Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

End of the Universe as we know it

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No matter how scary the Singularity might be, it doesn’t seem to frighten me.  I believe in an abstract sense that a Singularity will happen sometime, but I don’t honestly believe at this point that it will be bad for us, even if it logically appears more likely to be bad than good.  It’s simply not real to me.

What truly terrifies me is an upcoming energy crisis.  Not the peak oil crisis; oil will simply become more expensive as alternative energy sources get cheaper, and people will switch in small waves.  Not the depletion of all fossil fuels; there’s enough geothermal, tidal, and solar energy to supply our needs for some time, once we start harnessing it properly.  Not even the death of the sun; by then, we should have figured out some form of space travel.  No, what I honestly fear is the heat death of the universe.

Unless our understanding of physics changes dramatically (not impossible; today’s open questions feel even bigger than the open questions of 1900), the entire universe will run out of energy, and we can’t escape it.  Eventually, entropy wins.

On a personal level, this means that even if the Singularity finds a way to preserve my body, mind, and/or personality beyond my mortal lifespan, I will still die.  Everything I accomplish will disappear.  Life itself will end.  And there’s nothing I can do to stop it, nothing I can say to convince anyone else to stop it.

Perhaps we can slow it down, though.  Perhaps I can conserve enough energy during my lifetime to help someone, far down the road, live for one more second before freezing to death.  Perhaps our global efforts can make a significant difference through frugal resource management.

But will we?  What’s the point?

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Written by eswald

4 Dec 2012 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Technology

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