Code

02019-11-13 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

(something I wrote – see this post – for the word “Code”)

She looked up from the floor momentarily as an idea took hold of her. She acknowledged the thought, put it away for easy retrieval at a later time, and looked down again, her tongue pressed against the roof of her mouth, her eyes soft and looking inward.

For another 35 minutes she sat quietly, breathing steadily, her mouth set in a neutral smile. Then she got up and walked over to the stove, where she lit the burner underneath the water kettle.

If the world was a computer simulation, then there had to be a code that lay behind everything, like a translucent shadow. If there was code, then there had to be a bug in the code somewhere. And if there was a bug, she would find it. Every code had a bug, a mistake, an extra command, an errand line… and she was very good at finding bugs.

She put two fingers into the wooden tea jar and pulled out strands of green tea that she dropped into a small pot. The water was hot enough by now, just showing the first steam of a low boil.

The code would not be visible on a screen, she realized, and there would be no terminal she could access. She sipped her tea, using her teeth to strain the tea leaves, the way Chinese peasants drink tea – like her grandparents, she thought with a smile.

She had to access the code some other way. She was the code, the bowl of tea was the code, the hot liquid in her mouth was code, the green and fresh flavor detected by her tongue and translated by her brain, was code. Meditation would be the only way to find the code.

(inspired by a Guardian article from 2016, which states that Oxford University’s Nick Bostrom published a paper, in 2003, titled “Are You Living In a Simulation?”. In this paper Bostrom suggested that members of an advanced civilization with vast computing power might choose to run simulations of their ancestors in the universe. According to a profile in the New Yorker two tech billionaires are secretly engaging scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation…)

3 Comments

  1. janeparhamkatz

    OK. This is exciting. A code for the whole of existence. I really liked “translucent shadow.” But why would there have to be a bug? Oh – because things in this world often go terribly wrong. If we understood the code, we could correct the bugs. Your use of the word “code” suddenly frames what we are searching for, better than the word “meaning.” I was always fascinated by Einstein’s striving to define a “unified theory of the universe,” or Hawking’s Theory of Everything. Not that I know the math, but the idea is irresistible. It’s like a code to unlock total awareness. Your idea that it could only be discovered in meditation is genius. Einstein’s thought experiments where he mentally unlocked truths unavailable to the physical plane were meditation, no?

    Code being a series of symbols that stands for something else, maybe our way in is an idea, expressed in words, like “I AM,” or music. Is that what the monks are doing with chanting. I was thinking about this while driving to Walmart, and I ended up way out at the end of Cerrillos Road before I realized it! I can’t stop thinking about this.

    Reply
  2. Victor H.

    I really like this little story. Makes me want to find out what happens next.

    In software development we jokingly say, “There are no bugs, only undocumented features.”

    To add to the code analogy… Practice is like code refactoring.

    Reply
  3. janeparhamkatz

    I enjoyed the Guardian article you referenced. I’m a Musk fan. Some years ago, I had the thought: What if while using a Virtual Reality machine, the user forgot it was a machine and never took it off. The virtual world would become his reality and he would be unconscious of true reality (whatever amazing thing that is!), not realizing his true identity or power to remove the VR goggles. Then I thought – I think that’s what has happened to humans! I had to stop pondering this, as I felt my mind about to explode. The understanding of mind over matter has everything to do with this.

    Reply

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