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Does science have a limit?


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5 replies to this topic

#1
Maximum7

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I honestly can't decide. Will science and technological advancement plateau out in a few hundred years or is it limitless? If we one day are able create our own universes, what the heck would be next after that? Would science cease to exist?

 

Star Trek shows that science still progresses as does Star Wars Disney canon. Legends Star Wars is static. I can't tell which of these views are more realistic.


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#2
Hyndal_Halcyon

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The grand unified theory and its artistic applications on cosmological tectology. Once that's done, imagination becomes reality. Culture becomes a natural phenomenon. Technology becomes biology. Societies will be everywhere. The only limit of science will be the number of sentient entities that can imagine stuff.


As you can see, I'm a huge nerd who'd rather write about how we can become a Type V civilization instead of study for my final exams (gotta fix that).

But to put an end to this topic, might I say that the one and only greatest future achievement of humankind is when it finally becomes posthumankind.


#3
starspawn0

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I think all the "big discoveries" are pretty much behind us. What remains is refinement. So, in a sense, science is slowing down.

However, the process of empirical investigation that is at the heart of science is limitless. For example, you can use a scientific approach to do mathematics. It's called "experimental math": you run some numerical experiments, notice some patterns, and then try to prove that they exist.

Technology will also continue unabated. Any device we can imagine, that doesn't violate the laws of physics, will eventually get built. This doesn't even require advances in science -- just good engineering. Eventually, we will perfect Full Immersion Virtual Reality, and then people can live in universes where you can do things that physics doesn't permit in our universe -- as seen in the film The Matrix ("You think that's air you're breathing").

....

What is the nature of existence? Well, there's the universe, right? But why is it the way that it is? Each time you try to give an answer, by producing a good story or explanation, there are always going to be "brute facts" that you assume. e.g. you maybe assume the laws of quantum mechanics. But why should those laws even be there?

Now imagine you have a giant computer that can run many processes in parallel. Imagine you run all possible programs of length 1 billion bits on this giant machine -- that's 2^1000000000 processes, running in parallel. Some of these processes may result in simulated universes like our own; others will quickly get in infinite loops; almost all will produce uninteresting behavior. A creature that wakes up in one of the simulations might marvel at the laws of physics it observes, and wonder about what it means -- but it was a random choice; there is nothing very interesting about it, when seen from the higher perspective outside the machine.

I often think that that's how our own universe and laws of physics are -- that there are an infinite number (not merely 2^1000000000 worlds) of possible universes that exist (causally-disconnected from each other), and we happen to be in one that can support life, by necessity.

But this, too, is just a story. It looks like one with no "brute facts", but if one looks more closely, one discovers that are many: who or what decides what makes a world "possible"? What does it even mean to say something "exists"?

"Exists" and "existence" are words that we think have substance independent of human thought; though, I am suspicious of that. They probably originated with early language-using humans as an extension of "object permanence". A person sees an object; it moves out of visible range, but still "exists".

Soon, the concepts were abstracted to mean basically any object that "has extension" in space and time. Then, it was abstracted further to include things like ideas. Philosophical puzzles began to emerge with this extended meaning, and you had things like Russell's "Theory of Descriptions" to explain it.

Perhaps we take the word "exist" too seriously, and forget how we came to the concept. It's conceivable that an advanced alien species somewhere in the universe may not even use the concept at all.

So where does this leave us? I would say it leaves us in total ignorance. Enjoy the small discoveries of the sciences, and enjoy life as long as it lasts -- look too hard for the ultimate answers, though, and you will be depressed.



#4
tomasth

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Being depressed is one response being spurred is another.

By the time the remaining refinement and Technological exhaustion get old we will have better evaluations , so even if contemporary attempts won't add anything new , one can't rule out futuristic attempts succeeding.

#5
Outlook

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I don't know, nor do I think anyone else does. Seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes however, I'd wager it doesn't.


Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/z97qLNXeAMQ


#6
Hyndal_Halcyon

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Soon, the concepts were abstracted to mean basically any object that "has extension" in space and time. Then, it was abstracted further to include things like ideas. Philosophical puzzles began to emerge with this extended meaning, and you had things like Russell's "Theory of Descriptions" to explain it.


Exactly. Just like in object-oriented programming, abstraction is the key in creating templates that can be used to create objects that creates good behavior. Only abstraction creates a relative meaning that the objects themselves, such as us, can understand. Look way beyond your own code and either you will go mad, lose your own meaning, be absorbed in the native code, or something else entirely outside our comprehension. There is no way a temporary variable can comprehend the totality of the program it resides in without making an abstract copy of the entire program. God is the algorithm of existence itself, and questioning how it works is like questioning why we're alive. No purpose, just be, and let it all be. The best we can do is enrich the abstract meaning of existence, by allowing more objects to be able to question it.

As you can see, such levels of abstraction, be it in this universe or some parallel one, or some other virtual one, spreads sentience like a self-supporting computer virus, and so we are doomed to exist as the stories we tell ourselves. Ignorance is part of a grand design that will one day be too scarce and it will be necessary to create it if we want to keep having fun.

This is what I mean when I say gods need us to give meaning to themselves more than we need their mercy. This is also why I'm having trouble with my own stories, because we have doomed ourselves and others to exist forever beyond time and reality, and I don't know how to write about something like that.

The only limit of science is the number of people trying to do science.

As you can see, I'm a huge nerd who'd rather write about how we can become a Type V civilization instead of study for my final exams (gotta fix that).

But to put an end to this topic, might I say that the one and only greatest future achievement of humankind is when it finally becomes posthumankind.





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