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A few days ago, I was watching TV with the destroyer of worlds
And it got me thinking what does she actually think TV is?
If you could build a little universal translator for kitten brains,
what would come out?
Yes, that's Catelyn Stark and she's married to Ned stark and
[Which one is Legolas again?]
No, he's in Lord...
And that got me thinking
well even if she spoke perfect English she still couldn't make sense of TV because she doesn't know what TV is
or fiction or sword fights or cheeky feudal incest
and she never will
There's an upper limit to the intelligence of her species
and there must be an upper limit to our intelligence too
to the human species
Let's call it
"The Understanding Line"
Imagine it, right?
The cat has an understanding line somewhere
and before that line she understands food and litter trays a nd mice
and how to wake her owner up at 3:00 in the morning to party because she's a little cu-
But what about over that line?
What about the stuff she can never understand?
Well, basic requests, that's one
Cattington fetch me my breakfast opium would you?
as well as Portuguese, Jam sandwiches, particle physics and Hooters
And she won't ever understand these things
she can't
The limit? Her understanding line is built into her adorable
but somewhat lacking brain
What about us? All of the collective brains of everyone who has ever lived adds up
and pushes our understanding line to here.
Which is where we are now in this century.
And thanks to all of that
we have civilization and Keynesian Economics and butt stuff.
And we'll keep making geniuses and we'll keep pushing the line in an attempt to understand nature
But can it go on forever until we've licked everything?
Maybe not.
At some point the size of our brains might limit us in what we can understand
and the line can't be pushed anymore
we can't go further than that
*cough* without AI
and the problem is that we can't even imagine what's over that line by definition.
So there must be two types of truth
Stuff we don't understand yet, but can
and stuff we don't understand yet, and never can
This is Bulgarian.
If you can't read Cyrillic, it might look a bit like silliness,
however it's pronounced roughly "Ti prost li si, be?" which means "Hey chum, how's it going?"
Make sure you say this to any Bulgarians you meet and you are certain to make only the BEST of first impressions.
There you go.
You can read a bit of Cyrillic. We went from no understanding to understanding in about 15 seconds
Because you're a human and humans are, like, well, clever
But what about the things we might never
Is there a system after maths, for example, that better describes the Universe?
Is there some ground structure to creation that we just can't discern?
What are women doing when they all go off to the loo at the same time, exactly?
What the fffuck is that all about?
The solutions to Quantum Gravity and faster than light travel might be staring us in the face
and we just can't quite grab them
because we're too dopey
not because we don't understand yet, but because we might never understand
Monkey Brains
if the cat was a bit smarter
She would understand that right in front of her is an epic story of betrayal and death and certain weddings gone a bit UH-OH
But for her it's just flashy lights and weird sounds because she's too silly
Is it the same for us with reality?
Are we missing something really obvious because we're just too dumb?
What do these do, exactly?
And these?
And what's the point of this?
What if there is some grand function to the cosmos like a massive computer or in a laboratory for baby gods or something
and we're Just sat on our bluey-green spaceship with our thumbs up our asses
missing the point entirely?
*dumb voices*
Because of this line how much information do we already have that if we just interpreted it in the right way
we could solve physics, kill war and just become better humans, but we keep missing because of this line?
And how many stupid decisions are we repeating over and over again in our lives
and the same dumb patterns of behavior that we kind of notice, but refuse to change
because of this fucking line?
But hang on.
There is a nice twist to this
Yes, we are limited, but think for a second
how far we've come already with those limits
how much we've invented and discovered with outdated
stupid prehistoric brains that were mostly good for foraging and working out who was boning who.
Why is there such a gap between animal intelligence and humans?
Why was evolution so lovely to us?
And what will we discover when the next Einstein or Newton is born?
Can we ever push the understanding line right to the very edge?
To see space and time
and cause and effect
and good and evil
and quarks and galaxies
for what they really are in themselves?
If we can't that's no surprise.
And if we can, well, what a thing that would be!
But right now in this silly century with these silly brains
We can only do our best, and that's gone pretty well so far.
Brains that were really only designed for survival and mating later went on to discover the Higgs Boson and DNA
One day we might push it further and get to the stars,
or whatever else is waiting out there.
Boldly nudging the understanding line
Just a little further risk by risk, idea by idea.
maybe until we've unmasked the whole of reality for what she really is.
It won't be us who get to do that but our descendants
and it will only be possible because of all the humans who came before
because of us
And just as we stood on our ancestors shoulders to reach over our heads,
they'll stand on ours and travel God knows where and discovered God knows what.
It couldn't have been done without us,
but it will be done without us.
All of the research and thinking our species is doing today
will vitally contribute to whatever comes next to wherever we go next
To hopefully that day when there's no gap left between our models of the world and the world itself.
When we push the understanding line to it's very limits and reality stops being weird sounds and flashing lights
and maybe makes itself known for what it really is.
That will be cool.
That will be a treat.
One day.
Yeah, who's a good girl, huh?
[I will bite off your eyelids and wear them like a little fucking hat]
Wh- what?
[I said isn't fish yummy yummy?]