About

Gender

Male


Location

Pikesville, MD


Birthday:

November 21


About Yourself

I'm basically the classic "computer geek", in that I like to tinker with computers quite a lot. In fact, I use a distribution of Linux as my primary operating system (don't worry though, I'm not all anti-Microsoft, either ;) ). But there's another side to me that I hope to be able to bring out more by having joined this site: my spiritual side. Basically, I'm in conflict with myself over the old "free will vs. predestination" debate, and it gets to me on such a deep level, that it hurts both sides of me (i.e. both my spiritual and techie side). I want to believe in true and complete freedom, but I also want to be able to expect the technology that I enjoy tinkering with to be able to function the way I expect, instead of just complete chaos, if you know what I mean by that... :\ I think I know deep inside that free will is real, but I just can't get over my notions about how computers work and how there seem to be so many analogies between that and the way the human brain/mind works. The notion of a fully "sentient" AI scares the hell out of me, let's put it that way, and not for the reasons often portrayed in science fiction stories. I want there to be some regularity to existence, but I don't want my choices to be part of that "regularity", i.e. I don't want to believe in predestination. But without predestination, then how can the world still make sense logically? I suppose you could argue that nothing absolutely has to make sense logically, but I want it to be. I want to have my computers as deterministic finite state machines, but i don't want to be a deterministic finite state machine. Can you really have your cake and eat it too in that regard? Anyways, I suppose I should wrap this up, as it's turning more into a description of my worries than my interests...


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  • A while back, I found this little tidbit called "Life as in Linux". It's a bit on the geeky side (you'd probably have to be somewhat familiar with Linux/UNIX-like OSes to get some of the analogies), but it somewhat inspires me. :-)

    Mostly what caught my eye was this:

    "There is a misleading thought that there is a /dev/urandom on earth. I'm glad to tell you there is no such thing as /dev/urandom: this kernel was built without it. Many processes refer to that device, which in fact is not a random data generator: it's a symlink to /proc/self/ actually(it's what you've choosen or did now or in the past)."

    This caught my eye because it gave me an interesting perspective on my whole free will vs. determinism conflict...

    /dev/urandom is a "pseudo-file" that provides a constant stream of pseudorandom numbers under Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems. Basically my interpretation of the above statement is that the "randomness" in our world is actually not generated from something outside of us (a universal "/dev/urandom", if you will), but rather it is generated by us. We have free will. We just don't know how to fully exercise it yet. ;-)
  • welcome Tristan love light and blessings to yu from Scotland.

This reply was deleted.
Tristan replied to Cedric's discussion Free will.
"Well damn. I thought this was going to be something of a question of "does free will really exist?".

I have that problem. No joke; I have serious emotional problems over it. If someone brings up anything (or if I see anything) that even in the…"
Jul 28, 2010
Tristan posted a blog post
Free Will and Determinism: The Conflict(TL;DR: Is the universe just a computer, or is it something more?)There is an ongoing debate in physics (and somewhat in philosophy as well, as it has much relevance, I believe) about whether or not all events…
Jul 26, 2010
Tristan left a comment for Tristan
"A while back, I found this little tidbit called "Life as in Linux". It's a bit on the geeky side (you'd probably have to be somewhat familiar with Linux/UNIX-like OSes to get some of the analogies), but it somewhat inspires me. :-)

Mostly what…"
Jul 24, 2010
Tristan replied to Tristan's discussion Can I be "both-brained"?
"Thanks for the replies, everyone. I guess what I need to do is just focus on what comes to me naturally. I'll still try to hold onto my computer interest, but if it gets to the point where I can't even make posts like these without getting all…"
Jul 2, 2010
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