When humans talk about pollution in the world it is always with a God complex. We are destroying the world and we will soon make it uninhabitable for us. There is a key point people don’t talk about when it comes to pollution and that is with almost all types of pollution the sacrifice of one life form can lead to the great benefit of another. The concept of pollution is a human creation regarding things we do that harms ourselves directly, but pollution as a concept to nature does not exist.
In 2010 NASA-supported researchers discovered a microorganism on earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. This discovery forced the scientists to change how they view life. Pollution to one life form can be the requirement of another. Take oxygen for example, plants do not utilize oxygen instead it is simply a by product of consuming C02. In much the same way human fecal matter is our by product. Humans live off the excrement of plants.
So the question becomes what is pollution and what is natural? Everything humans do is natural because after all we are derived from nature. Nothing we do can ever possibly defy nature. However, we are perfectly capable of destabilizing our own ecosystem and killing ourselves. The reason we need to reduce pollution is not to save nature but to save ourselves. This is an important distinction because we should not be afraid of replacing nature with our own technology if it means it can better support our survival.
As we move forward as a race we may figure out superior ways through technology to support human life that out perform our current ecosystem. We should not fear improving on nature for ourselves if it means the human race can survive and thrive.
People like to use the term random without actually really understanding what random means. The term random simply means an event has so many variables or inaccessible variables that it can’t be fully understood. Random is ignorance of the variables involved. When the variables of a situation can’t be accessed for one reason or another, science resorts to using statistical models. If a statistical model has any degree of success it is because it is picking up on constants indirectly.
In an attempt to explain the order in chaos I have built a new project which ca be accessed by clicking below.
Essentially what this project does is take a series of very standard waves and combines them to build a more complex wave form. You can play around with the different settings to get all kinds of interesting wave forms. The more waves you add and change, the more complex the final form will become. If you were not aware of all the different waves that went into creating the final form, you would have a very difficult time trying to figure out how it was created.
Another example would be to drop a dice down a very small tube and then slowly increase the size of the tube on additional rolls. As the tube got larger it would become increasingly difficult to predict how the dice would land. In the same way, in the above wave example it might be easy to guess or predict a wave form if it is only made up of two waves, but it would become increasingly difficult to predict as you added more.
The problem is that because random activity is built on orderly components, it can sometimes mislead us to believe we can predict it. In real life we have another name for it, we call it luck. What we consider luck is more a product of timing than any innate characteristic that gives us an upper hand. There will always be the temptation of trying to figure out how things work by looking at a final form, but we must aggressively resist this seduction. We can only gain true understanding by analyzing the underlying orderly components, not the final production.
Jason Koger is one of the first people to have two complete bionic hands. After losing both his hands, using technology he now has the capability to grasp things as small as jelly beans. Advances like this one support the idea that technology is rapidly integrating directly with us as opposed to being simply an auxiliary source of information or capability.
As technology becomes more advanced something very apparent rises to the surface. What we consider to be advanced technology is simply us catching up with nature. The primary difference between technology and traditional nature is that we have far more control over technology. As advanced as we often think we are, all our technology really does is replicate things in nature. Let’s use a car for example. While a car may not have any organic material present besides oil, a car functions very similar to the human body. It takes in food (gasoline) and then converts this food into energy which is utilized to execute its primary function of movement. While engaging in this process it does other similar things to us as well, for instance a car has filters and this is the same function our liver serves.
Soon we are going to start running into issues between what our technology can accomplish and our ideals. For instance, we all want to protect trees (for the most part) but trees are highly inefficient at clearing the atmosphere of pollutants; we require a significant amount of trees. What if with technology we can create a better tree? What if this new tree was almost indistinguishable from current trees?
The answer to this question is that humanity should come first, but we should make sure we are not jeopardizing ourselves by implementing brand new technology too quickly. With anything brand new there is always the potential for problems. We can mitigate this risk by not implementing new technology too fast. That said, we should never dismiss technology for the sole reason that it is in conflict with our existing ideals because our ideals can always change.
In the Bible there is not a single reference to the rejection of slavery. At that time in history slavery was just a normal part of life. As our civilization matured we realized that slavery lead to all kinds of abuses of humanity and that we could rise above it. The modern problem is the fact that religions are increasingly having less answers on not just the universe but also on moral issues. Usually what happens is that the truth becomes so blindingly obvious that the various religions will either adapt or die off.
A good example is cloning, the various issues regarding it are not discussed anywhere in religious texts. Our relationship with how industry should relate to nature is also not discussed in religion. When talking about the modern problem an example I like to use is leprosy. During the time of Jesus leprosy was a pretty big issue, and Jesus could apparently heal it. Today, we can cure leprosy without any type of divine intervention. What we once would of considered a miracle is just business as usual today. Another major issue religion might face in the next 200 years is the end of aging; something else that will have deep philosophical and moral implications.
Standard religious views have changed with time such as the idea that the earth is the center of the universe. The fact that we were not the center of the universe had deep philosophical implications because it would seem to imply that when we were “created” God didn’t give us any preferential treatment, a staple belief of the selfish human. Today of course, the issue is rarely discussed.
One of the last standing vestiges of religious “theory” is of course creation. Despite the tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence for evolution, the fact that macro evolution cannot be produced in the lab yet is the last string of hope for people who require a creation myth story. If we can produce macro evolution in the lab and or show the creation of some more complex proteins in the primordial soup, smarter and younger generations will not buy into any creation myths. Of course religions will adapt, the creation myth will become a metaphorical story instead of a literal one and people requiring religion will use a combination of tactics including pseudo logic to justify their beliefs.
“You would not get angry at a record player for not being able to play a CD.”
Unlike many critics however, I see religion as a catalyst for scientific progression. This might sound completely absurd, but let me explain. Religion in many ways has forced science to go above and beyond to prove points. Without religion there would be very little value in aggressively trying to show macro evolution in the lab. Further, I believe religion had a very small part in pushing scientists to find other means of acquiring stem cells for research.
For many religious adherents, there is a point of no return. It is a point when there beliefs are so integrated into their personalities that no amount of data will change their minds short of methods we have yet to realize as a society. A good metaphor would be a record player trying to play a CD, at a certain point new data becomes incompatible with previous modes of thought. This isn’t a characteristic restricted only to religion, it happens in science as well. Keep in mind, that we don’t necessarily want a record player to play a CD because the record player acts as a historical reference.
As Architects of order we do not limit ourselves because of change, however, this cannot be reasonably extended to the rest of the human population. Only so much effort should be exerted in an attempt to gain compatibility of thought because ultimately characters with archaic forms of perception will die. There is a separate issue of perception transference from parents to children, but the modern problem will resolve the majority of that issue. It might be easy to get angry at these people who do not seem to grasp certain modern concepts but anger and hate is not only frivolous, it is irrational. You would not get angry at a record player for not being able to play a CD. In the same way an architect should not get angry at a religious adherent for being incapable of accepting certain lines of modern thought.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, actually being present somewhere is worth trillions. There is a substantial difference between pictures and real life because in the case of a picture we are only seeing a thin layer of atoms where as actually viewing something in real life is the results of viewing billions if not trillions of atom compiled into a single view. Being some where also contributes to other senses such as taste, smell, and hearing.
Our ability to view things from afar is improving rapidly but even with all our advances in technology we cannot yet emulate the experience an astronaut has when looking at earth from afar. Certainly there is no amount of pictures that could truly replicate an experience like being in space. What pictures do help with is to create a deep longing within us to immerse ourselves in the universe. It can be difficult for us to express our experiences with others in a way that they can truly understand. Perception integration is a critical part of our future because without it we can not stop the misunderstandings which is the cause of so many human problems.
As a small side project I have created http://www.createdivinity.org. It is simply a selection of pictures put against music. A personal interest of mine is to discover ways of inducing different perceptions and introspection without drugs. I have discovered that for me personally the best perception shifting occurs at sunrise, sunset, or night. Looking at a city at night makes us aware of human capability. When there should be darkness we have created light, where there should be nothing we have created civilization. Night time also gives us a glimpse of the universe and our potential for exploration.
Jenny stood at the back door looking outside as it was raining, “Samuel, can we go out today? it’s been almost a year.” Samuel, who was fiddling with a widget nearby looked over at her, “Perhaps, what is our probability?” Jenny sighed a little and walked over to a nearby screen and began to talk to it in a frustrated tone, “What is our probability for today?” The screen threw up a number that said 0.0023% and then in a natural human voice proceeded to say, “The probability for today is 0.0023%, this exceptionally high probability is caused today by heavy rain.” Samuel looked back down at the widget he was fiddling with and said calmly, “not today honey, maybe tomorrow.” Probability was the chance that they could die. Several years after aging had been cured there was a paradigm shift in the majority of humanity where humans became obsessed with not dying and this lead to the emergence of probability; a real-time tracking of all human deaths with the reasons associated with them.
In previous posts I have talked about the idea of naturalization and how even when things can be radically different then in the past, we will feel as if everything is normal. If a time traveler could come from the past to the present they might believe themselves to be in some fantasy land where humans can fly or talk to each other across the globe instantly. When change happens often times it creeps up on us. This can be dangerous because we might slowly become accustomed to things we never actually wanted. This is why it is critical that we plan for radical change now.
Humans are living longer and longer and we are even regrowing organs. The cure for aging is becoming a reality and the problem is we don’t really consider it in practical terms. When human like life forms in fantasy live for long periods of time they pretty much live similar lives to us just over longer period. However, longer lives might not necessarily just be life as usual but longer. Here are some important ideas that should be considered when it comes to the cure for aging.
One of the major advantages of death is that radical idealists can be cleared out making way for more progressive younger individuals. If we cure aging these radicals could be persistent. All humans are designed in such a way that once we get an idea established for ourselves, we hold on to it as tightly as possible. While it is true that many people can become flexible, dogmatic thinking exists in every branch of human thinking and not just religion. Dogma is coming up with arguments to justify every possible stance to the support of the individual. This is a real problem because without death dogma will only get stronger, not weaker.
Hey remember when you lived in the arctic for 10 years, 500 years ago? No, no I don’t. We have always assumed our brains are capable of so much, but our brains weren’t actually designed (as far as we know) for lives longer then 100 years. Outside of mental illnesses, think about how much we forget right now. Technology will play a critical role in storing and retrieving our life memories. The other option is that we figure out how to give everyone an improved memory through Hyperthymesia.
Till death do us part takes on a completely different meaning when you can’t actually die by aging. There is some what of an accelerated need by humans of all types to get into relationships in order to reproduce whether they are aware of it or not. People will settle because of their limited timeline. It is impossible to predict how exactly relationships will change but I am quite confident they will.
Generational wealth and power can become even a more serious problem then it is now. Without death you could have families, corporations, or groups of people hold on to significant amounts of power indefinitely.
This is just a few of the things we will have to worry about on top of the more obvious ones like over population, insurance, and retirement implications. When we talk about the cure for aging we like to think about it in magical terms. The problem is once we actually have it, it will stop being magical and we will have a ton of issues that will have to be solved.
A group of individuals stand on an observation deck of a space station over looking earth. They watch the blue orb below as a female voice talks to them, “This is earth, our originator. While it has the highest biological diversity in our galaxy, it also has the highest historical death toll of organic life.” A child no more then 10 years old who had went through flash education looks over at the woman, “What is your opinion of the great human exodus from earth?” The woman snaps back to reality from reading her rehearsed script from memory, “Well there was really no reason to leave. After the human race completed cellular re-calibration, there was nothing stopping us from living there indefinitely.” The woman paused for a moment and then breathing out said, “I am of the opinion that there is the hope that something new will emerge from it that can associate itself with us.” The child looked at the woman with an inquisitive look, “You mean you were of the opinion right? According to hyper quantum mechanics we can predict everything that will happen on that planet down to the atom.” The woman frowned a bit, “Yes, of course, I meant was of the opinion.”
There is a commonly held belief that as much as we discover, there will always be more. Another concept that is related to this is that even if we figured out how everything works in science, there will always be the spiritual realm to discover. What if there is a limit? A critical mass of knowledge that can explain everything. Let’s hypothetically imagine for a moment that through neurotheology we could explain things like spirituality, religion, and we even discover that, through some means we are currently not fully aware of, our brains are all communicating with each other and this explains everything from coincidence to remote viewing. How would we handle this?
If the universe is discovered and we can even explain spirituality, what would the future of humanity hold? This idea might be disastrous to some and I don’t think it would be limited to those deeply religious or spiritual individuals either. A lot of scientists, including famous atheist Richard Dawkins, believe that we don’t need religion because there is so much to be discovered in science. Science is an endless well of things that will astound us, that is the hope, but what if they are wrong? I also personally believe that a lot of scientists who maintain religious ties do so because they personally want to believe that there will always be something more for them to discover. Francis Collins, one of the primary directors of the human genome project, is an evangelical christian.
There is a lot of different ideas about our existence such as us being the product of a divine entity, a product of chemical chance, and also that we are all God. If all those ideas were wrong, what would we be? We’re not a creation of a third party (God), we are not here simply by chemical chance (a mere bi-product of galaxy emergence), and we are also not God. So what are we? This might seem like a logical impossibility, surely one of those previous ideas has to be the correct one. There is another possible explanation and that is we are the birth place of that thing we call God or as I title the process, Elolight. This universe is nothing but a womb and every life form that emerges in it has nothing more then the potential of ripping a multidimensional tear in the universe to escape to a reality beyond this one. The biggest danger is not discovery, or that things will die, the biggest danger is that this universe will not give birth to its intended child.
When it comes to the economy, technology, and government the human race is relatively new to this. People will regularly make claims about certain policies working or not working but the reality is that on many issues there are so many variables involved that we can’t really know for 100% certainty if something worked or, more importantly, if something worked for the reasons we think it did.
Consider for a moment that a hundred years ago we didn’t have flight. We are facing problems today that humanity has simply never encountered before because we didn’t have the technology. Globalization is happening and we are really only scratching the surface. Flight is only one major change, more recently we have had the technological communication revolution (the internet) and fundamental changes in production because of automation.
With all of these things being relatively new it is really hard for anyone or any economist to really make perfect predictions for the future. We simply don’t have enough information yet. In 200-300 years humanity will have a trove of data to dig through regarding policies and the economic implications of those policies but right now all we can really do is make best guess scenarios. No one likes to think of themselves as being experimented on but that is actually the reality of what is going on right now.
In exchange for being able to witness some of the most fundamental changes in human history we pay for it by, unfortunately, being the test subjects of figuring out how all this is going to work out. It is important for us to recognize this because, as I have stated in other posts, it is very easy for us to be hyperbolic and make knee jerk reactions to things. We really are in one of the most important times in history. We are the explorers and discoverers of what will work for us moving forward in this new world we are creating for ourselves. Like anything worth doing there are heavy risks involved but I believe the risks, in this instance, are well worth it.
I once worked with a developer who said something interesting, “I find it so funny, everyone is talking about building fusion reactors. We already have a giant fusion reactor, it is called the sun.”
What I am about to discuss might sound unrealistic, but it is already happening. In 20 years there will be very little conversations about coal, oil, and nuclear. Right now solar energy is doubling in efficiency every two years and its cost is dropping by about 50% each year. This article on Bloomberg outlines this for the last year. Even 13 year olds are making solar power more efficient.
An expert in the field of technology acceleration, Ray Kurzweil predicted many things using the idea of an exponential curve. Solar Energy is going through the same process computers went through when they went from filling a room to being in your pocket, check out this video below.
All energy sources on the planet, with the exception of geothermal, is caused by the sun. Fossil fuels are the remains of living organisms which could only exist because of the sun. Even wind is caused by the temperature in variance created by the sun heating the planet.
If you’re an investor, solar energy is where you would want to put your money. For the average person, it may be possible to finally move past the energy conversation and move on to more pressing issues.
The Decentralization of Power
When people start talking about Solar, they think that once it gets efficient enough, the government will just plug in a couple large fields of solar panels and hook them up to the grid. I have an alternate theory based on what is actually going on now.
Right now, all over the world, people are starting to get off the grid. An investment in solar can pay itself off in 10-15 years but every year the price drops the amount of years it takes for it to pay itself off will also decline. As this happens more people will get off the grid. It is highly probable that in 8 years time a significant amount of the population around the world will have homes powered by solar.
By the time the 16 year mark rolls around the government may need to do very little because people will already be off the grid. It is much cheaper to have a decentralized power system then to have a centralized one. Not only that, a decentralized system is more resilient to catastrophes. In the same way personal computers spread to everyone’s houses as they got cheaper so will solar power generators.
With the recent Bill Nye Video on creationism, I thought I would take the time to write about science and the human condition. The primary friction when it comes to the theory of evolution for the religious is that it would prove that God did not create us in a complete form but also that the religious text of genesis would be wrong. Scientists need to produce not only in lab results for macro evolution (not micro) but also for how amino acids could form proteins in the primordial soup. These are two things scientists will need to do to get the populous at large to believe in evolution, simply providing circumstantial evidence in the form of fossils is not enough. This will ultimately happen even if the timeline is unknown.
However, this whole debate is a little misplaced because in the grand scheme of things evolution will be the smallest thing that will affect mainstream religions. If we push the evolution debate to one side and then we push the belief in God to the other side below the surface we will see something else brewing. The things that are happening right now are mind boggling. First, we are on are way to curing cancer by modifying a patient’s own white blood cells. We are even regrowing organs and this is without using fetus stem cells. What used to be science fiction is becoming science fact. We are very well on our way to curing aging and even death by sickness.
Curing aging will fundamentally change society and not just for the religious. Death underlies a lot of successful businesses and dictates a lot of government policy. If people stop aging and getting sick, religious beliefs will be the least of our problems. We will have to deal with social programs, over population, and more. The implications of living a thousand years could mean you could literally do everything there is to do on this world, we have never had this issue before. People may become shut-ins minimizing any exterior physical risk to themselves so that there will never be any risk of dying. A lot of our willingness to take physical risks now is the fact that at some point we are going to die but what if that becomes no longer the case?
When these changes come and bubble to the surface a lot of people who were very sure of their beliefs may begin to question them. The things science is discovering right now will fundamentally change the way we think, act, and feel. Whether this is for the better or for the worse is yet to be seen but either way these changes are happening.