Category Archives: Contemplation

Chalmers on panpsychism

Recently regular reader John Zande brought up the issue of panpsychism. Basically panpsychism is the position that conciousness is an inherent part of the universe. A modern advocate of panpsychism is Australian philosopher David J. Chalmer. In particular he has developed a theory of panprotopsychism. He explains his theory in the following article:

Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism by David J. Chalmers.

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1620-2012

At Science Daily:

Greenland sharks live at least as long as 400 years, and they reach sexual maturity at the age of about 150, a new study reports. The results place Greenland sharks as the longest-lived vertebrates on Earth.

And:

The two largest sharks in this study, at 493 cm and 502 cm in length, were estimated to be roughly 335 and 392 years old, respectively.

So these sharks lived through the English civil war, the Glorious revolution, the American revolution, the French revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the Franco-Prussian war, World War 1, World War 2 and the Cold War. They have seen it all.

Immortality: Tipler style

This is the first part of three in our series on immortality. Today we will discuss Frank J. Tipler’s theory of the after-life.

Frank J. Tipler explains his theory of immortality in his book The Physics of Immortality. Though it is a thick book, we could summarize his theory as follows: Continue reading →

No utopias

From the comments I got from my loyal followers (BTW thanks for that!), I get sometimes the feelings that some readers think that the countries I invent are utopias somehow. But I need to warn every one of you, that none of the fictional societies in the stories on this site – regardless whether they are set in the Elysia universe or in the Urando series – have ever been intended to be perfect societies. Continue reading →

WOT vs HP: magic systems

This essay contains spoilers to both Wheel of Time and Harry Potter.

Nothing is more associated with the genre of fantasy than magic. There is hardly any work fantasy without magic of some kind. However, magic differs greatly among fantasy authors. In some works magic is only a plot device, whereas in other works magic is essential to the very story. Continue reading →

Overview

In 2008 I had the plans for the following novels: Continue reading →

Up coming: Month of Immortality

This Juli I will publish three articles on the topic of immortality. Virtual all cultures has some idea regarding the after-life but the idea of life after death is hard to sell to the skeptic mind. Most non-religious people seek to achieve immortality by technological means such mind up loading, life extension or cryonics. However, this series will focus on the after-life and seek if there is a scientific plausible concept of immortality.

In part 1 I will discuss Frank J. Tipler’s The Physics of Immortality and in part 2 we will turn to David Staume’s The Atheist After-Life. Tipler and Staume represent two different and opposing schools of thought. Part 3 will be a “debate” between both.

Telepathy

I am almost finished reading Isaac Asimov’s Forward the Foundation. Despite the fact that Asimov is by far my favorite SF author, I wonder whether FtF is actually science fiction? The reader might ask if I am crazy as the Foundation series is set in space and in the future. However, I do not consider these two condition sufficient to consider a work of fiction to be science fiction. Continue reading →

Heroes and mentors: WOT vs HP

This essay contains spoilers to both Wheel of Time and Harry Potter.

A crucial element in epic fantasy is the relationship between the hero and his or her mentor. As the typical fantasy hero is unaware of his importance and hence lacks the experience required for his quest, the hero is in need of some guidance from a wise man or woman. However, the mentor disappears when the hero has to face his destiny. Continue reading →

Boltzmann brain and Maha Brahma

In Buddhist tradition there is a story about a conscious entity called Maha Brahma. According to the traditional story Maha Brahma was the first being who emerged after the universe came into existence. Because he was the first one, he felt lonely and he desired company. Fortunately other beings came into existence, which lead to MB’s mistaken believe he had created them and since his companions did not know better, they believed MB was their creator.

Nineteenth-century physicist Ludwig Boltzmann speculated that due to random fluctuations a self-aware entity might arise from chaos. This concept is known as a Boltzmann brain. However, this idea is a hypothetical one and it is far from certain that such entities actually exist or could exist.

Nevertheless, one could have noted a similarity between the Boltzmann brain and the story of Maha Brahma. So I wonder could Maha Brahma be in fact a Boltzmann brain?