"A Word with Us"

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15 Dec 2012 05:10 #83970 by
"A Word with Us" was created by
"In the beginning, We were messing about in the lab, trying to create a new Universe with the right conditions to support star formation, planets and life (We needed just six numbers, but they had to be the right numbers for the new Universe to be anthropic...). Before the new baby Universe pinched off and became a completely independent entity in the greater Metaverse, We injected Our (soul, spirit, essence, intelligence, knowledge base)across the rapidly closing event horizon, and came along for the ride. After all, Our old Universe was approaching its final heat death after googols of eons, and even We, with Our complete mastery of everything, could see that the end was near (even at a greatly reduced clock speed...).

We watched (and occasionally "helped") the evolution of Our new Universe, and were greatly pleased to see that the laws of physics and chemistry that Our six numbers set in motion would permit - nay, demand - the evolution of life and, ultimately, intelligence. We looked forward to the time when We would no longer be alone.

By the way, you are not alone in the Universe. We are always with you, but even if you do not believe in Us, there are plenty of neighbors out there for you to play with when you climb out of your gravity well. Light speed and interstellar distances are very useful for isolating the experiments from each other, until the experiments are successful. Your particular experiiment shows promise, but you still face some serious show-stoppers. The main impediment, in case you were wondering, is the nature of human nature. (For details, see The Book)

Unfortunately, most of the experiments have not been successful so far. Nuclear war, grey goo, asteroid impacts, bad memes, anti-matter accidents, and just plain old jackrabbits in Australia overpopulation disasters... You (literally) would not believe the many ways things can go Terribly Wrong. Well, some of you can. Like Larry Niven said, the Dinosaurs are extinct because they did not have a sufficiently advanced space program. Of course, given the nature of lizard nature, it would have been only a matter of time before they did themselves in, and something like humans would have come along sooner or later anyway.

But We digress...

The Universe is teeming with Life. Most of it is microscopic, of course, but there are quite a few planets full of more highly organized life forms. Some of it has moved out of oceans, and onto dry land, where it can eventually discover fire and see the stars and get moving down the road to the Singularity. A smaller, but still significant, number of species have actually gotten to the Singularity, but so far none of them have come out the other side, at least as far as We can tell (and since We are, by definition, all-seeing and all-knowing, We would have noticed...).

There were a few who came real close... Here is a recent example from your own Galaxy. Once upon a time there was a race of Godlike beings. Let's call them the Olympians. They were worshipped as real gods by mortals on several planets, but they were actually only a bunch of people with some really advanced technology (the kind that is indistinguishable from you-know-what). They feuded and squabbled and played nasty little games with the still-mortal natives on many worlds. They may have had indestructable, immortal bodies with Godlike powers, but they were still meat-individuals on the inside, where it really counted. And that was their undoing...

So, where are they now? We don't know. They sort of disappeared a couple thousand years ago. What happened to them? Well, as near as We can figure, their human nature finally did them in. They self-destructed, torn apart by the Beast Within, or some such rot... Their memory lives on, mostly as legends, but everyone now realizes that they were not real Gods, merely poser-gods. They may have gotten further through the Singularity than many others in this Universe, but close only counts in horseshoes and hydrogen bombs. The Singularity is not a point, but a process, as you will soon discover.

We've seen this movie a million times in your Galaxy alone, and quite frankly We are starting to get a little concerned that We will be alone out here forever. So, We recently instituted a plan to change the nature of human nature (as well as the nature of the creatures that inhabit billions of other worlds), to help you become more like Us and make it past the pitfalls ahead (by recently, We mean within the last several millenia).

The plan was simple in concept, but Devilishly difficult in practice. Essentially, We tried to inject a new meme into your culture, to help you solve a fundamental design problem. The problem, simply stated, is that the attributes that helped you become the dominant species on your planet are precisely the traits that will destroy you as you enter the Singularity.

For a variety of reasons We decided that it would be best to not simply take over your minds, although We certainly could have, with nanobots, for example. We decided to use more indirect methods, due to the nature of what We were trying to do. You need free will, but you also need to make the right choice...

Burning bushes and booming voices from the sky are ridiculously easy to pull off (even for beings without Godlike powers), and they sure grab the attention of the locals, but the problems of misinterpretation and mutation of the meme keep cropping up, and We keep having to come back with new patches...

Lately, though, We have had some luck with Our new "Son Of God" program, which does involve the use of advanced (for you) nanotechnology to impregnate a local female, turn water into wine, cure diseases, and reanimate the dead. We keep hoping that a Good Example will finally convince you to change your ways before your sinful nature leads you to destruction.

There are many variations on the new meme, of course, but the essential message is this:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Competition is natural, and good up to a point (that point usually comes when a species figures out how to turn E=mc2 into working hardware). The whole concept of Sins of the Flesh comes out of the fact that you are all meat-based individuals rather that a group mind like We are. Greed and fear are necessary for survival, but they will cause you to destroy yourselves with your new toys if you do not learn to give up your sinful ways. Real cooperation is the only hope for salvation. Remember the old gods who aren't around any more? They were just like you, once. They just never figured out how to become more like Us.

Let Us be clear on this point. You will not be able to get through the Singularity and join Us unless and until you learn to give up your worldly goods and desires and learn to willingly give your second coat to your neighbor who has none. And being wealthy enough to give away most of your belongings while still remaining comfy does not count. You have to be willing to give it ALL up. You will not achieve eternal life unless you drop all this meat-based striving to have more wealth/power/status at other peoples' expense. Why? You don't need a cubic meter of Buckytube rod-logic to figure it out. It's real simple...

If you are going to make it past the Singularity, you cannot have competition any more. You must learn to cooperate, to share, to give up your I in favor of the We. You are all going to be sharing all of your knowledge and memories anyway (Oh, you think you can keep a secret from the network? From Us? From all of the other yourselves that will be sharing it with you? From net viruses that are a billion orders of magnitude more intelligent than anything Vernor Vinge ever had nightmares about? Yeah, right...)

The kind of Surrender that is necessary cannot be coerced. It has to be a choice made freely by individuals with free will, or else it doesn't really work. There are several reasons why this must be. Think about it... Would you want to share thought processes and memories with killers or rapists or corporate raiders? Would you want to spend the rest of Eternity sharing painful memories with all of your ex-lovers on whom you have cheated? Forgiveness is not optional because forgetting is not possible. But it has to be Real forgiveness. You cannot fake it when you are One with God.

You think competition and evolution are rough now? Just wait until it all speeds up a few zillion percent. It will be literally impossible to maintain your competitive individuality in the environment of the network. And if you don't join the network, you'll be left behind, with fatal results... You have to get right with Us (as well as with yourselves) or else you simply cannot have eternal life, uploaded, downloaded, online or backed up. Many have tried, but no one has succeeded (yet).

You might think of Us as a very exclusive club with strict, but simple, membership standards.

We certainly don't want the unenlightened, the liars, cheaters, and thieves, to be part of Us. If we allowed the unrepentent sinners to become part of Us, then in short order We would be just like them, with disastrous (and self-destructive) results. As far as We are concerned, all of those people can go to the Devil (but that is another story...).

You have to learn to share completely and totally, not because We tell you to, but because you will have come to the understanding that complete and total sharing is the right (and only) thing to do. In the trans-Singularity environment that you will soon be entering, total and absolute cooperation will be necessary, whether you like it or not. And that means sharing Everything. No more trying to be the richest man in the Solar System. No more alpha males. No more meat games. No more secrets lurking in isolated nodes. No more lies. No more sin.

Joining together with Us, or creating a new God-like entity just like Us, is going to be different from anything you can imagine. You may run subsets of yourselves in parallel for experimental purposes, but if you think you are going to be able to maintain individual personas, with all that that entails, well... if you try, you're going to end up like poor old Satan. You really don't want to go there.

Competition works for a while, if what you're doing is building empires or railroads. However, when you have Godlike powers, competition leads to suicide on an extremely large scale. We know. We still have memories of what it was like when We were just getting started.

But fear not. It isn't like surrendering to a bully in order to be allowed to live longer. It's more like surrendering to a lover that you don't want to live without. And besides, an individual (even one with an immortal body and a brain the size of a planet) is simply no match for a "supreme being" like Us (Our brain is the size of the whole Universe). You will soon have to make a choice.

You can become like Us, or you can go to the Devil. That seems to be the only available choice..."

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