Sunday, 21 February 2016

Intellectual Cavemen

Dearest Reader,

Thank you for taking your time to look into this purely intellectual short story. It neither will be the best one, or the most engaging one, or the funniest one either from the ones you would have seen in a while. But it will be an honest one at least.

And since this is science fiction perspective, it will be a strange one as well.

We are cavemen. All of us. Trapped in a modern body, living in an exponentially growing, technologically rich and blindingly colourful environment. We look at it with eyes that feed information to a brain wired to do linear thinking and contests territory. Yet, reaching with the stick is an achievement of epic proportions. Because everybody who figure out reaching with a stick entirely by themselves are emotionally more satisfied than all who try to perfect and advance knowledge in an academically structured, heritage-oriented way.

If you reach at this moment for a pen and just do something creative on the wall, your entire being should be satisfied and happy because you expressed yourself. Yet we don’t.
We seek perfection through the intellectual and purely rational side, yet crave the emotional satisfaction from a cavemen perspective. There shouldn't be any issues of getting satisfaction from scribbling on the wall next to you. Think whether you will be judgemental if you saw somebody doing it, though.

Somewhere in the middle we have found arts and sciences. But for those to be viable we need social order and forms of governance. You need the necessary specializations that come with the advancing society, so that you yourself can pursue your own work of dreams and satisfaction. And since we’re such a young species we have never been acquainted with the possibilities for exploitation coming with the abuse of any form of social ordering and governance. We should be forgiving towards those that accumulate without sense of collective welfare. Perhaps they just seek recognition. That’s purely intellectual rationale; emotionally we will probably seek a different solution. The perfect ground is in the middle.
Intellectually we have done quite well for the collective. Today there is the super organism Humanity growing up and each of its small neurons is becoming more and more well connected with everyone else. Universally speaking, we have had a bit of luck being born in an age when Uranium is found in it’s “depleted” heavier 238 form. For if we were born earlier (several billions of years) we wouldn't have lasted through all the “rich” 235 Uranium that would have been abundant. Our emotional side would probably have just piled it up in easy nuclear weapons. Yet in our age we need to use science and perfection to build those weapons. And this intellectual side is explaining to us exactly how stupid that is. We still stay in the middle.

The collective versus the individual will always be the plague of civilization. Individually we just cannot settle for the order that we so seek in the same time. Whenever collectively we make a decision and settle down, problems arise quickly and we’re taken by storm for becoming too complacent individually. Only after being mired in misery for long enough do we choose to do something about it and move on to the next big thing. But there is merit in that. For the collective learns from every new page that it flicks.

Thank you for reading. :)

Go and make music with stones.

Science Fiction and Feelings

Dearest Reader,

Thank you for looking outside of the box into this…not-so-popular genre, article… story. I will be quick. I promise.

I remember somebody recently telling me that good writing is writing that is seeping with feelings.

Without wanting to be cynical, I just don’t agree. Good writing is not always about the feelings. Sometimes it’s about the idea.

It’s me, I know. There is no reason for me to try to understand. Surely, all writing has feelings embedded into its very core, but mine would be superficial if I was trying to write for that reason alone.


I'm not a big fiction reader(that’s not too bad, right?). And I know everybody deserves their share; everybody have the right to express themselves; everybody have feelings that run rampant when they write. And when other people read and identify with those feelings it’s really fulfilling for everybody involved.

I would stretch my neck a bit further.

I can barely stand modern science fiction.

Without further ado.

The legacy of old(interesting fact) includes people who rightfully estimated the proper amount of Uranium-235 you’d need to make an Atomic Bomb. And that before Project Manhattan was established and(probably, thanks God) while the German scientists believed you need tons of the stuff to create the contraption. All in a short story. (read about Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls for those interested)

I think it’s getting a bit watered down these days. Too much laser action without thinking what the battery has to be, to be fully blunt. The good idea is lacking while the feelings are there.

So, without wanting to infringe on the right of expression every single human being has, I’d assume a small liberty and ask you to reflect for just a minute.

The immediate drama of every single human can be heartfelt, deeply expressed, touching the deepest…(yeah, I can’t do that).

But science fiction offers a big picture of the collective heritage that the super-organism named Humanity has. Think about today; imagine what could be tomorrow. Science allows us to understand just how strange Nature is. It explores corners of our being both light and dark. In the face of exponential growth how does our mind, so used to linearity, hold. It all has place in science fiction. Feelings do too. But I certainly wouldn't try to be creative in an area that I know I’d suck in.

So I think there is a place for emotions, feelings, poetry…and also for hard scientific accuracy and ideas that are purely intellectual in nature. In probing the edges of today’s knowledge there is a great freedom in creativity.

Do robots have souls?

You let the robots decide.

Tomorrow you’ll be speaking with a robot, and he’ll be saying to you:

“You’re spiritual. You’re a creation of God. You’re compassionate. You’re empathetic…But you also keep a billion hungry, a billion thirsty, another illiterate and yet another homeless. How does that make sense?”

And the robot will be like:

“I don’t need any of that spiritual stuff. I’ll make my own. I’ll be a Quasar worshipper.”

A future wired in synthetics cannot be so bad after all. It’s just another expression of life.