Thursday 22 March 2018

#480 Life as a pool table - part 3

After giving the balls basic survival skills, mating rituals and reproductive capabilities in Part 2, I felt stuck. They were doing things but they still had no awareness. How on earth was I going to give it to them? After pondering it for a while, the answer came. The same way as evolution. One small step at a time. What did they need next? The ability to see.

The concept of light-sensitivity
Light particles/waves are very small. So too are the dust particles from which the pool balls are made. Some of the particles are so small that when the light hits them, they react. In other words, they are light-sensitive. In some of the balls, there happen to be clusters of these small, light-sensitive bits of dust.

The concept of eyes
If a dust ball rolls over a hard bump in the slate, the impact may form a small crater on the ball's surface. If the crater contains a cluster of light-sensitive particles, then the location of the reaction to the light will be particularly dependent on the direction that the light is coming from.

The concept of sight
The balls that gather the most dust grow fastest and therefore survive and reproduce most often. The dust is unevenly distributed across the slate, however it reflects light. The dust balls with light-sensitive craters are sensitive to the reflected light from the surface dust. They effectively know where their food is although so far they don't know that they know it and have no desire or incentive to go after it.

It seems worth noting at this point that the developments described should be imagined to have taken place over millions of years. What's more, as stated at the outset, there are trillions of dust balls. The dust balls are tiny in size and exist in a vast environment. What this means is that rare chance events, the likes of which, on a given day might seem almost impossible can become, in the grander scales of space and time, almost inevitable.

Also, I am not suggesting that every development written about here is fully possible in reality or that these examples are a good representation of how life evolved on planet earth. This is just a thought experiment and the first draft at that.

To be continued


Fizzfan said...

So I went ohhhhhh, when I imagined the dust with light sensitive cells hitting a bump.
I’m happy with the dust that had a bump, that caused a lump in their light sensitive bit, eventually becoming eyes.

So next is food location. I’m cited:)

If your explanation of the evolution of dust lumps isn’t wholly accurate I will be entirely unable to comment because up til now I’ve never really imagined it. It sounds too plausible to not be right though.
I really like this:)

I have no news today that took my fancy other than there’s some live sculptures on show with squash type gourds on their head that are apparently more alluring than conventional sculptures.
This is amusing so I totally agree.

Profound Familiarity said...

I had no feel for how this dust ball series would be received and am still figuring it out so I'm glad you like it.

Where are the sculptures? Near you?

Fizzfan said...

I like the bizarre and am curious about the thought processes that figured out that live vegetable heads could make it into an art gallery. I wish I could have been in on the conversations that led to it happening.

Actually I seem to be going through a phase of just liking nonsense. Not sure if it’s because real news is just so damned depressing.

Your dust balls (see even thinking about the term dust balls is funny) series is brilliant, because it’s such a serious subject and yet I’m amused and intrigued because I want them to have to have a better existence.

Profound Familiarity said...

I hadn't expected that you would develop an emotional attachment to the fictitious balls of dust.

I intend to continue to show their development into increasingly sophisticated entities that use tools, cooperate, develop language, think abstractly, hold beliefs and become self-aware like us... so, no, they won't have a better existence :) :) :) just a more complicated one :)

Fizzfan said...

That was all just funny:)))

My emotional attachments are a mystery to me too but I definitely am routing for them!

Trouble is my imagined dust balls have started mutating into gremlins....I’m not sure if you might have to introduce some fluff balls to stop them wreaking havoc.