In a recent conversation with some friends, someone lightheartedly asked the question, “What is a man?”. They were actually quite serious and, in the context, the question could have been phrased, “What qualities should a presently living older white American male endeavor to manifest in his personal behavior?” Well, that was a bit long as a question, and I wanted to clarify it by stating in a general way the vast amount of stuff they probably weren’t interested in discussing. Thus, I gave a short disquisition to define that alternate stuff so we could move onto the kind of problems they were confronting in their daily lives.
If you have been reading my blog posts lately it will become obvious why it was a serious question for me to state to a group of ordinary thoughtful men my ideas that men are a transition species into a robot-based society. That was totally off topic and I was, no doubt, considered as crazy by everyone present; even I considered myself crazy for bringing those ideas up in that venue.
But how big is a man compared to the universe he lives within? I attempted to answer that by finding out how much the Universe weighs. The Wikipedia article gives “the total mass+energy content of the Universe as something close to 3.2*10^54 kg,” and the average human weighs 62 kg. Thus a human individual weighs about one part in 3.2*10^52. Knocking off two zeros is violent but doesn’t affect the general conclusion one iota. We are a tiny portion of the Universe in weight and similarly in the time-space that our Universe fills , which is 4×10^80 m3; divide that by the volume of a person, which is about one-sixteenth of a meter squared or roughly 4.10^81 part of the Universe. And our portion of time is about one-hundred years in 13,799,000,000 ±0.021 billion years. Notice there is a large number of zeros in all of these measurable dimensions.
Most men when they walk a labyrinth don’t ask the stones questions like, “How do you see me?” and project their mind into the stones’ relative position in the Universe and then observe how the stones respond with … “You are so temporary!” I had asked that question and came back to those same stones a week later with the rejoinder that I had a much higher percentage of hydrogen atoms than they, and thus I was in that respect much older than every one of those stones.
If you don’t want to get into a weird headspace don’t talk to labyrinth stones. But all of our insignificance in the grand scheme of things is lost on most men.
The parallel idea, “What is the purpose of life?”, came up, to which it is obvious when considering the question relative to the Universe, that the purpose of life is to consume all available energy to create more copies of your physical self. Well, that may be true but it isn’t what most men are thinking about when they ask the simple question “What is a man?”
Man is a transition species for creating a silicon-based society of robots. … Avoid talking to stones!