Dreamer's Refuge

A student of the Dhamma and Discipline of the Middle Way

Category: Panpsychism

Conformal Cyclic Cosmology and the Fermi Paradox

Source: http://arxiv.org/abs/1512.00554


Within the scheme of conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC), information can be transmitted from aeon to aeon. Accordingly, the “Fermi paradox” and the SETI programme – of communication by remote civilizations – may be examined from a novel perspective: such information could, in principle, be encoded in the cosmic microwave background. The current empirical status of CCC is also discussed.


The so-called ”Fermi paradox” refers to a puzzle that arises from an expectation that our own civilization is unlikely to have been the first to have arisen throughout our galactic neighbourhood, and if ours were not the first then, owing to the randomness involved in the timing of factors that lead to its development, the likelihood would have been that our civilization would have been preceded by others having an advantage of thousands of our centuries of technological development.

The expectation, then, would be that such enormously advanced civilizations would have had ample opportunity to have either visited us or, at least, sent decipherable signals to us by now. The SETI programme has, for many years, been set up to detect such signals, but with no success as yet. This seeming puzzle of silence (”Where are they?”) continues to attract attention, and there is a considerable variety of viewpoints and different approaches aimed at resolving this issue , spanning from the argument of the local uniqueness of our civilization up to a number of sophisticated unobservability schemes.

This reflects, on the one hand, the unusual breadth of the topics raised by this seeming paradox and, on the other hand, the essential uncertainties in our knowledge of the many parameters involved.

In this note, we draw attention to a completely different aspect of this problem, which is raised by the scheme of conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC), which provides a new view on the origin and evolution of the Universe. Although CCC was first put forward about a decade ago , it is only comparatively recently that observational evidence has come to light , which appears to support some of the theoretical implications of CCC, and which seems hard to accommodate within the standard ΛCDM inflationary model. According to CCC, what is currently regarded as the entire history of our Universe, from its Big Bang origin to its infinitely exponentially expanding ultimate future is but a single aeon in an unending succession of broadly similar such aeons.

In CCC, the current aeon is very similar to the picture presented by the ΛCDM model, differing from it primarily in that the early inflationary phase of ΛCDM (assumed to have occurred in a period between 10[SUP]−36[/SUP] and 10[SUP]−32[/SUP] seconds following the Big Bang) is taken not to be a feature of our current aeon, but whose effects arose, instead, from the ultimate exponential expansion of the aeon prior to ours.

In CCC, there is no contracting phase, but the transition from the ultimate expansion of one aeon to the big bang of the next is regarded as having occurred via an intermediate phase in which the material contents of the Universe consists solely of what are, in effect, massless particles satisfying a conformally invariant dynamics.

This leads to an absence of an effective scaling (of both temporal or spatial dimensions) in this transitional phase, though the retaining of causal structure (well-defined null cones) allows the indefinitely expanding remote future of the previous aeon to be joined conformally smoothly to the big bang of the succeeding one. Well-defined dynamical equations allow this transition to take place in a deterministic fashion (though there remain some relatively minor unresolved issues in this dynamical evolution.

Where might we see signals from previous-aeon civilizations?

In accordance with this interpretation, we conclude that, according to CCC, there was an extremely large and very distant concentration of sources, shown in red in Figure 2 just below the equatorial excluded region, over on the right.

Also, there was a comparatively close very large concentration of sources rather near the direction of the north galactic pole, just to the right of the picture. If we are to consider signals from previous-aeon beings, then such regions might well be the most promising places to look, as the CCC-interpretation would be that there might well have been vast numbers of very large galaxies in these places, and consequently a large probability of the development and long-term stability of highly evolved technological societies. What kind of signals might we expect that such beings could be sending out?

It seems highly unlikely that the manipulation of supermassive black holes would be an efficient way of sending signals, say to beyond their own aeon even with the enormously advanced technology that might be possible for them to achieve, well before the inhospitable empty frigidity that would be the terminal situation of their aeon.

From our own limited and relatively extremely primitive perspective, much more promising would undoubtedly be electromagnetic signals (although neutrinos just conceivably present us with another possibility). The conformal invariance of Maxwell’s equations allow us the possibility of such signals surviving the crossover from one aeon to the next-provided that the wavelength is long enough to avoid excessive scattering by charged particles in the early stages of the subsequent aeon.

What might be a purpose to the previous-aeon beings of possibly deliberately transmitting such signals to beyond their aeon, where we must bear in mind that 2-way communication with us would be impossible in this way? Perhaps those beings might have wished to save the inhabitants of our subsequent aeon from some unpleasant fate that their greater wisdom could help us avoid. Here the purpose would, for one reason or another, simply be the transmission of information from their aeon to ours. Alternatively, there is the idea of information panspermia, introduced in, and attributed as ”Solution 23 to Fermi paradox” in, i.e. the propagation of the ”life codes” by the use of such signals, like the bit strings of human genome and of other species of terrestrial life.

In the first case, information would be transmitted with the expectation of its future decoding, perhaps for some genuinely altruistic motive. The second case can be viewed as a kind of travel by their civilization, possibly from one aeon to the next, or perhaps within a single aeon.

This would be an example of what has been referred to as information panspermia, being based on the fact that the human genome (and that of other terrestrial species starting from bacteria, having essential common parts in their genomes) possesses low Kolmogorov complexity. (See e.g. , regarding human genome coding.) Kolmogorov complexity is defined as the minimal length of a binary coded program(in bits) required to describe the system x, i.e. which will enable the complete recovery of the initial system:

K(φ(p), x) = minp:φ=xl(p)

where φ(p, x) is a (recursive) function, calculable algorithmically by a Turing machine, and l(p) is the length of the program p.

The corresponding bit strings might be imagined as having been transmitted, perhaps just within a single aeon, by Arecibo-type antenna over Galactic distances.

One may speculate that such transmitted information, if decoded by networks of von Neumann automata or some other means, could even be equivalent to the travel of an entire civilization within an aeon, or possibly even from one CCC aeon to another. Might it be possible to eavesdrop on previous-aeon signals or even, conceivably, to reconstruct an entire previous aeon civilization? Far-fetched as such ideas may well seem, they should not be rejected out of hand, without consideration. No doubt there could well be numerous other possibilities we have not conceived of!

Interestingly, the Information Panspermia is actually pretty interesting when you take this study into account:

Scorn over claim of teleported DNA
The Study: http://montagnier.sismeo-web.fr/IMG/pdf/DNA_waves_and_water.pdf

A Nobel prizewinner is reporting that DNA can be generated from its teleported “quantum imprint”

A STORM of scepticism has greeted experimental results emerging from the lab of a Nobel laureate which, if confirmed, would shake the foundations of several fields of science. “If the results are correct,” says theoretical chemist Jeff Reimers of the University of Sydney, Australia, “these would be the most significant experiments performed in the past 90 years, demanding re-evaluation of the whole conceptual framework of modern chemistry.”

Luc Montagnier, who shared the Nobel prize for medicine in 2008 for his part in establishing that HIV causes AIDS, says he has evidence that DNA can send spooky electromagnetic imprints of itself into distant cells and fluids. If that wasn’t heretical enough, he also suggests that enzymes can mistake the ghostly imprints for real DNA, and faithfully copy them to produce the real thing. In effect this would amount to a kind of quantum teleportation of the DNA.

Putting it all together: Panpsychism and Process Philosophy

Saw an interesting video about Panpsychism:

David brought up an interesting problem… integration of consciousness into a whole.  I have also been a proponent of what is called Process Philosophy (though not by name, I did not know it was an actual philosophy till reading about it and googling it very recently).

In my opinion, I believe that consciousness, like the universe, energy, matter and life are foundational.  They build upon each other in a process.

In other words out of one comes the other. They are not emergent.  In other words it is dependent origination.

You do not have a body, you are your body.  All parts of your body communicate with each other either chemically, or via nerve impulses to create what you perceive as one entity.  The consciousness that is you.  The Brain is the information processing,  memory storage, and probability generator organ.

Some interesting links that are suggestive of that:

Other Research on Consciousness:

Neural cytoskeleton capabilities for learning and memory

Consciousness as a State of Matter

The Emergence of Consciousness in the Quantum Universe

Quantum Mechanics Of Consciousness

Quantum Non-Locality and Universe

Emergent Consciousness: From the Early Universe to Our Mind

Quantum Computation in Brain Microtubules? Decoherence and Biological Feasibility

Anesthesia Points to Deeper Level ‘Quantum Channels’ as Origins of Consciousness

Consciousness has less control than believed, according to new theory

Biologists discover bacteria communicate like neurons in the brain

This is pretty interesting.

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that bacteria—often viewed as lowly, solitary creatures—are actually quite sophisticated in their social interactions and communicate with one another through similar electrical signaling mechanisms as neurons in the human brain.

In a study published in this week’s advance online publication of Nature, the scientists detail the manner by which bacteria living in communities communicate with one another electrically through proteins called “ion channels.”

“Our discovery not only changes the way we think about bacteria, but also how we think about our brain,” said Gürol Süel, an associate professor of molecular biology at UC San Diego who headed the research project. “All of our senses, behavior and intelligence emerge from electrical communications among neurons in the brain mediated by ion channels. Now we find that bacteria use similar ion channels to communicate and resolve metabolic stress. Our discovery suggests that neurological disorders that are triggered by metabolic stress may have ancient bacterial origins, and could thus provide a new perspective on how to treat such conditions.”

I wonder if they can be trained to respond a certain way to stimuli like light or sound, if hooked up to something that can read the electrical signaling.

Alan Watts, Consciousness and Guitars

Having listened to a few Alan Watts lectures, and having past knowledge of Panpsychism, and Buddhism, I had an interesting thought/conjecture about the nature of Consciousness and Death.

I do not know what happens after you die, “I” (an interesting concept) do not remember it… but I like the ideas put forth by Alan Watts, and Buddhism, and have had, what I would describe as a moment of “enlightenment” or Satori. Or what Alan Watts would call “Waking Up”; which for a secular humanist is odd indeed.

A few days after, I had a semi-waking thought (I was in between sleep and being awake);

Expanding on the the Guitar metaphor about the strings being too tight or too lax, and the “middle” tightness being just right:

Your life are the strings, your memories the music.

The Guitar is your consciousness on which life and memories are foundationally built on. The memories and life are your individual music that is rarely unique, but still personalized, and individual to you.

When you die, the strings are cut (think of the Fates from Greek myth cutting the string of life).  The music stops, your ego and “self” dies, but the music you played has intrinsically changed the guitar.

The type of music you play, changes how the wood seasons, a person using the same guitar will know it is their guitar by the sound.  And so like this, the consciousness is shaped, and “changes” with each “rebirth”.

The essence of the life led remains ingrained in consciousness, but the memory, the ego, the self, dies.

No way to test this… but I like the idea none the less.

Turn On, Tune In, Dig In; Be Mindful, Be Compassionate, Be Patient.

Listened to an interesting record:

Timothy Leary: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

I agree with what he is saying, except the last point. The “drop out” part. I was thinking about this and came to the following realization:

It really should be, from our point of view, as people who support Humanity+ and the Overview Effect:

Turn On, Tune In, Dig In;

His secondary additional maxims were “Be Cool, Be Compassionate”.

Which I changed to “Be Mindful, Be Compassionate, Be Patient”

Why “Dig in”? Because as the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas book teaches us:

“We” had all the momentum, riding the crest… and then it subsided and left its mark on society… It subsided for various reasons, but I think we gave up hope because the change did not come fast enough.

But change comes from within, you cannot force change on someone, they have to change themselves. Drop out, then is the wrong action. You do not want to drop out, you do not want to be forced out by society, you want to dig your heels in, and “Turn On” as many of the “others” as you can. By turning on, I mean not changing them or trying to convert them, but, like us, educate them, show them how to see. They can take it or leave it.  But while doing this, we must Be Mindful, Be Compassionate, Be Patient.

There is a Houseboat meeting with the “Hippie Elders” that talks about this a bit:

Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Allen Cohen.
Psychedelic Salon Podcast 193 — Alan Watts & friends “The Houseboat Summit — 1967

It is actually the continuation of and discussion of Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out. Which they specifically talk about the Drop Out part, is exactly not the right thing to do. And bring up social anarchism.

Orch OR, Panpsychism and AI

I believe that if we are to create a true conscious AI we will need to use a Quantum CPU. It will need to be a medium that can support Orch OR. There are many paths to that, and Google is already working with DWave in their AI lab:

Google and NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab

Scientists develop atomic-scale hardware to implement natural computing

Nanowires exhibit interesting quantum phenomena, so I think it will be possible, and the above article demonstrates that.

“Quantum Water” Discovered in Carbon Nanotubes
A new quantum state of water found in carbon nanotubes at room temperature could have important implications for life

Carbon nanotube fibers make superior links to brain

Quantum Criticality in life’s proteins (Update)
Source: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-quantum-criticality-life-proteins.html

Discovery of quantum vibrations in ‘microtubules’ inside brain neurons supports controversial theory of consciousness
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116085105.htm

Anesthesia Points to Deeper Level ‘Quantum Channels’ as Origins of Consciousness
Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/anesthesia-points-to-deeper-level-quantum-channels-as-brain-sites-for-consciousness

And Ray Kurzweil has said the same thing. That if Orch OR turns out to be true, Quantum Computers are coming, so it should not be a hindrance to creating a Conscious AI.

The ramifications if this is true are more interesting to me from a humanist perspective.  Essentially, Animism, Shintoism, Jainism, Wicca, and some sects of Buddhism, are closer to reality and fit the universe more as far as world religions are concerned.

How will the world react?

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