Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!

Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!
Deep in the Lair of the Perpetually Curious Fox

Monday, 19 December 2011

On Hitchens, heaven and fiction.

The previous post was an amalgamation of several different ideas I had at different times, of course, most of you would have recognised the original joke of the "isolated part in heaven with certain people thinking that they're the only one in it" oblivious to the other areas accessible to others.

The Toroidal Universe(s) is obviously a spoof of Larry Niven's Ringworld, as is the mention of the Pierson's Puppeteer - the latter is a sentient herbivorous, herd-like species whose survival and evolution depended on cowardly instinct - hence the leader is always the Hindmost of the herd.

Herr Einstein, towards the end of his life, having a lot of conceptual and philosophical difficulties with accepting the quantum mechanical nature of things, despite being one of the fore-runners in birthing of the great concept. He popularly to have said "God does not play with Dice!" when confronted with the rather probabilistic nature of wavefunctions and their collapse depending on the observer.

I was very tempted to put a line in the story that mentioned God having a chat with Einstein at the Pearly Gates saying "No, I used a random number generator!" but that might get me stoned to death in some countries, for assuming such human-like qualities ad humour in God.

A Klein bottle is a non-orientable topological construct with only surface, and no boundaries, kind of like the human mind, to me; different people have different ideas and pre-conceptions, and in theory is completely unbounded. You can never successfully superimpose one klein bottle on another, much like you can never exactly find someone else who thinks exactly like you, even if he or she has the exact same DNA and upbringing. 

Klein Bottle for sale! Enquire within!
Mercator's projection is a mapping function which attempts to translate a 3-dimensional shape onto a 2 dimensional space - and the idea being whatever that Einstein and the Hindmost were discussing, it's way over Mr Hitchens head, that he is attempting to map a Klein Bottle onto a sheet of paper. Which will never work, of course, hence the implosion.

I cannot resist adding the faster-than-light neutrinos in this work, as I used to get some really dodgy results in my laboratory work, and more often than not it coincided with consumption of massive quantities of caffeine and sugar ... Red Bull for short. Of course, the dodgy result are most likely due to jittery fingers calibrating already sensitive piece of apparatus, but just for giggles I thought - hey, why not blame the caffeine for the warped perception of the observer, collapsing the wavefuntions in really weird ways ... like hyper neutrinos. Knowing what I know of Postgrads and Postdocs, they do down a heck of a lot of caffeine ...

One would also assume that Einstein would insist on not violating causality, i.e. no information should travel faster than light.
I threw in the Quintaglios (from Robert J Sawyer's work), where in another universe, sentient beings consist of meat-scoffing intelligent, but mean tempered aspergic dinosaurs.

What would the temperature in Heaven be like? Anything at all. Plus a certain degree of control for the occupants using a heuristic, self-regulating, personal climate control system, and of course I have to include Lovelock's Gaia self regulatory concept into the work.

The concept of Nirvana has always fascinated me, the state of ultimate end to the reincarnation cycle. For some people it is not a heavenly concept - but to the buddhist and hindus etc, what could be the most wonderful end than to lose your sense of self, self-importance, super-ego, narcissism etc and become "one with the universe" so to speak? I think that's pretty valid idea of heaven. Maybe being aspergic does make it more attractive to me, I used to wonder what it's like to be able to wander around, not only in Cartesian dimensions, but also the imaginary number dimensions! What is it like to be able to touch, taste and smell the square root of minus 1, for example? I hope my heaven includes mathematical entities.

I also used to imagine that Freddie Mercury is jamming with Tchaikovsky in heaven - both being flamboyant gay musicians, which a lot of Judeo-christian tradition tend to condemn to hell for their genetic quirks. I've always found it hard to stomach that a lot of people still think that non-heteros are abominations. I personally think it's a self programmed code which provides population control in every species, without forcing them into celibacy/isolation. Heck, I do believe in the future (if humanity hasn't destroyed itself completely) it will be a trend for people to swap genders, so that talibanesque attitudes towards "the weaker sex" whether they are girls, gays, or neuters, will be nothing but a bad dream.

Vincent van Gogh deserves a mention in the story for his selflessness of "claiming" self-inflicted death, instead of putting a couple of young clumsy lads, who were playing with a loaded pistol, into jeopardy for accidentally shooting him.  For a tortured man with many a delusional states, and almost endless state of anxiety and paranoia (that comes with his unique mental health), he did good for redeeming the young lads. That, in my eyes, is worthy of being in heaven. There's a reason the Ancient Cultures (Greeks, Persians, etc) refer to madness in people as being "touched by the Gods". Sometimes the mad ones see things much more clearly than sane people can ever do. 

Yes, I did mention several (Judeo-christian) prophets mingling with the "barbaric people", for barbarism is relative. The Spanish Conquistadors condemned many a pagan (and jews, and muslims and non-catholics, and witches) to Auto de Fe for their impiety. In their eyes they were doing God's will. So did Abraham when he terrorised the hell out of Isaac (or Ishmael) when he thought he needed to sacrifice the lad as proof of faith. Or the Ottoman Turks brainwashing and training the elite corp of Child Soldiers - the Fabled Jannisary - from captured christian children, and turning them into the most efficient killers of their former people? I could go on, and on. This in particular, caused me lots of nightmares as a child.

Temujin, is of course the name of the Great Mongol, Genghiz Khan, Wilhelm Tell is the crossbowman assassin (terrorist or patriot? Depends on which side of the fence you're on), and Philoctetes is the archer whose arrows determined the course of the Trojan War. Not much is known of Utnapishtim, except he was an antediluvian Elder supposedly interviewed by Gilgamesh, that may have been the pre-cursor the legend of biblical Noah and his Ark. Quetzalcoatl was a man diefied by his people for his fairness and technological ideas, and again, not much is known about him as the Spanish has systematically destroyed a sufficient amount of the New World Civilisation that they now remain as remote as the original works of Pythagoras.

The ending with Nietzche, was of course another of my convoluted inside joke: when Herr Nietzche died God was waiting for him at the Pearly Gates and spake:

"Nietzche is Dead! Said God"

before rolling around on Heaven's floor laughing Himself silly.

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