What A Life?

EPISODE 11

Do plants dream of information theory?

Actually this one was recorded on Oct 8th 2015, last one was Wednesday Sept 23rd whoops! The one after this is Oct 14th, sry. Also also Ryan finished editing this over a month ago, but Paul just got around to uploading. Some things never change.

This week Ryan and Paul show up with great productivity reports. They’re being so creative! It’s almost like all this podcast-based complaining and navel gazing is translating in to real world lifestyle changes. Almost.

Also, do plants have feelings, and what even is information? Those are things that are explored in books that Paul and Ryan read. What a smart pair. Almost.

Progress report

Ryan finished plant book

Ryan edited one ep and listening to himself, he thinks he’s a mean person {a year later, I still do think im mean, maybe thats who i am}

We talk about how we want to catch up to real time. {we’re over a year behind now} Paul wrote a snapchat explainer based on things Ryan told him and his small amount of experience

Ryan doesnt text anymore, he snaps videos to people

Paul understands the snapparatus

Ryans been saying he was going to do a snapchat ‘brain dump’ for almost two years now and he’s too afraid of being criticized to finish writing/researching it.

Paul wants to build a game that’s like qwap but for skateboarding in vr

This is qwop

Paul can’t stop dancing {making things for the web}

Ryan started a video podcast with his brothers and girlfriend called “trashcast” that he describes as ‘The TMZ of social media’ and ‘the worst thing on the internet’

#poscore

Ryan watched a bunch of videos of kids grieving over the death of a young family vlogger boy

He talks about it on this trashcast

Neither Paul nor Ryan can process anything through sadness. We are afraid that our emotional cognition is not compatible with or out of tune with reality. We fear we’re different from what would be considered functional or normal. There is a long silence in our discussion of death and grieving that confirms this.

An important conversation

Ryan finished the plant book and talks about how plants are like the internet. Also how music helps them in many ways

Plants sleeeeep

For a hundred years, no one believed the venus fly trap was intentionally eating insects. They thought perhaps the flies were committing suicide

Paul explains some information theory to ryan and ryan doesn’t get it totally {but now im in the future re listening to this while editing and i get it now, sorry paul, you did a good job, i just needed a second listen}

the information

Shannons law

Ryan thinks what paul is explaining about signal strength and being able to withstand information loss is like this idea that “it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae”

We’re both trying to get to the essence of what we’re interested in, ryan is trying to get to the core of intelligence and paul is trying to get to the core of information

Paul’s reading Permutation City

Ryan wants an expanded sensory cocktail

He wants to start making alien art for other senses like neil says

Our friend’s podcast Tuner

Art is a stack of references

Were mathematics discovered or invented

Paul thinks Neil deGrasse Tyson is full of shit

Passage from “Brilliant Green”:

“Animals use the matter and energy produced by plants. Plants, in turn, use the sun’s energy to fulfill their own needs. Thus animals depend on plants, plants on the sun.

This brings us to a more general conception of plant life and to an understanding of its role in the biosphere: plants are the mediators between the sun and the animal world. They— or rather their most typical cellular organelles, the chloroplasts— are the link connecting the activities of the whole organic world (that is, of everything we call life) with our solar system’s energy center. Thus plants have a universal function for life on our planet. Animals don’t.

The most recent studies of the plant world have demonstrated that plants are sentient (and thus are endowed with senses), that they communicate (with each other and with animals), sleep, remember, and can even manipulate other species. For all intents and purposes, they can be described as intelligent. The roots constitute a continuously advancing front line, with innumerable command centers, so that the whole root system guides the plant like a kind of collective brain— or rather a distributed intelligence— which, as the plant grows and develops, acquires information important to its nutrition and survival…

For centuries, animals, too, were considered unthinking machines. It is only in the past several decades that we’ve begun to guarantee them rights, dignity, and respect: animals are not things anymore. This change in perspective has led nearly all the most advanced nations to enact regulations designed to protect and defend animals’ dignity. Nothing like this exists for plants. The discussion of their rights is only beginning, but it can’t be put off any longer.”

Homework:

Paul assigns ryan to listen to this episode of partially examined life about the free market there’s a part 2 also… fyiii

Ryan just wants paul to get broody about capitalism so he says he should watch the corporation and listen to Fugazi

Bonus link I sent to paul after we stopped recording “Century of the self” documentary about the history of public relations