I was waxing philosophical about how I would describe what I am in the universe, and I decided to share some science news too.
Turns out the earth’s song sounds like almost exactly like whalesong, except made of radio waves that oscillate at acoustic frequencies. Chorus emissions are thought to be one of the most important waves that make up the outer radiation belt, and could be responsible for high energy electrons that can damage spacecraft or astronauts. A chorus wave can catch an already-high-energy electron and accelerate it to deadly velocities, maybe.
Today, I realize that I am a vast array of systematized kinetic, chemical, electrical reactions not only sustaining itself, but moving itself around through other arrays, and communicating among parts of itself. My cells communicate with one another. My brain somehow generates a location for my sensory data to come together in one aware place. I am like a robot with a great camera, chemical nose and saliva-soluted chemical tongue, microphone, tactile sensors, an internal model of how it moves, a desire to be with other robots, a desire to maintain itself, and a desire to solve problems, obviously not an exhaustive list – those are nowhere near the functions a robot would need to be a human, but let’s just assume there is a finite number of others. My cells in turn are like robots, doing their cell jobs, excreting things, eating things, moving around, reproducing… This is all of us. This is how mind-blowingly awesome every day is for all of us.
I am acid-base reactions, I am oxidation-reduction reactions. I am some varying large number of electrons, protons, and neutrons vibrating against each other, and against the surrounding electrons, protons, and neutrons and all kinds of exotic combinations of them. All the elements in me interact in complex ways, twisting to and fro in space, zapping each other with energetic electrons, getting hit with all kinds of shit from space and the chemicals around me. I am both nucleus-of-a-cell-compact coils of DNA and three-foot-long nerve cells.
I live on a planet covered with other, generally self-involved arrays more like (but never, ever exactly like) me, and others less like me. I like when other arrays help me pursue my desires, and I dislike when they do not. I am sometimes frustrated when I mix up people who do not want to help, and people who try to help with a lesson that I fail.
PS: At the end of this video, try not to think that whales are probs communicating with other planets. I dare you. THOSE HUGE BRAINS.
And here’s a debate on the limits of science if you’re interested. I like Dennett, Pigliucci, and think Krauss is definitely involved in the hardcore religion of materialist physics. A logical positivist, as it were.