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Our bodies are extremely complex systems, one human body is more accurately described as a living organism in itself. The moment you’re born your body is already riddled with billions of microbes (some estimates in adults exceeding hundreds of trillions). Life begets life. But this system, comprised of systems, this organism comprised of organisms, brilliant though it may be, can fail with no warning signs, whatsoever.

It’s estimated that recorded deaths in excess of 100, 000 occur naturally every year among individuals aged between 0 and 35 years old. Most of us know someone, or of someone who though seemingly healthy, retired to bed one night and just never woke up. One of the myriad of systems tirelessly working, for whatever reason, gave out. In my experience it’s these anomalous and inexplicable deaths of the young and otherwise healthy that reveal to us just how fragile our lives can be. Yet, most of us take our health for granted, until something goes awry.


Is life the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death (dictionary.com)?

Generally it’s agreed upon now that death can only truly be achieved with the declaration of total brain death. Once the brain is dead, the individual is considered deceased. (Some believe the individual should be kept alive, regardless. Others believe that it is immoral to provide means to sustain life when someone is in a severe comatose condition. Usually comes down to decisions made by next of kin and the specific laws of the country involved.)

So in the hypothetical instance (discussed by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku) where future technology has allowed for a brain to be augmented with machinery, is the more capable mechanical component of the brain, slightly less alive? Despite the functionality working in unison to present one singular living mind.

What if (by some extremely technologically advanced means) a human brain was integrated with a highly sophisticated system. Where consciousness as we understand it is existing simultaneously in both the brain (attached to a living body) and in some machine/system. Eventually integration becomes absolute and consciousness as a whole is existing just as it had done so in the organic brain in the system. Then the organic brain, along with the human body, dies and is destroyed. The mind, however, is completely intact, interpreting the world through audio and visual sensors. Generating responses that transmit audible speech. Would you be talking to a dead man? An imitation? Artificial intelligence? The soul?

If this transference of consciousness happened overnight, to an individual who had no idea it ever occurred, the mind placed into a synthetic replica of their previous organic body. Complete with simulations of all organic bodily processes. Would they be dead? They would not think so, because in this scenario they would be completely unaware.

All said and done, I believe who we really are, are our thoughts, our memories, dreams and desires, the things that matter to us, the decisions we make and made. Sure we have impulses, urges with a basis in our biology, but does that define us? Are we defined by our limitations, such as the fragile mortal forms we currently find ourselves within?

Are we alive right now, or is it purely our organs that are “living”, and we are merely the by-product, exactly the same as we would be if situated in a machine, a by-product of a series of complex processes?

Who is more alive, the sentient mechanical being, who can interact with the world around them. Or the (technically) living human comatose patient, who has already experienced brain death?


(Animation from GIPHY.com)

In some ways the birth of our universe could be compared to the lighting of a candle, the “Big Bang” was when it was first lit. With this now burning wick, entropy increases, the once stagnant unaltered order/state of the wick and candle’s pristine structure begins to diminish as time passes. So begins the gradual decline into total disorder. Total disorder being the incineration of the wick, the form of the candle being lost, and equilibrium is achieved. The energy (wherever it came from) has been transferred, converted, but for all intents and purposes, it is gone (a process is deemed ‘irreversible’ if dissipation occurs, which in most instances, it does). As the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states, in all processes that occur (including spontaneous) the entropy at least in regards to thermodynamics, is irreversible.

So just as the flickering flame of the candle will at some stage burn out, so too, as theorized by some, could/will our universe reach its equilibrium and enter a phase known as “total heat death”. In this outcome of achieved equilibrium everything in the entire universe would be the same temperature. The height of entropy, total disorder, no transference of energy or structure. No rhyme or reason. Just stagnate remaining mass, moving unpredictably in an eternity of darkness.

Entropy is intrinsically linked with the Arrow of Time (in physics). Coined by the British astronomer Arthur Eddington. Eddington gave three factors regarding, the arrow of time:

⦿ It is vividly recognized by consciousness.

⦿ It is equally insisted on by our reasoning faculty, which tells us that a reversal of the arrow would render the external world nonsensical.

⦿ It makes no appearance in physical science except in the study of organization of a number of individuals.

These three factors pertaining to the arrow of time are extremely localized around human perception.

In a way, time going in one direction only → relies on the basis that nothing ever happens/happened after theoretical “total heat death”. Because if something did occur (which it is theorized to be nigh impossible), then we could readdress the definition of the direction of time. As the system of the universe is no longer irreversible. For instance, after total heat death, a gradual pooling of mass begins to occur. Taking billions and billions and billions (times infinity, why not) years, so much mass could be drawn together that a high-density and (and even less likely) high-temperature state is reached. In that scenario, could the “Big Bang” occur again? Could that be the process that occurs over and over and over? If that were possible, the process of our universe’s creation could be deemed reversible. Rendering time no longer linear, but cyclic and infinite.

Meaning time isn’t a straight arrow pointing in one direction, but rather a circle ↻ that always returns to a structured state, a starting position. In a process larger than we could ever hope to imagine.

If that wasn’t as extremely far-fetched and hypothetically scientifically offensive for you to consider, then consider this, what if everything forms, exactly the same, every single time the universe goes through this cycle? (There are some that argue that there is no such thing as a truly random outcome of events. It merely appears that way to our understanding, as we cannot perceive what is going on at the most finite level.)

As it stands, our current time traveling abilities are extremely limited. We have access to such a tiny portion. At best, around 100 years. We’ve mastered travelling forward through time. We’re doing it right now. As your eyes trail over this text, the words previously read give an indication that you are progressively moving forward.

But consider this science-fiction scenario:

The adult son of two prominently known archeologists (by some extraordinary hypothetical means) manages to momentarily travel back in time, some 145 million years, for a total duration of 15 seconds. He travels to a region somewhere in North America, during the Cretaceous period. Where his brief appearance momentarily distracts a pack of deinonychus (the 100kg version of the 15kg velociraptor) from noticing a tenontosaurus in the distance, prey they would have otherwise eaten. Thus, eliminating the specific archeological dig site where his parents first met. Subsequently, either, eliminating himself from existence, creating an alternate reality. Or whatever other scenario someone might imagine.

One of the many problems with this hypothetical scenario is that small, minuscule detail skimmed over at the beginning. The act of travelling backwards in time. It’s virtually impossible to imagine a means by which anyone could travel backwards through a process while entropy is taking place.

Unless, a being was somehow capable of making itself entirely independent from the process (the universe reaching equilibrium). In which case, according to the theories suggested (total pseudo-science, if that wasn’t obvious already), the way to travel backward in time could be to actually go so far forward, that you catch the past as it occurs again for the first time, in one of the next formations of the universe.

Perhaps beings beyond our comprehensible universe have been aware of this cyclic order of things longer than we even have words to describe what we call “time”?

Could God himself be a being who discovered how to isolate himself from the process? Or perhaps his ability to escape the process is innate?

If extraterrestrial life does have an interest in our planet, could it be monitoring the formations of this universe each cycle? Comparing our status with last time and the time before that? Eternally making comparisons to previous visits. Maybe they require things that occur so rarely, they come to a specific point each cycle to gather a valuable resource.

These theories are just a handful of many theories that are more than likely, all completely wrong (like most theories). But, it’s still intriguing (for some) to entertain the thought. Maybe we’ll never truly understand the mysteries of the universe, maybe next time around?


Unless you hold some sort of remarkable disinterest in the natural world, or possess a visual impairment, thus far in your lifetime it’s highly likely you would have noticed stars. Shining, twinkling and adorning the darkness of our planet’s night skies. Unbeknownst to some of us however, is that a great many of these twinkling little lights extinguished in many cases, millions of years ago.

What we are gazing upon is the light that star produced during its prime, traveling at the speed of light, yet still only now reaching our visual senses. The speed of light in the vacuum of space, is 299, 792, 458 meters per second (186, 282 miles per second. 299, 792 kilometers per second). To put that in perspective, our Earth is also about 149, 597, 870 km from the Sun. The light from the sun takes 8 minutes and 19 seconds to reach us on our planet’s surface. (149, 597, 870 km/299 792 km = 499 seconds/60 = 8.3168 = 8 minutes and 19 seconds).

So what this tells us, among other things, is that space is in fact, very, very big. So big in fact that even something as fast as the speed of light, takes quite a bit of time to get from one celestial body to the next. So what does any of this have to do with how we perceive time you might be wondering?

It is said that the speed of light as far as we can tell is a constant, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reliable source to suggest the existence of what we call “time”. Because while gravity does not effect light particles (directly), it does result in something called Gravitational Time Dilation. Gravitational Time Dilation is the differences in recorded time(s) observed at varied distances to a gravitational mass.

Essentially, while light is not directly effected by gravity, spacetime however, can be curved or warped by mass (gravity). This curvature of spacetime can in effect lengthen the distance required by light to travel to reach an observer. Meaning even though light travels at a constant speed, depending on the mass of the planet you find yourself on (along with many other gravitational factors), you may see the light sooner or later than someone perceiving the same light source on a planet further or closer to the same source.

This theory(?) is most commonly observed in Global Positioning System satellites which are positioned about 20, 197 km/12, 550 miles from the Earth. Being so far from the center of the Earth’s gravity, the clocks aboard the satellites systems measure (represent?) a passing of time faster than that on Earth. Which eventually led to the satellites requiring re-calibration with earth’s time to be able to function adequately.

To apply this concept of Gravitational Time Dilation in a way that is relative for us to understand (because in the end, that’s all time actually is). Scientists have discovered that if you should place two atomically accurate stop-watches at two locations, one stop-watch one foot higher than the other and left them ticking over in pristine isolation for 79 years, upon your return you would find that the stop-watch closer to Earth’s center would be 90 billionths of a second behind the stop-watch, one foot above.

To anyone reading this (assuming anyone did), you may scoff at 90 billionths of a second and think, in no way does that mean anything to me. But to you I will present this possibility: Imagine if everything that occurred in the formation of this planet (or one very similar), just so happened, by some chance, to take formation identically to Earth’s, only in regards to its collective mass being amplified, by 999, 999 , 999 billion, billion, billion, billion etc, etc %.

Mega Earth. Where there are copies of every one of us standing 999, 999 , 999 billion, billion, billion, billion etc, etc % larger than we are now. Out of curiosity how long do you think one of these colossal doppelgänger’s might live? An average lifespan? It theoretically correlates with gravity, so it goes without saying, that these beings, would live unbelievably long lifetimes. Nigh unfathomable to you or I.

The same principle could be applied to a microscopic world and the theory of evolution. Microscopic humanoids from a microscopic world would see a relative time almost uncurved by mass/gravity at all. Does this mean when compared to a much, much larger planet they are thousands of years of development ahead? Could there be microscopic highly advanced spacefarers traversing distances we can’t fathom, at sizes we cannot even detect with the naked eye?

All said and done, time is relative. Not even just in a scientific sense. It’s personal, we each perceive it differently. We wield it how we choose, some better than others. We even get allotted different amounts to spend in this world. But time as we generally come to know it, purely a man-made means of showing up on time for appointments, giving a name to something that doesn’t really exist.

The concept of TIME is brilliant, unique and very much needed for order and structure on this planet. But, it is also an illusion.


Imagine leaving a monkey alone in a room with nothing but a typewriter. In most instances, you might observe it inspect the contraption, then toss it carelessly against the wall (many humans might do the same under similar circumstances). Maybe in 10 recreations of this event, the typewriter is destroyed every single time. But with every recreation of this scenario and the unpredictable nature of monkeys, whether it’s the 10th time or 110th recreation, a monkey will eventually hit the keys of the typewriter as the device is intended to be used.


Hypothetical Monkey, 2019.

The desired outcome may not be immediate, you may not witness it in your lifetime, but the belief that it will never occur, is mathematically impossible. The means to achieve the outcome are possible, its only a matter of time, a matter of rolling the dice, over and over and over and over again, possibly times ∞.

That is not the Infinite Monkey Theorem, put forward by Émile Borel in 1913. The Infinite Monkey Theorem suggests a hypothetical situation where you have found a monkey (or even an ∞ amount of monkeys also, to speed up the variations), that is not only eternally interested in randomly striking the keys of a typewriter, but also an immortal. The monkey alike the experiment are completely unscathed by time and space. Our universe may/will not be as old as this experiment may/will go on.

This monkey does not sleep and does not eat. Eternally striking the keys of a typewriter for an infinite amount of time. Minute by minute, hour by hour, as the days turn into years and the years into centuries. Thousands of years fly by only to be followed by millions, then billions of years. But the monkey keeps typing, as it always had and may always do so.

So what is the monkey capable of randomly coming up with?

According to Émile Borel’s theory, as the variable outcomes stack up exponentially with the possibilities that infinity provides, eventually a monkey would write an entire page of comprehensible English. By the same logic, eventually a monkey would also type out the complete works of William Shakespeare, possibly the greatest human writer to ever exist.

In one computer simulation of this experiment carried out in 2004 by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, he discovered that after 42, 162, 500, 000 billion, billion years, one of the hypothetical monkeys typed:

“VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t”

Nineteen consecutive keystrokes that appear in Shakespeare’s ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’.

Another simulation was conducted by the website ‘The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator’, in 2003. Where after 2, 737, 850 million, billion, billion, billion years a simulated monkey typed:

“RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d”

Identically matching twenty-four characters from ‘Henry IV, Part 2’.

It’s difficult for most of us to even contemplate the existence of a number like 2, 737, 850 million, billion, billion, billion. But as mind-numbing as it is to try (for me at least) that number doesn’t even scratch the tip of the iceberg with ∞. Even that reference is flawed, because the iceberg has a limitation to its size. Infinity has no limitations, it’s always beyond reach. By its very nature, it can have no end. It goes on eternally.

There are some, who believe that the Infinite Monkey Theorem is not purely limited to a hypothetical textual outcome. Throughout recent history in science-fiction literature the concept of infinite realities has been explored. The very instant the term ‘infinite’ is applied, then too, endless possibilities must also apply. Just as the endless variables have been addressed in reference to the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Which suggests there are infinite, slight variations of all things even remotely conceivable (or inconceivable! to quote Vizzini from the Princess Bride) throughout various realities or dimensions.

What this could mean, is that there is a reality exactly like this one, only 1 second behind our version of “time”. Then there is another reality, which is 1 second behind that second reality. This could go on infinitely, creating a relative constant of every moment of your (and my) existence, which actually lasts for an infinite amount of time collectively. Meaning, among other things, every second of every one of our existences is perpetually being lived in an incessant and infinite loop throughout the dimensions. That is one version of an infinite possible variations of realities.

Is there any link between the outcomes, the variations of events? Who knows. By the theory alone, no, there is not. Merely independent outcomes from purely random lines that have some significance to us, as humans. But mathematically, there is no sentimentality to any of this. There is no significant meaning or reason, it is merely the summation of all outcomes. Some of which just happen to mean something to us. But there are also an infinite amount of outcomes that mean absolutely nothing to us.

Whose to say definitely what (or who) controls the vicissitudes of fate? Or more puzzling still, why anything exists in the first place?

Que será, será,
Whatever will be, will be.