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Ultimate Wisdom stage

I’m wondering whether it’s natural for technological civilizations to develop according to a kind of “natural” trajectory: They either get wiped out, or wipe out themselves, or progress to a stage of ultimate wisdom at which they not only reach technological, but also social and philosophical maturity. At that stage, they can do about anything that is physically possible, including colonizing the cosmos, simulating other universes, and maybe even change the laws of physics, create new universes, or travel between them.

Social maturity would mean that they get rid of stupid stuff like poverty and wars. They would cease all kinds of big conflicts, because they would be ultimately wise (at least the mature and influential entities) and know how to do things the best way, period. No need to argue about stuff. They would just do what the ultimate wisdom would tell them is the right thing to do. Which means, they would have perfected philosophy. There may still be some open questions, but there would be an ideal way to systematically discover the answers, like science 42.0 or something.

If we are really lucky, we might reach this state of ultimate wisdom within a few centuries or millenia.

The alternative to that scenario is that there is not anything near this “ultimate wisdom” thing and we (whoever “we” will be) will continue arguing about small and large matter indefinitely, with different fractions striving to maximize their power and influence – in more or less violent ways.

I have been alternating between both positions quite a few times. Most recently I felt quite drawn to the “ultimate wisdom” scenario again.

(not so ultimate) Questions

1. What scenario do you think is more plausible? 2. Which one would you actually perfer? 3. Are there good arguments for the truth of any of those scenarios?

i suppose that in every era both directions were possible and that there is no predictable development of humanity. the so called “dark middle-ages” were not darker than many parts of our present and had also wisdom that survived and helps us today. in our history many systems and cultures were wiped out and people often lived in the fear of the near doomsday and that humanity will become extinct. but with that many catastrophies, wars, destruction and epidemics in mind that humanity survived, i think it is very unlikely that humanity will wipe out itself as a whole. 1.: to me it is plausible, that there will be always ups and downs and good parts and developments and bad ones. 2.: certainly i would prefer a complete wise humanity without poverty and war. 3.: i remember an episode of star trek deep space nine. in which highly intelligent humans made projections about the war in which starfleet is involved and recommend surrender. starfleet rejected the recommendation to surrender and at the end of the episode the wise explanation for that decision is, that it is not only the hope to win, but the chance that only a single human can make a difference for all and the whole history, that make projections, no matter how likely and precise they might seem, impossible at last. in the background information in memory alpha you can read that this idea based on a story by isaak asimov which i have not read by now, but that idea convinces me, not only to collect all the facts and hints and arguments for a bad scenario but to also look for those single humans who strive to make the difference for all and to work to support them and to become one of them myself.

On what basis do you make that claim?

That argument sounds kinda intuitive, especially since we live in a quite prosperous and stable looking time (apart from impending ecological threats). Sure, complete extinction may be unlikely, but a global catastrophe could well throw us back into a new dark age.

Yes, the butterfly effect can make long term predictions virtually impossible – if you are actually dealing with a chaotic system. Perhaps the memetic future of humanity does have some stabilizing properties which override the chaos inherent in all involved subsystems. If anything, universal wisdom would be a supremely strong universal attractor in meme space: No matter where you come from, if you explore meme space long enough, you will reach the one universal wisdom – all roads lead to Rome.

Well, without the existence of a supremely strong universal attractor like universal wisdom, there would indeed be struggle and chance involved in reaching a “good” future. That’s certainly more epic, but it’s also quite a wasteful scenario, because the conflict between the factions which all think their version of “good” is better makes the world overall less peaceful and cooperative.

i read much. and this is just an assertion. but you can check for yourself if you find it plausible or not. maybe you can start here :

or here:

i don´t feel like that. the cold war is not so long ago and since i live there is always war all over the world. we have weapons of mass destruction, experienced the chernobyl and the fukushima disaster, we cause climate changes and go on with the destruction of economies of whole nations…

all roads lead to rome and for every goal there is a way.

the universal wisdom has to be something, everybody could potentially realize. and then every version besides that has to be in a way flawed, at least partially; and nobody could tell which parts, unless he achieved universal wisdom. if there is something like universal wisdom, it would mean a consensus on the base of a deeper level of unterstanding, that eliminates all struggle and quarrel against each other. if instantly all people would have insight into the universal wisdom, the world would change dramatically. but this never happend. so the wisest question i can think of, concerning the universal wisdom is: what prevents me from gaining it? is it only what you said, that i had explored meme-space not long enough? i think there is a danger with every individual “version of good”: that you filter meme space for information that confirms your version as well as you will reinterpret information that could deconstruct your version. so… for me i came to the conclusion, that i am myself the worst enemy who prevents me - with my inner conflict - from gaining universal wisdom.

Yes, very much so. One big problem that prevents people from attaining ultimate wisdom is their limited lifespan. This could potentially be solved by life extension technologies.
The other problem is insufficient application of rationality. There is no easy technological fix for that, yet. In fact, being rational is hard work, especially when it forces you to deconstruct your own belief systems! This is where people need to work on the strength of their own character in order to become wiser. I wonder what can motivate people do work on developing their character. One effective possibility would be a culture which actively encouraged just that. This is not what we are currently seeing. And that needs to be changed!

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yes, it is the deconstruction, that is hard. not only hard thinking but emotionally disturbing because the “construction” of your memes and believes was once “hard work” too and they gave/give you orientation, comfort and approval. i experienced that the best motivation to deconstruct your memes and therefore questioning yourself as well, is a phase when you have the feeling that your life does not function the way you wish. in a way a crisis. though many people would search for help from others to reintegrate themselves into their old life again, there are some people who change their life completely. they could become activists, do volunteer work and have a longing to spread their message and give lectures about their insights.
but the best culture to encourage you to gain wisdom would be a culture that fears no critical thinking and rationality and therefore is not eager to coerce you to accept memes but to question them.

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