Questions from a Philosophy Breakfast, October 1998:

What is progress, and how can one recognize it? Entropy is always increasing ... "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold" ... free energy degrades into heat ... heat inexorably flows from hot to cold ... mountains erode ... valleys fill with debris ... everybody dies someday.

So is "progress" but a brief slowing of the rate of degeneration? Are all the seemingly-positive developments of history illusions, colored by our interpretations and prejudices? (The logic goes: "We're good" + "It had to happen that way, or else we wouldn't be here" --> "Progress") Can accumulated and shared knowledge do anything more than cause a hiccup in the race toward anarchy? If (or when) our planet vanishes, without a trace, has everything been in vain? What's the point of all this? Can we justify our existence, somehow?

Monday, May 08, 2000 at 19:03:45 (EDT) = 2000-05-08

(see ImperfectStorm)


(correlates: JonMathews, InnerPhilosopher, MortalityFunctions, ...)