Saturday, April 08, 2006

A discussion with the Flying Spaghetti Monster

I had a strange flash of thought. Insights have been rare these few days, which is not a good thing. No, random number generators and self-propagating essay assignments do not count as insight.

What would my thoughts and outlook be like if I knew I was going to die in approximately n months?

[Truncated. I don’t think anyone would bother to read this anyway.]


FSM: How would you want to die?

TYW: Happy, duh. That’s everyone’s answer.

FSM: Define happy.

TYW: Well, I want to be clear minded, not in pain, with my loving family by my side when I die.

FSM: How are you going to achieve that?

TYW: I’m going to die. What do you mean by ‘achieve’?

The family. How will you ensure that you have a loving family? As far as I know you have no serious desire to get married. Not to mention children.

I could adopt by sibling’s family as my own. I know of some single people who stay with their siblings for the rest of their lives.

Indeed I know of such arrangements. But to incorporate it into your long-term strategy is rather unique. What if the siblings do not consent?

I’d have to think of something else...

Have you thought of ‘living for the day’? It’s an Epicurean saying. A tagline, even.

No I haven’t, actually. Without an end, a target, isn’t living for the day simply a random walk?

Actually, no. No doubt it's chaotic, but definitely not random. If you mistake ‘live for the day’ as a war cry to indulge in all manner of pleasures that guarantees suffering in the future, you are wrong. It’s actually like an optimisation of short and long term benefits.

Impressive. Do you have the algorithms to run this optimisation?

Of course not, are you daft? There is such a thing as free will. I’ll not go into the details of the Newton and the mechanistic view of the universe. Nor will I detail how Heisenberg shattered that view with quantum theory.

Pfft. By the way, have you heard of the joke about the mystic who requested to be ‘made one with everything’?

No I have not. Who did he ask?

That’s the interesting part. He asked the hamburger vendor to make him one with everything.


Related links:

Flying Spaghetti Monster
Mechanistic view