[ExI] No gods, no meaning? (was: Re: Existing as stored data)

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 22 05:13:57 UTC 2020

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 01:23:18 PM PDT, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote: 
Consider the scenario of a planet a few thousand light years distant, nice place, not too hot or cold, life evolves, eventually consciousness, technology, culture, all the stuff we have here, and they get up to about where humans were in about the 1860s: they figured out a lot of stuff, discovered Maxwell’s equations (those work there too) orbit mechanics (two areas of theory humans had worked out during the 1860s (while the Union and the rebs were popping cannon balls at each other (but well before radio.)))
Then something bad happened, a disease perhaps that caused societal breakdown, and evolutionary pressure was against increasing intelligence.  One could perhaps argue that there has been evolutionary pressure against increasing intelligence in every technologically-advanced human culture for the past 50 to 100 years and that the average intelligence of humanity is declining.
OK so that level of tech was their pinnacle but they didn’t achieve radio, and so their artifacts are completely on the surface of that planet.  They decay with age and are never discovered.  No intelligence outside that planet ever knows they came and went.  Gone without a trace.
>From our point of view, the lives, struggles, everything about that civilization was completely irrelevant.  If they don’t leave something to somehow be visible from the outside, they are irrelevant.
Humans blasted out a signal into space in 1974.  That signal is the brightest object in the galaxy at that frequency.  If we end up going extinct, we could argue that signal differentiates us from complete irrelevance.

Worry not, Spike, the universe remembers. The second law of thermodynamics says that the entropy of the universe always increases. That means that information just sort of happens and then sticks around. Erasing information on the other hand takes a lot of work and that is the gist of Landauer's Law.. Think about the impact that the age of dinosaurs has had on modern culture. If we were to go extinct tomorrow, then imagine the impact that finding the Statue of Liberty would have on some none-human archaeologist in a few billion years.

I have spent some time now studying semantics and the meaning of meaning. There actually exists two kinds of meaning: purport and import. Purport is meaning intended by the sender of a message. Import is the meaning as interpreted by the recipient of a message. Consider your life to be your message to the world. So tailor your life according to your intentions, and let others interpret the meaning of your life as they will.

Stuart LaForge

"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked." - Victor Frankl


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