The point is that although all known life is based on replicators, what the phenomenon of life is really about is knowledge. We can give a definition of adaptation directly in terms of knowledge: an entity is adapted to its niche if it embodies knowledge that causes the niche to keep that knowledge in existence. Now we are getting closer to the reason why life is fundamental. Life is about the physical embodiment of knowledge, and in Chapter 6 we came across a law of physics, the Turing principle, which is also about the physical embodiment of knowledge. It says that it is possible to embody the laws of physics, as they apply to every physically possible environment, in programs for a virtual-reality generator. Genes are such programs. Not only that, but all other virtual-reality programs that physically exist, or will ever exist, are direct or indirect effects of life. For example, the virtual-reality programs that run on our computers and in our brains are indirect effects of human life. So life is the means — presumably a necessary means — by which the effects referred to in the Turing principle have been implemented in nature.
David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality (181)
If the laws of physics as they apply to any physical object or process are to be comprehensible, they must be capable of being embodied in another physical object — the knower. It is also necessary that processes capable of creating such knowledge be physically possible. Such processes are called science. Science depends on experimental testing, which means physically rendering a law’s predictions and comparing it with (a rendering of) reality. It also depends on explanation, and that requires the abstract laws themselves, not merely their predictive content, to be capable of being rendered in virtual reality. This is a tall order, but reality does meet it. That is to say, the laws of physics meet it. The laws of physics, by conforming to the Turing principle, make it physically possible for those same laws to become known to physical objects. Thus, the laws of physics may be said to mandate their own comprehensibility.
David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality (135)
artbeautypaintings:

Lorena in front of the mirror - Nello Lovine

artbeautypaintings:

Lorena in front of the mirror - Nello Lovine

(Reblogged from hurkilaspesnes)
The instrument by which extensive mischiefs have in all ages been perpetuated has been, the principle of many men being reduced to mere machines in the hands of the few. Man, while he consults his own understanding, is the ornament of the universe. Man, when he surrenders his reason, and becomes the partisan of implicit faith and passive obedience, is the most mischievous of all animals.
Godwin 1793:99

smokethereisfire:

Bogdan Zwir - The Casual Coincidence, 2010

(Reblogged from smokethereisfire)

smokethereisfire:

Still Life - Glass by Harry Holland

(Reblogged from smokethereisfire)
I am now trying an Experiment very frequent among Modern Authors; which is, to write upon Nothing.
Johnathan Swift, A Tale of the Tub (1704)
art-centric:

Ernest Townsend - Marsh Marigolds

art-centric:

Ernest Townsend - Marsh Marigolds

(Reblogged from rd67)

robertpatrick:

I’ve always loved that the coyotes tail was designed after Japanese paintings of ocean waves as noted here in the sign at what’s up Doc the animation art of Chuck Jones opening tomorrow at the Museum of the moving image.

(Reblogged from robertpatrick)
The consequences of all this speedily manifested themselves. The very next incident in the story was in some degree decisive of the catastrophe. Hitherto I have spoken only of preliminary matters, seemingly unconnected with each other, though leading to that state of mind in both parties, which had such fatal effects. but all that remains is rapid and tremendous. The death-dealing mischief advances with an accelerated motion, appearing to defy human wisdom and human strength to obstruct its operation.
William Godwin, Caleb Williams (1794:36)

I haven’t seen my niece in almost two weeks and in that time she’s discovered lounging, which is a very significant burst of personality.

The human intellect is a sort of barometer, directed in its variations by the atmosphere which surrounds it.
William Godwin, Thoughts Occasioned by the Perusal of Dr Parr’s Spital Sermon (1801)

Love letters: September 30, 1796

William Godwin to Mary Wollstonecraft: “I am under a necessity of dining out. Thus circumstanced, will you condescend to admit me in the evening at eight or nine?”

Mary Wollstonecraft to William Godwin: “What say you—may I come to your house, about eight—to philosophize?”