plomlompom-Vortrag auf der paraflows, 2010-09-11.
Killing (the power of) Time. Archiving selves, cities, histories, and universes
To store the present and reconstruct the past: the extension of any information over time is a major challenge. It often involves lossy translation processes from decaying storage media of mind to decaying storage media of matter and vice versa. In this talk I want to explore some peculiar examples of such engineering exercises:
- 1. The preservation of the self. Achieving immortality in pyramids in history books, cryo-preservation and mind uploads. What information of mind and body is it that we need to store if we want to preserve our self for the future? Will post-singularity civilization be able to reconstruct all of us?
- 2. Reconstruction of physical environments, especially cities. Reconstructing past reality experiences in movies and video games. Storing three-dimensional snapshots of cityscapes in “Grand Theft Auto” and “Google Earth” for the future. Augmented reality layers of the past over the present: rebuild the World Trade Center and the Berlin Wall at their original positions, via your mobile phone.
- 3. Flattening and postmodernization of history. Liberating history from the physical property of time, transforming it into a non-linear playground and weightless text to be toyed with freely. As history is just one more text between many, games like consciously alternate histories and new chronologies abound.
- 4. Cosmological limits to information storage and reconstruction. Is the universe a digital computing process, and if so, how large a hard disk do we need to store its data? Is consciousness stored in physical processes not yet computable by our digital computing machines?
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