2013-05-19

Sin as Technology

These thoughts were recently brought back to my reflection by the writings of a friend who seems to have recognised a certain pattern of cognitive dissonance in himself.
Remember how you asked me what I saw in you, and I replied with a laundry list of the cool stuff you surround yourself with? I still think you should just close your eyes and dwell on what's left inside... which you can't see. Hehe. It may be much more interesting than you've been thinking.
After all, I know for a fact that he identifies deeply with his emotional reactions and inner thoughts - mostly these are not in the visual modality.

Various traditions have notions of sin, distress, or suffering. The notion of a "father of lies," or "great deceiver," is common in the descriptors of "evil." I prefer to model all confusion and human disagreement in terms of concepts from information science. Given my metaphysical preferences, I tend to think of all these terms as misinformation, and mistaken cognition.

One problem at the end of the day, for many people, is that they intuitively attempt to hold two contradicting ideas in different spaces of memory, then attempt to unify the two ideas without throwing either one away. Sometimes the struggle is rational, sometimes it is not. Given the current state of tools for delineating consciousness, it is hard to figure out what people are thinking using the traditional tools of human communication, but sometimes one can nevertheless do so to a certain degree, and thereby help the thinker to iron out their thoughts, in quite a literal fashion. Sometimes.

Computers as we use them today are masses of electronic switches. They are concretely involved in the channeling of electrons, but often we speak of them as channels of information. The concept of information is slightly more abstract than the concept of an electron, in that it's harder to point at something concrete and say, that's information.

Somewhere in between the technical notions of information and the electron, is the technical notion of truth. It is possible to define truth in informational scientific terms, or even in terms of the terminology from the field of study known as semantics. We often use terms like "Boolean," and "logic," to talk about computers, but these are arbitrary descriptions for what generally is a lot of electrons being deflected between vectors in a dynamic physical system.

Applying some brakes to the conceptual roller coaster, and applying an anthropomorphic bent to the choice of language used to describe computers, perhaps it is accurate to say that computers are primarily semantic systems. Indeed one finds that the etymology of "computation," is closely related to that view. Of course, I'd personally take that view all the way, and generally argue that human consciousnesses amounts to nothing more than the operations upon sensory data. (Albeit that not all sensory data originates in the peripheral nervous system; the central nervous system too, plays a role in generation structures of sensual data, and presenting them to the mind for further .)
Well, as fun as this little bit of blabbering was, I don't really have time to turn this into a pretty thesis today. Not that I haven't written about this in greater detail elsewhere, either - I just tend to write things down, then throw them away. Maybe one day, I'll bother to write about this stuff for a proper audience.

Back to reading about third-wave coffee...

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