June 6, 2014

Into The Next

In this post, I'm going to give an idea of where I think we're headed, and where to look for alien life.

Here's my Wave of Refinement theory:  On some cosmic level, we're at the crest of a wave -- a wave that started at the beginning of the universe.  It's a wave of refinement.  It started off with a vast sea of energy (immediately following the Big Bang), transforming into matter, into galaxies, into solar systems, into life, into intelligent life, into computers, into the next, into the next.

Each of these phases is considerably faster than the one before it.  Technology cycles (like adoption rates of fire, language, written language, printing press, electricity, then phone, then television, then cable, then internet, then cell phone, then Facebook, then Twitter) are collapsing from millenia to centuries to decades to years.

Take a Good Stare
Now ponder this: Where will we be in one thousand years?  Personally, when I really try to look ahead, and then I ponder this question, it's the cognitive equivalent of staring into intense direct sunlight -- only instead of intense light, it's intense chaos.  But the result is the same -- I cognitively have to avert my gaze, it's too intense to keep looking.

The world will be totally unrecognizable in a thousand years.  I'm not sure it will be recognizable in a hundred.  Things are transforming.  We'll be inside the computers soon, whatever that means.  I don't think we have the imagination to KNOW what that means, but it's what's going to happen.  Experts can agree on scant few details, aside from the porn being amazing.

But I think I see where this is generally headed, even after we merge with computers.  Into tinier bits of energy, with quicker processing times.  A year to us now will be an absolute eternity to future manifestations of this wave of refinement.  Much like a century now is an eternity compared to caveman days (e.g., 100,000 years ago), and that was but a fraction of the time before that.

As a result, if we seek other intelligence, perhaps we're looking for it at the wrong level.  Perhaps the majority of intelligent life has, for all intents and purposes, refined itself so much that it is woven into the universe as a form of energy. ...but not energy like photons and joules, something far more subtle and essential.

Don't Bet On It
For them, our life would be ridiculously slow.  We're slower than the slowest tortoise, and any attempt at communication would be tantamount to shaping the rings on a tree that after ten thousand years spells out the "h" in "hello".  To them, we are a mountain range or a scultpure:  we're just matter.    Probably the closest analogy would be a reef, which people treat as a thing, but it is (or at least has the potential to be) alive.

So that sucks.  No Martian babes, apparently.

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