Spring flows like iron
melting in time’s ruthless forge –
called forth from slumber.
Today is so nice, I had to just enjoy the effortless morning. We got up and had our Sunday caramel rolls and coffee, and watched Ender’s Game. Being a fan of that series and of Orson Scott Card (the big-name sci-fi author who wrote that book), I have to say that I’m torn between the feeling that that movie was way overdue, and the feeling that it would not have been nearly as good had it been made earlier. Then we ended up putting together videos in iMovie (which I have no prior experience with) just for kicks, and then I was like, “hey. I need to post a haiku and go running. The weather says it’s fifty-two degrees outside, and it’s nice.”
I stepped outside. It feels like sixty. It’s even warmer than it was yesterday, huzzah! I felt the concrete of the sidewalk outside my new house with my bare toes. I took a completely unimpressive shot of the view from the breezeway between the house and garage, and decided to borrow a Zemanta photo again.
Yes, I am elated. Now I’m going to run like it’s my next big adventure . . .
. . . time to go live yours!
at finite speed — like a wave –
data filters up.
Though this haiku was inspired by the image, it brought me to the reflection that perhaps man-made information processing systems (computers) are more indicative of our own natures than we realize; we are created in the likeness of the Creator, being creators ourselves, and our crowning achievement thus far has been the creation of machines in our own likeness: thinkers and data processors.
Consider it: quantum particles behave a specific way. That behavior is considered to be data of a sort, because it informs the behavior and nature of larger particles - subatomic particles that may or may not comprise a given particle which acts upon it. These particles’ behaviors then inform the nature and behavior of atoms which may or may not comprise them. Atoms then chain together into molecules, passing further data into the nature and behavior of the molecule, which informs the material it comprises. Some of those materials are proteins and cell structures that pass data into organic systems, that pass data into animals and plants. But does it stop there? Maybe; maybe not. I’m not actually a scientist, or as well-versed on this matter as I would like to be. I know we are doing a number on our ecosystems as we strip away “undesirable” flora and fauna; I’m fairly confident that our actions have helped to change weather patterns, but how will that play out?
Hey – I digressed – from a digression, even. The Earth is composed of materials, and is informed by them, just as it informs our star (Solar) system - passing data in the form of its gravitational pull (among other traits, I’m sure,) which feeds into the overall gravitational balance of the system as a whole. The Solar system‘s data feeds into the data of our galaxy (the Milky Way,) even though we’re on the outer fringe of the galaxy. The Milky Way passes this data into the structure of the Universe itself, whether through some massive substructure or not is not my bailiwick and so I can’t say!
So in this way we see that Douglas Adams had his finger on something, and I’m sure he knew it, as was implied in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: that the whole of Creation (not just the Earth,) which undoubtedly comprises the Universe and possibly other structures, is a massive data-processing structure at its very core. In this way, humanity is a data array composed of humans, who are subsets of data that move here and there – doing things, affecting other things . . . changing data according to their whims and the dictations of necessity. But a large part of building the advanced civilization that we live in has been in keeping our own data, the forests of paper that threatened to collapse humanity under its weight.
Our crowning achievement, then, is no longer the establishment of civilization, but the offloading of the burden of the data processing and number-crunching work onto computers and digital data processing and storage systems, in the presumption that it frees us up to be more creative in our endeavors – and perhaps it has. Because the next big issue to tackle is how to keep the Earth sustainable; even if we are approaching a population plateau, will the planet be sustainable under the weight of humanity a hundred years from now? Five hundred?
The Earth may be a viable home until the time comes when the Sun is very close to winking out for good – that is, if we don’t find a way to live without the sun and begin harvesting its energy with a Dyson sphere first. The Sun’s extinguishing day is about five billion years away. If I am right, and we have achieved the early stage of a “technological escape velocity”, then we have to figure out where we can migrate to, splitting off the human civilization – whether by making our neighboring planets viable, or by finding habitable extrasolar planets and devising ways to get there.
That’s a tough problem. It’s going to take a lot of creativity to get there; furthermore, we have to become better stewards to the Earth before we’ll ever get a chance to be stewards of another planet. In order to be that creative we have to offload the calculations onto the computers, our creations – creations in our own likeness as data processors, that further create answers, which are creations of the computers in their own likeness – because those computers are the answer to our own survival as long as humanity thrives. So what if, in likeness of our own creations, humanity proves to be the answer to the Universe – is it a huge problem of lifelessness, or is it a delusion to have this mission to understand and master as much of it as possible before our existence as a race comes to an end?
Will our race even have an end? This is what I mean by “technological escape velocity”; over time, will we really outgrow the need for the Earth as our sole home when we manage to colonize extraterrestrial places? Then where’s the limit? We’ll outgrow the need for the Solar system, then the Milky Way, then the Universe itself as it either stretches out to nothing or collapses back in on itself – our increasing creativity and technological savvy will allow us to move beyond the inherent dangers of the structures we currently depend upon.
But what the heck exists beyond the Universe? Will we finally find whatever is feeding the inputs and analyzing the outputs of the most massive computer imaginable?
Here’s a question: what if the answers generated by our computers manage to seek us out of their own volition?
These are some of the things I think about as I live my daily adventure.
Now it’s time to go live yours – may it be ever more creative and frustration-free thanks to your ingenuity.
I don’t remember it, unless it’s in dreams, and then I wouldn’t even recognize it if it came up; but I know it may be the most impulsive thing I have ever done.
I’ve never asked anyone about it – the way it went down, the build up and the aftermath, the long moments in between where destiny hung in the balance. To be honest, I’m can only say that I know with certainty the identity of one other who was there with me; the rest are all either maybes or now lost to the wiles of time.
Although it was monumental, I probably have never, and can never appreciate enough that accomplishment, as common as it may seem; I have, however, always been proud and respectful enough to protect the fruit of this labor with as much of my will as possible, unlike some – some of whom have also been lost.
I don’t know if I was hanging upside down or not, but I do know that it was the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing I’ve ever done; in response to several environmental factors previously unknown to me, possibly with the additional insult of being struck by another human being –
I drew my first breath.
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.
The ocean beckons –
sea-salt breezes, sighing surf . . .
vow to restore me.
Today’s haiku was inspired by tishmoon from the blog foxfairymoon; in response to my comment on her recent post on my mind, she proved my suspicion in this case: that even if someone is hesitant to dabble in haiku or other poetic forms, it doesn’t stop them from doing it unconsciously.
Yes, you too can haiku.
Now go live your adventure.
Life retains its shape,
awaiting that moment — to
Spring back to its prime.
Do you ever feel like waiting out the tail end of Winter is like watching paint dry? We have our day-to-day activities to keep us busy, and yet in those disparate, lengthy, silent moments in between – those moments when we find ourselves thinking, ‘but it’s too cold out’ – the season seems to stretch out behind us like taffy, pulled by an invisible arm swinging away into the infinite darkness of space.
So cold, yet so elastic.
Defying the laws of physics.
Throwing our senses into confusion.
Helping us appreciate the wealth of community that makes survival in these conditions possible;
and yes, a watched pot will boil . . .
Never say ‘never’.
Go live your adventure.
Wind, water, light, life –
Time’s incessant minions will
grind us all to dust.
With doom we come, chant
Ents – ’gainst metal and wheels, with
Hobbits riding high.
This haiku is just one in a series of haiku that serialise Tolkien’s The Two Towers a chapter at a time. See the list at Laith’s Ramblings and read a new one every day; if you’re interested, grab one of the few chapters remaining and join in the challenge! Do you haiku?
A trip, a chase – lies,
spies, and mutant allies . . . air –
“get your ass to Mars.”
This post was prompted by the Genre Haiku Challenge on this blog. Follow that link to find out more and participate!