Monday, January 05, 2009

my personal working assumption is that reality exists, but that it is fundamentally unknowable.

what can be known is limited to immediate sense-data and its reflections in the mental landscape that each of us presumably inhabits. think schrodinger’s cat meets through a glass, darkly. because we are humans, and our brains work a certain way, we perceive the world as quanta (small packets of information) which become the anchor-points for the picture that our minds backfill in order to provide us with a coherent narrative or at least a pattern we can recognize and pretend to understand. most of these narratives and patterns are received (like your gene sequences are received), and they color perceptions and thoughts (the only knowable things) in the way that the spectrum of visible light colors the things you see when you look around you.

the trick is to try and align the narratives and patterns through which you understand the world as closely as possible to how reality and the world actually are. because, while reality is fundamentally unknowable, it can be (and needs to be) approximated. the closer your approximation, the more efficacious your worldview.

you know, kind of like the way science works, if your starting point is the uncarved block.