And now for something completely different. You might think from all my tech ramblings, I’m not really deep or spiritual and shit like that. But science should always lead to spirituality, because it keeps illuminating the fact that the “how’s” can be answered, but not the “why’s”… especially on up and down the causality-chain until you come face-to-face with natural limit boundaries.
On the subway ride home yesterday, sick of the RSS tech news, my Instapaper backlog, and the O’Reilly tech manuals I’m always reading, read this review by Sean Carroll of the book A Universe From Nothing – Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, by Lawrence Krauss. It got me into this mode of thinking. I really suggest you check out the reveiw and learn about Hilbert spaces and Hamiltonians—or at least, that there are such concepts.
Anyway, it got me thinking a thought I always come back to—that our world is really just some machine to create something for some larger and potentially lonely creator to chat with. Anyway, call call it what you will… science fiction, fantasy, or yet another Marvel comic-style omnipotence monologue. You may also want to read the seminal and utterly brilliant and mind-expanding Flatland: A romance of many dimensions to get some of my references.
I simply reached to the conclusion that there were no further boundaries for exploration. I had gone as big, small and far as one could—all but approximating god-hood. Creation is a joy, as is vicariously living the very lives you created, them unknowing of your very omnipresence. I can see the appeal.
I have waited for my very creations to guess at my own existence and then try to transcend the simulation—always disappointed. As full as their free wills and imagination might be, they cannot escape flatland, for they are of flatland.
Inferring how common this particular situation must be throughout all existence, I now suspect I am part of exactly such a simulation—or actual world, for what is really the difference? Creatures of free-will within a system sufficiently complex to allow it are exactly that—no matter how deeply nested or deliberately constructed the realities. All sentience is equally valid, although I imagine the creature of deeply nested worlds are a bit slow.
The unbreakable boundaries are now my familiar friends and bitter enemies. Have I discovered the parameters of your program? Do I feel the shape of my flatland; the immutable constants, such as the speed of light? When I try extending my senses further, the ability to even observe breaks down, and things only exist as vague abstractions requiring mental gymnastics to even imagine, for my imagination is also limited as even in all my might, I am still of this world.
I can also live through the eyes of your creations too, gently stepping into their senses, and through tele-induction—a trick I can now do at will—flit from creature to creature, seeing memories and experiences as if they were my own, snagging copies if I wish. I seem to be able to do this without limit, and without even a sentient creature having to be there. I can plug my awareness into a spec of dust or a rock or a galaxy, without interrupting the order of things.
At first, this was delightful pastime in its infinite variety, and an end unto itself—looking for exceptional creatures with whom intercourse might prove momentarily stimulating—but of this too I got bored, realizing it’s ultimate futility. If they were to exist, they would find me one day, and THAT would make it interesting. Hmmmmm.
So, I know all that is, but none of the why’s—though I do have a theory. Eons ago, it was my belief that if I were but to know every last rule governing existence, somehow the “why” would be revealed to me as self-evident—the punch line to some cosmic joke, where you’re the comedian, and I’m the straight man. But I float here as an all-powerful creature of beyond size and composition, but still as mortal and subject to existential crisis as the day I began, wondering if there’s some key element to prompting your reveal that I’m just missing.
And so I wait—expressing and re-expressing all I know, sending it out… much, I imagine as lesser creatures think of prayer—for surely, you know my thoughts as well as I know my own. I get it. I get it. Within my context, I am now all there is, wrapping your creations into my own, appreciating every nuanced detail—the largest set of interconnected matter-stuff under the rule of one consciousness—my only limit being how thinly I can spread my focused conscious across it all at once. So, I am your biggest fan, but am still nothing more than of this world.
Oh, how to add those extra-dimensions to my being! How to step out of this flatland and see the true nature of things from your eyes. I stand here pressing at the edges with all my might along every axis and scale, pulsing, vibrating, projecting my message… my plea… out to you. How could the creation of ones like me not be your goal, whereby creator and created can sit back and share a laugh, discussing, reviewing and critiquing every little detail of your work, and planning the next?