The Third Kind

Lets consider a thought experiment : Suppose if you throw a casual question to a scientist as to how many types of realities are there, depending on the probability of he being not a theoretical quantum physicist who can convincingly argue about parallel worlds of dead and alive cats , he would blurt out the answer that there is only one type of objective reality which is based upon the empirical enquiry we have been doing as a progressive race for some past 70,000 years. The trees, stars, dogs, mountains, extra cheese big mac, North Korean nuclear clad ballistic missiles ( well can’t be too sure of the last one, but lets just give it to Kim Jong-un for the sake of argument. He has given us far too many memes on 9gag and imgur)- what exists for me and you and everyone. Fair enough. But suppose, just at that moment he gets a call from his wife who tells him that she is leaving him to find her own eluded space and she is going on a self discovery meditation slash yoga quasi hippie camp on the beach town of Samui Island. And for the record she is not taking their annoying kid of 2yrs along.

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Koh Samui Island fun

Then our super savvy and objective triple phd scientist goes through the inevitable 5 stages of grief of denial(“no this is some prank call from local radio morning show”), anger (“how can she leave an important intellectual cog in a big scientific machine”), bargaining(“ at least take the kid along”), depression(“where is my prozac”) and acceptance(“It happened for good now I can give that app Ohlala a spin”). Though it won’t be an incredibly optimum time to ask another question to him but for the greater good of science and humanity you go ahead and ask him ‘ what about your current flush of feelings you are experiencing at this moment. These are extremely real I can very well see that. But I don’t feel them right now. How is this objective. Isn’t this form of reality- very real yet at the same time subjective’. Our scientist being a true scientist at heart, in context of newly found ( rather experienced) empirical evidence of subjective reality does the right thing and Nods in affirmative.

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You can Kimi bwoy , you can

But these two classifications don’t encapsulate the entirety of reality which exists in the continuum of time and space. I agree the big cheese mac is real and salivating desire of shoving it up in your mouth as soon as possible with its melted cheese dripping from your mouth and clumsy tiny hands, is also very real. But what about the money you paid to the cashier. You pressed few buttons on your handheld rectangular device and beep. The cashier gets a irritating beep voice on his electronic POS. He fakes a smile as he politely gestures you to kindly clear the fucking side for the next customer in line. You paid money and got a burger. But the reality (pun intended) is that money isn’t real. Its is not objective- a scientific race from alien planet can’t prove it is real like the burger you are eating, it is not subjective like anger or lust. This brings us to the reality of third kind — the intersubjective reality. It exists only if large enough set of people agree to agree upon it and believe in its fundamental existence. A web of intricate stories we tell to lot of people till the time it becomes — well, Real. Religion, Capitalism, Apple, ISIS, Politics, Sports, Existentialism, Economics, Law, Countries, democracy, Stock Market etc. All of them are real only till the point where lot of people are agreeing to it and they loose their meaning and fall like a house of cards in dylanic blowing winds when the number of believers fall below the critical threshold.

Layers of abstractions (stories which have been spun out by assuming the underneath story to be true) have added up to such a level in some cases of these inter subjective realities that it has become very difficult for an average person to peel off the epidermal skins to reach the underlying kernel of truth. For example derivatives is another layer of abstraction built upon the underlying abstraction of money. But commonly accepted opinion is that there is no capacity or need to do that. Why would a developer building a web app with open-source web framework using some high level scripting language care about how does his code compile to low level language which in turn compile to binary and how the underlying machine located in far off Arizona data centre computes it or why would citizen living his happy oblivious life stop to reflect upon the evolution of digital mass media and corresponding propaganda pushed down his gullible brain in form of careful crafted fake and biased reporting of everyday events. We are far beyond those levels of abstraction and after all so many people think it is true, then it should be real.

Well I think it would be great to just take a step back and critically examine/marvel at the evolution of collective narrative that we as a society have undergone, because sometimes deciding red or blue pill is not deterministic enough.

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Going down the magical rabbit hole

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