God, Coffee, Japanese War Lords
Emergence sums up my take on why I'm sceptical of the existence of a soul.
"According to an emergent perspective, intelligence emerges from the connections between neurons, and from this perspective it is not necessary to propose a "soul" to account for the fact that brains can be intelligent, even though the individual neurons of which they are made are not." Ironically it's the same theory that leads me to believe that someday I might accept some kind of spirituality in my life. "Emergent structures are patterns not created by a single event or rule. There is nothing that commands the system to form a pattern, but instead the interactions of each part to its immediate surroundings causes a complex process which leads to order... What distinguishes a complex system from a merely complicated one is that some behaviours and patterns emerge in complex systems as a result of the patterns of relationship between the elements."
So what about the preceding quote appeals to me? Well, the maddening complexity of the interactions that are abstracted from the relative simplicity of the laws of physics that govern the components of the object in question, the mind in this case. It's a loophole in my argument against dualism. The coffee is wearing off, I guess you could argue that a lack of caffeine lowers my ability to think by an order of magnitude because the components of the brain increase by at least an order of magnitude by virtue of the fact that there may be some truth to the idea behind the butterfly effect. Coffee being the butterfly in this case. I have a good book called the Essence of Chaos I bought a long time ago, interesting read if you're into this stuff.
I saw The Last Samurai last night. It got pretty bad reviews but I liked it. Now I'm not sure if it idealized their way of life but if not, that life seems pretty close to perfect. It's hard to have guilt and no one repent to. I wonder if Japan will ever ease their immigration policies. I'd like to find a job that encourages tellecommuting so I can live in a small village in Japan with a good Internet connection and wise old people to keep me in line.