Future Failure

I was talking with my neuroscientist roommate Spencer about some ideas of brain chips, and I remembered this journal entry of mine:

Future Failure

Oh great mystery, external master of this simulation, speak your thoughts with my words. For now I ask a difficult and personal question, and I always want more objective input. The question is: Are you afraid of being a failure in the future? I pondered this question a few nights ago, dear friend, and as I kept thinking I became less and less concerned.

I started by imagining someone who lived on the other side of 285, who had parents that did the same things I did, who grew up in basically the same manner: overseas and school and adventures. I wasn’t trying to imagine myself, but someone very similar due to a similar brain and environment. I posited him working for a nonprofit, feeling anguish, traveling overseas, coming back and going back to school. Getting a Master’s or PHD and running a business while teaching. I imagined him meeting a woman and falling in love and marrying her, having kids and raising them. Taking care of parents and having and buying overseas property, perhaps S. America. Then I went further and imagined him growing old in this world. I imagined his body failing at a rate slower than the medical advances were coming. I imagined him getting a brain chip, one of the first of people to do it, that would severely augment his powers. I imagined an increase in computer power, whereby he could “live” both on his computer and his physical body.

Eventually artificial virtual intelligences were created, and they helped him as he designed new worlds, created from scratch but existing in an imperceptible substrate so they seemed just as real. As his consciousness grew ever more, he could handle more and more sensors and processors for those sensors in the virtual world. At first he mainly required the assistance of the AGIs to design and run his world, but he grew in power to conceive of and manage the details. First he had only a tiny consciousness of one form on one planet in the virtual universe. Soon he expanded to a group, a region, the planet. In the virtual existence he kept expanding, to include the solar system, the galaxy, the entire universe.

At this point I was stumped in my imagination. Once you can hold the entire universe in mind at once, what is next? Then I remembered his physical body, in the higher plane of existence. When you can conceive of everything in your virtual universe, such that it holds no more surprises, then it is time to communicate with other consciousnesses in the higher universe so you both can share ideas.

Really I tend to think that once you can run a sub-universe on the super-universe’s hardware, the pattern of life and consciousness becomes effectively infinite. It can be run faster and faster on the super-universe, all the while you are living myriad lives in a sub-universe. Given the probability of this eventually occurring, I think we therefore are living in a sub-universe right now.

Either it’s impossible to simulate a universe, or a consciousness would not want to, or we are living in one. I don’t see how the first two are sensible, so that’s why I accept a Mystery of God.


Self Made Man

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