Thursday, 14 June 2012

Doing it Like Emo Vonnegut


There was a bundle of atoms that happened to be arranged into molecules.

These molecules, in turn, happened to be arranged into tiny machines called cells.

The cells did things like consume resources and make copies of themselves.

The cells were arranged into a more complicated machine called a human.

The human did some things that were like the things the cells did. It consumed resources and tried to make more things like itself.

It did other things, too. It destroyed other arrangements of cells in order to consume their resources.

Using complex arrangements of chemicals, cells and electricity, it did a thing called thinking.

Thinking is a way of working out how to do things, like acquire more resources or putting parts of the human in other humans to copy itself.

None of the humans were quite sure why the molecules had first arranged themselves into cells, although some of them pretended they were.

Humans had used thinking to create something called language, which is a way of one human making other humans think the same things as them.

Thinking also allows humans to do other things, but it is unclear among humans why they do the other things. One of them is have emotions.

Emotions are complex arrangements of chemicals that have effects on what some humans call ‘the self’.

Some emotions are arranged into categories that are dubbed ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.

This particular bundle of atoms was arranged into a human that had more mass than many other bundles of atoms.

Because of this, the other bundles of atoms used language to make the first bundle of atoms have ‘negative’ emotions.

The other bundles of atoms’ use of language was effective, so the first bundle of atoms felt an emotion called ‘sadness’.