É. Urcades

Back to All Writing

April 6

Man it’s been a crazy April.

Imagine being two weeks old!

It’s been rainy, they say April Showers bring May Flowers:

  1. The month of April, traditionally a rainy period, gives way to May, when flowers will bloom because of the water provided to them by the April rains.
  2. (by extension) A period of discomfort or hardship can provide the basis for a period of happiness and joy.

I’ve had a lot of time to read recently, mostly while balancing a baby girl on an arm or a leg. Here are some random excerpts:

The word “allele” is a short form of “allelomorph” (“other form”, a word coined by British geneticists William Bateson and Edith Rebecca Saunders) in the 1900s,[7][8] which was used in the early days of genetics to describe variant forms of a gene detected as different phenotypes. It derives from the Greek prefix ἀλληλο-, allelo-, meaning “mutual”, “reciprocal”, or “each other”, which itself is related to the Greek adjective ἄλλος, allos (cognate with Latin alius), meaning “other”.

He reread and replayed the news reports that he’d accessed from inside – and found no discrepancies. He flicked through encyclopedic databases – spot-checking random facts of history, geography, astronomy – and although he was surprised now and then by details which he’d never come across before, there were no startling contradictions. The continents hadn’t moved. Stars and planets hadn’t vanished. The same wars had been lost and won. Everything was consistent. Everything was explicable. And yet he couldn’t stop wondering about the fate of a Copy who was shut down, and never run again. A normal human death was one thing – woven into a much vaster tapestry, it was a process which made perfect sense. From the internal point of view of a Copy whose model was simply halted, though, there was no explanation whatsoever for its demise – just an edge where the pattern abruptly came to an end. — location: 3223 ^ref-45302

Okay. Hypercomputation, right?” “That is the name of the game,” he replied. Officially, publicly, to anybody outside of the smallest inner circle, it was a quantum computing project. But to describe it as “quantum computing” was a mind-boggling understatement. There were already quantum computers. They were just computers. They were just faster. This was beyond that, and beyond that and beyond that too. To be sure, a lot of quantum mechanical interactions were involved, but a lot of quantum mechanical interactions were involved in eating a piece of toast. It had taken twenty-three people less than two years to build the engine, and in that time the true objectives of the project had been accidentally leaked twice, both times to people who dismissed what they learned as obvious fairy tales, and thought nothing more of it. The engine applied a theory which had taken a trio of quantum statisticians a half-century to articulate, and which only a single-digit number of people outside of the project comprehended. The engine was capable of passing information to and processing the responses from what could be described, without hyperbole, as a single fundamental particle with infinite processing power and infinite storage capacity. Not quite enough time had yet passed for the world to be totally and permanently fundamentally altered by this development. Nothing was public, yet. — location: 746 ^ref-28944

Whereas animals and humans can both hunt, humans differentiated themselves from animals by spending time developing tools for hunting. Some animals may occasionally use a tool in hunting another animal, but they have no capacity for owning these tools and maintaining them for long-term use. Only through a lower time preference can a human decide to take time away from hunting and dedicate that time to building a spear or fishing rod that cannot be eaten itself, but can allow him to hunt more proficiently. This is the essence of investment: as humans delay immediate gratification, they invest their time and resources in the production of capital goods which will make production more sophisticated or technologically advanced and extend it over a longer time-horizon. The only reason that an individual would choose to delay his gratification to engage in risky production over a longer period of time is that these longer processes will generate more output and superior goods. In other words, investment raises the productivity of the producer. — location: 2007 ^ref-12187

The past’s sterile science led to nothing but the exhaustion of the planet and the destruction of its races. It was founded in the mere desire to exploit the gross energies and material substances of the universe, without regard to their attractions, antipathies, and eventual destinies. Look!” He thrust his hand into the beam of sunshine that was then issuing from my high, circular window. “Here is light. You will say that it is not a living entity, but you miss the point that it is more, not less. Without occupying space, it fills the universe. It nourishes everything, yet itself feeds upon destruction. We claim to control it, but does it not perhaps cultivate us as a source of food? May it not be that all wood grows so that it can be set ablaze, and that men and women are born to kindle fires? Is it not possible that our claim to master light is as absurd as wheat’s claiming to master us because we prepare the soil for it and attend its intercourse with Urth?

Status

Not so suprisingly, for anyone who knows me, the lack of sleep associated with early parenthood hasn’t really bothered nor negtively affected me. I think a lifetime of little sleep has more or less prepared me for the next several months of reduced shuteye.

Jenny is healing well, and is in good spirits.

E is an angelic baby. She might be close to perfect. I have no complaints so far.

Watching her cognition (her awareness?) unfurl has been nothing short of magic. Jenny and I can sense the beginnings of a beautiful personality begin to come into focus.

What else is there to say?

I’ve been taking a lot of photos of Jenny and E recently.

It’s not that surprising, lots of parents take photos of their new babies.

What is surprising (to me) is the broadened awareness, or greater context my actions have begun to occupy, for even the smallest actions, like taking a photograph.

What I’m describing is hard to put into words, it’s very “embodied”, like feeling hungry and knowing you have to make the effort to find or cook food.

It’s as simple as maybe saying, “A photo I take now will be a memory for E”, or “E might use this photo for a school project some day”.

This feels like a flattened or trite shorthand for the real sense I’m describing though.

It’s sort of like occupying all of time at once, at all times.

I consdier myself a relatively thoughtful or concientious person, and I’m not expressing a new-found awareness of “consequences of my actions”. This is a very different extrasensory sensation.

I can sense the consequences of present actions in a way I don’t think I had access to before. Is this biology at work?

Somewhat related:

An infant in its crib does not at first know that there is a distinction between its body and the wood that surrounds it or the rags upon which it lies. Or rather, its body seems as alien as all the rest. It discovers a foot and marvels to find so odd a thing a part of itself. So with me. I had seen the star; and seeing it —immensely remote though it was—had known it a region of myself, absurd as the baby’s foot, mysterious as his genius is to one who has only just discovered it. I do not mean that my consciousness, or any consciousness, rested in the star; at that time, at least, it did not. Yet I was aware of existence at two points, like a man who stands waist deep in the sea, so that wave and wind are alike to him in that both are something less than the whole, the totality of his environment.

*

Title: April 6

Description: April reflection

Published: Sat Apr 06 2024 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

*

Back to All Writing

Subscribe

RSS