Saturday, May 5, 2012

Existential Crisis

Who are we? What are we doing? What am I looking forward in my life? What is the significance of the things I am doing and I am striving for? Are feelings just as fake as your girlfriend's orgasms?

To answer these questions let us do a simple experiment.

To test the performance of any code, we enter extreme values as input arguments and see how it performs. Usually very large or very small arguments are given to the code to see whether it would crash or not. Let us apply this strategy to a module  'an average human being on planet earth' and see how it would fare.

Let us take two approaches to analyze this module

1. Microscopic view

Let us consider an electrical circuit

When a voltage difference of 6V is applied to a resistor of 3 Ohm, a current of 2 Ampere flows through the circuit.

Also when a voltage difference of 12V is applied to the same circuit, a current of 4 Ampere flows through it.

Human brain is made up of billions of neurons which transmit electrical signals in this same fashion. A voltage difference is generated between the head and the tail of the neuron and a current flows through it. It is this signal which constitutes your feelings and your thought process. When you are happy, one part of your brain observes high signal activity while another part of the brain is active when you are sad.

From the above two statements one can conclude that the feelings you and I have are nothing more than  mere electrical signals generated by difference in voltage between the ends of neurons. And if we can generate similar voltaic differences between all the responsible neurons, one can feel ecstatic even if he just lost a leg in a rogue accident or is slowly dying from a cancer.

To have another view at this theory, the same sort of electrical signals are produced in the brain when a 4 year old drops his icecream on the floor and a 40 year old whose 4 year old kid just died. But somehow we tend to empathize with the 40 year old guy when both of these test subjects are undergoing the same chemical reactions in their brains.

Conclusion - Feelings are end products of chemical reactions in your brain which are the precursors for the electrical signals.

2. Macroscopic view

This is a relatively easier thing to understand. Let us split this experiment into time and space.

Do you remember your grandfather's name? Ofcourse you would. What is his father's name? Not entirely sure? How about his father's? No clue?

Your great-great grandfather died less than 80 years ago and you don't even know his name. Hence, one can safely say that 80 years after your death no one will even know that you existed. So how does it matter if you mess up the numbers in your job and get promoted one cycle late than the expected when no one even acknowledges your existence.

This universe is disgustingly huge. To give you a physical representation of it, imagine a LCD screen as big as the planet earth. If you can somehow take a picture of the entire universe and project it onto this screen, you can't even see our galaxy because it would be smaller than a pixel in that scale. If you project our galaxy onto this screen, you can't even see our solar system. Similarly if you project our solar system, planet earth is not even a pixel. On this tiny puny insignificant planet, over 7 billion humans exist. 7 fucking billion. How would it matter if one of these 7 billion kills another of these 7 billion people in this huge fucking world? I just made a first degree murder insignificant. I wonder if one can use this argument in a court of law.

Conclusion - You are not special. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else.