What an audacious thing for an eighty-three-year-old guy be writing about? Creating a company? Dreaming about creating a company? Are you nuts, Charlie?
The answer is obviously YES to all of the above questions! So, let’s get on with it. What company should I be creating, NOW? I’m so damned old there isn’t really much time for me to do anything that will flourish while I still have healthy enough brain cells to cope with the idea or even appreciate any of its success.
However, the idea of transitioning humanity into its next form is so weird an idea that only someone who is comfortable with being weird can step forward and begin that process. I don’t look particularly abnormal walking down the streets of Bend, Oregon, even though I have been wearing a red beret even before moving here eight years ago. Hey, it is the most flexible, and therefore useful, of any chapeau I’ve ever encountered. I’m average American, male, BMI 25, and most people probably consider me sane, even though I have some nonstandard ideas I like to talk about.
For example, the idea of putting time and effort into helping humanity transition into its next state of being so it can function forever and impact the whole universe, I admit, is a bit outré. Even with that wishy-washy provision, it is an interesting idea to bandy about and if it were successfully implemented it would be important. So, why not do it now, and by now I mean NOW.
I have blogged about making things work. The general idea is that if you can’t make an idea work you will be wasting your time. Applying that logic to this problem means that we must discover what it is that we can actually do with that idea. For example, it is impossible to ever reach the end of the Universe because even a message moving out from Earth at the speed of light can’t catch up with the most distant receding stars. So, that’s impossible. Perhaps a message sent to a nearby planet would be possible. But no, even that idea isn’t workable because there hasn’t been a radio signal received from anywhere even after years of searching. Thus, it is unlikely that there is any high-tech civilization within a hundred light-years of us. So, that’s out also as a palatable goal.
What might be possible is to create self-sustaining non-organic beings, much like computers, that don’t have any specific die-by-date. These beings if put into secure places like mines bored into stable billion-year-old rock formations might still be functional a billion years from now. That doesn’t sound very exciting, but it could be done. The problem becomes, how can we make these kinds of beings be self-sustaining and self-reproducing?
There is a problem that arises for us, because if these non-organic beings are self-sustaining and self-reproducing, the Darwinian processes of natural selection would favor those beings so that in their personal quest to gain energy from their environment they might deprive organic beings of their needed energy. Manmade solar cells are more efficient at collecting the sun’s energy than plants, so these new life-like forms would become a real threat. If these non-organic beings had even a little self-directed forethought, which organic natural selection doesn’t have, they might evolve very quickly and displace much of life as we know it. We don’t want that to happen, at least in the short run of say a thousand years. But, in the long run of billions of years, that might be the best result for converting the matter and energy of our Earth into a thinking being, and our Milky Way galaxy into a thinking being too and ultimately the whole available Universe into a large thinking being.
It’s a humble suggestion for a doable idea. Begin making devices that can evolve our world and our galaxy into a sentient being.