Re: Universal Destructors(literally), and how it could work...

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 8 Mar 1997 11:04:13 +0100 (MET)

On Fri, 7 Mar 1997, schoolbus wrote:

> I'm working on writing an extropian sci-fi story. I've got just a few
> ideas written down now. now, my biggest worry, is a thing I have
> involving destructors. Would it somehow be possible for a universal
> destructor to be created, that could basically eat the whole universe,
> and of course, destroy it?

Ah, this is a fun subject. The ultimate form of terrorism, as somebody on
the Omega Point Theory List put it.

My favorite way of destroying the universe is the Tumult (as Gregory
Benford called the concept): if our kind of vacuum isn't the "true"
vacuum but a metastabla state, it might be possible to somehow make it
decay into true vacuum. This would start a catalytic process, as the true
vacuum would spread at lightspeed and cause the release of immense
amounts of energy. In the true vacuum our particle states would no longer
be stable, and other particles would be stable i.e. total destruction of
the Universe As We Know It.

Another fun idea was presented in Peter Nilssons excellent novels
_Rymdvaktaren_ and _Nyaga_ (unfortunately only in Swedesh AFAIK). In his
quite elaborate cosmology (essentially, universes are partially built by
the knowledge from previous universes by jupiter brain-like beings
preserving all information) it might be possible to hack the laws of
nature - by introducing the right information into the universe you could
sabotage it, making it unravel completely.

> Anwyays, is it
> feasible to have an army of destructors destroy the universe, and create
> a singularity(by having the mass concentrated so densely) similar to the
> one in the origin of the big bang?

Well, I could imagine something like a spreading army of von Neumann
machines that build copies of themselves and launch them, then build
megastructures around stars to control them, and start to move the stars
around to cause a Big Crunch-like effect (might be used to close off a
portion of the universe for an Omega Point if the universe is flat or
open?). It will take a lot of time, of course.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y