Sunday, July 15, 2007

Win Lottery or Attain Moksha!

On the pursuit of the improbable: Improbability is in the nature of things.

Our very existence is improbable! If the latest landscape ideas from superstring theory are correct, our universe is just one of an extremely large number - 10500 - that are physically possible, each with a different low-energy physics; no one has found so far any reason that our universe is somehow required or even infinitesimally more likely than all those rest.

Even given the laws of physics of our universe, there is an improbability at the very moment creation - the universe at the Big Bang was in a state of low entropy.

Then, given our universe that started out improbably, our own existence - the existence of sentience - is extremely improbable. As biologist PZ Myers pointed out on, sentience is not a repeated theme in the history of evolution on Earth - it has appeared but once in the billion years of life - and while extraterrestrial life exists with high probability, intelligent life is improbable.

And even given human life, many improbabilities lead to the birth of the particular individual. And the road of life is paved with the potholes of chance.

Therefore it is fitting that you should have goals in which the dice are loaded against you. The Universe itself demands nothing less! There is no question of being optimistic, determined or indomitable. Really, no self-reflection is required. It is not a matter for either cheer or depression. Simply obey the laws of existence, Nature's commandment, and reach for the improbable!