Tommy said, You SOB. I'm supposed to be studying Accounting. I read this 4 times, and am not going to pretend I got all of it....
Lots of questions, sorry.
I think you are trying to confuse yourself more than you need to (by reading something written by a lunatic..me).
>> "Particles may have certain properties which allow them to maintain existence >>(exclusion principles, quantum levels, spin, etc), and thus,
>> are useful to themselves as opposed to randomly decaying under the rule of >>entropy."
These particles are the essence of existence? Why would we perceive them? How does this relate to consciousness? Or, are these particles consciousness, and people are merely vessels that only perceive daily life on our dust collection planet w/in a tiny spectrum of light?
Start with this premise: Mathematical formulas cannot produce a random number.
Ergo, no amount of mathematics will tell us where anything came from that does not have some type of order.
The substance of the universe is not a vacuum, but a random quantum 'foam' of particles appearing and disappearing.
If one happens to pop into existence that is stable (i.e. useful to itself), then the existence of that bit of order will influence other bits of order to be stable also. From that order comes more order See Chaos Theory. Off the cuff, I would say these are the quarks, since they are least stable of fundamental particles, and mostly, they need other quarks to remain in existence.
It relates to consciousness almost not at all. That relationship is transferred all of the way up the chain of increasing order through evolved usefulness of living things, which comes after the evolved usefulness of matter itself. I think consciousness is an advanced state of useful memory tricks. It was useful to extend the physical senses by remembering that tigers hide in shadowy places, so remembering to walk around those places on the way to the water hole was an evolutionary advantage. The increasing complexity caused by DNA's affinity for glomming on more molecules led us to things like teaching children to avoid those places BEFORE they ever see a tiger, and then, Believing in the power of tigers to suddenly appear out of darkness, and then imagining the shape of a tiger in the patterns in the sky and following that shape to find other water holes. Communication glitches let people to believe that tigers created water holes, etc.
Existence cannot negate randomness, but it can harvest it and affect the overall randomness in a particular space, the harvesting of randomness to maintain matter creates a slight influx of energy/particles which I believe may be what is called "gravity". Outside of the local universe, the effect is minimal, and randomness is still random. Whether or not a Big Bang occurred and created a 'bubble' of some type would be a good question to ask, and whether there were multiple little bangs instead of one big one. The treatment of a purely random background as "ether" puts a different spin on the Hubble constant and whether the red shift of stars is from a Doppler effect or a slowing over distance and time due to an interaction with the ether.
Why would we build machines that can translate other spectra for us to see?
See answer below about space travel, but add a dose of curiosity.
Then, you said,
Isn't the TRANSITION of decay to existence the "net useful" part?In other words, isn't it at the tipping point of decay when all the action happens (destabilization, dessication, de-everything)?
>>("If the increasing complexity is greater than the action of random decay, the net >>result is a continued existence of a thing.")
Isn't our transition the useful part -- for individuals AND whole species w/in the bell curve?
The transition is where the usefulness is determined in the moment as living things convert either decay or randomness into living matter. That does not determine the total sum of net usefulness, however. Net usefulness (or net FUTURE usefulness) is the ratio between the total usefulness of the individual (including all offspring and influences over( let's say 6 sigma on the curve for fun)the period after death until their influence is lost in the noise...MINUS the total consumption that they caused. In other words, most species are 'measured' by their continued existence in a stable environment, and individuals long after they are dead. If the species is consuming their environment, they are net consumptive, and will eventually be extinct. Everything gets an equal chance to TRY to live, nothing is granted the RIGHT to live, except within the physically limited human concept of a society, where the rules are based on the social contract.
In this regard, were we sort of meant to find, extract, and burn all the carbon pockets, trash the planet, then act as interplanetary spores to provide the randomness effect on other dust collections?
Here's where the rubber meets the bottom of the prisoner's feet: There is no meaning to it. We simply came into existence as another living species, with the same opportunities to consume and exist (alongside many other hominid types at the time). The difference with homo sapiens lies in their illusion of everything having been caused by some intention, which is simply a projection of human beliefs onto the natural world. This is the parasitic part of Intention: it convinces us of two things: first, that the things we do were intended, and second, that things done not by us must have been intended also. Rarely is the first as true as we believe, and even more rare is the second. The more we think, the more we think we have intentions and the more 'meaning' we find in everything, which leads to our mistaken belief that the smarter we are, the less we can be fooled.
I have to separate the following into two questions:
If not, then why do humans have a persistent archetypal fantasy to fly -- that lead us all the way to outer space?
I think this is simply the desire to accumulate 'more'...a natural tendency of all animals. The difference is that humans managed to eliminate their predators and diseases, and also find much more energy than we could handle wisely.
-- wasn't this part of the motivator of internal combustion and not electric motors, knowing that carbon held more potential energy (rooted archetypically -- not so randomly)?
Tough part (answering with my typical Bullshit): yes and no. The major motivator to internal combustion was marketing and profit. People were more conservative by nature in those days, and the electrics were quiet, limited to the elite by expense, and more reliable. The hand crank starter kept women from the IC engine cars until the electric starter was invented. By then, Freudian marketing techniques were employed to make quick work of the "manliness" of noisy, smoky engines and the expanding population and cities demanded growth of manufacturing, jobs, and speed in general (time is money). Ford opened up the roads to the common folks who made enough money selling eggs to buy a car, and the next thing you know, there's a tractor in every pot field and a chicken in every Senate seat. Pollution wasn't even considered hazardous until gasoline leaking into sewers started blowing manhole covers over the tops of buildings. I don't have a good answer for this, actually. Mostly, that there wasn't so much "intention" to adopting gasoline as there was immediate profits to be made.
Is this our role?
To consume? Short answer, "yes". Long answer: "Yes", "probably" , and "maybe not".
"Yes", we are exactly as every other living thing: consumers of available resources producing something useful; either in our existence, our help propagating life, or production of waste products which feed something else that supports the environment we need to eat (sometimes consumption is actually a useful action in proper perspective..cleanup and sustenance).
"Probably"..Based on current example, the role of humans is exactly as you stated: to consume everything we can get our hands on, increasing exponentially until we destroy ourselves and most, if not all, living things on the planet.
"Maybe not", (there are some big IFs in this): Almost every fiber of our System of systems has been created with feedback mechanisms to modulate consumption. The problem is that those feedback mechanisms have a plus sign instead of a negative sign (incentives vs. sales taxes, production quotas instead of production limits, lower interest rates instead of higher, tax code "dependent" deductions instead of charges). Also, the exponential growth rate is problematic at first glance because we don't see how it can continue. That's the beauty of it: it can't, and so it won't. The maybe comes into whether or not humans will recognize the real danger as a threat (to profits?), reverse the signs of their feedback mechanisms, and manage to Be the Potential that they possess: protecting Earth from asteroids while making our actions intentionally useful to the future, rather than stealing from it.
In the case of our perceptions, the exponential rate is better than a linear slope because it looks more like we are going to hit a wall. Some people are trying to do something about it now, all over the world, so there's some chance of at least saving the realization of what happens for the record.
Okay, one more:
Is our perception of life merely a perception precisely like our light spectrum sensitive eyes?
No, Keanu. That's just dumb. You can do better than fall for that.
MEANING is an illusion: LIFE is absolutely amazing when we drop the pretense bullshit that every Ted, Dick, and Pope try to shove down our throats and indoctrinate everyone as babies with belief in nonsensical crap (Good, God, Gurus). A purely random universe still allows things like energy-based beings, psychic connections, alien races, planets made of chocolate, etc. An anthropocentric universe where humans are "created" to live on one Garden of Eden and drive Escalades with aluminum rims on giraffe hunts is bizarro world.
We are here, right now. The lack of "meaning" means that we have one shot at a limited life to be useful beyond our imagination and contribute to the future of everything. If that means picking up a shovel and planting a tree, perhaps that tree will learn to communicate with some tree on Betelgeuse. We don't know. The possibilities of all of this trivial circle jerking we call a life are endless, and the more we get caught in the quicksand of marketing and somnambulance, the more we cut ourselves off from those possibilities.
Do be do be do.
That's what life is.
When we drop the mystical pretenses, and embrace the chemical influences that produce Love, Hate, Anger, Hunger: isn't that more amazing when we think it just developed day after day after day, species after species after species, eons and eons and eons....until right now..when we can reach out and touch a child and feel the jolt of pleasure from it and appreciate those billions of years of work to give us this moment and tell someone about it over thousands of miles?...
....and then we want to go out and slap some dumbass with loud pipes and a Cheney/Bush sticker on his Harley.
Good and Bad: there is no more 'meaning' to the chrome on his gas tank than to the pleasure of our child's touch...but one is useful to the future of everything and one is just Blind Faith consumption. Kinda makes you want to be an anarchist, doesn't it? The problem with liberals is that they are the ones who should be using the death penalty for assholes and defending the values of the future, instead of protest signs and sit-ins.