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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Little things in life

Digest: The post is the outcome of little turmoil in the writer's mind over the present circumstances in his life which are apparently beyond his control. A state of dilemma if he should keep his calm and accept the things their way as they are predestined or should fight his best to conquer the destiny to his will. He wonders if little things in life do matter, if omens really clue the written will of god, if lucky charms do have any meaning and searches for an answer more in science and mathematics than religion.


This post is on the lines of one of the previous posts- 'Ctrl+ Z' but that can be skipped without breaking the continuity.

How much free will does a Lorenz butterfly need to encompass to make that extra flap that could possibly cause a cyclone weeks later? What force is tangling my earphones all the time? What exactly complots the socks redistribution? Why bread falls always on the buttered side? (Well, it’s not just gravity toppling over the heavier side. There is much more to it!) What makes Murphy law work?

If you have ever wondered the enormity of supposedly little things in life, the kind of contouring potent they hold, u must agree with me that the littler and subtler they seem the more happening, the more influencing they turn out to be. Trace the chaotic pendulum with slight variations in initial angle or wonder the rule 30 (the chaotic evolution in cellular automation).

In words of Vincent Van Gogh – “Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together”. You can’t swallow an elephant without cutting it into pieces. Take the concept of integration. Can’t you do straight away with something great, just cut it down infinitesimally, play with that infinitesimal part the way you like and progress all the way to completion.

Does our daily piffling stuff behave in a similar fashion? I mean does the apparently toothless stuff fix the final upshots. For instance is my selection in some interview tempted by stuff like colour of my underwear or crisscross of my right palm or numerical equivalent of alphabets in my name or the little amulet slapped against my body like an albatross around my neck or planetary motions or the twenty one omens heavens sent my way? I guess it does!!

Life, probably, is a complex function of all such infinite parameters. Some of them being quite loud others being trifle enough to evoke a thought about them. Life is not unfolding at a throw of dice as HE supposed. Laplace, like Him, had reasons (over and above intuitive) to gestate the thought of a deterministic world. So the prerequisite was the initial conditions for all such parameters and the beautiful equations would crystallize every future second. Reflect the horoscopes, they stitch your history to planetary motions.

Let’s hold our horses for a moment! Both the above arguments have a fertile resistance. Mind the randomness. When things go perfectly random, a miraculous symmetry is always born. Peep into statistical mechanics or give some time to Friedman’s universe models. Nullifying effect diminishes the atomism or the grandness of individual entity.

*Let’s take a tour of virtual world of the computer games. Nearly all of us are familiar with the Super Mario Bros., one of the Nintendo’s most popular games. It doesn’t matter how much more goombas/ koopas does Mario hit or more jumps it make or more fireballs it shoot if it clears the stage with fixed identical final terminus every time i.e. survives the dragon and saves the princess*. Extending the analogy to real world loses its composure as we can never be sure of identical terminus. Say, for an interview, I may have infinite histories to traverse such that the whole event can materialize with infinite variations in stuff like hand movements, breath durations, steps and the like such that all histories advance into only two apparently possible outcomes of selection or rejection, which assigns them a fairly 50-50 division. Now whereas it may seem plausible with a case of some lottery, it is highly unconvincing for case of interview.

But is the probabilistic division such straightforward? Not exactly, let’s check the First digit law. It tells us that in a list of numbers taken randomly from many real life sources of data, the probability of leading digit of the numbers being 1 is not 11.11% (as supposed considering fair distribution) but 30+ % !!!

With the case of determinism, Heisenberg, a great personality becomes very uncomfortable as he believes- “we can’t determine future for sure as we can’t determine present for sure”. If this is not sufficient, our friend Godel puts a fundamental limitation on logical explanation of completely everything in this world. These statements don’t limit God but the universal creatures like humans bounded by the laws of physics. Thus we may still enjoy the assumption of a predetermined world.

As for a predetermined wavy future present infinitely in space time, it is just a matter of how much free will does a Lorenz butterfly possesses to make that extra flap that could possibly create a cyclone a decade after!

* I heartly thank the cool minded guy ' Tejesh Kinariwala' for some of his beautiful ideas.

-krazyidiot