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)

it’s so amazing to think of how many people there are wandering around with the idea that there are “chemical imbalances” driving their feelings, or that they have this or that attribute because of a traumatic reaction to their parents, etc., when the plain truth is that we have no idea what any disorders are or how they’re caused, or how psychology in general works

  • we were moving into a new building, but the manager accidentally moved another tenant into our unit; he can only offer us other units which cost more, so we might not be moving to Oakland after all. Abby’s not happy about any of this.
  • being obsessed with moral philosophy just makes me a big chump, let’s be real
  • i need to be better at everything; i am not good enough at a single thing: being a friend, my career, operating a home with Abs, being a son / brother, anything! it’s crazy
I really am going to leave San Francisco. My life really does continue to flow past, winding its way, babbling. It hadn’t occurred to me in all these months of waiting for friends, striding through the streets, queuing for tables or games or festivals or buses, that I wouldn’t do so forever; I never imagined I’d stay here, but I conducted myself and my perceptions as though I would. Now, coming to the end, I feel like I always do: giddy, sentimental. But I’m getting older, too, fearful about my life and my failures. In all: a good weekend.

I really am going to leave San Francisco. My life really does continue to flow past, winding its way, babbling. It hadn’t occurred to me in all these months of waiting for friends, striding through the streets, queuing for tables or games or festivals or buses, that I wouldn’t do so forever; I never imagined I’d stay here, but I conducted myself and my perceptions as though I would. Now, coming to the end, I feel like I always do: giddy, sentimental. But I’m getting older, too, fearful about my life and my failures. In all: a good weekend.