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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."- Albert Einstein


Badilunaah said...

an intersting point, as much as you may try, its always NOW "back then" and "soon to come" are constant as well

TheRavenSword said...

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in Time and Space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of Prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of Nature in its Beauty.
Albert Einstein – “What is the Matrix?”

regards, TheRavenSword.

P.D.: Thanks for the gift, Loved it!!

LupineLooPine said...

Oh, poor Albert. Why do I get the feeling that he's going to be thoroughly misinterpreted through the ages for that quote? In any case, he's wrong, as I'll shortly explain.

I'm fairly certain from his other writings, the expressions of his beliefs and perspectives, as well as something I possess to a good extent - arrogance (though not one stemming from too much ignorance), that Mr. Einstein was talking about the nature of our perceptions of reality - that there's no such thing as simultaneity, and to a matter he found difficult to grasp... that certainty is an illusion. On small enough scales of space, and after a large enough span of time, certainty goes out the window as far as measurements are concerned (which is what is required to determine is something is certain or not... or perhaps one could redefine what it means to be certain). His belief was that mathematics was the window to understanding what lay beyond what we could see... right from his studies of atoms and his formulation of statistical mechanics (which is a somewhat less pleasurable thing for me to presently learn), to his thought experiments on time and gravity. The resolution of certain paradoxes prevalent at the time, along with the discovery of equivalences is what led him to discover "true" reality... though one should say that it is merely "truer" reality. More true- more general... though not MOST general and "all" encompassing.

His statement does apply in broader sense though, though I wouldn't personally explain it on the lines of TheRavenSword. We are consequences of our interaction with our environment, this much is true. The ability to question our nature and to entertain an alternative existence... and realize the full possibility of it, to me, reveals the illusory nature of OUR existence. That we in truth are nothing, and that we can't fully realize this since our environments make small and steady changes that don't challenge our beliefs and perspectives, and thus cocoon us in a particular mindset. If by ... magic, let's say I change the way the people around you treat you, your position and image in society, and your perspective of yourself (which would have happened anyway with the two earlier magical changes, but I'm talking about your own understanding of yourself ... interpersonal "shit"), then you'd be a different person in the sense you see the world differently and will act and interact differently. The statement applies to society as well, for it is illusory that things are actually stable and reliable in a certain way.. that certain things that we may invest our time and energy into will indeed yield things that will benefit us. There isn't in truth, a line of work which will guarantee us security, for society could transform overnight with the aid of a few interesting "fated" characters. I won't go on... you fill in the blanks.

LupineLooPine said...

Part Deux!

The point is Herr Einstein was wrong, for it is not Reality that is illusory, but our perception of it... ever ignorant, for it is as of yet incomplete. This does not mean that reality as is, does not exist. Whatever it is is out there, waiting for us to make sense of it. We do not as of yet have an all encompassing view of REALITY... and it is my personal belief/prejudice to think that this can never meaningfully be appreciated by us. Another great physicist, Richard Feynman, expressed in one of his lectures (I think I shared this one with you Heatheroo), that there could be a theory to account for all events and phenomena... but that the thing is so complex that it can't be tackled. I think on some vague level we can form some kind of probabilistic theory about the nature of all reality, but in my opinion the factors would literally be infinite to account for everything and all possibilities... and as such, the theory is quite meaningless, meaningless to us for its scope would be too large (Note- the THEORY is meaningless, reality is whatever the fuck it is). For instance, if there were giant five legged beasts, how would they influence our evolution and so on. Can such a beast be ruled out? Not really, since there could have been an environment where a five legged beast would be quite optimal. So to account for all natural environments and all possible animals that would have formed in them ITSELF is an infinite set ( further, why carbon based lifeforms? ;why atoms with this particular nature and not another... such that we could have far more elements?) , and this would have to be considered in the "Reality equation"... and somehow, our reality, our history... our version of "history"- universal history, has to come out as the most probable, after perhaps an initial fluctuation. To actually form such a theory with any computer seems impossible to me... again, in a meaningful way. This is the theory of EVERYTHING. As far as what physics deals with... the root of this tree of reality if you will, THAT fortunate does seem to converge to something unique. Right now there are many possible universes that could have been, where again ours is just one.... but we have something whereby our "version of physics" , with the ratio of the forces and the dominance of matter and so on, came out this way and not another. Surprisingly we have something, and I personally as of this moment understand very little of it.

I said enough. Consider this a gift ... or a curse. I dunno. Mental pukings have alternate interpretations.

Yes Heather, I wish I smoked weed with you as well. I don't smoke, but I'd start at that point for sure.

if you happen to be a billionaire...