Why Does Continuity Matter?

Whatever formulation we give to the purpose of life, all they become crashed if we drop out the principle of eternal continuity. It seems highly improbable to many of us that the consciousness of an individual has any form of existence after the biological end of life, so what I mean by the eternal continuity is neither the continuity of a single life, nor the continuity of a single biological linage. Eternal continuity of the cause-and-consequence stream in the collective knowledge (the Knowledge) is what should be the backbone to which a reasonable explanation of a purpose of life can be built. With a little twist on Futurama’s robot’s laugh at humans, who said that anything less than immortality is a complete waste of time, I do agree that anything less than an eternal continuity is a complete waste of time. We should all hope that, regardless how tiny the contribution of ours in the Knowledge is, it shall become a basis for another advancement, which will itself become a basis of yet another step forward and so on. Of course, any individual will, very soon, if not immediately, become fully forgotten and dissolved in this flow, but it is the knowing that the conscious or unconscious outcomes of our lives bear the tiniest share in modulating the course of the development of the eternal Knowledge that should be the great comfort in accepting our own nothingness and temporariness. If this continuity chain breaks sometime, even if that time is in a very distant future, then the life is pointless.
The problem is, however, that according to our current understanding in the physical laws that govern the Universe, the life IS pointless. Even if we skip the anthropogenic factors that have a potential in leading to a self-destruction of humanity, the Sun is not eternal. A relevant correction here would be that even if humans disappear, the continuity could still be in place if we transfer our whole Knowledge to another conscious society (shouldn't we broadcast the Internet throughout the Universe once a year?). If we manage to migrate to a terraformed planet around a nearby star or pass our collective knowledge to a nearby lifeforms, then, still, the Milky Way is not eternal. If our collective knowledge, whether with us or without, manages to cross the galaxy and travel greater distance, which would be impossible unless our understanding in space and time radically changes and we find ways to exceed the speed of light or distort the space, the Universe is not eternal. Maybe someday we could find ways to bypass the conventional laws of this Universe or change the universe... The hope of gaining this ridiculously super ability is the tiny hope that might still give a certain meaning to a life of any individual now, the tiny hope that what humans do might one day grow into something as significant as not to die out like an infinitesimally small perturbation in the Universe. And, I want to live in a society where people and the system work towards possibly reaching that level of development, even if we are unsure whether that is possible or not.

So, next time you hear about another European experiment claiming that the light barrier is crossed, you might laugh, being almost sure that the experiment would be declared wrong soon, but, please, do cherish the hope deep inside that they might have really succeeded this time, as you might be witnessing the demonstration that maybe physics does not, after all, bind all our lives to absolute and utter pointlessness.

This is a blog entry in my personal blog page where I try to gather my notes, thoughts and tutorials on science, IT etc., after making them more readable. All the PDF versions of the notes deposited here can be downloaded through my home page (http://www.cantab.net/users/aleksahak/ | Blog). In case the blog entry is of general interest and you would like to include that in your medium (journal, blog, web-page etc...), feel free to do so, given that you notify me and do not alter the content (unless correcting typos) and authorship.

The picture description:
High-precision test of general relativity by the Cassini space probe (artist's impression): radio signals sent between the Earth and the probe (green wave) are delayed by the warping of space and time (blue lines) due to the Sun's mass. From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe#mediaviewer/File:Cassini-science-br.jpg)


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