10 January 2014

The Conversation - 4

"Why do you keep banging on about all the things we don't know?"

"Because we don't know so many things, yet so many people are so certain of so many things."

"Like they know there is a God?"

"Which they don't know."

"Or they know what an electron is?"

"Which they don't know."

"Or they know how life began?"

"Which they don't know."

"Or even where in the universe it began?"

"Which they don't know."

"Or actually anything about what the bulk of the matter and energy in the universe is?"

"Dark matter and dark energy... Which they don't know anything about, really."

"Or the nature of consciousness?"

"Which they don't know."

"Or whether or not we have freewill?"

"Which they don't know."

"But things fall downwards rather than up, don't they?"

"Ah yes, in the absence of intervention."

"And aircraft fly thanks to our knowledge of engineering?"

"Oh yes."

"And they know how to make computers work, don't they?"

"Indeed they do, which totally baffles me... but some people do."

" And anaesthetics are good, aren't they?"

"Oh yes."

"So it's all quite useful then, this science and engineering and medicine?"


"That's a good word."

"Thank you."

"But we don't really know what anything really is, deep down, or why it is there, or how life began, or what a conscious mind is, or whether there is a God, or Gods, or other manner of Interveners or if we are truly free?"

"We should be a bit more humble, eh?"

"But so many people feel they have to adopt a position. They have to have an opinion. They can't bear to just admit that they just don't know."

"And why do you think that is?"

"Because adopting a view, whether right or wrong, may have been a good survival and mental stability strategy throughout evolution, perhaps?"

"Do you think so?"

"I don't know."

Earlier Parts of The Conversation:

"I don't believe it is possible to say anything that has not already been said."

"Oh? How about Bedornywobblespiemajabbits with a squirlytabbletoo?"

"Ah... well I don't believe that it is possible to say anything meaningful that has not already been said, even though the precise words may differ."

"Hmm.... So what should we talk about this year? What should we do?"

"I really don't know."

"Why should we bother?"

"I don't know that too."

"You mean either?"


"Well squirlytabbletoo."

"And squirlytabbletoo to you too."

"There are the those who say that every possible thing always happens and we just experience one possibility, although an almost infinite and ever increasing number of other versions of us experience all the alternatives."

"I know. So they'd say that in some version of reality everyone in my street has just run naked from their doors screaming 'Yumple is a Bumbler'?"

"Some professional quantum physicists would say so."

"And in another version of reality the naked ones are screaming 'Yumple is a Bop'?"

"Serious thinkers do say so, although not in such specific terms..."

"And in other versions of reality the naked nutter neighbours are all saying each of these things but with saucepans on their heads, while at the very same instant in Italy the Pope has just stood up and said 'Stuff this for a game of soldiers I'm going to become a drag queen,' while hopping on his left leg, oh, but on his right leg in yet another version of, eh... reality?"

"They are not joking, these quantum theorists, you know."

"And in another..."

"Yes, yes, I get the idea."

"It's nonsense isn't it?"

"Some clever people would not say so. Professor people."

"Some clever people are mad."

"Perhaps, but in some versions of reality they are considered sane."


3. "So what are you going to do next?"


"Ah... still being silly playing around with the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics are you?"

"Some of me are."

"Oh, just stop it, you're becoming irritating."

"Many of me have stopped it, just not this one."

"Stop it."


"Thank goodness for that. So are you going to keep posting on this blog?"

"Yes and no."

"Stop it!"

"You'll just have to see which version of the universe you end up in, won't you? With me, blogging, or not blogging, blogging rubbish, or blogging quality, blogging... Anyway, as for me, I'll be seeking out the versions of existence where I can find some sort of peace and contentment, that's all."

"You? Which one of you?"

"Now you stop it."

"Well good luck."

"Yes good luck. To us all."

"If luck has anything to do with it."

"Or fate?"

"Or chance?"

"Or freedom?"

"Nobody knows, eh?"

"Nope. Nobody. Not a single one of them."

"Or us."

"Let's sleep now."



Elephant's Child said...

And perhaps adopting a position, right or wrong, is a way of feeling more in control and less insignificant.
For myself, there is an immense amount I don't know, but the journeys of discovery (perhaps of discovery and perhaps just more questions) are fascinating. Probably just as well, because I can't see an end to them in my lifetime.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

I'd say it's fun to explore, and to wonder, and clearly very useful to explore, but it seems all too human to convince ourselves that we have discovered and explained more than we really have. A fair description of something seems to be commonly misrepresented as an explanation.

Syncopated Eyeball said...

This really made me smile, Andrew.

Claude said...

I packed my bags with what I know. And I'm leaving the planet with Aileen. I'll come back when all your questions have been answered.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Making you smile makes it worthwhile Ashley (Syncy). I am glad you liked.

I have no need of bags Claude, but then I'm a man, I know nothing of the mysteries of what's inside a lady's handbags. I suppose there must be answers available somehow. Interesting. Not for the likes of me to know, however.