Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman is one of the most interesting and inspiring characters I have ever had the pleasure to learn about.

He was an American theoretical physicist who, most notably, worked on quantum electrodynamics and the Manhattan project (helping develop the atomic bomb). He won the Nobel prize for physics in 1965 and would later be called the greatest mind since Einstein. He became famous, however, not so much for his contributions to physics but rather for his eccentricities and charisma. He was an accomplished bongo drummer, safe cracker, nude sketcher, bar fighter, he was a prankster and partier. He was interested in every subject, every facet of life, he had as his driving force an insatiable curiosity. He died of cancer in 1988 but has gone down in history as one of the greatest minds the world has seen.

The videos below are a brief introduction to Richard Feynman’s character and his philosophy. [Click ‘continue reading’ below to expand post.]

 

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God, Kubrick and Alien Life

Stanley Kubrick was one the great talents of the 20th century. Stanley was not only a master of film and a brilliant artist, he was also a great thinker.

After the release of his 1968 masterpiece ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, Kubrick was asked in an interview about the religious themes of the film and elaborated as follows:

“I will say that the God concept is at the heart of 2001 but not any traditional, anthropomorphic image of God. I don’t believe in any of Earth’s monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of God, once you accept the fact that there are approximately 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, that each star is a life-giving sun and that there are approximately 100 billion galaxies in just the visible universe. Given a planet in a stable orbit, not too hot and not too cold, and given a few billion years of chance chemical reactions created by the interaction of a sun’s energy on the planet’s chemicals, it’s fairly certain that life in one form or another will eventually emerge. It’s reasonable to assume that there must be, in fact, countless billions of such planets where biological life has arisen, and the odds of some proportion of such life developing intelligence are high. Now, the sun is by no means an old star, and its planets are mere children in cosmic age, so it seems likely that there are billions of planets in the universe not only where intelligent life is on a lower scale than man but other billions where it is approximately equal and others still where it is hundreds of thousands of millions of years in advance of us. When you think of the giant technological strides that man has made in a few millennia—less than a microsecond in the chronology of the universe—can you imagine the evolutionary development that much older life forms have taken? They may have progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into immortal machine entities—and then, over innumerable eons, they could emerge from the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans.”

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The Singularity

The technological singularity will be the single most significant event in the history of life on Earth. Wikipedia defines it as follows:

“The technological singularity is the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood.”

In 1965 Intel co-founder Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors on integrated circuits would double every 18 months or so. This trend has held true for over half a century and is now referred to as ‘Moore’s Law’. What Moore observed was exponential growth. Most of us have seen what this kind of growth looks like on a graph. The curve starts out fairly shallow, starts to rise gradually, and then shoots off the page.

What is really interesting though is that transistor count isn’t the only technology growing exponentially. Almost every single information technology we look at gets faster, cheaper, smaller, smarter and more accessible at an exponential rate.

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Life in The Simulation

If we accept the 3 conditions listed below then we can make a convincing case that it is far, far more likely that we live in a simulation universe rather than a ‘real’ universe.

  1. At some point in time in some universe or plane of existence somewhere, intelligent agent(s) of some kind developed to the point of being able to create simulation universes of very high sophistication (ex. Matrix).
  2. The simulation minds within the simulation universe are complex enough to become ‘conscious’ in the same way that we think we are conscious.
  3. The intelligent agent(s) at work create many of these simulations (maybe millions/billions+).

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