By Alex Vikoulov
"Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality." - Eleanor Roosevelt
When we're watching an action movie, we might think that we're watching main characters through a bunch of explosions to an improbable happy ending, but it's just as accurate to say that we're watching the theory of Quantum Immortality illustrated over and over again.
In his book "Divided by Infinity", Robert Charles Wilson makes a clever twist to introduce the concept of Quantum Immortality by mentioning a fictional book by Carl G. Soziere "You Will Never Die", essentially describing a variant of the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics:
"Consciousness, like matter, like energy, is preserved.
You are born, not an individual, but an infinity of individuals, in an infinity of identical worlds. “Consciousness,” your individual awareness, is shared by this infinity of beings.
At birth, this span of selves begins to divide, as alternate possibilities are indulged or rejected. The infant turns his head not to the left or to the right, but both. One infinity of worlds becomes two; then four; then eight, and so on, exponentially.
But the underlying essence of consciousness continues to connect all these disparate possibilities."
So Carl Soziere says it all in his book's title. YOU CANNOT DIE!
A thought experiment called the Quantum Suicide is a tweaked version of the Schrödinger's cat experiment which is performed on hypothetical self with a hypothetical self-terminating device such as a gun. When pointed to self the weapon is either deployed, killing the experimenter, or it makes an audible "click" and the experimenter survives. Oddly enough and subjectively speaking, you would survive any streak of shots.
As MIT astrophysicist Max Tegmark points out, macro objects display quantum properties of micro objects such as wavefunction, only from our perspective it's nearly impossible to observe. The Quantum Immortality hypothesis also implies that from your subjective perspective you can expect to live the LONGEST POSSIBLE LIFESPAN. Any time you "die" for external observers, your consciousness actually "migrates" to your other living conscious self in alternate reality.
This concept is brilliantly depicted in the movie "Mr.Nobody" in which an old man is about to turn 118 and in his last days as "the last mortal" on this Earth tries to remember under hypnosis his "multiple" lives. When he finally dies and upon his last breath, the time miraculously starts to move backwards and his whole life is "rewinded" back to his first breath.
One might make a logical conclusion that out of trillions of all possible lives you are set to live the longest until death is the only option. At your last heartbeat all other potential lives, where you had died "before", rendered non-existent and only the longest one becomes realized. At that tipping point you either: (1) are transported back in time to your birth, basically reincarnating to yourself (Mr.Nobody scenario/Friedrich Nietzsche's "Eternal Recurrence") or (2) switch the dimensionality of your consciousness since the stream of consciousness must continue to flow.
One could further argue that the latter occurrence may be more conducive to evolution of your core consciousness. I don't want to entertain the idea that your consciousness ceases to exist with your last heartbeat since if you exist NOW, you ALWAYS will in some form in this eternal NOW, as NOW is the only time there is.
I also don’t really buy Tegmark’s argument that aging and death represent a gradual degradation of consciousness, such that you’re not really conscious anymore when the end comes. But then, that’s exactly what I would expect the Max Tegmark in my immortal branch of the wavefunction to say and experience. In the branch where I’m immortal, everybody else sees their consciousness degrade with time, but I keep on going, through a remarkable chain of quantum coincidences. But is there any way to empirically prove the Quantum Immortality hypothesis? Actually, there may be one. No, I'm not going to advise you to replicate the Quantum Suicide at home, but pay attention to this. If, against all odds, you find yourself the oldest person on the planet, just like Nemo Nobody did in the Mr.Nobody, or interestingly enough, human immortality had become commonplace due to "immortality technologies" such as advanced gene-editing, nanotechnologies and mind-uploading (that's where we are headed), then you can be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are, in fact, subjectively immortal.
What other ramifications to follow? Your subjective quantum immortality coupled with soon-to-be discovered indefinite life extension at the civilizational level would spell out that YOU ARE ACTUALLY TO LIVE FOREVER! One can also see a viable resolution to the so-called "Mind-uploading", or Star Trek "Teleportation" dilemmas, questioning whether in those instances you create a copy of yourself but kill yourself in the process. By analogy to the previous deliberations, it follows that your consciousness has to "migrate" to your living self, thus making the case for successful consciousness transfer in both methods of disembodiments.
On this note, my friend, you are to live forever as an individuated evolving consciousness in this illusory Matrix-like Universe where nothing is what it seems...
- by Alex Vikoulov, founder & creative director of Ecstadelic Media (San Francisco, CA), futurist, philosopher, and media artist
#quantumimmortality #quantumsuicide #MaxTegmark #teleportation #teleporter #StarTrek #StarTrekTeleporterDilemma #MrNobody #immortality #indefinitelifespan #quantumphysics #consciousness #coreconsciousness #evolutionofconsciousness #DividedbyInfinity #RobertCharlesWilson #CarlSoziere #ecstadelic #awareness #wavefunction #wavicle #manyworlds #Schrödinger #Everett #quantummechanics
Image Credit: Fotolia
"As the Internet of Everything advances, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred, sometimes in creative ways." -Geoff Mulgan
There's a lot of hype these days about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, and for a good reason. It seems that VR&AR is going to be the next big thing in the world of media and entertainment.
The main difference between the two technologies is that VR gives you a totally immersive experience of "being there", and AR, on the other hand, actually overlays holographic images and data over the physical reality. Over the next few years, however, these two technologies will start to converge, and eventually, all you need is only one device, such as Internet-enabled bionic contact lenses.
VR CAMERAS. A whole array of 3-D, 360-degree, VR-enabled cameras is about to hit the consumer market which will contribute to the VR industry explosive growth. With real-time streaming such cameras can "teleport" you to a live sporting event, concert, popular venue or picturesque spot around the globe.
VR GAMES. New VR games with full immersion into the game environment will transform the gamer's experience.
REMOTE LEARNING. With Virtual Reality, remote learning will take the whole new meaning. You can be in a classroom without actually being there!
VR EXPERIENCES. With this kind of technology, you can relive and share your most precious moments exactly as they were, be it your wedding, birthday party, or tropical vacation!
VISIONARIES. New visionaries, such as Elon Musk of Tesla or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, should appear who would revolutionize the fledgling VR industry and take it to the higher standards.
CINEMATIC VR. In short time we can have cinema adopting new full immersion VR format. Imagine experiencing Avatar sequel in such an interactive and fully immersive format, where you can choose the outcome of the plot or even interact with the characters. Star Trek-style holo-novel, anyone?
METAVERSE. Metaverse, 3-D successor to the 2-D Internet (Web 3.0, or 4.0?), where instead of Web pages there are virtual places, will be changing the way we interact. Even the nature of romantic relationships and human sexuality will be charged somewhat. Meet your friends or loved ones at a virtual, but completely realistic, "Le Café de Paris" or hike on a trail in California redwoods even though you may be separated by huge distances and continents in physical reality!
We won't need to commute, or otherwise travel for business needs and attend the professional conventions in a traditional way anymore. Anything could be arranged in virtual environments with greater efficiency.
VR-ENABLING NANOBOTS. At some point nanotechnology will start to enter the VR space which will enable us to further perfection our VR experience. We can have virtual bodies which will feel 100% realistic. Nanobots, the size of a blood cell, will enter your blood stream and create virtual environments from within your nervous system. So when you eat a virtual steak it will taste just like a real thing, or if you find yourself on a virtual beach it will be felt completely real including the water if you decide to swim!
SIMULATED WORLDS. In the not-so-distant future Virtual Worlds can be created in a blink of an eye coming right out of your imagination. We'll never get bored because we'll have millions of virtualities to choose from and share!
BETTER THAN "MATERIAL"? VR will be so much better, more colorful, more versatile, more educational, more entertaining, more engaging in every way than a mundane reality of everyday life, and consequently, highly "addictive" in a good sense. Possibilities for virtualities are truly limitless! And that's where we're in total control!
CONVERGENCE OF REALITIES. Eventually, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality, and physical reality will get so intertwined, so that they'll get so completely indistinguishable. We all will be living in techno-paradise, an ECSTADELIC MATRIX of our making!
-by Alex Vikoulov, founder & creative director of Ecstadelic Media (San Francisco, CA), futurist, strategic philosopher, and media artist.
#virtualreality #vr #augmentedreality #ar #vrcamera #cinematicvr #ElonMusk #MarkZuckerberg #GeoffMulgan #immersiveexperience #vrexperience #vrheadset #bioniccontactlenses #vrgames #InternetofThings #AvatarSequel #virtuality #metaverse #virtualmetaverse #nanotechnology #nanobots #virtualenvironment #telecommute #teleportation #teleport #virtualworld #virtualbody #technoparadise #ecstadelic #ecstadelicmatrix #matrixofourmaking
*Image Credit: Shutterstock
**Video from The Mini-Series "Ecstadelics with Alex Vikoulov"
Are we evolving into a new species with hybrid thinking, interlinked into the Global Mind? At what point may the Web become self-aware? Once our neocortices are seamlessly connected to the Web, how will that feel like to step up one level above human consciousness to global consciousness?
In his book “The Global Brain” Howard Bloom argues that hyperconnected humans and machines resemble a lot the neurons of the "global brain", and the coming Internet of Things (IoT) with trillions of sensors around the planet will become effectively the nervous system of Earth.
According to Gaia hypothesis by James Lovelock, we have always been an integral part of this "Meta-Mind", collective consciousness, global adaptive and self-regulating system while tapping into vast resources of information pooling and at the same time having a "shared hallucination", we call reality.
With exponential technological advances we become increasingly and intimately interconnected. As Kevin Kelly says “Within the next 5,000 days of the Internet, we'll create a global neural network, which for a lack of a better word, we can call the ONE”, a living conscious entity, a single mind of billions of hyperconnected individuals and smart machines with a whole array of sensory apparatus. Thus, the One will get a major eyesight upgrade when the humans will get their first bionic Internet-enabled contact lenses.
Even when we wage wars or have conflicting opinions, it's nothing less than the Global Mind having an internal dialogue, testing different ideas and hypotheses. It's like we sometimes have this dialogue with ourselves, weighing different options, pros and cons, having an “angel” on one shoulder and a “demon” on the other.
What kind of sensation would you experience when your brain is directly connected to this global hive mind? Sublime amplification, cognitive ecstasy and new horizons of perception, all of which would result in EXPANDED CONSCIOUSNESS and the END OF SUFFERING from our human condition!
Think about it, what really magnifies our human experience is when we share that experience, right? That's why we go to a movie theater, stadium or rave party. That's why we form communities, families, companies and other social groups.
Even though we're destined to become One Global Mind, so to speak, you'll always perceive yourself as an individual! It's an integral part of your subjective experience, i.e consciousness. This novelty-producing, complexity-engendering You-niverse will create other various layers of "reality" and entities to differentiate yourself with but ultimately to network with...
In a way, your conscousness would "snowball" into this Global Mind. You may gradually "upthink" your mind onto the Global Brain infrastructure, via ingestible nanobots, which in effect will be your neural interface, connecting you to the Web. Thus, the whole Web with its vast repository of knowledge and instant data sharing capabilities will become your EXOCORTEX.
As a hybrid being you'll still have a unique subjective perceptual experience. We're already hybrid thinking beings, anyway. We have two cerebral hemispheres "thinking in unison", and then we have our technologically-extended mind, according to Andy Clark"s Extended Mind Hypothesis. All of which makes unique YOU. Even as billionfold augmented YOU, as a Global Mind, you'll be entitled to some kind of subjective perception.
So, logically speaking, your personality, identity and intelligence will be greatly enriched to the point that you can remember your "multiple" birthday parties, sexual partners, feelings of love, etc.
As a super-being, you can also always suppress unwanted memories at will. As a super-being, you'll have globally distributed intelligence and may perceive many things at once.
It may take a few short years for the Global Brain to read and understand you completely, but by the end of that process you won't even need a physical body anymore. "One-session mind uploading" may be only necessary for redundancy of consciousness transfer process and to ensure there is no discrepancies between your physical and digital mind, "to sync the mind". You may become 100% digital, superintelligent info-being, if you choose to. However, we may first go through cyborgism, before entering the infomorph stage of our evolutionary development.
The generation of cyborg-like transhumans with cloud-based exocortices, merged with artificial brains and addicted to the virtual Metaverse (functional successor of today's Internet) will inevitably lead to the next generation of postbiological, posthuman info-beings, substrate independent "infomorphs".
At a later stage, as I discuss in my essay "Infomorph Commonality: Our Post-Singularity Future", once we become advanced singular conciousness, ONLY THEN, according to my hypothesis, we may encounter the extraterrestrial intelligence that we can relate to as an "individual entity". That's going to be the whole new level of awareness and beyond the scope of this essay.
Through technologically-mediated telepathy (synthetic telepathy) we'll most probably reinvent our communication. Verbal language will be gradually replaced with thoughts traveling at the speed of light (or faster).
We're rapidly approaching a pivotal moment in our history, as many scientists refer to as the Technological Singularity, when we may become so much more, and one version of it - Singular planetary consciousness. Or are we already?
The first singularity, according to Kevin Kelly, occurred 50,000 years ago with the invention of Language. THE INVENTION OF LANGUAGE gave early humans a huge evolutionary advantage over other hominid species. We're on the verge of the next technological singularity which will rewire the Global Brain with IoT, when everything gets linked with everything else, and MATTER BECOMES MIND.
No doubt, in not-so-distant future we'll augment our intelligence millionfold, billionfold by merging with artificial intelligence and achieve Godlike state and abilities. As Ray Kurzweil says in his book “Singularity is near”, “...from there we'll spread our intelligence through the rest of the Universe... and the Universe essentially wakes up”. Or Jason Silva likes to say “We’ll impregnate the Universe with our intelligence”.
As Terence McKenna puts it: "What history is, is a 25,000 year transition zone. Before you enter the zone, you're an animal. After you leave the zone, you're a "god""... not quite, rather a semi-god, or more specifically an infomorph...
In a way, we are already infomorphs, "embryonic infomorphs" to be more precise. You can only increase your infomorphity in this digital age moving forward towards apotheosis - digital immortality, love, beauty, creativity, and expanding but not quite reaching other divine attributes - omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence.
At some point we'll be able to create myriads of virtual worlds for research and entertainment. We love our imperfections so no matter how perfect we'll become we can explore this side of us in virtualities. Well, we may be part of that simulation already!
In his famous “Simulation Argument” Nick Bostrom comes to a conclusion that “We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation”, and through logical reasoning he postulates: "... at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) WE ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation."
According to Bostrom, chances are astronomically in favor of the simulated virtual reality universe which is so much easier to create than the “real physical universe”.
Tom Campbell, the author of "My big TOE" (Theory of Everything) says that the Virtual Reality model of the Universe is simply "better physics", which can explain most observable phenomena and give answers to "hard problems" of science and metaphysics.
So, if we're simulated people (sentient holograms) in this Virtual Universe, we ARE part of some sort of sophisticated computer program of our posthuman descendants. But ultimately WE ARE ONE SINGULAR CONSCIOUSNESS (possibly just one infomorph entity) actualizing its experience and computing itself through billions of lives.
By mid-century when the Singularity occurs we won't probably need the World's government anymore, as many of us envision. The globally distributed network of superintelligent machines and enhanced humans, the Global Mind, will govern our civilization, our planet(s) without borders, and beyond.
-by Alex Vikoulov
#globalbrain #globalmind #digitalmind #globalconsciousness #collectiveconsciousness #hivemind #noosphere #minduploading #GaiaHypothesis #InternetofThings #IoT #bioniccontactlenses #HowardBloom #JamesLovelock #ai #artificialintelligence #NickBostrom #RayKurtzweil #KevinKelly #JasonSilva #AndyClark #TomCampbell #singularity #evolution #posthuman #infomorph #infomorphcommonality #transhuman #worldgovernment #transhumanism #SimulationArgument #ancestorsimulation #synthetictelepathy #cognitiveecstasy #expandedconsciousness
*The original article appeared on 12/18/2015 @transhumanity.net
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is an Internet entrepreneur, founder & creative director of Ecstadelic Media (San Francisco, CA), futurist, strategic philosopher, and media artist.