Updated: Mar 14
Why do you do what you do?
Why did you get up this morning?
Why will you get up the next morning?
Are those questions worrying you?
Let’s figure this out from the ground up. First of all, if you are anything like me, you have to get up because you need to pee. Then, what happens? Maybe you need to eat? Get dressed? All of those things are trivial yet vital to your survival. Fortunately, a good amount of people on this planet, and most likely all of the people who are willing to read this, don’t have to worry about survival, they just do it as if it were no big deal. Instead, we are able to worry about other things like: going to work, doing chores, meeting friends, finishing those damn chores, buying a house, finding an excuse for not doing those god damn chores.
But we are only able to have all of these problems because survival is that easy for us, which begs the question: why is survival so easy nowadays? Well, it’s that easy because you just need a little bit of money to make all the daily threats to your life, such as starvation, hypothermia, exploding bladders and other things, go away. I guess that’s one point for capitalism.
The problem with capitalism, however, is that most people who understand how to obtain money, misunderstand its purpose. They believe money has innate value and, therefore, it’s good to have it, but that’s nonsense.
Money is a tool to help us survive and do things in an organised way.
I mean, it’s rather hard to believe that money was invented so that we could make a big pile of it. That’s like inventing yarn, just to make the biggest ball of yarn ever.
This is not very useful
But make no mistake: it’s not money that makes survival easy. It’s technology, science and human development that made it possible to exchange money for survivability. We came up with agriculture so that just a few people can produce enough food for everyone, allowing others not to concern themselves with food procurement anymore. Basically, we got too lazy to get food from the forest. This brings me, not to the forest, but to the next point on my list of things that make us get up in the morning and continue our lives, and thereby keep developing humanity as a whole: we want to be lazy.
I know what you’re thinking, because I am thinking it right now and am hoping that the irony is obvious enough: getting up in the morning and doing stuff is lazy? Yes, because if we wouldn’t do what we have to do, or what we feel like we have to do, life would become a lot harder and we wouldn’t be able to be lazy anymore. So we are making sure that we can be lazy later. Being lazy basically means following the path of least resistance, which is a path that leads to yet more work that needs to be done. It’s like nature has a sense of humour, a sarcastic one. But can nature even have a sense of humour? What is nature and how does it work anyway?
These questions bring me to the last item on my list of things that make humans do what they do: the need to understand what the hell is going on. The evidence: when I read questions like “Why?”, and “Why do you do what you do?”, I get a slightly uncomfortable tingling feeling just above my stomach, which tells me that this is important to know, yet there is absolutely no answer in sight. I believe that this is why science was invented, and also why religion was invented. People want to know how the world works so desperately that they come up with their own holy stories, scientific theories or blog posts to try to make sense of it all.
Coming up with stuff to describe reality is great, but what needs to be done subsequently is to compare invention to reality and see whether they match. In order to do that let’s summarise the three essential points that make humans develop themselves (made up by me):
2. Be lazy
3. What is going on?
If this is a good theory about why life develops, we need to make some predictions and see if we can observe them in our environment. Where would we end up if we tried to extrapolate these three items very far into the future? Firstly, we need to take care of our survival, which just means that death needs to become a non-issue. Since living things are nothing but extremely complicated processes destined to end, we simply need to remove the ending part (spoiler alert: the part where we die). Without going into detail about how or if that may actually be possible [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_immortality], let’s just assume it is possible and happens at some point. Having unshackled ourselves from mortality we become infinitely perpetuating processes. However, in order to keep a process running, regardless of its ending, energy needs to be expended, or in other terms: converted from free energy to waste energy. Free energy for example is sunlight shining on our pretty blue planet, while waste energy is the infrared radiation that earth emits back into space after the sunlight was somehow used or converted by processes here on earth. The free and usable energy around us will, at some point in time, be spent and the process of life stopped. We don’t want that. Therefore, we need to make sure that we keep going as long as possible, which leads us to expending as little energy as possible and to the second point on my list: being lazy. Of course being lazy means expending the least amount of energy, to reduce the amount of free energy being converted to waste energy.
Fundamentally, we are trying to stop entropy from increasing. So the next time you want to be lazy for a while, just tell people you are minimising the derivative of entropy. That should shut them up. Ok, so up untill now, my theory predicts that we will become immortal couch potatoes in the future, lovely.
Let’s move on to the final point on the list: What is going on?
Clearly, I would like to know what is going on, that’s why I am coming up with my own theory about why things are going on at all. This urge might stay that way, even after the most intelligent life forms transformed themselves into inert immortal hunks. Why hunks? Because they suffer very little abrasion from the environment. Personally, as an immortal hunk that has learned everything there is to learn about its surroundings, would like to travel the universe. See new interesting places and keep expanding my understanding until I finally find out what the meaning of life is. Therefore, my prediction for intelligent life is as follows: at some point, it will develop into inert masses flying through space that just try to understand why they are floating through space in the first place.
Clearly, humans are not inert masses cruising through space. Yet.
But what if we are not alone in the universe? What if there are other planets where intelligent life already formed many millions of years before us? Note that there are a hundred billion stars in our galaxy and a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Plus, the universe is around 14 billion years old, while earth is only about 4,5 billion years old. I would agree with Enrico Fermi [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_Fermi, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi-Paradoxon] that the chance of at least one other planet with conditions hospitable to life should be pretty high. Maybe somewhere else life has already developed to its final form and is now flying through the universe observing things. Is it be possible that aliens are just meteorites flying through space at improbable speeds like this one found by NASA in 2017?
NASA found an object clearly coming from outside our solar system flying by earth and the sun and then leaving our solar system again. Its origins are unknown, while its strange tumbling and acceleration behaviour have no definitive explanation. Yes, you read that right: acceleration behaviour!
A seemingly dead rigid body in space accelerates somehow.
If this is not enough evidence for you to verify my theory, good! You are using your sceptical scientific mind to make sense of what you see. Keep that attitude with you the next time you read the news.