Possibilities [Free Verse]

Possibility.

That which is not,
but could be:

in the future, or
in a world as feasible as our own.
(perhaps more so?)

When is a possibility a reality?

It may not be a reality
unless - and until - it comes to be,

and, yet, might be a basis of reality,
decisions are made on assumptions
that a possibility
has high probability 
of becoming reality. 

I see kids playing 
and feel the expanding field
of possibility, 

and wonder when it starts to shrink,
to collapse?

When & why
does possibility die?

Self Speculation [Free Verse]

What's a Self?

...a soul?
...a set of neuronal activity?
...an illusion?
...a ghost in a machine?
...the body, the brain, &
the whole enchilada?

Memories can be false,
and some always are.

Thoughts can be illusory,
and some always are.

Feelings can be flighty & fickle,
and some always are.

If one loses a little toe,
is one a diminished self,
or still whole?

What about if one loses
a pinky toe-sized mass of brain?

So many possibilities:

...death,
...changed personality,
...emotionlessness,
...speech pathologies,
...blindness,
...memory loss,
...coma,
...no discernable change,
and so on.

What's a Self?
...a dog?
...an embryo?
...an AI?
...an extraterrestrial?

What is a self?

Am I a self?

BOOK REVIEW: The Romance of Reality by Bobby Azarian

The Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness, and Cosmic ComplexityThe Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness, and Cosmic Complexity by Bobby Azarian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Out: June 28, 2022

This book presents a metaphysics based on the relatively new (but increasingly mainstream) sciences of complexity, chaos, and information. It boldly explores some of the major questions that consume both philosophers and scientists, such as: how life came to be, what life’s purpose is (to the degree it has one,) what consciousness is and does, and how come we live in a universe finely-tuned to generate and support life? (Particularly, if one doesn’t like explanations that are audacious and unprovable like “god did it” or “there are infinite parallel universes.”)

The book starts out in territory that is fairly uncontroversial among physicists, arguing that life comes about (and does so with striking speed – i.e. fast abiogenesis) by a process through which nature moves the ordered / useful energy that Earth has in abundance into disordered / useless energy (e.g. waste heat,) a process that runs on rules not unlike Darwinian evolution (molecules have an informational existence that allow something like hereditability [passing down of “blueprints”] and mutation [distortion in copies, some of which will make the molecule or organism more efficient at using energy.])

The book then ventures into territory that is quite controversial, arguing that life has a purpose (beyond the tedious one of moving low entropy energy into a high entropy state,) and that purpose is to be an observer – i.e. to be the first stage in a self-aware world. I should point out a couple things. First, when I say this part is controversial, I mean that it couldn’t be called the consensus view, but that’s not to say that these ideas don’t have a following among some high-level intellects. Second, I think we need people to consider ideas that might seem a bit “out there” because there is a danger of not progressing because we’re trapped in morass of assumptions. Science has quite a few self-appointed guardians who mock as pseudo-science any idea that strays from scientific consensus or from a rigidly reductionist / materialist / Copernican worldview. The author doesn’t abandon a scientific point of view, even though it might seem he does to some because he abandons the nihilistic view that’s taken as a given by many in the scientific community (i.e. that life is a happy accident without purpose, significance, or influence on the universe – and that life consists of automata, playing out programs — devoid of any kind of free will.)

I don’t know how much of Azarian’s metaphysics will prove true, but this book was superbly thought-provoking and opened up to me whole new vistas of possibility about the big questions of philosophy and science. I’d highly recommend it for readers interested in the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

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