Metaverse, the next step in evolution
In the 16th century the Earth became a planet like any other. In the 19th century the Sun is one star among billions of stars. In the 20th century our Milky Way is one galaxy among billions of galaxies, but our perception of the universe may well be incomplete.
In the 21st century it is possible that our world will become one among billions of others.
If we observe the world in a familiar material reality it is because we are made up of matter. Any theory that includes our existence must necessarily be consistent with our own construction.
Our appearance is the result of a process obeying the laws of thermodynamics. This process generated a self-organization oscillating between a macroevolution and a microevolution (diagram opposite).
We observe in the evolution of our Universe structures which appear spontaneously under a permanent flow of energy which dissipates. Light atoms generate stars which generate heavy atoms which generate planets which generate molecules, which generate prebiotic oceans. And it continues with molecular chains, autocatalytic cycles, genes, prokaryotes, genomes, eukaryotes, chromosomes, multicellular organisms, brains, men, a global brain, human societies, and tomorrow parallel worlds. .
This process takes place faster and faster and there is an irreversible auto-acceleration in the dissipation of the original energy.
But the three-dimensional material world may be just an illusion!
The material objects that surround us are only one possible representation of reality.
At the very heart of matter, the quantum world shows us an intense energy where matter occupies an insignificant volume. There is nothing at all, only a vacuum in which matter constantly appears and disappears, in several places and in several states at the same time. In addition there is no distinction between past, present and future. This opens the doors to a multitude of probable worlds, to an infinite number of parallel worlds that can generate a meta-universe.
Quantum matter is like a bundle of information that when interpreted by our brains will form real world objects. Among all the possible worlds our consciousness chooses the most probable, the one which has been selected by our senses to feel the experience of reality.
But won't future reality be virtual!
nota: the Russian physicist and chemist Ilya Prigogine (1917-2003), Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 1977, showed that self-organization is a characteristic of dissipative structures, that is to say structures that appear spontaneously under a permanent flow of energy. Any structure that exchanges energy or matter with its environment is a dissipative structure, from galaxies to human societies.
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Image: The self-organization of the material universe according to Eric Jantsch (1929-1980). In his book “The Self-Organizing Universe” Erich Jantsh has shown that the entire universe is self-organizing, from the Big Bang to human societies.
This diagram shows a "macroevolution" during which large structures condense and alternate with a "microevolution" during which new elementary components are formed. The light atoms form the stars which form the heavy atoms which form the planets which form the molecules, etc.
In this process the energy which is conserved is dissipated more and more quickly. It tends to irreversibly transform into heat: it is the arrow of time.
The concept of metaverse was first described in the 1992 novel "Snow Crash" by Neal Town Stephenson (1959-). This fictional tale depicts an imaginary society organized in such a way that it is impossible to escape it.
The metaverse may well be the continuation of the macroevolution that began 13.77 billion years ago. The metaverse or meta-universe is a set of parallel worlds in which we will slowly but irresistibly enter.
These virtual worlds can be close to the real world or else entirely disconnected.
For some citizens these parallel worlds will be terrifying. They will no longer be able to exercise their free will and will be tossed about by an overwhelming flow of energy. Others will be able to acquire a gift of ubiquity. Virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, immersive experiences, their avatars will be part of their environment.
Avatars (immaterial beings) will be able to follow all the events of the metaverse while we (material beings) will remain in the dull and boring physical world.
It is very easy to trick our brain into presenting it with information packets created by computer software. These imagined virtual worlds can host a community of users present in the form of avatars moving and interacting in three dimensions. These worlds can respect physical laws (gravity, time, space, energy, etc.), but can create others.
These worlds will be so many dissipative structures where the information generated will not stop increasing exponentially for a certain time. Even though new technologies will reduce the power consumption of data centers, the phenomenal increase in the mass of information will make the system chaotic. Another step in the macroevolution will come when these data centers dissipate more energy than the planet produces. In 2020, data center electricity consumption (500 TWh) represents 2% of global electricity consumption.
nota : "Snow crash" designates in computer science a total crash of the system fragmenting the part of the computer that manages the display of pixels on the screen which results in an information apocalypse.
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Image: the metaverse is a dissipative structure.
An infinity of coded information will be needed to create virtual worlds appearing and disappearing in the network structure of the internet.
The parallel worlds thus created and equipped with artificial intelligence will produce their own information. Thus the dissipative system (energy exchange, creation of entropy), and the spontaneous appearance of a break in spatial symmetry (anisotropy) will become chaotic. A new stage will be necessary in the macroevolution.