The end is nigh

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Chillhouse

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I've been poking around ExitMundi for a few years, and I found a new article that's very interesting. I can't link to the article, so I've posted it below.
It's interesting, and seems potentialy implausible. But there's always that chance...


Farewell

Now here’s something different: what if we all killed ourselves? We agree: after all we’ve been through as a species, mass suicide would be a ridiculous way to go. But oddly, suicide could also be the inevitable, most logical outcome of evolution...


Mass suicide. Oh, come on! What on Earth would we do that for?

Well: somewhere in the distant future, we might come to the conclusion that it’s the best thing to do. The only thing that makes sense. We would decide to kill ourselves -- and do it. We'd kill ourselves collectively, to the last man. We wouldn’t even leave a suicide note. After all, who would read it?

Of course, it won’t happen tomorrow. First, a lot of dramatic changes will take place to our species. Right now, we’re not too keen on dying. In fact, we hate it when we die!

But most scientists expect that over time, this will change. Slowly, we will defy death. We will beat disease after disease, and live longer and longer. We will fool the Grim Reaper with anti-ageing chemicals and fantastic, new cures.

And in the end, we will beat Death. We will need all our technological know-how to do it. In the long run, we will replace our entire bodies by technology. Already, we replace our teeth and the occasional limb that has gone missing with artificial stuff. In the near future, science expects to invent replacements for our organs. A little later, and we will be able to replace our brain by computer technology. Really! Already, some futures researchers expect that by the year 2050, we will be able to upload our mind into a computer! We will become machines -- and be immortal.

Trust us: it’s gonna be fun. When our minds have become pieces of software, we will be able to copy ourselves! We will be able to upload ourselves to... well, whatever we like. We will go out in space, in the shape of a conscious space ship. Or in the form of a purple cloud of thinking smoke particles. No, seriously! Respected scientists like Freeman Dyson and Carl Sagan already wrote about this in the 1970s.

And we will interact with each other, big time. With our biological bodies gone, we will no longer need MSN, Hyves or Myspace to get in touch with each other. Rather, our minds will start to... well, blend, actually. We will become one consciousness. Some researchers have dubbed this The Singularity, as we detail elsewhere on this site.

Ok, that sounds pretty vague -- but hey, it’s no reason to kill yourself! Well: there is this one crucial detail. Once we’re immortal, we’ll be booooooored!

To us simple, mortal humans this may be a bit hard to grasp. But once we’ve reached Perfection and Singularity and Oneness and all that blah blah, we will have no goal in life. Yes, we will go out and discover the Universe. But after a while, we will have seen it all. With our mortal bodies gone, we will have all the time of the Universe. We will know every corner of the Universe and say: so what? Why search any further? To an intelligent cloud of smoke particles, searching every corner of the Universe will make as much sense as examining every blade of grass on Earth makes to us.

So there you have it. You’ve become a God-like purple space cloud, but now you find that it is soooooo depressing.

And in fact, it’s even worse than that. Once we will become machines, our processing speed will increase hugely. Simply put, we will think bloody fast. Within a split second, we will realize that our existence, literally, has become useless. A split second later, we will realize it’s best if we didn’t exist.

Brothers, Kill Thyself - In the Japanese cult movie Suicide Club (2002), people commit mass suicide. In reality, mass suicide could be the natural outcome of evolution.

To a Purple God Cloud suicide will be as self-evident as tossing away a used scrap of paper. As logical as getting off a train that has reached its final destination. And the final destination is what we will have reached: the endpoint of evolution.

Even harder to comprehend, the God Cloud won’t have any special feelings about it. When we think of suicide, we immediately think of terrible things with high buildings and shotguns. But when you're a Purple Cloud, it’s all very different. Conscious clouds don’t feel pain and have no reason to be afraid, least of all of death.

If you’re immortal, dying might seem like a fun thing to do! It will be as challenging as it is for us not to die.

So, there we go. After a long period of contemplation -- say, an entire millisecond -- we will realize we have become useless. Right there on the spot, we will kill ourselves.

And hey, you’re doing it again! You picture a purple cloud, desperately weeping, throwing itself in front of a speeding train. But it won’t be like that at all. Rather, we will terminate ourselves in some way yet beyond our imagination. We will step out of the Universe, fold ourselves up, switch ourselves off -- something like that. In a split second after we’ve reached immortality and Oneness and all that, we will be gone. Click. Puff. Exit.

The Games Alternative?


So -- is that it? Is suicide the inevitable outcome of evolution? Well, actually: there is at least one other way out. But this route is so strange and so disturbing, that it will blow your mind. For your own sake, we ask you: if you’re mentally unstable or if you have a history of psychiatric disorders, please don’t read any further. It’s at your own risk.

For what else is there to do if you’re a Super Bored Super Human? What do you do when you’re bored? Indeed: you distract yourself. You play a video game, go out, or watch TV.

Exactly this is what a superhuman intelligence may do as well. But of course, it will seek distraction in a superhuman way: it will create a new Universe, break down its intelligence into bits, and seed the new Universe with the spores of its Presence. Basically, such a ‘game’ will be a Universe that is destined to bring forth life and intelligence.

But wait a minute... Isn’t that exactly the kind of Universe we’re living in?

As we outline elsewhere on this site, it is. Scientists have noticed for long that our Universe looks chillingly artificial. The way its parameters are set, and the way it is functioning suggest that something or someone has tinkered with it. Everything we see and feel and experience - it could be an illusion! We may be part of a kind of Sims Game, played by some kind of Superhuman intelligence...
It would get weird when we reach Superhumanity again. We’d ask ourselves: "Ok, what’s it gonna be? Another game of Universe? Or should we kill ourselves now?"
 
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I'll be honest here, that was the biggest load of shit I've ever read.

Sorry, but it looks like something out of one of those "she married bigfoot!" magazines.
 

Chillhouse

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I'll be honest here, that was the biggest load of shit I've ever read.

Sorry, but it looks like something out of one of those "she married bigfoot!" magazines.
A load of shit, yeah, because right now we can't see where we're going to end up.

There's a story in there somewhere...

er.....what?
Drugged.

Keep in mind this guy writes end-of-world scenerios for a living.
 
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A load of shit, yeah, because right now we can't see where we're going to end up.

There's a story in there somewhere...
True we can't see where we are going to end up, but if we survive the next 100 years, theoretically we will begin to become a 'class 1 civilization', which if anything will renew the drive and will of humans with new challenges, etc.

I know that, it was what he said as a whole.
 

datosprivados

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Welcome to the wonderful world of existentialism. I could go on for pages and days about this, indeed the topic has taken up thousands of books and captured lives.

But I don't want to waste (right now) more than fifteen minutes. But feel free to message me if you want.

+++++++
I see what you say, and am glad you say "at least" one other possibility. But ponder these.

1. Perfection may transcend boredom, we may discover something "higher" and never become bored. No one knows perfection or the singularity... at least not that I know of. And I don't think you know anyone who's achieved perfection either.

2. So you say this universe is designed?. Seems possible... I've wondered these things, quantum theory gives much life to faith's like spiritualism and such. But who would be the designers?. Not necessarily past incarnations of ourselves.. And YES we could very well be the "scattered" of a singularity that has torn itself to pieces.

3. Many people would FEAR merging their consciousness or transcending existence/universe. Indeed even sleep may scare many people because of the loss of consciousness (it used to freak me out). Although boredom MAY eradicate this fear.
 

Charlie

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I don't think that it will ever be possible to upload your mind to a computer and live as a robot/machine type thing. And so we can't become immortal (in this way).

John Searle's Chinese Room argument: Suppose that I'm in a room and I have never been outside of the room. Know also that I know no Chinese what-so-ever. The room has a lookup table showing Chinese symbols and other Chinese symbols that correspond to them, and the room is filled with Chinese symbols.
Certain Symbols come into the room, and it's my job to look up those symbols on the table and send out the corresponding symbol.

Now I don't know Chinese at all, all I'm doing is taking inputs, following rules and then giving outputs.
Suppose the symbols coming in are questions, and the symbols that I give back are answers... I wouldn't know this, but to the Chinese speakers outside of the room, it might seems as though I did understand Chinese.

Searle says that a computer can never be conscious, simply because all it does is convert inputs to outputs by following a set of rules, and it is never conscious of what it actual is doing.

Anyway... If all human beings merged together and became one purple God (why purple?) I doubt we'd kill ourselves. I imagine that we'd bask in our perfection. Or just contemplate upon ourselves for all eternity. :p

Anyway, if we were bored we wouldn't be perfect would we? Boredom in my mind is an imperfect thing. So through our boredom we would realise that we weren't perfect, and so we have something to do: achieve perfection. In trying to achieve perfection we wouldn't be bored, and once we were perfect we wouldn't be bored because perfection involves not being bored.
 

Boogeyman

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You know whats weird? Ive been to that site before. Anyway, I believe well all die at the end the mayan calender.
 

Target

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we can't become Immortal simply because death is a necessary thing.
What if we will become Immortal? We'll broke the circle of life.

Mother nature is so perfect that surely she'll find a way to kill us, she will fight to preserve the Circle of life until the life will cease to exist.

Uploading our minds on computer is the same thing: we will stop to exist in an human form and start to exist as a virtual essence.

We should look in our hearts and ask ourselves: "do I really need immortality?"
When you'll find the answer, you'll understand that the thing that permit you to really enjoy your existence is the short lenght of our lives, the fear of the death, the awareness that our time is limited (I suggest to watch the episode of Highlander "studies in Light" from the second series).
 

Trevor

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we can't become Immortal simply because death is a necessary thing.
What if we will become Immortal? We'll broke the circle of life.

Mother nature is so perfect that surely she'll find a way to kill us, she will fight to preserve the Circle of life until the life will cease to exist.

Uploading our minds on computer is the same thing: we will stop to exist in an human form and start to exist as a virtual essence.

We should look in our hearts and ask ourselves: "do I really need immortality?"
When you'll find the answer, you'll understand that the thing that permit you to really enjoy your existence is the short lenght of our lives, the fear of the death, the awareness that our time is limited (I suggest to watch the episode of Highlander "studies in Light" from the second series).
I saw the drive for immortality to be an absolute thing where we could flip a switch tomorrow and no one would die ever be allowed to die again, I'd agree with you. As it is, all it will ever be is a continuing effort at putting off the inevitable as medicine has already done. Something is always going to get you, but I'm not in any rush. If science can increase my functional span from the statistical 78 or so I'm expecting now to 100 or 1,000 or beyond that would be fine with me. I stress the functional part. There's no point in a long life as an invalid. Anyway, more time will allow the opportunity for additional soul-searching, and the option to end it all will always be present.

Our speculations of malaise and boredom may be correct or may also just be a way of comforting ourselves with the current reality. If immortality would be this horrible burden, death isn't so bad. Most of our fictional examples are based on the immortal person being the outsider. If this was widely available, it becomes a new culture. We have no idea what it would mean to us personally and culturally to just keep on living. I'm willing to adopt a wait and see attitutude and if they can give me 200 good years, I'll let you (or your descendants) know whether that second century is really getting me down.
 

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I don't know...I kinda like that idea.

Not the suicide part, but the whole thing seems like it COULD happen.

Just not in 48 years.

If it were something like, one hundred, or one thousand years in the future, I'd figure, "Why not?"

Think about it, People used to have an expected lifespan of forty years. That's practically doubled.

We could probably do it.
 

Darkfinn

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Anyway, I believe well all die at the end the mayan calender.
Just like everyone believed society as we know it would cease to exist when Y2K hit... and when it didn't they tried again for Y2K+1. Guess what... the world will end when the time comes... noone can predict it. Odds are very very good that we will all be long dead before it happens... so why spend time worrying about it?

While it is true that people used to have a lifespan of 40 years and that it has increased to 70-ish now I don't see us stretching it that much further anytime in the near future. The world's medical systems are so screwed up now we are still battling things that should have been cured 20 years ago.

The great killers of our time: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, alzheimers... can all be cured. But the medical community has gotten too attached to the concept of making money to actually worry about curing anyone of anything. I've seen too many people die slow deaths from debilitating diseases to have any faith in our medical system. The way things have stood for the past 10 years... we may be able to prolong your life and keep it of a decent quality with drug therapies and technology, but I don't see very many people who are actually getting better.
 

Boogeyman

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Just like everyone believed society as we know it would cease to exist when Y2K hit... and when it didn't they tried again for Y2K+1. Guess what... the world will end when the time comes... noone can predict it. Odds are very very good that we will all be long dead before it happens... so why spend time worrying about it?
The mayans have been right so far. And besides, when the world ends isnt even a proper fragment.
 

Entity

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It might be of some help to look at the sunny side.

That story, however much bullshit is in it, is one of the more plausible conspiracy theories/end of world scenarios I've heard. Granted the purple cloud of smoke particles thing was a complete giveaway for bullshit, but the story actually has some truth to it. After all; after humanity has seen and done it all, what other void is there to explore than death itself?

Now for the negative side:

I believe that before that EVER BEGINS to happen, we will screw up and kill ourselves indirectly and indiscriminately either by nuking the earth, causing a massive weather change, or by "accidentally" manufacturing some super-fast acting virus.

Whatever way we go, death is inevitably at the end of everything.
 
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If I were going to live forever I would do everything and learn every skill which would take maybe a few thousand years and then I would explore the universe there goes another few thousand years and then I would attempt to reach enlightenment which could take another few thousand years and then after that I would return to earth if it still existed or a new planet with intelligent life and by that time I would've forgotten a lot of skills and I would relearn them and completely master every skill. Then I would learn about everything new that was developed in the past few thousand years and use my thousands of years of experience to make the world a perfect place. But I had a near death experience and even though it took me a bit I accepted death and I am no longer afraid of what it might bring but suicide is the dumbest thing that anyone could do because if you are like me and don't believe in God than you would realize that there is nothing about death that need be explored because death is death and there is no way that you can explore non-being because you wouldn't exist. Yeah by the way you have no idea how much harder it is to accept death when you don't believe in heaven or hell. When I was Christian I fully accepted death because I knew I would be in a better place but as an atheist it is much much harder because life is so much more precious.
(Not bashing on religion I just wanted to let people understand how difficult it was and my personal opinions)
 
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