Bach by the window

It’s been an unusual afternoon of relaxation and reading today. I’m listening to Bach’s concerto for two violins in D minor. The music of violin is especially fitting with the calm afternoon sunlight streaming in through the windows… It sounds as if the light and the instrument were made for each other, sharing some fundamental secret amongst themselves that mortal men are not privy to.

This kind of experience always arouses an intense wave of curiosity over my mind. Just what makes a molecular system react in such a way to certain vibrations of air? Is it complexity? Is it some innate characteristic of my components? Or is it purely dependent on the way the materials are arranged? Is it replicable? If this is a natural phenomenon, who’s to say that another phenomenon of similar nature might be manifesting somewhere else in this universe, on entirely different materials and scales, like that of a whole galaxy? Imagine, the bow of energies striding across the strings of time and space, propagating a subtle echo of the exuberant creations, ringing away toward eternity.

My favorite cup of green tea ice cream is beginning to melt away. I should go now and enjoy my life more.

Sketch-Creativity and origin of creativity

I’ve been listening to Amy Tan’s talk on TED titled ‘Where does Creativity Hide?’

Interesting stuff. I didn’t have enough time to mull over it properly yet, but listening to her gave me a few thoughts on the issue of the origin of creativity, an issue I am very passionate about.

It is relatively simple matter to simulate the process of creativity, I think. Plenty of mathematical constructs and randomly generated ‘events’ linked together has the resemblance of pure creative output, and despite some number of conflicts and arguments for and against such ‘engines of creation’, I do believe that what we do might in essence be not so much different from the simulated behaviors of such random patterns and mechanization.

However, the real problem, at least for me, lies in the issue of the origin of creativity rather than the process of it. Human beings are not machines or algorithms specifically designed to be creative. In fact, human beings as molecular machines might not have been built for anything (and everything, in that sense), for evolution tend to be quite blind in such matters of directionality in nature (there are theories and viewpoints arguing otherwise). I will not even look at the possibility that the wellspring of creativity emerges from some spiritual source, instead approaching the problem from purely materialistic and reproducible viewpoint.

As physio-chemical complex dissipative systems, what drives human beings to create and innovate throughout their duration of activity, i.e. life? What kind of mechanism underlies this strange anomaly emerging from entangled soups contained within chunks of chemicals? Even more, how would we be able to replicate such behavior using less than usual components? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the question of the ages, the true question toward the question of creativity.

This, I believe, is the true crossroad between the arts and the sceinces, the significance of artificial life in science, society, industries, and the zenith where the artificial intelligence becomes simple intelligence.

More to follow.

Twilight bones

Thinking of Olin Levi Warner’s Twilight.

The sky outside my room-size balcony is in the thoughtful shade of blue. The field of trees extending into the horizons are shimmering in the last rays of the sun, already sinking into the other end of the land. I can see thin lining of clouds turning violet just above the tree line.

I love the twilight. This is my favorite time of the day, neither light nor dark, everything feels so calm, and everything feels as if they are thinking. At this time everything seem to regain their true shape, lost and twisted during all the happenings of the day, and will be lost in the opaque obscurity of the night. In this hour, something seem to reach out to my being beyond the veil of the world, scattering strange, indescribable feelings. It’s a feeling that reminds me of all the beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.

In this hour, I feel like I’m truly alive, and the mysteries of the universe brushes silently against my windowsill.

I wonder how the ancestors of human beings felt at times like this. Does the impression of the world surpass the ability to articulate it? Is there some primordial phenomena purely composed of ‘feeling’ without involvement of intellect or consciousness? If so, can we understand the phenomena of the holy moment (anyone remember the Waking Life?) as innate to all complex and cognizant life-like systems? What is a cat thinking when she stares into the deepening twilight? Did my languageless ape ancestor stare into the twilight with a piece of bone in his hand, surrounded by indescribable feeling like I have?

People can teach art and science separately, but that doesn’t mean they reside in different worlds. Someday we will be able to explain beauty to our children without any nonsense.