Parent categories: Technology, Existential Risks.

Beating the Entropy

YAML Question

If there is any real enemy of all life, it is entropy. People die, civilizations and cultures are taken or forget their past, genomes get consumed by viruses, connectomes forget, or are disrupted by radiation, pollution in our environments, diseases. The common enemy of all life is entropy, and common goal is saving information, or modelling the entropy (laws of physics) to enable ourselves to rescue more information.

Our implicit goal was the same, even 4 billion years ago, when first replicating molecule has arisen with the ability to counteract entropy by copying itself, and life had arisen as these molecules (perhaps the RNA), which were able to resist the force of entropy (much like planets form that are able not to collapse under the force of gravity). Under the influence of entropy, the information started to evolve to counteract it. The DNA, cell, sex, neuron, brain, book, wire, processor, etc. What's common among all of these inventions, is that they all solve problem of copying information over distances of space and time. For example, the book, like DNA, being a much more stable medium for information, enabled to copy over knowledge of the ancients to the present time.

In case of the processor and the brain, it is very evident that the thinking happens as a result of copying information from one place to another through wires and neurites. Some information gets copied to another neuron, some doesn't. In case of sex, it may be less evident, but sex is a tool of evolutionary thinking, which granularly increases the variation of offsprings. Some parts of genotypes in some environments get copied over (reproduce) into the future, some don't (die). Just like we are more likely to retain the thoughts (signals of neurons) that solve a problem, evolution tends to retain the lines of progeny that is hopefully more likely to counteract the entropy.

In other words, we could say that the world's entropy (F) trains us, the mutating replicators, to look for best model (F') (=information) about the structure of entropy itself by taking actions (X) to counteract it (Y). Thus, we do science, research the laws of physics to understand the (F) by constructing (F') to counteract it, and our goal equation is simple: F(X)=Y, - we need to find that X. Why? We don't want to die. We don't want our life experiences coded in our neurons, our cultures coded in our people be destroyed by entropic invadors, noise makers, starting from pollutants, mosquito bites and viruses, ending with political terrorists and cultural invaders.

In fact, according to an interpretation of the existing evidence, we are, indeed, falling into an entropy well (similar to how matter can fall to a gravity well). We are information, and it is falling into an entropic black hole. The event horizon of this black hole is the moment of "now". The information that is not copied over to the future as part of relatively stable structures, is lost forever in the past. Copying and proliferating information to counteract the field of entropy by intelligent creatures, is a process similar to burning nuclear fuel to counteract the field of gravity by stars.

The mission to beat entropy, would be the mission of our extropic spaceship, to reach extropic escape velocity from the entropy field.

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