Anyway, I've decided I'll actually write a journal, since I've decided that rather than take notes on the WHAP chapter she told us to, I'm going to just read it for the quiz tomorrow, and hopefully assume that the notes are due on Thursday.
Because it's kinda confusing. For one, she only sometimes collects the weekly notes, and I'm still not sure if the due date is Monday or Thursday.
I'll assume Thursday...
Anyway, had a swim meet today. It was fine. Bad points- I dropped very little time, I'm not getting faster.
Good points- I saw there a guy named Cole who is one of the fastest swimmers in the state for his age, and is also fucking hot with a picture perfect, I say immaculate ass. Couldn't stop looking at it. And he's also like really really really fast, even though he doesn't look it, cause he looks muscular, certainly, but not like ripped abs like you see in some of the other really fast guys, and he's also a tiny guy.
Gotta love im.
And I dropped a shitload of time in my 500 free, which is classically a race that I'm bad at. And the fact that I felt really good in that one while failing in my usual titan swims suggests to me I might be making a revolution in what I'm good at. Again.
Well, I'm excited about it.
And it's good that I am. I think I need to stop being a fuckass...
I've been drinking way too much, and I am quite officially addicted to caffeine which usually I wouldn't care about but it makes for hell at swim meets cause I'm like going through withdrawal on the weekends usually.
I mean, I could just drink more but then after the initial high I'd fall back down again.
So maybe I'll cut down on the caffeine, maybe I won't.
And the drinking, I'm not sure what to do about it, cause no mistake, it's a whole fucking lot of fun to do and I have a blast, but then the next day I always hate myself and feel guilty and nervous.
Although that usually only happens when I do it for multiple days in a row. Perhaps, I'll cut down to a once in a while kinda thing, and then socially too if possible...
So, I had a thing I've been thinking about for like weeks, and I'll finally write it down now.
What distinguishes life?
And specifically, human life.
I say that because everything we see is made out of all the regular elements, there are what, they've discovered like 118 now? Ununoctium is the last one so far?
And most of what we see is made out of the 81 stable ones. So, how does life happen?
I wonder this cause I've been sitting on the bus before, looking at the back of the head of the guy who usually sits in front of me, a not too shabby blonde guy who strikes me as he could be gay... I dunno, but anyway, I look at his head and I think that if I didn't know better and I didn't see him move I could just think it's just shaggy lump of something, completely undistinguished from anything else, there on the bus seat.
But I know it isn't. Below that gorgeous blonde hair there is probably the single most complicated thing we know of, a human brain, that is always thinking, doing more complicated things than we can imagine.
And I remember thinking that's so remarkable that this lump of matter is so completely distinguished and more complicated and more wonderful than that lump of matter, that I could understand how people could think it necessary to have a certain something-else, a divinity of some kind, a soul perhaps, that is what distinguishes it.
It's so much more wonderful, certainly it can't be made out of the same things?
But, I still disagree, cause as Carl Sagan once said "The beauty of a living things is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together".
Because, the distinction between life and non-life is blurred.
First, there's everything non-living.
Then there's little buggers called prions and viroids. Prions are protein diseases responsible for Mad Cow disease, and they have no genetic information whatsoever. Then there's viroids, little strands of RNA that infect plants. The smallest one found was one that was only 220 nucleobases. That's pretty fuckin tiny. But viroids and prions aren't living things, right? They can't reproduce on their own, they need host cells to do it in. But they're made of the same things that living things are, they use the exact same little molecules.
Then there's viruses, which we all know of. But they aren't cells. They're just genetic information surrounded in protein coats that are very good at hijacking cells. So, they're not alive, either. They also need other cells to reproduce in.
Then we get to life, the simplest prokaryotic cells. The jump from viruses to simple prokaryotic cells is not huge. They have genetic information just like viruses do, and they have proteins just like viruses.
The only difference is they have a few more chemicals floating around, and they have more proteins than viruses. There are viruses that have 6 genes in them. The simplest prokaryotes we know of have over 200. But that ain't a big jump, it's still the same thing, just a little more.
And then there's eukaryotic cells, which this time have so-called "organelles", or little cell organs, and crucially, nuclei. This isn't a big jump from prokaryotes either, still the same idea, still life, just more complicated, a few more squishy parts.
And then from eukaryotes to simple invertebrates. Again, the jump isn't huge. Some simple organisms have cells only in the hundreds.
Just a few more cells than previously.
Then there's more and more complex invertebrates, and then vertebrates, then there's plants and animals and all sorts of shit, and then from animals springs the phylum chordata, the pinnacle of the animal kingdom, animals with nerve chords. Then from there to class mammalia, home of the mighty mammals, and order primates, which we share with our monkey friends, and then us, the last of our family hominidae, and then our genus homo and of course our species sapien, subspecies sapiens.
So, all we are is a massive amount of small steps above regular matter.
We're obviously different, but where to put that difference gets lost in the middle, at least for me, to distinguish life from matter.
And so, I wonder how we think and do all the human things we do? Our reality is not based in reality, we place more importance in things we create, economics, politics, social placement. The incredible complexity of the things we do isn't easily reduced to chemical equations of neurochemicals squirting about.
But, I think, it can be. It's just, ironically, even though it's incredibly complicated and gives us previously unheard of powers of knowledge and power, it made us so complicated we can't ever actually understand ourselves.
And that usually leads me to the question of free will. I don't know if it exists or not. Surely, people can't be blamed for their actions if all they are is incredibly complicated chemical reactions? Well, but then I think that also our punishing of them is then also predetermined.
To put it in a better way, uhh, think from the Big Bang, if you had say, an incredibly powerful quantum computer that did it's calculations in another dimension and time, therefore having them done instantly, if you could know the exact location and velocity of every single particle in the universe from the instant of the Big Bang to a .00000000001 of a second afterwards, which I know you can't ever know a particles exact velocity and location at the same time, due to some principle or another, I forget, but if you could, could you chart the movements of those particles for billions of years, then being able to tell everything that ever happened, and then everything that ever will happen?
Would you really be able to say, even predict your predicting of it all?
Would you be able to understand every single minutia inside every single person's mind, would you be able to find out how Greek Fire was made, who the creator of the Voynich manuscript is and what it means, what dark matter is?
But that's all unimportant to what I really want to know, is could you predict what everyone has ever done or thought, and everything anyone else ever will do or think?
That would get rid of Free Will as a concept forever.
I just don't know about Free Will, I mean, I feel pretty free right now, but is that just the chemicals talking? I feel like I'm a person, not just a collection of cells and chemicals reacting, but is that those cells and chemicals talking?