A Carnot engine of self-loathing (calypsomatic) wrote,
A Carnot engine of self-loathing

What i am

I've posted this video before

but that time I was just referencing the format.  This time I want to focus on the content:

How it builds a plausibility proof of the type of sequence of events, partially understood according to current physical and chemical models, that created conditions that eventually became life.  How I can see, more clearly than before, the path of my history, an explanation of what I am.  I am billions of years of layers of complexity, of emerging systems from complex rules, each layer amplified as the possible states multiplied, levels of complexity exponating levels of complexity.  And that, which I can not fully comprehend but can see the outlines of, is what is happening now, as I comprehend this.

This video seems to follow comfortably from the previous one; once I accept that molecules with a type of 'behavior' existed, the formation of groups that began to interact with each other seems sensible.  Knowing that molecules of various shapes wiggle around, stick together, move apart; and by the simple tautology that whatever survives, survives —  I can grasp how, if ever some movement of these molecules had the result that that same movement, that same collection of molecules would occur again, then there will be more of those.  And by the time we have DNA chains gathering up in formation, I can see the beginnings of life in all the movement; I begin to feel for the little guys.  It seems possibly analogous to the thought of meeting your creator — you think you have, to a level that you expect of your brain, an understanding of how the world works, where you came from, your place in it.  It firms up your framework, your model of the world, and provides you with an explanation.  It's satisfying.  

Building upon these groups of molecules sufficiently, and somewhere in there you begin to see a cell.  An organized group of molecules that somewhat each have their own roles, so the group moves around as a team.  And that team becomes a single entity:

And the life is so apparent!  The behavior, intelligence of these organisms — their life, their energy, their ferocity!  Whereas the molecules gave the appearance of a branch catching against a fence in the wind, some accidental movement resulting in two structures merging or breaking, these cells have awareness.  They sense something.  That is, a part of the group of molecules that have bound together interact with something that's not part of the group — by being physically close enough to touch, by pressure spreading through the group — until another section reacts to the sense.  And that reaction is generally either: eat* it, or run.  Simple algorithm.  Different collections of groups end up with different implementations of the algorithm — different signs that convince them to run or eat.  And groups that have subgroups that create one physical shape over another — they end up having different properties that make devouring or being devoured harder or easier, under certain conditions.  And if ever there's a strategy that more or less works, if it survives, and makes copies of itself**, then there are more like that.  

And if I was on the edge with groups of molecules, it is here that I am certain — I emphasize with this creature.  I relate to it.  I see it as a result of the same processes that I am, subject to the same conditions and rules, made up of the same materials and substances, facing the same problem of physically existing and contending with the world until your particular group of behaviors is no longer.  And it's not that I anthropomorphize them — I microbiolize myself.  I have caught on to the pattern — further layers of complexity, behaviors from materials that succeed in repeating themselves, developing patterns of activity — and the last few layers from the protozoan to me doesn't seem significant in light of those underneath.  

*Whoa whoa whoa, wait a second... when in there did EATING happen?

** Ok that was more or less covered in the DNA videos but definitely a lot of steps skipped over.

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