Nihilist Expressions in Elementary Theoretical Physics

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This musing is in reference to the multiverse and its implications. The main idea is that since everything has consequences, there exist many realities where consequences have been equal, thus each reality ultimately accounts for nothing. There is no good or bad, there just is. All systems of morality and responsibility are mere fabrications of a mind controlled entirely by propaganda and brainwash. There are no rules, nothing is hard and fast, not even the most seemingly astute scientific principles.  There is no overarching plan, life is a just a vast and cold simulation, a mathematical combination of various variables. The question then arises, what is the purpose of living? There is no purpose, whatever you do is all in absence of any real consequences because there exists another universe where you haven’t done that particular thing.

We all try to make meaning out of the meaningless. There is no intrinsic meaning to falling in love, it is a mere chemical process which happens to most simulations when the factors that cause it arrange in the right order. Since these factors are absolutely arbitrary and limited in number, they will fall in place for most at some random point of time. The number of factors varies for each type of achievement in life and the access one has to these factors is affected by another random variable, that of birth. We live our life to a template, there is no escaping from that, any struggle is useless. There are a million other beings like you who have lived identical lives, who have the same goals, who went through the same processes of life. You are not unique, you are an added skin to the template. You add absolutely zero value, whether you live or die, it doesn’t matter. One, because there are a million other beings almost exactly identical to you and two, because there are countless other versions of you in the multiverse. Even the most original of our thoughts and feelings are inspired by the most mundane of influences, consciousness is but an effort to explain that which is unexplainable. You feel angry because of your interaction with a variable, you can never organically feel angry in the absence of stimuli, stimuli that is arbitrary.

However, since the multiverse is affected by every single interaction of each variable, it would mean that ultimately everything matters because it literally decides the future of the universe. Yes, and no. Since everything matters, nothing really matters. Since there are infinite possibilities, the outcome of one possibility accounts for nothing.

The Nouveau Untermensch

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Are you a voracious consumer of youtube videos? A snapchat hero? A facebook legend? A memelord? Well, first of all, I offer my condolences to you. Trust me, I’m not being condescending, I am in the same gigantic boat as you. Except, I know that the Titanic is going to sink and I am fully aware that I can do sweet nothing to prevent the unpreventable. Now, on average, how much time do you spend ‘linked in’? FOMO, you can be honest, the primal fear of missing out ensures that we as a people cannot and will not go out of the ‘loop’ else we’d be one of those ‘loopy neo-luddites’.

What do we watch videos about, whom do we try to emulate on snapchat, what posts do we love to follow on faceboook? For the most part, we love spectating success, it is a natural impulse. We can safely get a kick of dopamine, sitting at home, with none of the risk attached with ‘real-life’ ventures in pursuit of this enigmatic, unrealistic, unachievable ‘success’. We love watching people play football, drive lamborghinis, date supermodels; we all would absolutely love to live this surreal dream life. But we also innately know that this life is safely, securely and permanently out of our reach. We contend ourselves in spectating, not playing. This spectator like mentality takes away from us any and all semblance of a drive or, more importantly, individuality.

This over glamourized depiction of success makes it seem unachievable. We are content with our current situation because we know that the people who achieved success were ‘exceptional’. Zuckerberg definitely didn’t live like your sorry self, he was fed ambrosia, he learnt wizardry at the Harvard school of witchcraft and wizardry, he was a ‘genius’. You are a muggle, you shouldn’t even have such dreams, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Thus you contend yourself in blinding mediocrity, you accept being an ‘unperson’ and choose to live a ‘regular’ life.

What is an unperson? An unperson is an individual who isn’t an individual. He is little more than part of the herd. He listens to top 40 pop music, wears the clothes everyone else wears, watches the same videos everyone else watches and probably is a fan of at least one famous person. The ‘unperson’ claps in the audience when Kohli hits a six. His existence is expressed in birth registers and population surveys and ends in death registers. He thinks he is unique and different, his problems are distinct. In a world where everyone lives life on not their own terms, nothing is unique, everything is a copy of a copy of a copy and so on.

Non-conformity is a dangerous, dirty word. In a system that rewards conformity in an almost mechanical way, it is easy to see why we act like a herd of sheep. Success = Ivy league school + finals club + top job + big house. Follow this set template, and success is guaranteed. You don’t need to ‘think out of the box’, follow the beaten path and you should be fine. All of us essentially live similar lives, the ‘templates’ may be different.

The digital world serves as a readily accessible tool of escapism for an increasingly disenchanted generation. I don’t own a car, I feel bad. Well, at least I can watch videos of Mr. What’s-his-face driving his brand new Ferrari. This erodes any remaining drive in us to better our situation. Instead of engaging with our own miserable reality, we choose to live in a fool’s paradise. Here, everything is nice, everyone is happy and successful.

We are so scared of playing the game that we are happy with cheering for the ones who do.

 

The Genesis of A New World Order

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The block chain is an innovation so ground breaking that it is already being likened to the internet. Though, as of today, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin represent the most largescale and famous use of the concept, there’s a lot more to block chain than just bitcoin. It represents perhaps the most revolutionary use of the mathematical concept of cryptography.

Before we begin to understand what the enigma ‘block chain’ really is, we must understand where the idea stems from. In 1998, Nick Szabo wrote a short paper entitled “The God Protocol.” Szabo mused about the creation of a be-all end-all technology protocol, one that designated God the trusted third party in the middle of all transactions. This was indicative of a larger trend at that time, one that is still very much operational today, that of there being the need for extensive third party involvement in verifying every single online transaction. This ‘need’ translated to huge processing fees in real terms, combined with inconvenient and often complicated rules and paperwork, the system was always in need of an overhaul. This is where the mysterious ‘Sakoshi Nakamoto’ stepped in, with his brilliant, revolutionary and completely (at that time) unknown cryptocurrency, named bitcoin.

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger or decentralized database that keeps records of digital transactions. Rather than having a central administrator like a traditional database, a distributed ledger has a network of replicated databases, synchronized via the internet and visible to anyone within the network. Blockchain networks can be private with restricted membership similar to an intranet, or public, like the Internet, accessible to any person in the world. When a digital transaction is carried out, it is grouped together in a cryptographically protected block with other transactions that have occurred in the last 10 minutes and sent out to the entire network. Miners (members in the network with high levels of computing power) then compete to validate the transactions by solving complex coded algorithms. The first miner to solve the problems and validate the block receives a reward. The validated block of transactions is then timestamped and added to a chain in a linear, chronological order. New blocks of validated transactions are linked to older blocks, making a chain of blocks that show every transaction made in the history of that blockchain, thus effectively time stamping each transaction. The entire chain is continually updated so that every ledger in the network is the same, giving each member the ability to prove who owns what at any given time.

The maths behind the ledger is quite intuitive. Blockchain is basically a publicly available ledger where participants enter data and certify their acceptance of the transaction via an elliptic curve digital signature algorithm (ECDSA). An elliptic curve is an equation such as y2 = x3 + a x + b. In Bitcoin and most other implementations, a = 0 and b = 7, so this is simply y2 = x3 + 7 (see graph). Elliptic curves have numerous interesting properties, such as the fact that a non-vertical line intersecting two non-tangent points will always intersect a third point on the curve. Indeed, one can define “addition” on the curve as finding that third point corresponding to two given points. This is basically what is done in ECDSA, except that the operations are performed modulo some large prime number M.

The existing financial system is very complex at the moment, and that complexity creates risk. A new decentralized financial system made possible with cryptocurrencies could be much simpler by removing layers of intermediation. It could help insure against risk, and by moving money in different ways could open up the possibility for different types of financial products. Cryptocurrencies could open up the financial system to people who are currently excluded, lower barriers to entry, and enable greater competition. Regulators could remake the financial system by rethinking the best way to achieve policy goals, without diluting standards. We could also have an opportunity to reduce systemic risk: Like users, regulators suffer from opacity. Research shows that making the system more transparent reduces intermediation chains and costs to users of the financial system.

Email is what got the early internet into the mainstream; it’s what drove adoption and strengthened the network. Bitcoin is ‘e mail’ for the blockchain. Bitcoin drives adoption of its underlying blockchain, and its strong technical community and robust code review process make it the most secure and reliable of the various blockchains. Like email, it’s likely that some form of Bitcoin will persist. Furthermore, the blockchain will also support a variety of other applications, including smart contracts, asset registries, and many new types of transactions that will go beyond financial and legal uses. With the surge in popularity of cryptocurrency and the mass deployment of the blockchain in new fields, it is official ; the block chain has arrived, it is here to stay in and revolutionize our world.

 

Information for this article has been sourced from the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Scientist and The American Science Journal.

 

 

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