Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sometimes, There Isn't Hope

Life seems to be getting pretty crappy these days.  I find it hard to have a reason to get out of bed.  Things only seem to get worse after I do.  And then, later, after a day full of hopelessness, pain, and misery, the only sure winner is sleeping for a while.  It's a blessed time wherein you're temporarily removed from all of your suffering.  Yes, it might be supplanted by a terrifying nightmare, but at least that's a different horror than what you've gotten used to seeing.  When you wake up though, it's back to the same damned schedule of ruin and angst that you left behind the hours before.  Time to do it all again.  The same misery, over and over again. 

Of course, if you're insomniac like me, this tantalizing escape may even be out of hand's grasp, though frustratingly close at times.

Religion would say "there is a reason for everything".   But I don't think that's true.  Certainly there is an cause for every effect;  though we may not be able to know exactly what's going on at all times during or after, I find calm in the belief that there must rules of nature that describe, deterministically, how everything will work itself out.   It gives me a tiny modicum of hope.  There are days where that's all I have to go on.

Object X hits object Y a particular way, and there is a physical rule which can describe the outcome, every time it might happen that precise way.  That rules exist, whether we understand them or not, is important to me.   There must be order;  if all this is random then I don't really find that funny at all.

What, was God drunk and decided to have a hoot n' holler  and make "random outcome universe", knowing full well his creations would try to figure it out, in abject futility, until it was over?  Sadist.

But why?  Why?  Demand a reason for the rules of behavior -- that implies some kind of justification of why it is that way.  Why, indeed.  Well why not.   It has to be some way, so why not how it is?  Just as long as the rule is the same tomorrow as it was 3 million years ago, I'm fine with that.  Maybe it can't work any other way.   I think the actual answer for "why" is probably way above any of our paygrades.   Enter God, I suppose.

We can't tell too well what's going on at the scale of the very, very small ... the muons and neutrinos and other hadrons bouncing about in that level of the universe.  Yes, this is a familiar feeling.  We can barely guess as what the rules really are, since we can't just reach in there and tinker with it at will.  We spend bazillions building ever more elaborate devices (LHC) to smash things apart, in hope to glean some further insight, however slight, in to the mysterious and unknown rules here.  In the end, well, we seem condemned to guess at it for all of eternity.   How depressing is that thought.

Perhaps we'll figure it out one day, possibly by the time all those monkeys with typewriters have finished their  Shakespearean sonnets, I suppose.

And so I look at my life, and I see that I don't understand the rules which are guiding it.  They must be there, and if only I knew them, I think I could get a handle on the course of things.  Change it for the better, or know to promptly give up -- that there is in fact no solution possible.   But here I sit, and know not do I whether there is an answer or oblivion.  It's hard to forge ahead with that realization firmly in mind.

Our laws of thermodynamics tell us that, well, it's all going to end badly, eventually.  There's no reason to hope otherwise (yet discovered).  Recycle all the aluminum and plastic you want, it's a lost cause.  The sun will burn out and explode.  The universe must ultimately come to a dark, motionless, and totally frozen state of thermal equilibrium.  Then's it's over, forever.

So if I put on a happy face tomorrow morning, and charge out of the bed with lofty and prodigious goals in mind, well who am I kidding?  Perhaps this is the day the Al Qaeda nuke goes off, and we're about to have chaos.  Perhaps it's not going to be a shitty day, and we'll squeak by for a little longer.  It's going to end badly eventually, so is it really worth the effort to hope for any better?

I guess not.