By Vusi Sindane. 1st installment of “Philosophical Entrapment”
When I stumbled upon this combination of words [simplicity is perfection] some years ago, a mental war began within my mind. I always had a complex outlook on life and yet these words forced me to assume that life was perfectly simple; I temporarily found comfort in this simplicity, until I started asking simple question.
Why are simple answers anorexic, whereas simple questions are obese? Why is it so impossible to know (even a little bit) about a daily occurrence such as death? Why is it that we tend to find something when we stop looking for it? There are simpler questions that have sacrilegious connotations that I will not even attempt to raise here!
Being a software engineer, I had hoped to start working on an artificial intelligence (AI) program that learns how to mimic basic human behaviour. It was simple in my mind. For example, when one is hungry, one’s behaviour tends to bend towards anything that is likely to yield food.
Simple, right? That is what I thought until I started working on the detailed planning. I had to answer some simple question!
The idea was to create virtual robots that make decisions based on a condition that I impose on them. Take the example of hunger. When the energy levels of the robot deplete, it must go in search for food.
There is nothing intelligent about going hungry, and searching for food [that is simple action and reaction]. What makes us intelligent is that we tend to want to reduce the effort of finding the food so that we can concern ourselves with doing something else (finding people that are like us, or doing things that we like).
It seems that the ultimate objective in “finding food” is to have an eternal supply at zero effort. I would call this desire a basic instinct of living nature.
We all have this basic instinct. Adversely, if we do not fulfil this basic instinct our moral fibre tends to decay. The more hungry one gets, the more vague civility becomes. Is this because it is easier to “find food” with less civility?
In any event, the earliest permutation of modern man (Homo sapiens) was something called eukaryotes (2.1 billion old). Food being a basic necessity, it strikes me that we [humans] claim the highest rank of intelligence and yet we have not figured out an age old problem of ensuring the availability of food for everyone.
We know for a fact that hunger causes a moral decay, yet we continue to go out of our way to create laws, by so doing create crimes. We then continue to spend billions of hours and dollars to innovate ways to enforce those laws. Then we continue to rave about crime and spend more time and money reporting and formulating statistics about it; all of this while overlooking the basic fact. PEOPLE NEED TO BE FED!
I am convinced that if food was free (as it grows free – God does not levy anyone to make a seed grow), there would be far less problems in the world today. Simplicity is indeed perfection.
You can connect with Vusi Sindane here: www.vusisindane.com