Are We Experiencing the Peak of What is Possible In the Universe?

Like the collapse of Rome, but with Wi-Fi


I think yes. Here’s why.

The laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe. There are no forms of energy useful on a human scale that we do not already know about.

The laws of biological evolution are likely the same everywhere in the universe. Life’s form and chemistry may differ, but its foundation of evolution by natural selection of replicators is probably universal.

Any life with advanced technology requires two things. First, a powerful brain with an extended theory of mind capable of collaborating on the invention of advanced technology, and second, sufficient energy to allow the specialization of skills, extraction and production of materials, and construction of infrastructure necessary to develop the technology.

Varki explains that a brain with an extended theory of mind initially requires denial of reality behavior.

The only form of energy with the utility, density, portability, and extractability necessary to boot strap the creation of advanced technology is liquid hydrocarbons (oil). The biological and geological processes that create oil remove carbon from the atmosphere, bury it under ground, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. The creation of oil therefore changes the environment, and the burning of oil, which reverses the process, also changes the environment.

If a planet has life with advanced technology then it likely began by denying reality and burning oil. The energy from oil will increase food production which in turn will cause the population and pollution it produces to increase unchecked due to universal reproduction behaviors coupled with denial of reality.

Depletion of the non-renewable oil, disruption to the climate from burning the oil, and other associated negative impacts on habitat make it probable that the life will overshoot its environment and collapse before it has time to evolve the awareness of reality necessary to reduce its population and develop a high density non-carbon form of energy such a fusion, if indeed fusion on a human scale is even possible given the temperatures and pressures involved.

This may explain why we have not detected life in the universe despite trillions of planets.

We should be grateful for being alive to witness the peak of what may be possible in the universe.

Our Place in the Universe

The goal of the universe is to degrade energy. Life is one of the universe’s best inventions for degrading energy because it replicates until it has used all available resources. Humans use their unique brain power, which emerged after a rare mutation for denial of reality, to out compete other life. But the losers would do the same thing if they could. A dead planet seems to be consistent with what the universe wants.

By Nick Breeze: Survivable IPCC Projections Based on Science Fiction: Reality is Far Worse

A must watch video.

The climate models our leaders are basing their decisions on are grossly optimistic.

Does Intelligence Require Denial?

In 2011 I wrote:

I wonder if intelligence requires denial to survive?

With intelligence we are capable of understanding:

  • the universe will eventually go dark
  • the sun will age and engulf the earth
  • we will die
  • there is no god
  • the only purpose to life is for genes to reproduce
  • political beliefs and leaders have no influence on anything important
  • technology is just a flattering word for new ways to consume non-renewable resources
  • climate change will ruin the lives of our grandchildren and it’s too late to do anything about it
  • depletion of non-renewable energy will eliminate 9 out of 10 people within 50 years
  • more than 50% of our paper wealth will vaporize in the coming global depression

I know that I would be more motivated if I was ignorant and optimistic.

In 2013 a new book titled Denial by Ajit Varki and Danny Brower was published in which they make the case that human intelligence does in fact require denial.

This book provides a plausible explanation for some of the most perplexing human mysteries.

Cognitive Dissonance Everywhere

Had lunch today with a successful small-scale farmer specializing in producing healthy meat.

He seemed oblivious to problems we face. He said peak oil had been proven wrong and that the new fracking technologies were going to make the US an energy exporter. He seemed an intelligent person, yet believed strongly in something for which he had no supporting data and chose not to ask me any questions about why I held a different view.

Nate Hagens was right. The data have proven peak oil a reality yet the public still views peak oil with hostile distaste and willful ignorance. I think Varki’s theory explains the willful ignorance.

I would estimate the number of people who understand what is going on is less than 1 in 10,000. What will happen when the economy collapses? Almost everyone will be surprised and unprepared.  The chorus will be “no one saw this coming”.