First, quickly, a few things.
I don't know why, but CAG is ignoring me. Sort of like, seeming to observe from a distance, but avoiding talking to me. Whatever, I guess...
Uh, fuck fuck fuck, not much else.
Got 2 new coffee mugs for my birthday, as well as a gift card to Starbucks. See, I like Starbucks, it's just so motherfucking expensive, I can't get too used to it, or it'll rape me.
All you really need to do is just remember to get a simple drip coffee, or, if you feel you can splurge a little, a simple iced tea. Like $3.50 for a venti iced tea. Not great, but still, for Starbucks, not bad. Just avoid the fru-fru with the fucking weird frothy milky things.
And drip coffees are even cheaper, and it's kinda nice to sit in the comfy chair and read The Economist with a coffee.
Like honestly, I don't know why people in first world countries are so stressed all the time, I have a coffee in a comfy chair at Starbucks, take a nice hot bath, I decompress quite a bit.
As well, school. I don't know why kids hate school. Frankly, I fucking love school. Perhaps that's partially because it's the most meaningful thing in my life right now, but also.
Like I get to see my friends, it's pretty easy (if I actually try), and it's so comforting to just sit in a warm room with a nice background lecture drone going on in the background, I can like read The Economist or some Dilbert or something. The constant drone of the teacher is just such a comforting background track.
Not that I wouldn't prefer some good music, but still. Not bad.
Speaking of which, I have a feeling classical music would be a lot more popular if it wasn't so old. I mean, it's not that bad, some of it's actually pretty good (but there's a ton of boring cliches as well).
But the other forms of music that developed later were basically a reaction to classical music, moving away from the fucking pomposity of the thing, like rock, I like rock, and I like classical music, but I wish that to listen to classical music you could like go in casual clothes, and be all relaxed about it, rather than having to dress up and be absolutely silent and shit.
If classical music just dumped its aged traditions, I have a feeling it could do pretty well.
Anyway, I wanted, for the bulk of this looking likely to be quite lengthy journal, I wanted to talk about death.
I was reading The Economist today (surprise surprise), and it was talking about this 72 year old woman in China, who lives in a little 1 room living room with a phone, a tv set, and her own future coffin.
How do you think it would be to be reminded daily of your own impending death?
What do you think happens after death?
Are you afraid or death?
Frankly, I think it wouldn't be that bad to be reminded of death everyday.
Some people would like to be able to live forever. And that does appear that it just might be possible. Entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, would determine that we must die. But it can be avoided, if you just add a new infusion of energy to the system, it can be restored.
Scientists have studied the aging process, and it's weird. For example, cancer cell lines appear to be immortal.
Part of the problem lies in DNA telomeres. When your cells divide, they have to replicate their DNA and make a copy of it in each new cell. The problem is that each time your DNA is replicated, there's of frayed ends on the end of each DNA strand. You lose a little bit of DNA every time your cells replicate.
The good news is that we have DNA telomeres, strands of DNA at the ends of our genome that act as a buffer between the ends of the DNA strands and the necessary bits on the inside of the DNA strand, your genes. But the telomeres aren't as long as we'd like, and after a while, they're gone, and your cells can't replicate anymore.
That's one of the problems.
Another one is that central nervous system cells don't replicate themselves. Which is a problem.
Another problem is that sometimes, your cells encounter molecules they can't break down, and when that happens, they have to store them in little sacs called lysosomes, where they stay. Forever.
In other words, there's a myriad of reasons we age and die, but they seemingly can be reversed, and someday, they think, we might be able to have people able to live forever.
Or at least, until a catastrophic event happens on the Earth, the inward flow of energy stops, and entropy says you must necessarily die.
But the question is, would you want to?
I don't think so.
Even in our lives, "short" as they are, (I say "short" because our lives are actually very long, they're just too short for how long we'd like to live), we tend to lose sight of things in routine.
For example, I hugged and kissed my parents good night tonight. They thought that was weird, they wondered if there was something wrong.
No, I just had a thought, when I really think about it, I love my parents, I love them so much, however pissed off I get when they're assholes, and no mistake, they can be assholes, I love them so much, and I rarely ever show it.
My relationship with my mom is sorta like one with a quasi-friend roommate. I see her when I come home from school, have a cordial greeting, and then don't have a whole lot more reaction with her except when someone wants something, or someone's angry about something (usually her).
My dad is even more distant, he's working, usually, from about 6 AM to 7 PM, so I have dinner with him, and see him sometimes on the weekends when we go out and do something together. (if he's not working)
The thing is, my parents have been there so long, so constant I assume unconsciously they'll always be there, I'll always be able to appreciate them later.
In other words, if we truly lived forever, would we really be able to appreciate anyone we'd known more than a few months?
I think we can hardly do it now, we'd have no chance then. Life would be long, dull, and loveless.
As for what happens after death, well, as an atheist, I sort of putatively believe nothing. Nothing to be afraid of, I could be vaporized now, and I wouldn't realize it, I'd be gone. No heaven to look forward to, no hell to dread, just the wonderful one life we have, and then it's over.
As for how satisfying that is, I intend to think on, to see if it really doesn't horrify me in any way. If it does, I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice reality for spiritualism.
In other words, to find a solution that I like more, and believe in it.
Basically, I don't see any reason to believe in a terrible truth you can't change rather than a much nicer falsehood that you also can't change, and that neither will affect your life that much besides how you feel about it.
One of the best contenders is something I intend to research more. It was on Morgan Freeman: Through the Wormhole, and it's fucking awesome.
Basically, it works through a property called quantum entanglement, which is the ability of quantum particles at the smallest scales of reality to become "entangled" with other particles, meaning that if you do something to one of the particles, the other one, no matter how far away it is, light years or however, will immediately react, faster than light speed, as if itself was affected.
I know, I don't really understand it either.
Anyway, something scientists have never understood the human brain, and how it works. We know neurons send electrical signals through synapses, and they react all over the place, and then somehow, SOMEHOW, that creates consciousness and life.
Another weird thing is that the brain is divided in 2 halves, and each half is only loosely connected to the other side, barely communicating at all, nearly totally independent.
So some guy, I don't know who, I'll find out, hypothesized that the electrical activity we see in the brain is only part of what it does, that in reality, it also happens where tiny structures in neurons called microtubules, basically, they become entangled with one another.
Across the hemispheres of the brain, these microtubules all get entangled with each other, and communicate, and help explains consciousness, a bit. We're not seeing the whole picture.
But that would have a stunning conclusion. That would mean that, if consciousness is in the reactions of entangled particles, then, after our bodies die, the entangled particles in our head could then entangle with particles outside our head, and our consciousness will sort of drift out into the Universe, where it will stay, floating around, for eternity.
In fact, he said, consciousness is a specific, necessary, built-in part of the universe.
The universe started with consciousness in it, at this stage it condensed itself into little flesh and blood people, and after we die, the consciousness won't, it'll leave and rejoin the universe at large.
And that's fucking deep.
I really have too look into that more, and think about it...
The only problem with it, things would get real boring. Maybe you could communicate with the rest of the vast web of consciousnesses in the universe, but the problem is everything interesting in the universe would stop happening eventually. According to best estimates right now, the universe is doomed to expand farther and farther until all stars die and black holes decay, and all matter decays into a faint light, filling the vast void that will be our universe.
But still, really fucking cool.
Back on topic of death, uh, are you afraid of death?
No, I don't think I am.
I want to live, I desperately want to live, if the entanglement situation is true, it wouldn't really matter, but if the blackness situation is true, it will.
Either way, I don't want to chance it.
While I am pretty sure that after death there will be no pain or hell or any of that shit, that just makes life all the more precious.
It's kind of sad, really, like a bird flying through a storm, and then all of a sudden a current lifts the bird above the clouds into the sunlight, and it gets to look down at the clouds and the darkness it knew it was just in and must return to, and it has to try to enjoy its time in the sun, knowing how fleeting it must be.
So I don't think death should be feared, but it makes me want to live, live as long as I can, and as good as I possibly can, and do my best to enjoy all of it and know I lived well.
A weird thing I think about is about like thinking if I died right now, I feel really bad for my parents and everyone that would miss me and shit, but if I was dead, I'd be beyond that. Sort of like, have you guys ever seen the TV show Breaking Bad?
Fucking awesome it is, it's basically about a chemistry teacher who gets stave IV lung cancer, he's going to die in a few months, but he wants to set his family up financially before he dies, so he starts cooking meth to make money fast.
Like, it seems weird we'd care about what happens after we die. Like caring about criminal notoriety, and worrying how you'll be remembered.
Or like Achilles, always wanting to be remembered as a hero, and dying for it.
It seems like you shouldn't really worry about those things because they'll be totally none of your concern by the time they're actually happening, and yet we can't seem to help caring about them in life.
Anyway, I'm fucking tired, and I want to go to sleep. Night guys.