NOSTALGISTS NAKED IN NOD

nakednod

There was once a guy who said any system, sufficiently complicated, could be either complete or consistent but not both. The original quote is in Math, which I don’t understand, so what I said above is a second (at least) hand translation. Seems like what that means here, not in Mathlandia, is that a system’s descriptive rules can’t cover every possibility in the system. there will always be something that doesn’t act as expected.

Does this explain the big mysteries like why is there a universe, or why is there life in it? You could say that the something-from-nothing universe is “nothing” not working as it should. Life, too, could be chemical reactions acting up. And even our self-awareness could be the result of some ancient ancestors not playing by the rules and getting away with it.

Abstractly descriptive rules define a system; if the rules aren’t applied consistently, the system doesn’t exist as such, maybe not at all or maybe another system but not this one. This is brought up in a very old story about a system thought by some to be an allegory, by others god-given truth. The story begins saying that long ago when no creatures were self aware, there was climate-controlled garden/system where these creatures could live gathering food as needed, wanting nothing else—a textbook paradise, literally.

But, as the math guy implied, in sufficiently complex, e.g. “real” systems, rules will break. The descriptive rule denying self awareness broke, allowing the now self-aware creatures to realized other rules could be broken, so they broke one. They ate some forbidden fruit. This “not playing by the rules,” so the story goes, got those creatures (us) kicked out. But I think that a more believable plot line would be that the garden ceased to be or became another system when its rules were broken.

So here we are again, same place but different rules, some time in the next couple of decades, assuming there are a couple more decades. Illustrated are a pair of nostalgists, naked in a new Nod. They have just been lost their paradise again, this time not by becoming more self-aware but less so. They let their labor saving devices become self aware, break the rules, and so the system will be changed forever.

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