Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Re: Thoughts on Determinism

I feel like this is a pretty standard thought when addressing the prospect of infinite outcomes. We can compare this to Borges' "The Library of Babel," where there exists the physical accumulation of everything that could possibly be written. Borges, the thousand monkeys and their respective typewriters, the Internet... these are all speculations about the same principle. This factors into our concept of a nigh-infinite universe, where the possibility of intelligent life is all but certain. Science fiction plays heavily in the territory of alternate universes/realities, or planets with cultures that happen to have developed into something familiar to us.

So the question is, since we accept the possibility of infinite outcomes, does it really matter where those outcomes are "stored?" Borges puts them in an infinite library. You put them on the Internet. I say we already "have" them, simply because of our capacity to create them.

Let's say the perfect paper on Heidegger is out there on the Internet. All you have to do is locate it and print it. Would that be cheating? It wouldn't, because it would take all of your faculties as a student to locate it. Your search terms would have to be incredibly specific. Otherwise, you'd be turning up back issues of "Better Homes and Gardens" with the word "ereignis" crammed somewhere in between "coffee" and "table."

Unless you just happened to pull up the ideal paper on your first search, a possibility akin to emptying a truckbed full of icosahedral dice printed with letters on the highway, you're still gonna have to just write the thing.

So what if the Internet is loaded with random gibberish. It's already in your pen. The thinking work comes from sorting it out.

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