• Introduction (coming soon)
    • About Me
    • My Motivations
    • A Stage for Rational Discourse
  • The Mind: Internal Reality
    • The Importance of Belief
    • The Illusion of the Self
    • Consciousness
  • The Universe: External Reality
    • The Origin and Future of The Universe
    • The Illusion of Free Will
    • Control In Understanding
    • Freedom As An Emergent Property of Consciousness
  • Personal Well-being
    • Happiness
    • Selfishness

fantasy

My brain is a strange efficiency machine. Every time I watch some sort of fantasy movie such as Harry Potter or a Marvel movie or Lord of the Rings, I always envision what I would do if I suddenly found myself in that universe. And really, they all follow the same basic pattern: I would embark on a quest for increasing amounts of knowledge to ultimately increase my odds of survival (can't have Voldemort or Sauron making quick work of your master plan) and enhance my ability to make the universe a better place... and it seems I am hard-wired this way (indeed we all are, to varying extents).

Let us imagine we were transported to the Harry Potter universe (and I had some magic ability in my blood): the first thing I would do is read books to find spells which enhanced my memory, until I could find a spell (or multiple spells) that basically made it flawless (photographic memory). Of course, there are other things I wouldn't mind enhancing along the way like my senses, my reaction time / the speed of my thinking, my innate magic ability, etc., but the critical one is memory. Then I would search for and learn a spell that allowed me to read entire books at once with just a wave of my wand. Then I would run around the library wanding books day in, day out until eventually I'd come across a spell (or make my own) for reading books en masse, perhaps simply by pointing at a building (e.g. a library) or being in proximity of them. At this point I'd certainly know to disapparate (teleport from one place to another), so I'd be teleporting everywhere in the world and absorbing all the knowledge of every library in the world. Don't forget — I have perfect memory so I'd be able to remember the contents of every one of these books precisely, along with an exponentially growing number of abilities that I've been amassing this whole time, perfectly indexed in my brain. At this point I'm already easily the most powerful wizard in the history of wizards, but it doesn't stop there. After I consume all the knowledge of the planet I'd create spells that let me travel vast distances (to other solar systems and even galaxies) and absorb all the knowledge found there as well — assuming we're not the only living creatures in the universe.

Effectively, I would just become a sort of "growing knowledge engine", devoid of any particular physical form, spreading across the universe ever in search of knowledge and growth. And being so powerful I could multi-task and I would use my power for good everywhere I came across, helping nurture planets and societies around the universe. But what is "good"? It's relative, of course. When one thing becomes more, another thing becomes less — it is the law of conservation of matter and energy. When humanity flourishes other things may die out.

I truly wonder if my intellect were to grow a million-fold more advanced than it is today, would I hold the same moral views? Will I still want to push humanity forward as I do today?

I like to think so, but who knows? After thinking about it some time, I reckon there's really only two options in life for a conscious being: you can be an interventionist or a non-interventionist. In other words, either one will take a strict non-interventionist approach and recede into the background letting the universe play-out as it will, or one will be deeply involved in it, accelerating the growth of all other entities in the universe along with them until some maximum knowledge state is reached and the entire universe is filled to the brim with the "sea" of this massive knowledge entity... I don't understand what the point of the first option would be though. Why wait? I can conceive of no principle in my mind as to why not intervening in the universe is a good thing. So then, for now I assume the latter will occur: my growing knowledge engine brain will intervene and catch everyone up to my level, which is probably just to say convert all matter into more of what I am until the entire universe is filled and there is nothing left to explore/learn. What happens then?

I don't think anyone can really know at this point. I can't even imagine anything beyond that. Perhaps, it will be time for the individual outside our universe to hit the "reset" button and start over our universe simulation[1][2][3]....


  1. Simulation hypothesis (Wikipedia)↩︎

  2. Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? (Scientific American)↩︎

  3. The Simulation Hypothesis — Why Quantum Physics, AI, and Eastern Mystics Agree We Are In A Video Game (Hackernoon)↩︎

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