Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Why does anything exist at all? Nobody knows. And yet the answer is obvious. The First Cause must be obvious. It has to be obvious to Nothing, present in the absence of anything else, a substance formed from -blank-, a conclusion derived without data or initial assumptions. What is it that evokes conscious experience, the stuff that minds are made of? We are made of conscious experiences. There is nothing we experience more directly. How does it work? We don't have a clue. Two and a half millennia of trying to solve it and nothing to show for it but "I think therefore I am." The solutions seem to be necessarily simple, yet are demonstrably imperceptible. Perhaps the solutions operate outside the representations that can be formed with the human brain.

If so, then our descendants, successors, future selves will figure out the semantic primitives necessary and alter themselves to perceive them. The Powers will dissect the Universe and the Reality until they understand why anything exists at all, analyze neurons until they understand qualia. And that will only be the beginning. It won't end there. Why should there be only two hard problems? After all, if not for humans, the Universe would apparently contain only one hard problem, for how could a non-conscious thinker formulate the hard problem of consciousness? Might there be states of existence beyond mere consciousness - transsentience? Might solving the nature of reality create the ability to create new Universes, manipulate the laws of physics, even alter the kind of things that can be real - "ontotechnology"? That's what the Singularity is all about."


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