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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Why is Life digital?

Well before the Digital Age, our view on life was already digital in nature: black/white, come/go, day/night, do/don't, east/west, go(o)d/(d)evil, healthy/sick, high/low, horizontal/vertical, left/right, male/female, north/south, positive/negative, pull/push, rich/poor, right/wrong, strong/weak, survivor/victim, true/false, and obviously yes/no. Why is Life digital?

My first consideration is a concept called redundancy: "In engineering, redundancy is the duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system []" (Wiki). This concept of duplication appears to be a default in the blueprint of any living organism. This duplication also allowed sophisticated functions like bipedalism, depth perception, and sound localization.

Another key organisation principle may also apply: compartmentalizationWiki: "When referring to engineering, compartmentalization is the general technique of separating two or more parts of a system to prevent malfunctions from spreading between or among them."

Another consideration is in psychology. Remember the betting scene from the 2015 movie Focus? During the day, con man Will Smith plants several hints in the victim's subconscious. During the final bet, the victim automatically picks number 55 which he is also supposed to pick (video). In other words: we see digital, hence we think digital.

Numerology might be another consideration. Two is the first prime number. Two hands with each 5 fingers may explain our Base-10 or decimal system. The Sumerian people applied a Base-60 system that we still use today for measuring time (eg, seconds, minutes), geometrical angles and geographic coordinates.

Earth, Nature and perhaps the entire Universe are guided by two fundamental forces: gravity and electromagnetism. Wiki: "There are four conventionally accepted fundamental interactionsgravitational, electromagnetic, strong, and weak." Essentially, this is a combination of pull/push and strong/weak from my 1st paragraph above.

Even our primal human emotions are twofold or digital: Love and Fear. They appear to mirror the primal concepts of worshipping Allah/God/Yahweh (good) and fearing a Devil (evil). To some extent, this is a chicken-and-egg causality dilemma. What came first: love & fear as human emotions OR faith & religion?? My bet is on human emotions. Also see my 30 April 2016 blog: The origin of beliefs.

Our digital life may explain the ferocity of our opinions and our difficulty in life to see the "different shades of grey". In the views of many, people are just good or bad, and right or wrong. In reality, their circumstances - and thus their choices - are often "complicated". That is why I like the Why question as Everything follows Why

“There are two sides to every story—and then there’s the truth”. A saying from Barry Popik's The Big Apple, an etymological dictionary.

Digital Life (2016) by Empire Of The Sun - artists, FBlyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2