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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Future As A Present.....

When time came to an end, the gods decided to run a final experiment. They wanted to be prepared after the big crunch for potential trajectories of life after the next big bang. For their experiment they choose two planets in the universe where evolution had resulted in similar developments of life. For planet ONE they decided to interfer with evolution by allowing only ONE species to develop their brain to a high level of complexity. This species referred to itself as being „intelligent“; members of this species were very proud about their achievements in science, technology, the arts or philosophy.

For planet TWO the gods altered just one variable. For this planet they allowed that TWO species with high intelligence would develop. The two species shared the same environment, but — and this was crucial for the divine experiment — they did not communicate directly with each other. Direct communication was limited to their own species only. Thus, one species could not inform directly the other one about future plans; each species could only register what has happened to their common environment.

The question was how life would be managed on planet ONE and on planet TWO. As for any organism, the goal was on both planets to maintain an internal balance or homeostasis by using optimally the available resources. As long as the members of the different samples were not too intelligent stability was maintained. However, when they became more intelligent and according to their own view really smart, and when the frame of judgment changed, i.e. individual interests became dominant, trouble was preprogrammed. Being driven by uncontrolled personal greed, more resources were drawn form the environment than could be replaced. Which planet would do better with such species of too much intelligence to maintain the conditions of life?

Data analysis after the experimental period of 200 years showed that planet TWO did much better to maintain stability of the environment. Why this? The species on planet TWO had to monitor always the consequences of actions of the other species. If one would take too many resources for individual satisfaction, sanctions by the other species would be the consequence. Thus, drawing resources from the environment was controlled by the other species in a bi-directional way resulting in a dynamic equilibrium.

When the gods published their results, they drew the following conclusions: Long-term stability in complex systems like in social systems with members of too much intelligence can be maintained if two complementary systems interact with each other. In case only one system like on planet ONE has been developed it is recommended to adopt for regulative purposes a second system. For social systems it should be the next generation. Their future environment should be made present both conceptually and emotionally. By doing so long-term stabillity is guaranteed.

Being good brain scientists the gods knew that making the future present is not only a matter of abstract or explicit knowledge. This is necessary but not sufficient for action resulting in a long-term equilibrium. Decisions have to be anchored in the emotional systems as well, i.e. an empathic relationship between the members of the two systems has to be developed. If the future becomes present, it can future be a present.

Posted by Ajay :: 4:27 PM :: 0 comments

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We're talking about changing everything — not just our abilities, relationships, politics, economy, religion, biology, language, mathematics, history and future, but all of these things at once. The only single event I can see shifting pretty much everything at once is our first encounter with intelligent, extra-terrestrial life.

The development of any of our current capabilities — genetics, computing, language, even compassion — all feel like incremental advances in existing abilities. As we've seen before, the culmination of one branch of inquiry always just opens the door to a new a new branch, and never yields the wholesale change of state we anticipated. Nothing we've done in the past couple of hundred thousand years has truly changed everything, so I don't see us doing anything in the future that would change everything, either.

No, I have the feeling that the only way to change everything is for something be done to us, instead. Just imagining the encounter of humanity with an "other" implies a shift beyond the solipsism that has characterized our civilization since our civilization was born. It augurs a reversal as big as the encounter of an individual with its offspring, or a creature with its creator. Even if it's the result of something we've done, it's now independent of us and our efforts.

To meet a neighbor, whether outer, inner, cyber- or hyper- spatial, finally turns us into an "us." To encounter an other, whether a god, a ghost, a biological sibling, an independently evolved life form, or an emergent intelligence of our own creation, changes what it means to be human.

Our computers may never inform us that they are self-aware, extra-terrestrials may never broadcast a signal to our SETI dishes, and interdimensional creatures may never appear to those who aren't taking psychedelics at the time — but if any of them did, it would change everything.

Posted by Ajay :: 3:46 PM :: 0 comments

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