Chuck Carroll

Politics Is Too Small

Published: 2021-03-22

I started writing this near the elections of 2020 when everyone was fixated on who was going to be the next president.

There's an infinite number of things that seem more important and interesting than discussing national politics. Let's ignore the fact that national politics will have almost zero impact on the average person. Why some people fixate on national politics rather than the local politics which will much more likely impact their lives is beyond me. The news cycle that shares this info is more entertainment (infotainment) than it is actual information of substance. There's so much more to spend your mental energy pondering!

For example we can ponder that if the universe is infinite in size, that means patterns will repeat in an infinite system. If that's the case, then there are both similar and identical versions of you and I doing the exact same thing we're doing right now. Or there may be a version of you out there that's ever so slightly different (for example you ate eggs for breakfast instead of oatmeal). Or there could be more extreme differences like you could be a cannibal! (or maybe you already are, I dunno).

Have you ever heard of a Boltzmann brain? Trillions of years in the future after the inevitable heat death of the universe, the universe will spend the vast majority of eternity in a featureless state. Over enough eons, eventually a very rare thermal fluctuation will occur where atoms bounce off each other in exactly such a way to spontaneously yet briefly form a functioning human brain in the void that's complete with false memory of having existed in our universe. Am I (or you) a Boltzmann brain?

Or what about free will? Do we live in a completely random universe that cannot be predicted? Do we live in a completely mechanistic and deterministic universe, but we as humans only think we have free will, but we're really just deluding ourselves and the idea of "free will" is just a story we tell ourselves? Do we live in a completely random universe that cannot be predicted? Like when you meditate and really pay attention to your own awareness you'll notice that thoughts actually appear rather than created by "you". Where did they come from? Fuck if I know, but "I" sure didn't produce them. Really makes you wonder who's driving this thing.

How about time. Does time exist outside of the mind? We can certainly observe and therefore measure the passage of time, but that observation is made through the lens of consciousness, which itself can only exist within time. Maybe at this point you get where I'm coming from.

Anyways, there is so much more mind-fucking topics to spend time pondering than waste so much emotional energy reading the news, doom-scrolling, or thinking about politics. I'm not saying that these issues don't matter, but it's important to put our phones down and touch grass every once in a while.

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