Pythonism

code and the oracular

Psychic Black Holes

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Dear Steve,

Peter came last night but he drained me somewhat and by the end I was suffering from that alteration of consciousness I call “The Black Thing”. We had a chinese and a bottle of rum. He explained to me that he underwent a number of experiences of being female in his 20s after his experiments with witchcraft and mysticism.

I could refer to this and suggest it explains his strangeness but really I would prefer to question the perception of “strange” as something that is really very subjective and not at all a concrete observation. We find people strange when we compare them to ourselves and do not achieve enough insight into how they have motives just as human as our own in what they do. Do we risk alienating the other by calling them “weird” ?. I suppose often it is not taken as a rude or unkind thing if we comment on another’s strangeness though. It is an ordinary part of socialisation really.

I remarked during our conversation that to be a novelist you need to study all of human life, including things that might make your stomach turn like the nature of tragedy and suffering. I wonder if I can live with myself if i take the cowardly decision that I want a comfortable life and thus don’t bother to go into the dark things of life very much. It may be that my drive for knowledge and mastery will push me into understanding horror and agony anyway, but insofar as I am consciously free I think I will remain once bitten twice shy about researching things for which it can be said that knowing them is carrying a heavy burden. That’s why the decision to focus only on letters to you is a good one, and I settle into it more each time I open a text editor and write another portion to you.
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I went hunting for interesting pebbles at Birchington and found my famous green Chrysoprase which I have shown everyone. But in the same area of the shingle I kept finding beautiful clear lumps of what I thought was quartz. As long as I believed they were indeed quartz I was filled with an intense joy, but as it began to dawn on me that they must be, admittedly very old, lumps of ground glass the joy died and I could only resurrect it in flashes. It was as if I was to be permitted to dance in this miraculous wonder and happiness, but only if I set aside my critical thinking and believed like a small child. But then I started to imagine that I would be held mad, freaking out and celebrating over finding something that was merely glass. Isn’t this the way life goes?

I just read “Fermat’s Last Theorem” by Singh that you gave me. It is excellent and explains complex matters very simply, which is the hallmark of a good popular science book. In fact it put me back in the saddle of technical thinking so I then started another maths book recommended me by Arka. Then I obtained the latest Kurzweil book “How to create a mind” and am looking at that. I thought of trying to do a piece on artificial intelligence, and that may or may not come.
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It is ironic that I told Pete at the beginning of the evening that I had cured myself of the black thing, but by the end it was coming on. I don’t know why he has this effect on me, but sometimes my speculations are dark: that he is am emotional black hole who only takes, without giving. I think this is unfair actually. There – a divided mind, a schism in a supposed schizophrenic.

I just had my bacon and eggs for breakfast, delicious! as well as a few coffees and smokes.


Time and Memory

I’m leaving town on a bicycle…

You are all blue collar workers. I was born into a white collar. What then is the unravelling of this situation sociologically? I have shouldered the burden of oppression too, that’s what.

we are an anomaly as a group

all that complexity of interconnection between our minds, all of it, is nearly instantly forgotten by the universe. I have examined the story in detail, and thus used a cognitive magnifying glass to get results, but any area of human existence would show as much detail upon zooming in.

It is indeed not compulsory to think about your own life as a sociological phenomenon, trying to see how you fit into the larger picture

Ian does not do it at all, and lives in a world of fairies and aliens, cats and paintbrushes

Is it quasi-suicidal for a person capable of abstract thought to try and shut down their thinking module in some quest for a peaceful uneventful life? I want my quiet life so bad that I disown my attempts at understanding. I read Maths books to try and shift my thinking onto matters that don’t involve me having to think about suffering and evil. I am sitting typing to you, Steve, in a darkened room symbolic of my denial of involvement with the world.
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My guts rumble and I fear the emergence of a flood of liquids from them. The struggle in my mind has mapped itself into my body, and disrupted normal function. An ignorant local man made rude comments about my writing to another fool, and the latter passed it onto me. I was offended and couldn’t get it out of my mind for days.

I watched serial killer documentaries for weeks on Youtube, then began to fear I would become one. I walked through Westgate feeling like an outcast and suddenly everyone started being nice to me. I managed to go for a run and was energised by optimistic thoughts of getting superfit. My guts rumbled again. All real events but washed away into impermanence so fast, as the manic train zooms down the timetracks, its driver sniffing yet another line of powder.

But if the past cannot be changed then surely it is permanent, not impermanent. Once something has happened it is set in stone, although time has moved on and present moment is something new. Score one against the buddhists again! Things that everyone witnessed are universally remembered, but secret events seen only by you are in a secluded chamber in only your mind. Maybe that’s why its hard to carry it all sometimes. If we allow “events” to include entire perceived situations then you can see why I described my analysis of our group relationships as instantly forgotten by the universe. The mind decodes the chaos of the real into patterns whose nature depends on the original mind that decoded. One person sees a blue fish another a pink elephant. I believe one thing was real, one event occured, you believe another thing entirely, incompatible with my opinion about what we saw. The past is permanent but we each see different slices.

but the past is not happening now, it has receded. our present is a development of it still, though. Maybe not completely deterministically, otherwise some mind could predict the future, which seems impossible. A superintelligent AI might try, but isnt there quantum indeterminacy? and Chaos?

yes we live in a slice cut through a higher dimensional object, time is another ordering axis only slightly different to space. Slaughterhouse 5! Eternity is more real than our ordinary temporality, but I can’t change the past so its indeterminacy has been sucked out of it since it’s wavefunction has collapsed. yayy! that’s right. The story has been told.

The breaking crest of time’s wave is the present, upon which I surf while wavefunctions come near me, are observed and then collapse perpetually. If you want to see how they collapsed, into what final state, look at old newspapers, don’t ask me I’m very private. There are things I am trying to forget.

Can you statistically average over large collections of people like you can over particles, in order to obtain predictions of future human history?

…and does asking big questions like that put my mind at ease because i can exclude trivial but stressful situations from my attention? Hmm.

What if you had done a crime, say a murder, and only you knew about it? Detectives look for clues… so in some sense this is digging up the past, and we can see by the fact that at least some crimes get solved that clues can work as indicators of past events. If a memory is a trace of the past that impressed itself upon your neural structure, then perhaps a clue is a different kind of memory where an event left an impression on the universe. All events do this, because everything has consequences. Or are there regions where traces are not left or cannot be decoded? Perhaps if a Black Hole Singularity is involved?

On another level the Black Hole of a guilty mind is a fearsome thing because the offender has to vow never to confess, and preserve their own memory of the crime as a secret, contained within a mind that gradually encysts the memory and eventually poisons the bearer of it.

So every event in our world leaves clues, but there are some where the unravelling is intractable. So the perfect murder should exploit this. Hiding a single poison needle in a haystack of similar ones. Or using a combinatorial explosion to conceal an act of hacking, perhaps. In this case the interpretation of clues is above the complexity ceiling of a human detective’s mind, and that immense complexity where the clue is buried is effectively hidden from view forever.
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Or to a schizophrenic – an incriminating thought rests in your memory, perhaps a fantasy of murder, you try to forget but it haunts you. You try to bury it forever using the combinatorial haystack method, sometimes this works but only if you catch the hardest trick of all – to forget that there is something you have deliberately forgotten!

It is easier to hide an irrational number than to hide an integer using this method, since the cardinality of the Reals is greater than that of the Integers. Things get lost irretrievably more often. Quantum fields are Real-valued, so if you have a parallel universe you’d like to forget this is easier than forgetting the page of an infinite book where every page is numbered by an integer.

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Written by Luke Dunn

May 27, 2015 at 9:39 am

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