We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Move along, nothing to see here!
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stand@desk
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We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by stand@desk » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:15 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wd0AYx8j0U&t=429s

All of us here have probably seen videos like the one above here. In the extreme future, everything and everyone will be completely gone no matter what can be done (entropy).

But how does a human mind process that fact..and knowing this, is live just a matter of trivial events until all the energy is gone? Does it really matter what we do..?

How would a quantum computer process these facts may be the better question. I think this is relevant to bring up when someone begins the global warming guilt trip that we need to "save the earth before it's too late."

But back to the main point, how should we process this knowledge and how best can it be useful to think of (for philosophical matters if nothing else) as we live our daily lives.

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YoungAndWise
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by YoungAndWise » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:18 pm

Do what we can to make the world a better place for the next generation, even if in the world and universe does not give shit and essentially that fact does not matter?
Last edited by YoungAndWise on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dragline
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by Dragline » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:35 pm

We should say "meh" and move on with our lives. We'll all be dead to this world a lot sooner.

I honestly do not think human minds can actually process this.

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BRUTE
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by BRUTE » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:58 pm

pfff universal entropy alarmists..

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Chad
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by Chad » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 pm

This Asimov short story The Last Question demonstrates one possibility. I love this story.
http://multivax.com/last_question.html

Campitor
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by Campitor » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:53 pm

@ OP

I've worked in the healthcare field a very long time...most of it in logistics but I did have various stints in the patient care side of the business. I always found it fascinating how people react to their impending demise when notified of a grim diagnoses. Most cry, some get angry, other sad. Most of these folks then split into a few categories: 1 - "I'm going to do all I can to survive this", 2- There is no fighting this so I'm going to make the best of it while I'm still alive, 3 - I'm going to die so why try or maybe I should just kill myself?

My job was to stop #3 from happening while the person was in the hospital. We all have to die some day and long before entropy takes the universe, our sun will become a red giant and boil the Earth away. I hope that humanity chooses options 1 and 2 and not option 3. Despite having good health, the miles behind me are getting longer than the miles ahead of me, so I'm going to enjoy the ride - I suggest you do the same and give entropy a big middle finger.

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chenda
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by chenda » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:53 am

These sort of facts can be very unsettling. But scientific understanding is conditional on our bodily apparatus; how we happen to evolve has determined our perception and understanding of the universe. There must be a reality which lies well beyond our capabilities; a chimp will never understand quantum mechanics. The chimp's reality is his perception of few acres of woodland. Our reality is determined in essentially the same way. We will never fully understand. Everything could be an illusion of consciousness.

Religion is the only thing which can provide some kind of answer to these questions.

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FBeyer
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by FBeyer » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:58 am

stand@desk wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:15 pm
...
But how does a human mind process that fact..and knowing this, is live just a matter of trivial events until all the energy is gone? Does it really matter what we do..?
...But back to the main point, how should we process this knowledge and how best can it be useful to think of (for philosophical matters if nothing else) as we live our daily lives.
There are more ants than humans. How does a human mind process that fact, and know this, is life just a matter of trivial events until...

Why do you mix geological time scales with human time scales?
How is it even possible for a housefly to live an entire life in a matter of weeks, when an entire year as measured by terran (and human) standards lasts for 52 weeks? That's incomprehensible to the fly. What should it do?

What does an occurence that is a extreme amount of expected black-swan events away have to do with our daily lives?

If someone is bummed out by the inevitable disintegration of everything then I'll claim that these people are still looking for ways to make themselves or their impact on galactic history immortal, and they're having a hard time dealing with their inability to do so.


Mixing religion into this is as preposterous as saying: Only the smell of old squat shoes can provide an asnwer to these kinds of questions.

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chenda
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by chenda » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:11 am

[/quote] Mixing religion into this is as preposterous as saying: Only the smell of old squat shoes can provide an asnwer to these kinds of questions. [/quote]

I would disagree with this. Humans have evolved to desire some kind of ultimate meaning and purpose to their lives. They want to believe in an eternal something. This was perhaps an important survival strategy. An entirely scientific approach - which suggests that the universe was an accident and will one day disappear - is unsettling and disturbing for many people. That's does mean we should consider religion as literal truth, its simply a way of looking at the world which fulfills a certain need.

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jennypenny
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by jennypenny » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:21 am

Yeah, to my mind, religion addresses this issue rather neatly. It gives us a sense that some part of us will continue on eternally, even if the 'us' is only in the 'we humans' sense and not on an individual level. Most religions also include some form of transformative point which allows for our essence (can't think of a better word) to carry on even when we are no longer humans as we know them now.

That 'kernel of eternal' helps quiet the brain so it can go about the business of living day to day.

ducknalddon
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by ducknalddon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:21 am

chenda wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:11 am
I would disagree with this. Humans have evolved to desire some kind of ultimate meaning and purpose to their lives. They want to believe in an eternal something. This was perhaps an important survival strategy. An entirely scientific approach - which suggests that the universe was an accident and will one day disappear - is unsettling and disturbing for many people. That's does mean we should consider religion as literal truth, its simply a way of looking at the world which fulfills a certain need.
No matter how much comfort it might provide I just can't suspend rational thought on this, I'll accept my demise with a healthy dose of stoicism.

CS
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by CS » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:28 am

That is outcome is assuming there isn't enough dark matter to restart the cycle, which as far as I know is not a settled question yet. Or that we aren't just sitting in the foam on someone's bathwater. Or part of a complex holographic simulation. These are all pretty much equally likely scenarios based on the information that we have. (You can Google for more information about the first and third possibilities. The second is from a serious of books that I really like (Thomas Convenant series.))

henrik
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by henrik » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:40 pm

Chad wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 pm
This Asimov short story The Last Question demonstrates one possibility. I love this story.
Thanks for mentioning it, I had not heard of that one!

Felipe
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by Felipe » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:12 pm

We'll obviously jump into another one of the many multi-verses by the time this happens. That or we'll rewind the clock with time machines.

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stand@desk
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by stand@desk » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:43 pm

Great story Chad, thanks for sharing! A beautiful answer to the question.

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onewayfamily
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Re: We only have 120 Trillion Years Left!

Post by onewayfamily » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:19 am

I don't think there's a good answer to your question unfortunately mate - essentially there is no answer and there doesn't seem to be any real meaning to anything.

I think most just tend to ignore it and try to be happy most of the time - just like how most of us basically ignore the fact that millions of Africans and others are dying of starvation and preventable disease every year.

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