Monday, January 1, 2018

Rationality is Scientific and a Little Philosophical

Let us take the statement the grass is greener on the other side. If the grass is “greener” on the other side, what would a rational human do, he would try to get to the other side. The rational human being in such a situation would obviously want some of that “green” grass. This is a philosophical answer, a rational human is expected to try and get to the “greener” grass, what has science to do with this, rationality is a philosophical concept.

The paper “Knowledge Economics: Summary and Rationality”, it was argued that the algorithm of information explains everything that exists and that essentially everything comes down to probability. But to see that the grass is greener on the other side and that it is rational to get to the other side where the grass is “greener”, what has this to do with probability, it is a philosophical question, next thing there will be claims that the algorithm of information can explain even death, how can death be a probability when everybody knows death is certain, we will die.

One can argue that when one decides to go to the grass that is greener, but how do they understand that the grass is greener on the other side, they can sense it with their eyes, or some other senses, that is not important here, what is important is they sense that the grass is greener on the other side. One has decided that they will cross to the other side, a decision has been made. Here we see the interplay of big concept of rationality and small concepts that work within. It is a rational decision to get to the other side to survive because one can see that the probability of surviving is greater on the other side. But, are the actions taken to get to the other side rational.

If one gets to the other side, they took rational steps to get to the other side. If one does not get to the other side they took irrational steps to get to the other side, they made irrational choices in chasing a rational outcome. A choice is only irrational if it does not lead to a desired outcome. Thus, for a slave it is rational to desire freedom, the choices they make will determine if their actions are rational, if they become free actions are rational, if they do not become free actions are irrational.

One is in their position in life by chance. Planning increases one’s chances of being where they are, but it remains chance. To become some successful businessmen is called risky for a reason, but to take that risk one must make the decision of becoming a business person. The reason why it is greener on the other side is also by chance, it could be your side that is greener except by chance, even if it seems certain, no, the San in Africa are hunters and gatherers in this day only by chance, it does not matter if they have been doing it for the last 10 000 years. Any time in the last 10 000 years they could have made decisions that would have led to a different path.

There is nothing outside the algorithm of information, not even death. Death is not certain because birth is not certain, you can not die if you are not born, and your birth is itself a massive probability, what if your parents never met, what if your grandfather was killed, what if your greatest grandfather going 300 generations back got a disease and died as a kid. Life is extremely rare in our solar system, though we are made up as everything else in the universe, the electrons, protons, and electrons that make up life are extremely rare, the probability that the electrons, protons, and neutrons that make you up ended on the earth are extremely rare, but it has occurred you start believing it was certain.

So rationality itself can be put on a scale, the irrationality of purchasing a rotten apple and a life and death decision must receive different scaling.

Life is rare and should be enjoyed, that is why we push for liberty. Everybody wants a long good life, life as a slave is no good, it is rational to reject it and fight. True one can argue there is death everywhere, stars die, but life as we know it is rare, it last 100 years on a good run, stars exist for billions of years, an electron could last a trillion years, but that same electron representing breathing life, 100 years, as determined by the algorithm of information, iff, and that is a big iff, a life of such a nature occurs, it will be good if it lasts 100 years, for a long time in human history being 35 years old one was an elder, but they still had the potential to enjoy 100 years.

Simple as it is, nothing can exist outside the laws determined by the algorithm of information, we add philosophy to try and understand the results of this algorithm.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom