Imagine you wake up one morning to a phone call, you’ve won a million dollars in the weekly lotto draw, but you don’t remember entering. >>
What are the chances you would win such a competition? Well, since the lottery has been running for 10 years, your country has a population of, let's say 10 million people, all of the money each week is allotted to the winner and no one can win twice, you have a 1 / 5000 chance of having won it by now. Not great odds. However, from the perspective of everyone who is aware of the lottery (the 2000 winners so far), the chances of winning are 100%.
We have no idea how many entries we’ve had in the cosmic lottery, but we know that all the other entries that did not win the prize of consciousness are not aware they haven’t won. The fact that we live in a universe where there exist beings that perceive the universe, is actually unremarkable, on the contrary it is inescapable. If there were to be other possible universes that didn’t contain agents capable of perception, they would never be perceived.
This idea is known in philosophy as the Weak Anthropic Principle which is a materialist position against the teleological argument from fine tuning, and was the subject of the above painting I Believe the Fish and Human Can Co-Exist Peacefully.
Now, I’m no physicist… but bear with me, we all have to make sense things and this is my attempt to. The way I see it (began every blowhard statement ever made) the universe itself may be inevitable. If you look at the way particles can interact, they can either pull or push other particles - this is all they can do. But apply this en masse to a field of points, even completely randomly, and you will create patterns - surprisingly lifelike patterns that will remind you of gravitational bodies, atoms, even life forms.
With no design it seems there may be consistent patterns that are inescapable. This is an idea I have explored in simulation.
If you would like to dive deeper into what this all means in my mind, listen below... or you can read (a lot) more at GRAVITON on itch.io
MENTIONS & FURTHER READING
My memories begin with a recurring dream, before any sense of the physical world, an abstract space in which I am very small, a shiny blue marble, vulnerable, easily consumed. >>
Elements of this dream would be triggered by events in my early childhood, bringing with it the immediate terror it had originally evoked. Strangely it was not triggered by imagery but by voices, the slightly too slow voice of a computer game character, or a resonant line in a film, I would have to stop the voice, it worried me, as if it was on the inside speaking and yet foreign and unfriendly. But now the story I tell of the dream is merely me grasping at a handful of images, memories of poor descriptions I gave myself and my parents in my early childhood. Sometimes I wish I could feel that fear again and measure myself against it.
Now is probably a good time to start explaining myself - Why does this page exist? Who am I? What's with all the pictures? What does it all mean?
If only it were that simple. To tell the truth, I'm not sure what this page is. It is a letter to the world, an artist's diary and an experiment in cross-pollinating of ideas. I'm discovering what it is as we go along, but the fulcrum upon which all of this is levered is the non-zero-sum game.
In Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival”, Louise Banks is asked by her daughter Hannah for a “more sciencey term” for a “win win" situation. >>
I turn, readying my I called it look... no response from Natalie.
The non-zero-sum game is central to Game Theory and is a personal fascination. This site is not a primer on non-zero-sum games or game theory, but a personal exploration that ducks in and out of these subjects. The non-zero-sum game underpins much of my thinking and creativity and this psuedo-blog will be made up of essays, games, artwork and video - one person's attempt to understand the nature of existence.
A non-linear interactive essay and a discussion I had with some mates about it...
A FINITE DISCUSSION OF A PERPETUAL RANT: AKA PINKY ONLY
I have many short memories in Turangi; putting a mandarin net over my head and telling dad I wanted to be a burglar when I grow up >>
"Rock, Paper, Scissors" always felt like a game of chance to me (or more a game of measured cheating) but the underlying circular value system, every piece being equally important appealed to me. >>
LOCKWISE combines this circular value system with a maze game. Simply swap shapes to create new paths...
Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock
Circles eat triangles, triangles eat squares, squares eat circles
HOW IS LOCKWISE NON-ZERO-SUM?
While this is one of the more gamey games here, it's also an experiment in taking a chance-based game "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with a zero-sum mechanic (winner/loser or draw) and making a non-zero-sum (puzzle-based) meta-game from it. It is through exchanges between the pieces that the game is won.
Our evolutionary hardwiring is not easily decoded, it is embedded in myriad mechanisms and behaviour modifiers. At the core of these are sensation and its poles pleasure and pain. Pain tells us to avoid the behaviour, pleasure to seek it - these experiences are inescapably value-laden. They are nature’s way of creating a should from a fact of biology - an ought from an is. I would posit that all our values are derived from the spectrum of these inescapably value-laden experiences.