Tensegrity and Singularities (was: Tipler In An Open Universe)

Mark Crosby (crosby_m@rocketmail.com)
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 11:55:05 -0800 (PST)

David Musick writes:
< But did [Tipler's] ideas really require that the
*entire* universe collapse into a singularity? Or
would it work if only a sufficiently large,
life-filled part of it collapsed into a singularity?
What if life does, as Nick Bostrom suggested, send
devices out into the universe which send matter back
to some area. If enough is sent back, the mass will
collapse into a black hole. If life organizes this
right, will it be able to accomplish Tipler's ideas?
Is there enough energy in the creation of this
singularity to simulate a universe of infinite
(subjective) length, as Tipler proposes there would
be if the entire universe collapsed? >

What you describe here sounds similar to what Life
already does with each individual organism. It may
also reflect how the cosmos already works as well.

Check out the cover story of the Jan 1998 Scientific
American at
It's called "The Architecture of Life" and Donald
Ingber describes his work at the MIT Center for
Bioengineering on applications of the architectural
principles of 'tensegrity' to biology. The point that
I find most relevant to singularities comes at the
article's conclusion where Ingber speculates: "the
fact that our expanding (tensing) universe contains
huge filaments of gravitationally linked galaxies and
isolated black holes that experience immense
compressive forces locally can only lead us to
wonder. Perhaps there is a single underlying theme to
nature after all." In other words, tensegrity seems
to apply from the cell all the way up to the
structure of the universe.

Tipler's "physics of immortality" always struck me as
being 'rather' totalitarian. Gregory Benford's novel
_Sailing Bright Eternity_ describes the possibilities
for Omega-pointish 'computation' at the somewhat more
benign 'distributed' level of galactic black holes
(definitely an essential novel for the Extropian book
shelf - BTW, Benford's term is KENE, not KEME, as the
other thread keeps putting it.)

As for Tipler's idea of infinite subjective time;
well, that's a more subjective subject ;-)

I find it amusing to note that some mystics like this
idea as well. I'm thinking, in particular, of Carlos
Castaneda who, by the way, now gives fitness seminars
and sells videos that incorporate the tensegrity
concepts! In Castaneda's 9603 "Readers of Infinity:
A Journal of Applied Hermeneutics", he explicitly
tries to bring the concept of black holes to the
personal level: "[Don Juan's] contention was that
this vibratory, agglutinating force that holds
together the conglomerate of energy fields that we
are is apparently similar to what modern-day
astronomers believe must happen at the core of all
the galaxies that exist in the cosmos". And,
somewhere in his earlier books, Castaneda also wrote
this, about a 'Warrior's Last Stand':

"... when his time on earth is up ... his spirit
which is always ready, flies to the place of his
predilection and there the warrior dances to his
death ... If a warrior has limited power, his dance
is short; if his power is grandiose, his dance is
magnificent. But regardless of whether his power is
small or magnificent, death must stop to witness his
last stand on earth. Death cannot overtake the
warrior who is recounting the toil of his life for
the last time until he has finished his dance".

Linda Nagata's story _Tech Heaven_ even wonders
whether something similar might happen to a
cryonically-preserved person...

Mark Crosby

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