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Systems and Reality

With what granularity are we looking at the world around us? Nature is emergent, which means that smaller patterns repeat to form larger patterns, which in turn repeat to form even larger patterns. It applies for everything. The granularity with which we view the world is important because it affects our today’s choices and tomorrow’s possibilities. 

The granularity decides how we view the world and it can be determined by looking at the choices we have made so far and what consistent patterns they follow. 

Data reveals patterns and behavior. In fact, that is the only thing it is good for. It is used for predicting behavior. Because it is hard for a majority of people to change their behaviors, the patterns that data shows will most probably hold good. And as a side effect, data can be used to create a system that will keep us addicted to our existing behavioral patterns. Such a system provides the entertainment and distraction that majority of us need to keep us out of boredom. 

Like the earth orbiting steadily at a pace where its centripetal force balances gravitational force from the sun, we will be stuck in an orbit defined by our granularity of the world we see plus the systems under whose influence we are. That is our comfort zone. We see things the way it is shown to us, because even the granularity we view the world with, is constantly changing by the systems who hold the pull over us. The systems are smart. They also give the majority of us a tiny bit of intellectual stimulation, just enough to gratify without creating the yearning for something more grand than what we do,  a calling of some sort, which is the critical force that will allow us to break out of the orbit. Such a system is by nature designed to keep us in orbit.

I am not advocating for breaking out of the orbit but just be aware of it. To be aware of the choices we make, and the influences of the systems around us designed to keep us in orbit. Because the systems that can keep us in orbit, a.k.a., distracted, by nature are designed to influence our lives.  

And if need to snap out of the orbit, it takes a force greater than the gravitational pull that is currently balancing our centripetal force. So, logically, one needs to apply an additional force to break out this. The force should be comprised of two parts. The first is a force greater than the pull of the artificial systems that have become integral to our lives and two, knowledge of a different system, whose pull is far greater than the pull of the system we are currently under. 

Assuming we snap out of the current orbit and are drawn into a new one, what happens then? I feel that the pattern will repeat.

We are under a different system. It will influence our perspectives. But, nevertheless the same.

In a world of systems layered on top of one another, how can any person differentiate reality from fiction? What is reality anyway? And does the world hold all the realities in it and if so, are there paths still open to these? Can there be a system that is designed to preserve reality, as snapshots of time? And, can those snapshots function independently without the influence of a ‘new’ external system? In such a case, would such a world evolve differently, perhaps slower or naturally, without a new catalyst to accelerate its growth?

Based on the granularity we see, what we perceive as reality would be different. Let’s define the fundamental unit of (perceived) reality as what we consider normal. It’s shaky ground but is least disrupting to our beliefs. But it’s shaky ground because what we consider normal will change. But the trick there is for the change to happen slowly with enough cues and signals that slowly work around the edges of our perception. It is like a balloon where every puff of air expands the scope of what is contained inside making the new information part of the reality until only the new information remains and takes over. Like survival of the fittest. The systems around us are designed to transition us or even migrate us, without breaking our sanity.

We are under the influence of such systems everyday.

Then, a society that wants to be free of influence from such systems, needs to look beyond the most obvious systems. The granularity at which you see things should be beyond the obvious. We cannot go too microscopic because all we might be doing is looking beyond in time, and what is to say that we won’t arrive at the same spot we are today. We can go really macroscopic, even at the level of conscious. But that level of abstract thinking is not something we are good at. As a race, we thrive on something tangible to grip and feel at. And from the abstract thinking, we have to invariably come to a place that is still a system. It maybe a different one, but will still be one.