[ExI] Re: Wheres my bodys Control Panel ?
thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Apr 14 01:32:27 UTC 2009
At 10:34 AM 4/14/2009 +0930, Emlyn wrote:
>If, before you
>colonize the galaxy, you first engineer yourself out of Middle
>World, then your mega engineering might look to the primitives like
>very strange rules of physics that almost make sense but not quite.
To quote THE SPIKE, where I recalled Stanislaw Lem's fictional notion:
<Re-writing the cosmic laws
Polish polymath Stanislaw Lem once made a similar suggestion. Then
why don't we find all those archaic galactic civilizations?
...because they are already everywhere... A
billion-year-old civilization employs [no instrumental technologies].
Its tools are what we call the Laws of Nature. The present Universe
no longer is the field of play of forces chemical, pristine, blindly
giving birth to and destroying suns and their systems... In the
Universe it is no longer possible to distinguish what is `natural'
(original) from what is `artificial' (transformed).
The primordial cosmos might have possessed different laws in
different regions (a notion common to current claims by cosmologists
Fred Hoyle and Andrei Linde). If so, only in certain remote patches
might life arise. Attempting to stabilize its environment, each early
Spiked culture would jiggle the local laws of physics to its taste,
until in their hungry expansion for living space they begin to
encroach upon each other's territories.
Vast wars would follow: `The fronts of their clashes made
gigantic eruptions and fires, for prodigious amounts of energy were
released by annihilation and transformations of various kinds...
collisions so powerful that their echo reverberates to this day'--in
the form of the 2.7 degree Kelvin background radiation, mistakenly
assumed to be a residue of the Big Bang. It is a charming
cosmogony--an explanation for the birth and shape of the observed
universe--and it fits all too neatly with the colossal intergalactic
filaments and voids first detected years after Lem published his jape...
This universe of Lem's, torn asunder in conflict over its
very architecture by titanic Exes and Powers, is saved from utter
ruin by the laws of game-theory, which ensure that the former
combatants must henceforth remain in strict isolation from each
other. The chosen laws of physics that prevail, as a result, are just
those restrictive rules we chafe under today: a limited speed of
light chosen to slow conflicts, an expanding spacetime (good fences
make good neighbors, don't you know). We live upon a scratchy board
abandoned by the Gamers. The Universe observed and theorized by
science is no more than `a field of multibillion-year labors,
stratified one on the other over the eons, tending to goals of which
the closest and most minute fragments are fragmentarily perceptible to us.'
This delicious logic was not a bid by the distinctly
atheistic Stanislaw Lem to reinstate a religious perspective in his
then-communist Poland--something that the triumphant revival of
Catholicism has done in the meantime, no doubt to Lem's chagrin. Nor
am I seriously suggesting that this is how our universe really began.
But the scenario does sketch out rather brilliantly just the kind of
universe we might expect this one to become, following the human
Spike. If so, has it happened elsewhere already? >
 `The New Cosmogony', in his delightful collection of reviews of
non-existent books, A Perfect Vacuum, Mandarin, 1991 (originally in
English in 1979, sublimely translated by Michael Kandel), pp.
197-229. I am grateful to Mitch Porter and John Redford for
reminding me of this wonderful, funny piece.
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