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Even the sun's radiation is carcinogenic! It's an absolute wonder anything survives on this planet.
and the world is changing to get rid of us
*thinks of the southpark headlice episode*
when humans rarely lived above 35...
because they died of other things before they could have cancer !
you have to worry about in the UK. ;)
I went for a walk today and about 40 minutes into it a storm broke out. I hid inside Bank station for about 20 minutes.
people here are shit at covering up in the sun, any kind of sun. I burn within 15 mins so it's not a problem for me but with skin cancer becoming massively prominent, people need to take a leaf outta the Australians' book.
The universe wants us alive.
It gave us water and vitemins and proteins and all the other stuff we need to live. It's even given us medicines and whatnot hidden in plants.
What else do you need?
Apparently it is possible for trees to eat objects...
It's true - thanks to a little thing called the second law of thermodynamics.
The entropy (disorder) of the universe must always increase, and this planet is an aberration, a tiny bubble of order and complexity in a universe that is essentially turning into a homogeneous sea of photons, the heat death of the universe. It drove Bertrand Russell to despair:
"That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.
"Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding dispair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."
Any man that spends 150 pages to prove 1 + 1 = 2 ---> twat.
our galaxy, and the universe itself, are a sinking ship with regards to our continued survival...
Let's say hopelessness, the impossibility of a future, and the inevitable death of all history.
Nice bit of death too, put your feet up and get in a round as your last breath rattles of your body. Mint!
lived till you were 85, incontenent, bored. Senility would be a release. Then you die. The end of the world is brilliant.
nice one, craig.
Actually, I'm with craig on this one.
once you get to about 45 or 50 most people die inside or have given up by then.
Your response of generally laughing at me without giving any reason wasn;t quite immature enough for me, but thankfully you pulled one out of the bag by insulting me.
But anyway, most people by that age have families and boring jobs and are on autopilot and all.
oops, that must be the senility kicking in.
Whenever I imagine a 30-something year old man, he's always wearing a sweater, light blue jeans, short hair that is slightly spikey (He may be a dad now, but he can still have "funky" hair, right?) he has a bored expression on his face and he's pushing a pram around a shopping centre.
And if you don't fit the archetype They dish out the haircut and pram so that everything is all nice and tidy and we know what's what.
The Guardian dating section is always there for the late-comers, and if you're still not babied-up you can get a divorcee in your early 40s.
but its not that simple....some believe in 'the heat death of the universe' and dance the entropy tango....others believe the universe will freeze...Ragnorak
when we're gone, we wont be able to care.
is pretty terrifying to me. I think it's a bit flippant to go "yeah so what" really.
the oncoming destruction of your life. how does the whole of human history even compare with your life? i understand individual mortality as terrifying. once consciousness leaves you, what else have you personally got to lose?
And individual mortality is every bit as scary. It's the weight of knowing. Don't you find it backbreaking? The sheer fucking horror of staring into the void... it's sickening. I can see why people go mad at the terror and absurdity of existence. When they look around at the walls of their home and the illusion of security peels back and they feel like nothing but an odd conglomeration of cells and elements, no more or less important than the wood in the walls or the dirt on the ground, and destined to tear apart sooner or later.
Unless you can use that worry for some sort of positive output.
personally, id like to be alive at the time when we blow ourselves to shit (not until im about 45 ish, anyway ;) )
It's possible to deal with it and feel light and liberated and free. If everything ends, then why not live exactly in the moment you're in, and do as you will, for your own pleasure...
But that doesn't make it go away.
It's good that this stuff sinks to the back of my mind and only surfaces on occasion. I couldn't handle thinking about it all the time.
Exactly! It's the depressingly futile inevitability of the whole thing. The second law of thermodynamics is unique, since it's been said that if your theory violates it, then you might as well go back to the drawing board (and this doesn't apply to ANYTHING else - not even for established and disturbingly mathematical concepts such as general relativity or quantum mechanics. The heat death of the universe is as probably about as close to the "truth" as we can ever hope to get, and it ain't pretty.
the fact that YOU are dying completely relegates worries about the species to to the point of irrelevancy. at least for me anyway.
and heat death...and danced the entropy tango.....But i always dreamed of Ragnorak as a child, and it seems just as feasible now....but less beautiful to my human intelligence
of course. i just dont completely understand when people lament the state of the universe, or even the earth, or that civilisation/culture will be erased,etc. i just find it easy to shrug off, obviously by virtue of my position in it. i dont worry that the earth wont be around for others in the distant future, but if it were to not be around for me, id be something.
human beings thinking the world wont survive without us, or that we're the height of evolution (if there could be such a thing)
its exactly what you were talking about in saying that people feel as important as the inanimate objects in their home. its reducing the universe down to the individual.
It's more that everything is equal, so the destruction of everything is the destruction of yourself.
my lack of care about the species. of course its something that provokes thought, but i cant believe that you care about "humanity" as much as you care yourself
that you'd argue that you wouldnt agree with the separation
Do you feel completely disconnected from humanity at large then, or something?
depends on how i feel about humanity in general. i just dont think that the fate of the collective is comparable to the fate of the person who is experiencing it. sorry to keep repeating myself.
... but attemptinf to garner some kind of insight into the human race's place in the universe before you die could be considered just as important, no? To have managed to peek behind the curtain of dumb ongoing time and random matter and pull out some kind of perspective and understanding of what it even means to be a human, and how things might unfold?
but theres no counterpoint i can present really.. you said above that the destruction of everything is the destruction of the self, but i think itd be more accurate, likely and truthful to reverse it.
With every death a perceived universe blinks out of existence.
that you create out of the chaos is a product of the human, not humanity. order is contigent, but chaotic! its the process of making a story that gives it "order"
in 65 million years see how the planet has changed since the dinosaurs, think about what it will be like in a billion and then after 4 or 5 billion.
i accept we need to plan for us and the next generation and the ones following but i don't worry about millions of years.
its what makes it beautiful.
basically pretty much everything can kill you. our life span is finite.
far too many nice things will happen between now and the end of everything for it all to have been a waste, and I'll be long dead by then anyway.
ashes to ashes and so forth...
and i claim my £5
As far as our grasp of physics reaches, our little bubble will burst in a hundred trillion years time. A) Humans and all sign of human civilisation will have disappeared well before the Earth sinks into the Sun, and b) I very much doubt that because our vanishingly limited conception of the universe tells us its going to fizzle out means that is "it".
you are all conceptualising the future merely with that that can be measured at the present.........I think you are all taking a very small view
The fact that Humans will be gone is besides the point, and there is no reason why mankind shouldn't have some sort of legacy.
The point is that space is expanding in a way that Einstein predicted, then apocryphally denounced as his greatest mistake, only for it to turn out that he was probably right all along. The distance between galaxies is increasing, but eventually we'll reach a point the acceleration of the expansion exceeds the effects of gravity, so stars will drift apart causing galaxies to disperse. Ultimately, the expansion will be so rapid that atoms will be ripped apart, and so forth, until there's nothing but a cold, dead void. Ultimately, there is no legacy.
And if that doesn't put you into an existential funk, then nothing will.
but more lyrically, more timelessly.
Ragnorak the cold death of the universe.
I always really liked the tale 'the ice queen'
I doubt ours is the only one, though. Or how we see the universe is even close to the reality of the situation a few dimensions up. However small you imagine your place in the grand scheme of things, it's a lot smaller. Because we don't live in a Total Perspective Vortex, however, it's pretty easy to shake off that existential funk. Sit back, enjoy yourself. Or don't. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't. Isn't insignificance fun?
i mean a lot to me.
There will be anomolies in the cold death as there would be in any heat death....in a cold death there would be eddies of energy bursting forth into new dimensions and forces, as the dissapating of the old allows new possibilities. in the present universe any new emergence of form or energy will conform mostly to the present (as it is shaped by energies, radiations and gravity induced space-shape, and the differential gradient between existing potentials)
why does the universe owe you, personally, any significance?
if we have some kind of point to us then we suddenly have loads more responsibility than most people would probably be comfortable dealing with. The only place that kind of meaning could come from would be a higher power or God. If we are just some 'blip' in the movement of cosmic materials, if it really is some abberation that we're able to look back at the universe and comprhend it then we're the luckiest matter that ever existed. Does the sun enjoy itself? do meteorite's have a nice time? Perhaps but I suspect not.
as sentient beings we're able to fuck up or enjoy our lives according to our means as we see fit. that there's no point or ultimate goal is what gives us that freedom. Nihilism can never be flippant. Saying 'we're here to serve god's glory' or some such is much more flippant because it requires so little engagement with the 'reality' of existence.
to stare nothingness in the face, shrug and move on is the bravest and most important step you can take to some kind of self-actualisation. I've never understood why the fact that the earth will someday fall into the sun and destroy humankind's entire legacy should make living life less meaningful.
it's an aberration in life itself that we even have a concept of existence beyond our physical sphere/plane of existence/lifespan. maybe if the universe does hate us and want us dead that's why it gives us this notion. 'those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad'.
what's madder than a human being?
human beings massively overstate their own significance, ascribing themselves all sorts of unjustified mastery of their situation.
but it gives us silly ideas
Re: the rest, I quite simply think there's more to be gleaned from engaging with this thasn "isn't insignificance fun?" - which is a perfectly valid strategy for getting on with things, but is also a pretty unsatisfactory end point to this dialogue, for me, at least.
'you personally' as in you, john rogers. I meant 'you personally' as in 'anyone personally'.
it was just a general dismissal of the idea that life has to mean something beyond what it means to the person living it. which is what this seems to boil down to.
what end point would you prefer? abject despair? somewhere inbetween? they're all equally personal decisions, none of them are 'right' or if they are then you overturn the whole premise of the source of the argument.
I don't think you should dimiss feeling positive about life's meaningless as being flippant. it's a perfectly valid conclusion to draw from a lifetime of thinking about this idea. nor is the idea that insignificance is fun inherently simplistic/unsatisfactory as it can lead onto all kinds of other discussions.
By all means, read Sartre and Hawkings and fully appreciate the sheer meaningless of it all. That is very important to do, and should be the true starting point for any higher consideration of philosophy. But what the fuck's the point in moping on about it? The sheer size of the apocalypse deserves a raised eyebrow, because any serious, chin-stroking response to it ends in utter depression and personal misery. I think the phrase "isn't insignificance fun?" a perfect end point, given the circumstances.
I think it's potentially possible to reconcile yourself with it without letting go of the brand at such an early point, and still not have to suffer abject misery as a result.
I'm going for a pie.
eager young men...the heat death just seems to appeal..
Can i recomend 'the jerry cornelius' quartet' by michael moorcock to those besotted with scientific theorys
its not just the atmosphere of the earth that protects us from rediation, but also the earth - moon magnetic fields. Which is why i worship these goddesses rather than just the solar god
I can never tell whether you're being entirely serious.
threads about religeon/spirituality, and threads about politics..........really we owe it to ourselves to combine and join these seperate topics........my attempt to compare the planetory bodies and the sun to deities is what our ancestors all did (kind of.....but not how modern man immediatly imagines) is a nice alagorical way of talking about them.......it is no more nonsense than the emotional talk such as 'we're so insignificant in the scheme of things' that is just an emotional response that is reliant on your assuming a grandiose position in the first place......i.e. it is a nonsense sort of statement, entirely emotionally subjective.......like my describing the earth as a goddess except Im doing it knowingly, understanding that it might be a viewpoint that might actually helpo the human race (rather than that of doctrinal religeon oer political 'utopian dreams........although uber athiests might say 'but its not true' they should consider that humans cannot exist purely in the stark mechanistic materialistic capitalist consumerism world.......time and again humans will create a dreamworld they escape into, a filter as it were..........when we are animals then we can enter dreams and never have to leave........growing up demands that we stop dreaming and seperate ourselves from them.....some people get so detached from what is that they try to make others follow their dreams........by not having a self evident mythological ritual that we can all see for ourselves and follow (earth/moon/sun/plant/animal/muse sort of stuff) then we will all be suseptable to the mad dream enforcement by the nutters that rule humans on this planet
people can exist in the purely material world.
things which definitely uncontroversially exist and that life worth living:
1.personal interactions with people you like
in that order
also include 2) with me?
you still haven't paid me for last time.
money, it shouldnt taint things like this
deities who rule over us in our daily lives are nothing to do with what humans write down in 'books' or statutes or laws......but in the seasons and the tides.
Im not really mad, it just occurs to me that since the world does divide itself so along religeous lines.....and since no scientist or athiest seems to be able to come up with any practical way to resolve or prove to believers that they are wrong........then the answer is to convert them back to worshiping (if they have to) that which really does give life and succour to humans (that is not human).....
pondering has led me to the conclusion that no one responds to me when I am drunk.....like last night
I can stop worrying about global warming through polution and stuff then?
nonsense......'the universe wants you dead?' The universe gave birth to you........you are part of the universe......the universe is the space and shape and time that allows you to manifest yourself as you have in your current form.......Urania queen of heaven loves you.......she has given you a chance.......you are a possibility
you can also find out stuff about the universe inside you
I liked it as a catchy starting point for the conversation.
The universe is hostile, barren and unforgiving, slowly destroying itself and everything in it. There is a crashing vision of cosmic obliteration, utter oblivion and empty, deathly hell to be seen out there.
That works too.
to quote a famous french existentialist and methematician
though. only from a human perspective. the universe isn't being 'destroyed' any more than food is destroyed when it enters your stomach. it's just changing from one state to another.
I do find the whole 'rotting into the ground and nurturing the roots of a tree' thing genuinely comforting.
"No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees."
I am not going to lie down on this. The vision of horror that sits in my imagination is too strong to just conjure away with notions of ever changing matte as a peaceful and natural process. Like madness itself, when people spiral off into some kind of internal void, never to be seen again - there is tragedy and horror in it that can't be magicked away by peaceful rhetoric.
Like Camus and Kafka, Heart of Darkness, Breaking The Waves... The Pianist, The Chapman's Hell, Dante's inferno, Goya, Bacon, Burroughs.
I can see why turning away from the kind of... I don't now. Just the pungent, terrible pit of all that madness, horror and fear... would be preferable. Or not turning away from it, attempting to recontextualise it in a way that you are able to make peace with it somehow.
On other days, I am like this too. I have a very good grasp on the lightness and ultimate absurdity of life in general. But you know it goes. It's not always like that, is it.
a way to change as well (by that time)
compared (artificially) with your perception at the moment......chill out dont worry, your perception has got a lot of time to change, and when it does change the 'horror' you are experiancing will also change
but both reactions just amount to rhetoric. it's not entirely awful, it's not entirely beautiful.
even an attempt to conceive the horror of the destruction of the universe is going to fall flat because you can never fully conceive that. Any more than you can truly conceive how small an atom is, or how long a billion years is, or the Copenhagen Interpretation. You can't really 'experience' the total destruction of everything, the closest you can come is your own death, which hardly equates to it.
even in attempting to stare it in the face you reduce it to a level you can understand as an insignifcant transitory being, and by writing about it you reduce it to the level of language. so why not reduce it to something pure and positive? they're both effectively lies.
a 'face to face' with his own mortality and seeing this reflected in the universe..........if it helps any of you guys then I could try to comfort you with a) if heat death then there will also be spectacular rebirth...b) if cold death then as freezing time will cease to continue at the same rate i.e. it will slow and the universe will never q u i t e d i u i t e q r q
work out as i planned
But I think that within that, disqualifying your own thoughts and feelings and perceptions as 'just' limited human thoughts, perceptions and feelings is not constructive. I think humankind's capacity for attempting to understand and perceive the universe is wonderful and special, and I'm not down with seeing it underpinned with "people - pretty limited?"
People are limited, of course, it's just that slightly dismissive element... doesn't sit comfortably with me.
And yeah, "reduced to language" is an interesting one, but I don't want to delve into that too. The metaphor that came into my head is reducing natural elements into a medicine, and storing it as a powder in a little capsule... then that capsule being taken, and spreading through someone's body again, and the effects that has.
so if you're going to give yourself a linguistic pill to swallow, and you accept that either way it's going to be a placebo then why not make it a good one? if you ever succeeded in absolutely comprehending the pointlessness of existence you'd probably curl into a ball and die.
anyway, you're talking about mankind's ability to understand/depict/describe/respond artistically to the ultimate meaninglessness of life when faced with the void. to which i say:
often referred to the void, in my head
That's what I'm talkin bout.