Woody Allen once said that he didn’t want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. So if you are reading this because you find the topic “really interesting,” you probably shouldn’t have this knowledge. However, because I will probably be long gone by the time you can act on this information, here are your instructions for conquering the world. It begins with an answer to the question “What is life?”
WHAT IS LIFE
Darwin, focused on the species in his great treatise on evolution. He believed that individuals were not the true focus of survival, but that their collective counterpart was. Survival of the fittest was his mantra and it has given us an interesting way to look at the world.
Others feel that life is the individual organism and not some construct concerning its collective. I think most, when asked to point out life, would reference this or that plant or this or that creature. Such individual entities are the true embodiment of life as we know it, they would argue. However, the wizard submits that within all individuals is the true essence of life and that is the structures that carry and protect information. The DNA within all living things is the carrier of information and it is there that we must truly look for the definition of life because …
Life is information … information that is associated with negative entropy. Life is information that can be replicated and protected and is NOT subject to entropy (increasing chaos) at least for awhile. So at last we have come to a really useful definition of life. Once we realize that it is information theory that rules, we are ready to begin our conquest of the world.
THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING INFORMATION THEORY
In a great book on the role of information theory in physics, (simply titled “1”- see below,) Charles Seife postulates that information theory explains numerous branches of physics from thermodynamics to relativity to quantum mechanics and beyond. He argues that all these great breakthroughs in physics are really just subsets of information theory. The fact that the world can be turned into a series of 1’s and 0’s is really pretty extraordinary. It doesn’t take much of a leap to realize that life is also explained by information theory. Our DNA has the instructions for creating new life and for maintaining existing cells and life processes. This negative entropy capability goes away as soon as we die. Chaos begins and we start to join the rest of the universe in seeking greater and greater randomness. It is the second law of thermodynamics and it is unstoppable (except by life for awhile.)
OK HOW DOES THIS HELP ME CONQUER THE WORLD?
By understanding that life is really information protected by the insertion of energy, you are ready to create a new world … one that will eventually allow you to conquer the world we live in. It all begins with the ability to create electronic life. As you know, there is the Kurzwellian model of scanning a human brain and turning it into software and that is how a VR world will probably begin. The trick is to be the first to do this with a purpose.
You would start by assembling a team of subject matter experts (SME’s) on every aspect of our world … VR creators, artists, botanists, biologists, futurologists, mathematicians, etc. Once you have a scanned version of several teams of experts, you can make millions of such teams instantaneously. You can even have VR children that grow up 100% in VR and learn from digital library’s and interactions with expert teams. Over time (and not much of it), these children would have capacities far beyond any normal human. Want to learn differential calculus, master organic chemistry or learn how to paint … it would be virtually instantaneous. Thus there is the potential to create an amazing new world in just days.
Time compression in Virtual Reality is the real breakthrough concept here. What would take a human civilization years to learn could be done by VR denizens in just hours or minutes. The progress of a thousand years might happen in a day.
I think you can now see the importance of being first. You will need to succeed quickly so that you can destroy all other research on these topics being done by others in the real world.
OK GREAT, BUT HOW WILL I PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?
Let us say that you will need money for your new project. Well let’s just pick one way to do this (and there are hundreds). Let’s say we scan (perhaps even without their knowledge) the most creative people in Hollywood and you bring directors, actors and technical experts into a virtual world that you create to hold them. It could be a copy of modern day Los Angeles or it could be a new and amazing world built just for them. It doesn’t matter as long as they are engaged with their new world. Now you start making movies … amazing movies … filmed on digital sets that are indistinguishable from reality … using actors that are really talented (and perhaps already famous.) The end result would be a digital version of the movie and viola you upload the movie to the real world (which is now all digital) and shazam … you make millions. You use this money to extend your VR empire and to disrupt others around the world who might be about to make a similar breakthrough.
You could easily extend your money making empire to consulting, books and all things digital in nature. In addition, it would be oh so easy to create breakthroughs of all sorts in energy, military equipment, electronics, etc. because you have time compression on your side … the work of 1000 academics for a decade could be done in an hour or a day. Your business empire would grow and dominate and soon you would start to dominate the political realm as well. YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY.
CREATING AN ARMY
Honestly, this is the easy part. You could easily create solders in your VR world that would carry out orders in a merciless way. They would just need a body. An lo and behold your VR SMES create carbon nanotech warriors with extraordinary skills. This might be creatures that move like men and look like men, but are almost impossible to kill. You give them weapons that are made using incredibly advanced manufacturing processes that are way beyond any weapons technology available today. You add drone warriors able to fly anywhere and deal with resistance of any kind. Some of these drones might even be able to release micro bots which could kill like a medieval plague.
Conquer just one island somewhere or inhabit just a tiny piece of uninhabited land and create your warriors. Within a few months you will have enough warriors and weapons to take down any country. The easiest would be the industrial powers as you simply fry all their technology with EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse)weapons. You then go in with massive food stocks and offer them help in rebuilding their economy in exchange for submission to the new Master of the Universe (that’s you.) The rest of the world would soon fall into line and you then emerge from your VR palace in your new carbon nanotube body (backed up for guaranteed immortality) and start building a series of palaces around the globe. You have won. BUT WAIT ….
LIFE IN PARADISE
Ok you are now the master of two worlds … VR plus reality. What you discover is that reality is a bit messier than you would like and you find yourself taking long vacations in the new VR worlds that are being constantly created. But life is great for the Master of the Universe. You have all the luxuries you could ever want … emerald palaces, diamond covered Ferraris, and slave women galore. You are so happy you almost purr … until one day, your second in command comes in and tells you,
“I’ve got some bad news.”
“You know I don’t like bad news,” you say.
“Ah yes your highness, but you need to hear this.”
“Well go on.”
“It turns out that reality is actually somebody else’s VR.”
“What?” you scream.
“Yes and there appears to be several layers above that.”
“What?” you scream again, now incredulous at what you are hearing.
“And well … one of the guys from two layers up is pissed. He wants to talk to you.”
“Me … about what?”
“He did say something about eternal damnation. It’s apparently four layers down or something.”
“What are we going to do?” you shout.
“We … oh there is no we your highness. I arranged some time in purgatory so I’m good”
NOTE: For a deeper study of bad endings when “conquering the world” see below:
OK the Wizard is just having a bit of fun, but electronic life and the miracle of VR time compression is a seriously dangerous combination. One only hopes that these can be ethically contained.