Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Beginning is Near

From Jason Silva, The Beginning of Infinity (ht Singularity Hub):

"I am very much an optimist. I'm reminded of Rich Doyle's line from Darwin's Pharmacy. He says, 'Dreams do not lack reality. They are real patterns of information.' Or the Imaginary Foundation says that the role of human imagination is to conceive of all these delightful futures and choose the most amazing, exciting and ecstatic possibility and then pull the present forward to meet it.

"That is what we do. We bring our imaginings into existence. But I think that as technology has advanced, we have found ways to outsource our mental capacities to our tools so much more. Our ability to manipulate the physical world has increased in an exponential fashion, so we've been able to shrink the lag time between our imaginings and their instantiation in the real world.

"David Deutsch speaks in his new book The Beginning of Infinity, he says, "If you look at the topography of the island of Manhattan today, that topography is a topography in which the forces of economics and culture and human intent have trumped the forces of geology." I mean, the topography of Manhattan today is no longer shaped by mere geology; it's shaped by the human mind and by economics and by culture.

"So what David Deutsch extrapolates is that ultimately that will be the fate of the whole universe. He says gravitation and antimatter might only shape the universe at its earliest and least-interesting stages, but eventually, the whole entire thing will be subject to the intent of substrate-independent, infinitely-more-powerful minds.

"And to conceive of that just... It just makes me feel ecstatic."

There's far more from Jason Silva here.

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