(Click here for the complete Imagining the Tenth Dimension FAQ list)
13. Is this project about the end of the world, the Mayan calendar, Kurzweil's Singularity, etc.?
Well, indirectly, yes, but this is not the prime focus of the project. If we are really acknowledging the existence of a multiverse of universes, and a spacetime tree of different probabilistic outcomes creating parallel versions of our own universe, then it must stand to reason that throughout history there will be people who have made predictions that in other versions of reality came true. Which also means that we can't discount the possibility that some portion, no matter how small, of the predictions that are being made right now could also come true at some time in the future branches of the spacetime tree that our observed reality ends up being upon.
Once we've seen a major prediction not come true (Y2K, for instance), some of us can become dismissive of all such predictions (whether those predictions be good or bad). Imagining the parallel universes of possible outcomes that are coming towards us in our probability space means that we have to consider each prediction about the future on its own merits.
Here are some blog entries about these ideas:
The End of the World
Infinity and the Boltzmann Brains
While persons promoting the Mayan Calendar beliefs, or Ray Kurzweil and his predicted coming Singularity, are not talking about the destruction of the world, they are talking about an end to times as we know them, and a shift to some new mode of existence for our world. Here's one of the sections from the book where I deal with the subject of predictions:
It seems that no matter where you are in history, at a specific moment there will always be a certain small contingent of the population who are predicting the end of the world. Usually it’s some conveniently distant amount of time away from the present to be a cause for concern, but not so close as to immediately leave the person spreading the news with egg on their face (as I write this paragraph in 2006, the Mayan calendar’s December 21 2012 looks like a good upcoming contender for an end-of-the-world focal point some portion of the public are likely to become caught up with).
But eventually the deadline for all good predictions of the end has to arrive, and like the celebrated Y2K scenario, its promoters are then left looking a little foolish. In the anthropic viewpoint, we can imagine how those people also exist on different timelines where their predictions did come true. The reason we’re here on our current timeline to question what went wrong with their predictions is because on the timeline where they were right, we would no longer be here. Perhaps there were also people in Atlantis, or Mu/Lemuria, or in the ancient sunken ruins off of Cuba or south of Okinawa, who issued dire warnings of impending disaster, and who got to say one last “I told you so” before the end of their civilizations really did come to pass?