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quasi's avatar

Do you think we are approaching the Omega Point?

Asked by quasi (777 points ) August 23rd, 2009

“The Omega point describes a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which the universe appears to be evolving.”

“The society near the Omega Point would have unlimited computational resources available to them (i.e., finite at any given time, with additional resources continuously coming online).”

“as the universe comes to an end in a specific kind of Big Crunch, the computational capacity of the universe will be accelerating exponentially faster than time. In principle, a simulation run on this universal computer can thus continue forever in its own terms”

“even more than the increase of intelligence, the constant increase of ethics is essential for humankind to reach the Omega Point. The combination of intelligence and ethics and increasing creativity is the correct and proper goal of human life”

info snips from wikipedia. additional info available on the vast and limitless network of your choice.

What are your thoughts? How might you relate your own concept of god to the Omega point?

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18 Answers

drdoombot's avatar

What I find interesting about the Omega Point is that we might be in it already. As I understand it, the computation power of the universe will be high enough to be able to run a simulation that takes billions of years in the span of a second. So we might be living in the simulation that advanced humans created in their Omega Point. One second to them, billions of years for us…

augustlan's avatar

You two are making my head hurt. ;-)

I love this line “The combination of intelligence and ethics and increasing creativity is the correct and proper goal of human life.” But, if ethics are essential to reaching the Omega Point, I’d say mankind has a way to go yet.

quasi's avatar

good point @augustlan

computational resources seem to be quickly exceeding our ability to intelligently, creatively, and ethically use them.

@drdoombot
It is certainly interesting to consider this position from the perspective of a culture already over saturated by simulacrum.

ragingloli's avatar

we are not even close. we have barely climbed out of the cesspit.

lloydbird's avatar

I firmly believe that we are fast approaching the planetary equivalent of an “Omega Point” in terms of technological development, if not yet in distribution. The relatively recent advent of the internet and the ease and breadth of access to information is hugely encouraging.
However, the ready availability of information is also highlighting many of the wrong doings of successive waves of controlling elites including the current crop of incumbents. This will be creating significant concern to those implicated and will be incentivising such groups and individuals to adopt self protective measures.

That ”..combination of intelligence and ethics..” that you @quasi and @augustlan refer to is severely out of balance as things stand. But the potential to create an equilibrium is very promising, due to our level of technological readiness. However, a state of balance will only be achieved if measures are widely adopted (What might be termed ‘Incentivising Initiatives’) such as ‘amnesties’ and ‘immunities’ from prosecution for those who have had to commit ‘mis-deeds’,and assurances mitigating any loss of material gains. If something like this can be done, then the obstacles to our future advancement towards any kind of “Omega Point” will be greatly reduced.

Almost all the necessary solutions to the problems that beset Humanity are known amongst our collective mass of population. The conditions for their adoption are not quite here yet .It can all happen very quickly though when the time comes.
We (Humanity) have been like the skier, trudging up the mountain with our skis on our shoulder. Heavy step after heavy step. But we are not far off the summit now. And soon we will don our skis and enjoy our prize.

LostInParadise's avatar

The computer revolution, for all that it has done, is still in its early stages. There are a lot of open questions as to where this will all lead, not least of which is how we humans will be able to cope with increasingly intelligent machines. Some interesting possibilities have been raised, including the implantation of chips into our heads, so that there would be a blurring of the distinction between man and machine. When I hear this stuff, I imagine an implosion point where people will shout Enough! and move back to a simpler life. This may just be wishful thinking on my part.

marinelife's avatar

Not even close.

wildflower's avatar

You folks aren’t actually taking this Omega Point malarky seriously, are you?? (I’m scared now!)
My favorite part of the wiki was in the discussion tab: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Omega_Point_(Tipler)#Criticism_section

AstroChuck's avatar

No. For one, the universe is likely open ended so “The Big Crunch” is a doubtful scenario.

Parrappa's avatar

@AstroChuck, our leading astrophysics believe the Big Crunch is a very likely scenario for the demise of our universe, what makes you believe otherwise?

ragingloli's avatar

@Parrappa
because it has recently been discovered that the universe’s expansion is actually accelerating instead of slowing down.

quasi's avatar

many thanks for all of the great answers.

this is well outside the scope of my knowledge, but in addition/response to @ragingloli, I offer another small quote from wikipedia

“recent experimental evidence (namely the observation of distant supernova as standard candles, and the well-resolved mapping of the cosmic microwave background) have led to speculation that the expansion of the universe is not being slowed down by gravity but rather accelerating. however, since the nature of the dark energy that drives the acceleration is unknown, it is still possible that it might eventually reverse sign and cause a collapse.”

is it more naive to dismiss the ‘big crunch’ or to accept its inevitable uncertainty?

LostInParadise's avatar

Does it really make a difference how the Universe will end, whether if by fire (Big Crunch) or by ice (dissipate into nothingness)? Whichever way it goes all trace of the past will be lost.

quasi's avatar

@LostInParadise

well, I think the idea of the Omega Point is to contradict that all traces will be lost, it is a resurrection of sorts; like an eternal “after life”. It would signal some sort of continuation, in the least. it is of course arguable whether or not any of it “matters”.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Parrappa- With the discovery that the universe’s expansion is actually speeding up, more and more astrophysicists are abandoning the Big Crunch theory just as they did with the Steady State theory.

jaketheripper's avatar

just watch a couple of youtube videos and I think you will see the answer is a resounding NO!!!

quasi's avatar

@jaketheripper

did you have specific ones in mind, or just the general youtube content?
you should share some links.

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