The Purpose of Life

I have told this story (truth) to friends, and I thought it was time to write it down. I still believe in this purpose after all these years.

So, what is the purpose of life? The best way to explain this, is by taking you on a quick route tour of the path I took. I suspect the answer may apply to you as well.

I agonized about this in my youth poring over books, trying to understand philosophers like Jung and Satre.   I didn’t find any answer that I could believe in, so I concluded it was up to me to figure out for myself.

The purpose of Life was too hard to derive analytically, so I decided I needed simple building blocks to derive this truth. Maybe I could build a simple system of truths and extrapolate that to my purpose.

So I looked at my cat and thought, what is the cat’s purpose of life?
I thought for a while and didn’t get very far.   I was not doing very well was I?
So as you do with analysis I moved onto my dog;- what is the dog’s purpose of life?  I thought for a while and didn’t get very far. Shit, I was not doing very well was I?

Then it struck me, the purpose for dog was somehow in being a dog, and the purpose of the cat is somehow in it’s catness. If the cat tried to be a dog, and tried to chase after cars and bark, it would be an unfulfilled silly cat.
And if the dog tried to be a cat by climbing up trees and slink under the house, it would be a pretty unfulfilled dog.

So, the cat’s purpose in life is tied into its catness, and the purpose of the dog is tied into its dogness.

The cat needs to be as much of a cat as it can be, and the dog needs to be as much of a dog as he can be.

Right, so I need to be as much of of a human as I can be – but that does not say enough.

Specifically, I need to as much Kris as I can be. I need to express my Kris-ness as much as I can – In that lies my purpose.

So who-ever you are, your purpose in live is to express your <your name here>-ness.   Be as much yourself as you can be, even if that means you have to march to the beat of a totally different drum.

The terrain of life

We are unbalanced, as it is difficult to be true to ourselves.

We are taught to live normative lives. In your first years you are taught the difference between right and wrong. If you are allowed to rob a home, others are allowed to rob your home.  So the laws and morals of society protects you.

These norms extend to the rules at work, the quirky directives of your boss, the politics at work. We accept the norms, the laws of the land, the morals of our church and we attempt to live according to these.

This is “life on rails”. A person living on rails can be successful. For example, a politician can attain the powers of office.

To live outside the norms of society, is to invite adversity.   Norms are established because they are enforced. Forget about breaking the law. Try to be strange at work. Your colleagues will be afraid to associate you, lest they may be considered strange as well.

If you do not conform to norms, you lead a “life in the wilderness”.   A life in the wilderness has paths less travelled, so you may often find yourself in the brambles.

This does not mean you cannot be successful in your own way.   Martin Luther King went against the norms of his time.   Vincent van Gogh lead a life in the wilderness. In an act of love Vincent presented his ear to a “lady” he cherished, and he was shunned for that.   A person leading a life in the wilderness is not necessarily a “good” or “bad” person, as they may be living a life outside norms of “good” or “bad”.

You may not want to gift your ear, but you will have private thoughts, fantasies. If you do not express your real self, you may be somewhat on rails.

So by the words of William Shakespeare;- Those who want “to be” choose a life in the wilderness, and those that choose “not to be” are on rails.

It may be refreshing to get off at the stations once in a while, and go tramping into the wilderness a bit …

Intelligence and image processing

Intelligence is a fascinating topic as we are defined by our thoughts. And it is hard to create an artificial intelligence (if there is artificial intelligence, there must be artificial stupidity, and there is).

To some extent intelligence represent the ability to recognise patterns. Recognition of faces, worldwide trends, and scientific discovery are all underscored by this ability.

Pattern recognition requires the means to abstract a domain into characteristics that are recognisable. So, if we posses many methods to synthesize or abstract, and we can integrate these methods;- can we create artificial intelligence?

I dont know, but I have created a simple pattern abstraction of images. It can be used to stitch panoramic photos. Find it here.

Why the NZ Green party has not grown

There has been a revival of the the political left in the last decade.

It seems like everybody, even political parties to the right of the political spectrum are stating that we should take care of our environment.

The American agenda of self-interest and the consequent destructiveness they wreak on worldwide communities has become more apparent.

We have seen increasing coverage on the agendas Global corporations. Global corporations do not have a conscience, or differently stated, their conscience is to make a profit for their shareholders. This profit motive promotes greed, consumerism and materialism. The World trade organisation has also increasingly been exposed as a lobby tool for global corporations.

Many individuals are sharing knowledge, opinions and information to an extent that have never happened before. The thriving Open Source movement is an expression of this sharing and collaboration.

One would have thought that the NZ Green party would thrive in this environment. Yet their growth has been stagnant as they have not been able to capitalise on these trends.

And here is the reason: The NZ Green party is not a true promoter of progressive ideals and as such they do not have a core support base.

On the one hand the Greens buy into the the above ideals and on other hand they buy into divisive ideologies such as bi-culturalism. For those of you not familiar with NZ politics, bi-culturalism is the belief that there are two classes of people in New Zealand (Maori and non-Maori). Bi-culturalism stems from guilt created by the destructiveness during British colonialism. To compensate for the destructiveness during that period, we have invented policies based on ethnicity. These policies have become politically correct, but true progressives are not at ease with discrimination along ethnic lines.