If you look at the ants you see that they are able to coordinate their actions. They navigate in the uncertainty by sharing some information amongst each other, and they do it by licking another ants’ acid (that’s kinda gross). Ants are able to share an important information that can be used to coordinate their actions so that all of them become better off.
People don’t leak acid for this purpose most of the times. However, the most important exchange of information is still done by exchanging fluids. An exchange of genetic information.
But how do people are able to exchange information and coordinate their actions? They do this because of ideas that they have in their minds. Crazy! You know that there is a table, you know that there is a glass of water. But ideas are not real, they don’t exist. Yet, they do exist and are real, but only for one species on earth.
Imagine that you are an alien that hovers above Earth and observes peoples’ actions. You would be amazed to see that somehow people manage to coordinate with each other. You’ll see someone at one part of the planet makes, idontknow, a windshield for an airplane that is assembled in another part of the planet.
But how is this possible? How is this happening that we people developed something that is real only for us and we use it to do much more than we would have done if we were alone?
The most amazing thing is that we don’t think explicitly that emotions inside us and the ideas that follow actually exist and emerged so we would be able to do more by to coming together.
Just like an and that is licking someone else’s acid doesn’t see the full picture he’s just making one step at a time following a familiar taste.
Morals. Right. Wrong. Prices. God. Education. Marriage. Patriotism. Love. Anger. All of it a exist in us not for its own sake but for us to be able to become stronger by coordinating actions with each other.
So it means that there is an enormous collection of objects that are not actually real, don’t exist in a physical form, yet they are real for people.
In some sense ideas – from the point of view of an alien that hovers above Earth and doesn’t actually observe ideas but see the result of their existence indirectly – is a dark matter.
This dark matter that nobody directly observes serve as the glue that keeps people together.
A good question is that who are scientists, especially social scientists, especially those who are able to actually say something meaningful. In the universe of ants, they are the ones that for some reason instead of following a familiar smell to make a step forward raise their heads and look around. In some sense, they stop being ants and they become aliens that hovers about above Earth. An advantage that they have over aliens is that they actually see what aliens can only guess exists.
Scientists create ideas and most of the scientific papers don’t do anything good; don’t build bridges, don’t treat patients, don’t grow vegetables. They just collect, create and structure ideas. And this is where an alien that hovers above Earth is the most confused.
Why would someone like an idea of a fixed point in a multidimensional space, or Nash equilibrium or a measure theory? Very little will be ever used to make a physical world any better.
Why is there so many ideas and people care about them? What does it take to come up with an idea that is useless but so beautiful that people allow those freaks who came up with it to exist in a society and even prosper?
Some theories I guess are useful. It seems like people due to their computational limitations are unable to perceive the world in its true complexity. That’s why we need theories that degenerate reality, turns something very complicated into something much more simpler. In some sense, we need theories and they exist because we are unable to process the world as it is. We can focus on one force at a time, one concept at the time. In this sense, the reality is a million theories that happen at the same time but we fail to see it.
Personally, an explanation that makes sense to me is that due to evolution human brain became a very a complicated system. A probability of a glitch in the complicated system is much higher. Most talented scientists are indeed a little bit crazy.
That’s why scientific methods are so time-consuming to learn. We never evolved to use our brains for this. We great at gossiping and calling people “bad” and stuff.
I like this post on it.