Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0070, May 22, 2015

DEPT. OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS


True or False?




Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     Both and neither. "???!" responds Prickles. Let me explain. It is true that we have created a distinct, self-consistent pattern here - a rather pleasant one if I may say. "You may," says Prickles graciously. But the pattern has no "real" reason for existing: it is not a product of any physical process, it is a false pretender. "Surely there was a physical process that brought it into being," says Prickles, "it did not spontaneously appear out of nowhere." Actually it did. Indirectly. It is a product of some electronic activity inside my computer guided by an arbitrary algorithm I adlibbed for no reason other than curiosity to see what would happen. Which I did not know and could not have predicted. I tossed some numbers in the digital pot, stirred and voila! A pattern out of nowhere! True only to itself, false to the rest of the world. Its sole meaning lies in it's visual appeal: it means a pleasant tickle in the pattern recogntion circuits of our brains. "Well, as far as I am concerned, that's a sufficient reason for its existence," says Prickles. But that's merely incidental, my enjoyment of it had nothing to do with its coming into being, it's ex post facto. "Not according to your 'elements of existence' hypothesis," she says. Everything happens so it may be enjoyed - your postulate." I think we have strayed from the point I was making. "Did we?" she says.


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