Sci-fi writer Clark: When technology is developed enough, it will be no different from magic

BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) — According tomedia reports, the famous sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke) once pointed out that technology is developed enough to be no different from magic. If you walk through the Paleolithic period with your cell phone and sneakers, people will think you’re powerful. But the contrast between you and them isn’t significant enough, and the ancients still see you as the same kind, and it won’t be long before you start taking selfies. But if a life develops advanced enough, will it not be magic in our eyes, but simply become some kind of physical law?

Sci-fi writer Clark: When technology is developed enough, it will be no different from magic

After all, if there are other life in the universe, and some of them are far more complex than humans, and technology is far more advanced than we are, we should consider some extreme situations. Futurists and believers in mechanical “oddspots” predict that extraterrestrial life and their technology may have gone far beyond our “vision” and that even in this mountain, they could not recognize the true face of Lushan. This is a bold statement, but it is a good explanation for the large number of habitable planets that we have so far failed to observe advanced intelligent life in the universe. This is the so-called Fermi Paradox.

For example, assuming that the processing speed and complexity of the machine continue to grow exponentially, it will one day be able to decode complex real worlds, from the most basic atoms and molecules to the entire planetary biome. Life may not have to be made up of atoms and molecules, but can be made up of any basic component, as long as a certain degree of complexity is achieved. In this way, a civilization can transcribe itself, transforming the entire entity into a completely new form. Perhaps our universe is also one of the products of other civilizations transcribing their own world into new forms.

These ideas seem impossible to test, because they assume that life that is advanced enough not only cannot be recognized by us in its true form, but will also be fully integrated into our surroundings as part of what we see as “the natural world”. But on closer inspection, we can actually pick out a few strange cosmic phenomena that may satisfy the hypothesis.

For example, only 5% of the mass energy in the universe is made up of ordinary matter, the protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up our bodies. A further 27 per cent of the substance has never been observed and remains a mystery. The astronomical evidence of such dark, gravitational substances is convincing, but there are doubts. There seems to be a circle of dark matter around the galaxy, and their mass produces a gravitational force large enough to hold the matter together. Even on a larger scale, the mesh structures of glowing gases and stars suggest the presence of these invisible materials.

Cosmologists usually assume that dark matter has no microstructure. They believe that dark matter is made up of subatomic particles and can only interact with other matter through gravity and weak nuclear forces, creating a flat filament-like structure. Some people support this view, but we haven’t been able to come up with a definitive answer yet. Some astronomers point out that there is a slight mismatch between the observations and the model, so it suggests that dark matter may be more diverse than we think. At least part of the dark matter may consist of particles that can interact through long-range forces. Dark matter may seem bleak to us, but they actually have their own “light”, but we can’t see it.

In this case, dark matter has real complexity. Maybe all life with advanced technology will eventually come to this point, or maybe most life has always been this way. The best way to escape a terrible supernova explosion and gamma-ray storm is to change shape and have an immunity to electromagnetic radiation. As long as you “upload” all the world you live into the form of dark matter, you can once and for all.

If your civilization has learned to transform life systems into different matrix forms, you just need to build a “ordinary matter-dark matter” data conversion system, or a dark matter 3D printer. Perhaps the mismatch between astronomical models and actual observations can not only be evidence of the existence of “self-interacting” dark matter, but also suggest that dark matter is manipulated by “humans”.

Let us build on that. Some of the behavior of ordinary matter in the universe is due to dark matter, but these behaviors may actually be caused by other reasons. For example, a form of life may manipulate ordinary matter for its own purposes. Given that we have so far found neither real dark matter particles nor have we come up with physical laws that better explain the behavior of galaxies and clusters, this explanation may not be fancious.

In addition, there are other strange and unexpected phenomena in the universe. For example, the universe suddenly began to expand at an accelerated rate about 5 billion years ago. The conventional wisdom is that this is caused by dark energy. But cosmologists don’t know why the expansion of the universe began at this point in time. In fact, there is a real explanation that the choice of this point in time is related to life. Dark energy may not be very important at first, until time has passed long enough for life on Earth. Many cosmologists believe that this suggests that the universe we live in must be part of a giant multiverse. In this multiple universe, dark energy intensity is unevenly distributed everywhere. We are in a position that may be suitable for life like ours. In other places, dark energy may be stronger, causing the universe to expand too fast to form the structure and life forms of the universe.

But there may be another reason for this coincidence of time: dark energy may be related to biological activity. After all, before the universe began to expand faster, any early life in the universe had evolved for 8 billion years. Perhaps some of their behavior has an effect on the universe, or it may be that these fully evolved life decisions have personally intervened in the expansion of the universe.

Scientists have even found a motive for such interventions. Life absorbs low-entropy energy, such as visible light emitted by the sun, and uses it for meaningful activity, which is then released back into the universe in the form of waste heat. But if the surrounding universe becomes overheated and full of waste heat, everything will freeze. Fortunately, our universe continues to expand and cool. This may have been a long-term “investment” in life 5 billion years ago. Of course, they may eventually regret their decision, because after the universe has accelerated for hundreds of billions of years, matter will be rapidly diluted and civilizations in the universe will lose their fresh sources of energy. In addition, the universe that accelerates expansion does not cool down forever, but does not drop after reaching a certain temperature.

To explain the accelerated expansion of the universe, a mechanism called quintessence has been proposed, related to the Higgs field that is scattered throughout the universe. Perhaps 5 billion years ago, some wise civilization found a way to activate the Higgs field. As for how to activate, we do not know. But this view is enough to inspire our thinking, echoing that of the cosmologist Freeman Dyson in his famous 1979 paper, “Time With the End.” In this paper, Dyson envisions the behavioral abilities of future life on the astrophysical scale.

Once we suggest that life may be able to solve some of the many unsolved mysteries in the universe, all sorts of possibilities come to be. Although dark matter life sounds bizarre, we may be able to recognize their true face and one day even capture them in the lab (or fall into their hands). We can’t find advanced life simply because they’re part of the so-called “natural world.” Once we realize this, we will suddenly realize that we have opened the door to a new world.

In addition, life always has the desire to escape trouble. As long as there is an option, life will always choose a path that reduces the risk of survival. You won’t nest on the most vulnerable branches, and you won’t rush to copy hundreds of millions of single-cell clones unless you’ve backed them up in some form.

Species can minimize the risk of extinction by dispersing and sowing. Along the lines of thinking, extremely advanced life tries to unfixize physical positions and maximize redundancy and flexibility. The quantum world can do this well. The universe is already full of electromagnetic energy. At any given moment, 400 photons whizz past each cubic centimeter of empty space. They have less energy than ordinary particles such as protons and electrons, but far more than the latter. These photons are potential data carriers. In addition, we can imagine that these photons may have achieved quantum mechanical entanglement, which helps to control errors.

If critical data is stored in photons, life has a distributed backup system that can go even further, manipulating the photons released by stars to determine how they interact with matter. The advance forces of electromagnetic radiation can travel through the universe, using wave interference and stimulating energy in atoms and molecules to set a precise chain of action for interstellar, or planetary interactions.

Life can be hidden in common laws of physics in this way. But even these bizarre ideas have been avoiding some disturbing inferences.

As Carl Sagan’s 1985 science-fiction novel” “Contact” draws to a close, the protagonist follows the advice of an alien and studies transcendental numbers. In calculating the 1020 squares of the crucible, she found an obvious artificial message in this basic number. In other words, a part of the universe, “texture”, is the product of intelligent life, and perhaps even life itself.

For a book, this plot is enough to burn the brain. Perhaps extremely advanced life is not extraterrestrial life, but is all around us, hidden in the laws of physics we have long been accustomed to. From the behavior of the most basic particles and fields to the most complex phenomena in the universe, they may be everywhere.

In other words, life may not be hiding in the cosmic equation. They may be the equation itself. (Leaf)

Sci-fi writer Clark: When technology is developed enough, it will be no different from magic