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

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 13:48:34 UTC 2020

Hayakawa, S. I., ed. *The Use and Misuse of Language*.

I have spent some time now studying semantics  stuart

Delightful book   billw

On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 12:16 AM The Avantguardian via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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.
> spike
> 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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