What To Watch On Netflix: Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design

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The Meaning Of Life

The Grand Design

The Grand Design

So before I was a Web Developer I was a Scientist for a Biotech and Pharmaceutical Labs.  I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think I had chosen the correct path in life and I decided to do something different with my life.  I was successful and worked for top pharmaceutical companies, but sometimes the job sounded more exciting than it really was.  It was a hard job.  I still miss it and may return at some point as the industry is always growing and has needs for Programmers and Developers all the time.

Being a Scientist is a lot of fun, but unless you are the next Stephen Hawking or Neil deGrasse Tyson, you might not make as much money as you would have thought and you might be doing the same thing over and over and over again. You will be doing a lot of searching for the Meaning of Life under the Fluorescent Lighting in a Lab or University.  Is this what I was meant to do all day?  Search for microbes under a microscope or test if the new medication is sterile.  I tested hundreds of thousands of samples in the lab.

That being said, I’m a Programmer and Web Developer now, and I’m still in school for a little while longer.  I’m posting this now while I have a little free time as this semester starts back up next week and I won’t have as much time to post.

The Inexplicable  Universe: Unsolved Mysteries

Discovery Channel UK Episode is from Physicist Stephen Hawking, the famous Cambridge Theorist who makes Physics understandable for all of us to explore and enjoy.  In it Stephen Hawking discusses searching for the meaning of life and showcases a few topics for discussion or pondering about what really is the meaning to life and why we are all here.  If you want to watch more episodes like the Stephen Hawking series, you may like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s, The Inexplicable Universe series.  It definitely will get you to thinking as well.

Here is a Universe Talk, Does the Universe Have A Purpose from popular Physicists and Scientists and other philosophers today, from Templeton.org.

Philosophy, Religion, What’s It All For Exactly?

Like many of you, I often question many things about our existence; Why are we here? What is it all for? Am I On The Right Path? I am a student who is almost about to graduate and go back into the real world so I’m trying to figure life out anew.  I thought the Netflix Episode was really great and just wanted to share it with everyone else.   It was very well made and has many interesting discussions and ideas from Stephen Hawking on Life, Reality, and Why are we all here?  Here it is on Netflix,  Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design:  The Meaning Of Life.

IMDB and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos



If you look on IMDB and on the Internet, there isn’t much on this episode and the topics discussed in Stephen Hawking’s documentary show. IMDB link to Grand Design, The Meaning Of Life.  I was really blown away by how good it was.  It is heavily influenced by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos documentary. Oh and  by the way, Netflix no longer has Carl Sagan’s series in their library if you were wondering.  People seem to be a little upset on Reddit as a result of this.  Just another day on this Blue Planet we call Earth.  Okay, back to the Hawking Episode.

Discovery UK’s Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design

Discover UK website for The Meaning Of Life Episode, I think it’s a British Episode not shown as much in the States, but that is what Netflix is for right?  Additionally, the photos from the Episode are really good so check those out as well here, Grand Design Photos.   It starts off with Rene Descartes’  “I Think Therefore I Am” quote and the beginnings of Science and Physics.  We learn about how this French Philosopher pondered life’s existence based on a thought.  Ultimately, we are both Mind and Body. But is that Mind Programmed or is it Free Will? To learn more about Philosophy and Rene Descartes you may be interested in the Internet Encyclopedia Of Philosophers Page, Rene Descartes. I just can’t get enough of his famous quotes.

Grand Design

Stephen Hawking NASA

Stephen Hawking NASA

So I won’t go too deep into the Episode and give everything away, but it does bring up some important concepts on what is the purpose to our existence, our thoughts, our minds, our bodies.  Why are we all here?  Who is it all for?  What are we all doing?  Why are we all doing it?  But often you are left with more Questions than Answers, and many will probably feel this way after finishing watching the documentary.  But it is a good start at pinpointing what science has done for our current reality and the world that we all live in today.  I’m broadcasting this across the globe on my website.  Is that what I was meant to do or be?  We shall see, but I enjoy the web and technology and I really love science and everything about it.  I hope you enjoyed this post and will watch the episode and maybe learn something you didn’t already know.

Programming and Coding In Life

I was really intrigued by the segment on John Conway’s Game Of Life.  Basically, there is an infinitely spread out Universe Grid of bits either On or Off.   Here is a Youtube Video that shows the Computer Simulation and what it could mean for life and our existence.  Now life is often more simple than we make it out to be.  What if we are just a bit that is Either On when we are Alive, and Off when we are Dead.  Who Knows?  But the game simulation brings up interesting models for life as the simulation continues throughout it’s programming sequence.  Here is another Youtube video that is Titled, Epic Conway’s Game Of Life.  It is an interesting concept as I studied how life is coded chemically with DNA, RNA, Amino Acids, and Proteins.  Speciation and Evolution has brought us here today.  Or is it all Aliens?  I won’t go into the Ancient Aliens theorists in this post. You may download and play the game yourself on Bitstorm.org and John Conway’s Webpage, The Game Of Life.   Are we all just a computer program?  Maybe, maybe not.  For more on Conway you may visit Wiki’s Game Of Life Page.

Grand Design Critics

We all used to think that the Sun revolved around the Earth at one point in time. That the plague was caused by an act from God.   And there are always critics, as the case with those who are adamant about proving they are right with religion.  If that’s what you believe then so be it, but I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about anything, no matter how smart I may be, and I don’t think you really know either.  But Stephen Hawking makes sense to me, so I listen to what he has to say.  If he doesn’t make sense to you, you don’t have to believe what he has to say.  Simple as that.

The Matrix

Often this brings up ideas about The Matrix and being programmed or simulated in life.  Are we all just programmed and predestined in existence.  Are we simply brains in a Jar, programmed with memories as was brought up in Hawking’s documentary piece.  I don’t know, what’s the point of that, but that is what Hawking brings up.  As with Fish in a Pond looking up into our world, we might not understand the whole purpose of it all.  With other dimensions, Calculus, and Math we know a lot, but we still can’t exactly fathom things outside of our understanding.  So Exist, and Think, and know that you get out of life what you put into it and good things will come to you.  But knowing if we are heading in the right path or second guessing life is just part of our human nature.  We are curious and self-aware beings with free will and thinking.  We can dream up and create wonderful things if we all just put our minds together.  As with the crowd, or the internet, or projects we may work on, we are all a part of this cosmos and must work together in harmony.

Is The Universe A Giant Computer Simulation?

I stumbled upon this article in Time Magazine on The Matrix and Programming and wanted to share that as well as we often think about programming and AI.  Here it is from Time’s Techland.

I’ve started making my way (skeptically) through Ray Kurzweil’s How to Create a Mind, and at the recommendation of a friend, I’ve also started keeping tabs on KurzweilAI, a Kurzweil-blessed site devoted to futurism coverage — everything from the latest 3D printer tech and anti-cancer drugs to brain-based pacemakers and “exploding killer plasmonic nanobubbles.”

This morning, I noticed a story that sort of coincides with one I wrote a couple weeks ago about our brains, the Internet and the universe. Does the possibility that the universe is structured like an extremely complex network — that our brains and the things we create with them, like the Internet, may resemble the universe’s underlying structure — also imply that we exist in an incomprehensibly sophisticated computer-like simulation?

“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe,” says Laurence Fishburne’s character Morpheus in that eminently quoted scene from The Matrix. “You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

University of Oxford physics professor Nick Bostrom wasn’t the first person to suggest reality could be computer-fied — the idea’s been around since I was a kid, at least, reaching a kind of pop-cultural critical mass in the Matrix films — but he may have been the first to take a stab at a “red pill” explanation, laying out his theory in an actual paper published in 2003. Call it another version of the strong Anthropic Principle, except the universe’s catalyst would in this instance be an advanced civilization running an unfathomably sophisticated massively multi-player, um, cosmos game.

Read the rest of this article from Techland.

Into The Universe

Young Stephen Hawking

Young Stephen Hawking

If you want to watch more Stephen Hawking Documentaries, Into the Universe is a good series as well.  You can check that out a little more if you would like on this website, TopDocumentaryFilms.com.  Stephen Hawking’s Into The Universe.

Happy Programming,

~Catalyst Web Dev

Again, here is that Episode Link for Netflix.  http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Stephen_Hawking_s_Grand_Design/70294674

Stephen Hawking NASA

Stephen Hawking NASA

Cambridge University

Cambridge University

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