391 blocks • 4 days ago
Home? It’s the place you can never visit for the first time, because by the time it’s become home, you’ve already been there. You can only return. (You can never go home, only go home again.)
"In neuroscientific terms, this capacity to replace old neuronal connections with new ones is referred to as neuronal plasticity. The Tibetan term for this capacity is le-su-rung-wa, which may be roughly translated into English as "pliability". This means that on a strictly cellular level, repeated experience can change the way the brain works."
— The Joy of Living, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
A computational process is indeed much like a sorcerer's idea of a spirit. It cannot be seen or touched. It is not composed of matter at all. However, it is very real. It can perform intellectual work. It can answer questions. It can affect the world by disbursing money at a bank or by controlling a robot arm in a factory. The programs we use to conjure processes are like a sorcerer's spells. They are carefully composed from symbolic expressions in arcane and esoteric programming languages that prescribe the tasks we want our processes to perform.
As our culture continues to conflate the private and public realms—as the pandemic has transformed our homes into offices and our bedrooms into backdrops, as public institutions increasingly fall prey to the mandates of the market—we’ve become cheerfully indentured to the idea that our worth as individuals isn’t our personal integrity or sense of virtue, but our ability to advertise our relevance on the platforms of multinational tech corporations.