Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hello Worlds!

Hello WorldsI've now been using "Hello Worlds!" rather than the proverbial "Hello World!" in Java programming. I have adopted that practice to remind myself of the "Plurality of Worlds" that is right before our very eyes. In my opinion, the new generation will wake up to the continued proliferation of Worlds - in the real, virtual, imaginary and theoretical domains.
Let me expound upon this idea by noting the growing discovery of new exoplanets - other planets outside our Solar System. Thanks to the new field of Exoplanetology, we are uncovering new worlds that have now begun to enter the thought-sphere of humanity. Our Earth is just one among billions and billions of other worlds in outer space.
On the other realm, we have Virtual Worlds that may yet still seem crude and "artificial" at this point in time, but nevertheless can be considered as "Worlds" in their own right. We have the Metaverse, as best represented by Second Life. And we have Massive Multiplayer Online Games (MMORPG) best exemplified by World of Warcraft. And as of this writing, I am awaiting the release of Spore, which might introduce a new genre, that between an MMO and a networked game.
We have the so-called "Parallel Worlds" in theoretical physics that seems far-fetched and inaccessible. They are a favorite in Sci-Fi, but who knows what a few decades could have in store for us? Our future progenitors may be crossing them to visit other worlds not only in space, but in time as well.
And last but not the least, I recognize the infinite worlds that are powered by human imagination. Not to mention the wondrous Worlds that privately exist within each human mind, it is time to recognize these beautiful "Worlds" of fiction - as produced by the mind and the collective consciousness of the human race. Why should the digital worlds and the modern new worlds get all the credit?
Hence, 2008 is the year I mark as the "Era of Worlds". And I recognize it as such to introduce "Hello Worlds!" in programming java (at least to start from my own little world of coding). After all, all Worlds - real and imaginary - may not be possible without programming, right? Even our very own universe had to have its Cosmic Laws "programmed".
Who knows, the fractal property of the universe to spawn "worlds within worlds" may be encoded deep within the Laws of the Cosmos.
Well, perhaps in line 777 of The cosmic source code, we may find "Hello Worlds!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

By It's Right Name

We all have these "alter-egos" and we like to create names for our alternate identities. In the digital realm, they are represented as Avatars. We live out adventures behind those 'aliases' and seek out worlds for them to inhabit. But in the end, we all come back to reality, back to our rightful place, and come home with our true identity and rightful name.
In the story, Alexander Supertramp journeys into the wild. Survives for a few months in the Alaskan wilderness by living inside a 'magic bus', and succumbs. For two years of running away and not wanting to be found, he breathes his last wanting his corpse to be identified by its right name - Christopher McCandless. For in his dying moments, he realizes that "happiness is only real when shared", and takes solace that his journals, his story of life and death would be shared to others.
Names are so important for it is where our identity and character is attached. Without it, our voices would be lost in the wilderness and never be shared.
The true story of Into the Wild screams of boldness and stupidity, of selflessness and selfishness, of idealism and immaturity, of reaching out and holding back, and of triumph and tragedy. It is a total reflection of what being human is all about, and that's why I love it.
Into the Wild is truly inspirational for bloggers and seekers who want to know the paradox of oneself. The story teaches a lesson and inspires at the same time. A must-see for adventurers of all ages.

Jesus asked, "What is your name?"
- Luke 8:30

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eternity in an Hour....of jogging

While jogging this morning, I felt the cool wind in my face and as I looked up to enjoy it's refreshing touch, I saw the magnificent blue sky. And I thanked God for that moment.

Cirrus Clouds
From Flickr, this is the closest photo that I could find to the clouds I saw on that windy day. Photo Credit: High Cirrus Clouds by jackatlargs

The Large Magellanic Cloud. Photo Credit: NASA

And then I gazed upon the clouds, and i noticed they looked similar to NASA's photo of the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Although they have some differences, such as color and hues - white clouds against a perfectly blue sky, whereas LMC are rendered in black background. They also differ in scale - individual water vapor or ice crystals that make up clouds correspond to individual stars - yet their "cloud" formation is very similar.
The provision to "see" a bigger scale of things from a smaller subset reminds me of the fractal or self-similar property of the universe.
And then I had an amazing thought: What if our whole universe is just another "sub-particle" of another universe? Certainly others have thought of it, but now that the Large Hadron Collider is set to operate in a few days (May 2008), its almost like we're going to spew out billions and gazillions of worlds using a man-made contraption. Although these elementary particles (and mini-blackholes) that LHC will produce will decay almost instantaneously (from our perspective), it would still be an eternity relative to the particles for they travel at the speed of light. Remember, photons experience no "time".
What an overwhelming thought if each elementary particle has a universe within it, as what William Blake expresses in that poetic line " in a grain of sand". Then in the grand scheme of things, sentient life that emerges in any world - in any universe - would never fail to ask, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" And on a personal note, wonder "Why am I here?"
And as I jogged onwards, I uttered, " see the world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour..."