  
Blogger DougZAR said...

If time does indeed exist, then I think some people have too much of it on their hands. Idle hands, they say . . .

7:46 pm  
Blogger Ariel said...

Tsk... everything is just an illusion, I thought you knew that! You are a figment of your own imagination as much as I am one of mine, of yours too. Nothing is real therefore you are free to create your own reality. Relax...

9:40 pm  
Blogger herschelian said...

There once was a man who said 'God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If He finds that this tree
Continues to be,
When there's no-one about in the Quad'

(Ronald Knox)

The reposte to this limerick was pinned up on the tree in Knox's Quad in Oxford:

Dear Sir, Your astonishments's odd:
I am always about in the Quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by Yours Faithfully, God.

11:04 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

I can assure you that I exist ... I think that I do so does that count ?

12:38 am  
Blogger Caroline said...

I really will have to look at this again later to be sure...


Do you get New Scientist?

7:02 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

kyknoord: Your violence doesn’t exist. RED pills! BLUE pills!

Terri: Getting halfway is an achievement!

J. David Zacko-Smith: Now I’m depressed!

Basil: It was a life-changing event. :-)

DougZAR: And what are you insinuating, sir?

Ariel: Creating my own reality sounds great. Where do I get the right pills?

herschelian: Not heard/read that one before. I like it.

Alan: It counts for you but does it count for me?

Caroline: I sometimes get it but not as a habit. Thanks for that link.

11:42 am  
Blogger Alan said...

I know that I exist and I know that you exist (I think) and you know that I think that I exist so somewhere in all this twisted logic you must must know that other people exist as you admit to knowing that I think that I exist. I think ?

8:32 pm  

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