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At present, I am limited to nine pages, so I'm going to use this page as sort of a blog. I want to present some ideas that are outside the realm of particle physics and cosmology, which is the normal focus of this website.
The first item I want to comment on is a book that I only just finished listened to on CD (end of Jan. 2013) that is about a decade old now. We don't always know about great things when they are new, it sometimes takes a while. That is the way I feel about ultrawaves, and how it seems to have been relegated to obscurity.
The book I referred to above is Ray Kurzwiel's "The Singularity is Near". It is an exploration into the future of man and machine, and how the two will eventually combine to create a new species. It is full of great references, lots of statistical information, and a timeline for advances in nanotechnology and medical adaptation of nanotech. Two consequences of the combining of man and machine that he mentioned in the book resonated deep inside me. The first was the increase in mental capacity, or IQ, that would come with the ability to have instant access to any and all information stored in databases that were open to access by all, as well as the speed provided by computer type processors. The second was the inevitable existence of a virtual reality environment where the impossible would become not only possible, but commonplace.
The idea of being able to increase IQ raised a question in my mind, what is intelligence? Right now, our measure of IQ shows a limit of somewhere around 200 basis points for humans. Is intelligence merely a combination of speed, pattern recognition, knowledge absorbsion and creativity. The first three can easily be seen as benefiting from computer style speed and data access, but what about creativity? Can it be broken down into quantifiable components that can be replaced by certain aspects of the other three items? If creativity can be just as easily increased as the other three then can we say that computational processing speed is the only limit of intelligence? Doesn't that imply that all humans who combine with machine intelligence will essentially be identical in the end? Won't they all have the same IQ if they all have the same processor power? Do we value our individuality too much to permit that type of outcome, or will mankind end up as some form of Borg-like race. I suppose it depends on how connected we allow ourselves to become and how much information is shared. Does this mean that information will become the currency of the future?
The idea of creating a virtual reality that is just as real as what we experience is exciting. Being able to create exvironments without the limits imposed by matter, energy and gravity will allow the creation of some truly bizarre environments. Why bother expending enormous amounts of natural resources to expand our reach into outer space and the exploration of the galaxy when we can economically recreate, or just create, whatever we can see or imagine. It makes no sense to remain in the real world when the virtual world will be so much more exciting and wonderful. Is that why we do not see signs of any other intelligence in the Universe? They may have all gone into the virtual worlds of their imaginations.
Over the next couple of decades—through the end of the 2020's or into the early 2030's—we will have to answer these questions and many more. If we all end up in virtual reality, some type of machinery will be responsible for interaction with the real world and converting resources into usable hardware to support our software selves. With our speeded up intellects, time will seem to move very slowly outside of the virtual world. Just how short a timespan in the real world will it have taken us to experience everything there is to experience. After all, with super intelligence we will soon have answered all questions about the Universe, so there will be nothing new to learn. Won't we become so bored that we have no reason to carry on? We must decide before it's too late if this is the path that we will be following, and if this is truly the final destination.
It would definitely be advantageous to leave the real world and its draw on limited resorces required by living humans and move to the virtual world where less destructive use of natural resources will be necessary. Also, the population growth will be fixed once everyone has moved into the virtual world, so any increase in resource use will be applied to improvements or expansion of the virtual existence. It seems prudent to begin with a sample size of humanity who will test the virtual world to see if it is worth giving up our physical selves, for that is the ultimate goal of virtual reality. Once we commit there is no going back, so we must be certain that it is all that we expect it to be, and that it is truly what we want.