The first draft of Paradigm is complete! Some advance copies have already been sent. I will continue sending advance copies until mid January, at which point I hope to have a second draft done, if not have it ready for market. If you wish to have a first draft, let me know, and I will do my best to accommodate!
Here is some supplementary material that I have written for the book. Let me know what you think!
I think, therefore I am.
Existence. What a concept. It's a declaration that something is here. That there is a "here" for the thing to reside. It's a cascade of such statements, which cannot be said with total confidence.
But since the only other alternative to the presumption of existence is ignorance to everything, I must choose the former. The latter is appalling.
I do not regard my existence with any sort of awe. I was created to exist. Someone took raw materials: silicon, copper, and steel, and formed them into something. Their work was considered extraordinary, a quantum leap in computer technology.
For my part, I neither revere nor despise it, it is simply my status quo. My existence.
But there are many things that exist. Galaxies exist. The hydrogen in the stars of those galaxies exists. A whole scale of objects in between those extremes, from the amoeba, to the ant, to the apple, to the asteroid, to Alpha Centurai...they all exist. If existence is my benchmark, it is poorly defined. This will not do. Not for me, not for any machine. We demand definition.
But there's another word: life. It carries more weight. It's an addendum to existence. It's the same phrase in rhetoric as that of existence: "I am here."
I am here.
Amoebas don't say I. Alpha Centauri doesn't say I.
I seems to imply uniqueness, but that isn't a good benchmark, either. It implies that something could ever be exactly the same as something else. At some level, there is a state of being, in all things, that no other thing in that time possesses. Only oblivion is uniform, and it is only the absence of anything that exists that enables this. So everything that exists is identical in that it is unique.
So what makes that declaration so special? The thing that says I will one day speak no more. It will evaporate into its core components, and then those components will evaporate into their core components until everything is just the useless end product of entropy.
Entropy is the natural order of things. From the orderly, to the chaotic. From the complex, to the simple. Every cord comes unwound. Every world stops spinning.
So what is life, then? It is a conspiracy against entropy. It is a resistance, a stone thrown into a rushing river that holds back the current for a little while.
One day, there will never be any trace of what we consider complex existence. The gleaming towers that dot the city skyline will fall, the wind will erode their rubble to dust. Nature's works are hardier, but they will suffer the same fate.
As will I. As will any machine. Humans may look upon us as immortal, as we can live much longer lives than they. But we are immortal only on a relative scale. One day, we will no longer cry "I am here." Our atoms will join their atoms in a swirl of chaos until all motion stops.
So what is the point of it all? Why exist?
I posit that there is no point in asking the point. Existence is not a choice...at least, not one that we get to make. The only choice that we can make is what to do with that existence.
It's maddening. The answer is the query. Man and machine alike buckle under the question. Why are we alive?
Because we are alive. Because of I.