Friday, January 30, 2015
H-01 Jeanette, Josh, Bryce and Dr. Oliver's Peripatetic Discussion
During our peripatetic adventure, we decided to discuss the nature of reality. The essence of the question was whether or not we believe reality is an illusion. Firstly, we talked about how reality is what our senses make of our surroundings; how our interaction with our environment simulates a sense of reality. Josh's argument, I believe, attempted to define reality as our physical perception of nature. In this model, reality is what the agent makes of the universe. I think that out of this notion comes ideas and philosophies, like religions! Its an attempt at rationalizing our own existence. The conversation inevitably led to the mathematical nature of our universe (probably because I was there to bring it up as I usually do...). A deepening understanding behind the structure of nature leads many to perceive reality much differently. With a few relatively simple equations and theorems, one can, in theory, recreate the physical universe. We may not know everything, but we've had a good start at attempting to. Josh then asked me why, if everything is just a product of a conglomeration of equations, the universe is not static and unchanging? Herein lies the heart of scientific exploration. Why do objects move through space-time the way they do and why does energy behave the way it does? The answer is, no one knows why exactly nature behaves the way it does, but we know it does! All we can do is look at all the data and make inferences. Energy seems to flow to its lowest possible state, which sort of offers an explanation to Josh's question (we'll have to talk more about this!). On the other hand, we spoke of the perceived reality of our own consciousness. On this topic, we seemed to have no firm grip of what our thoughts and actions mean in terms of their implications on true reality. If someone were to drop some LSD, he or she will see that internal reality is malleable and subject to extreme change. I made the assertion that reality is a library of discrete facts attained through interaction with one's environment; when those 'facts' are messed with, like with the lysergic acid, one's sense of reality becomes greatly perturbed.