Irrational Paths: Life and Death…

Advertisements

In a glance: IRRATIONAL PATHS are very short videos that try to provoke unconventional philosophical ideas via the promotion of irrational thoughts on crucial philosophical subjects…

Topic: Life and Death

Harmonia Philosophica Irrational Paths: Life and Death (Music by SamuelFrancisJohnson from Pixabay)

Idea: Can life exist without death?

Any comments are welcome!

Do not hesitate to contact us via the Harmonia Philosophica email or via our YouTube channel!

Related articles in Harmonia Philosophica

Dementia. Dying. Being born!

Advertisements
Photo by Ryanniel Masucol from Pexels

It happens unexpectedly: a person long thought lost to the ravages of dementia, unable to recall the events of their lives or even recognize those closest to them, will suddenly wake up and exhibit surprisingly normal behavior, only to pass away shortly thereafter. This phenomenon, which experts refer to as terminal or paradoxical lucidity, has been reported since antiquity, yet there have been very few scientific studies of it. That may be about to change.

In an article published in the August issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia , an interdisciplinary workgroup convened by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging and led by Michigan Medicine’s George A. Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., outlines what is known and unknown about paradoxical lucidity, considers its potential mechanisms, and details how a thorough scientific analysis could help shed light on the pathophysiology of dementia. (1)

Plato said it a long time ago.

What you see are just reflections.

Of a world beyond our own.

There is no way to prove that.

Unless you stop seeing outside.

And see inside yourself.

You are dying now. And you see things do clearly.

And yet, all of the sudden, you start remembering.

Of things you knew and you had forgotten.

But nothing which is worth knowing can be forgotten.

Nothing which is worth knowing can be learnt.

Look! He speaks so clearly now…

No, this is not a sign of hope.

But the last signs of decay fading away…

Open-ending algorithms… The end as the beginning…

Advertisements
Photo by Enric Cruz López from Pexels

Evolution allows life to explore almost limitless diversity and complexity. Scientists hope to recreate such open-endedness in the laboratory or in computer simulations, but even sophisticated computational techniques like machine learning and artificial intelligence can’t provide the open-ended tinkering associated with evolution. Here, common barriers to open-endedness in computation and biology were compared, to see how the two realms might inform each other, and ultimately enable machine learning to design and create open-ended evolvable systems. (1)

Looking for an end.

By accepting that there is none.

How could there be one?

The end is defined by the beginning.

And this definition is also the end.

One can never pass through the walls he raised.

Achilles will never reach the turtle.

Mathematicians will never prove everything.

Humans will never find the meaning of life.

Unless they stop looking for meaning.

Unless mathematicians stop trying to prove things.

Unless Achilles stops trying to pass the turtle and just runs.

No, there is no end. There are just beginnings…

Be careful with that first step…

No, it is not just a first step.

It is also your last…

Sensing atoms… So?

Advertisements
Photo by Federico Orihuela from Pexels

It sounds like an old-school vinyl record, but the distinctive crackle in the music streamed into Chris Holloway’s laboratory is atomic in origin. The group at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, spent a long six years finding a way to directly measure electric fields using atoms, so who can blame them for then having a little fun with their new technology?

“My vision is to cut a CD in the lab – our studio – at some point and have the first CD recorded with Rydberg atoms,” said Holloway. While he doesn’t expect the atomic-recording’s lower sound quality to replace digital music recordings, the team of research scientists is considering how this “entertaining” example of atomic sensing could be applied in communication devices of the future.

“Atom-based antennas might give us a better way of picking up audio data in the presence of noise, potentially even the very weak signals transmitted in deep space communications,” said Holloway, who describes his atomic receiver in AIP Advances, from AIP Publishing.

The atoms in question – Rydberg atoms – are atoms excited by lasers into a high energy state that responds in a measurable way to radio waves (an electric field). After figuring out how to measure electric field strength using the Rydberg atoms, Holloway said it was a relatively simple step to apply the same atoms to record and play back music – starting with Holloway’s own guitar improvisations in A minor. (1)

Atoms sensing the cosmos.

Humans trying to sense atoms.

Trying to reach the end.

By thinking as if there is no end…

Watch yourself on the calm water.

The sun is setting low now…

A small bird touches the water.

A woman dies.

A mother is born.

A flower rises.

Waiting for the rain.

A universe watching.

Touching nothingness.

Silently falling apart.

Atoms dissolving….

Humans dying…

A cosmos rising into existence…

Atom by atom.