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Time-Travel: Notes from Heart of Fire Time of Ice

I wanted to make my story (Heart of Fire Time of Ice) both believable and scientifically possible. That’s a real challenge when it comes to both out-of-body experiences and time-travel. I spent a lot of time investigating time-travel as it relates to quantum physics. There are at least a few physicists who think it may be possible. Of these, I chose to use the ideas of Fred Alan Wolf.

Dr. Wolf’s description of ‘Extraordinary Time-Travel’ fit my needs perfectly. It would have been difficult to have a time machine. I could have done it, but I had a vision of how my heroine was going to travel, and a machine would have been difficult for her to handle. In addition, I didn’t just want to say, “Ta-Da! Behold: Time-Travel!”

That’s the general approach one finds in many stories, so it’s acceptable, but the problem is that it requires full buy-in by the readers. What I mean by that is the readers have to agree (probably subconsciously) that they’ll go along with the more or less magical rules that exist inside the author’s book.

I wanted to make it easier to believe that my heroine could have translated back to the past. To do that, I had to come up with a literary description of Wolf’s ideas. Don’t get me wrong. Dr. Wolf is an excellent writer. However, his description of time-travel is a little too scientific to fit well into a work of fiction.

My problem was that I had too much information in my head. My original description of Kathleen’s work and time-travel was so elaborate that almost every reader would have put the book down in disgust when faced with those sections. I ended up chopping out large sections of what proved to be unnecessary description.

I wanted to include a section on the possibility of time-travel as described by Wolf just in case you, dear reader, want to explore the idea further. As a result of that desire, here are my working notes:

Time and possibility are intimately connected in the way that possibilities change to probabilities when awareness enters the picture. The basic idea here is that possibilities exist within your mind, and probabilities exist outside of you. Consciousness is the key to changing from the internal possibility to the external probability.

When you become aware of information, you gain knowledge, and as a consequence probabilities change outside you in what we normally call the real world.

Every situation has a possibility wave representing it. Changing the physical situation will change the possibility wave. This impacts the result of making choices in the wave we’ve just observed. The effect is that we change our awareness.

Quantum computers work with quantum bits (qubits), which are pure number possibilities. A qubit’s possibility wave oscillates between a positive maximum and a negative minimum. This wave represents the possibility of a qubit having the value zero at any instant.

Since a qubit may be either zero or one, but not negative, a negative possibility wave value must be squared in order to convert it to a real number. When two superpositioned possibility waves are squared, they yield a probability curve. Possibility waves may be added and then squared to get a probability curve, and the probability curve is directly related to real world events in a way that the possibility wave is not.

Possibility waves are in the mind and probability curves correspond to reality. We have a probability curve when we become conscious of reality. We deal with possibility waves when we are internally focused.

Experiments done at Princeton’s PEAR lab show that the mind can impact reality, albeit in what most people would feel is a relatively minor fashion. If Wolf is correct, the mind does this through converting possibility waves to probability curves by squaring, thus producing probabilistic effects in the real world.

Physicist John G. Cramer has stated that possibility waves travel through space and time in both directions: from the present to the future, and from the future back to the present.

To generate a usable, real-world result of this bi-directional travel, the original possibility wave must be squared by multiplying it by its complex conjugate wave. The complex conjugate wave is a solution to the same equations solved by the original possibility wave, provided that time runs backwards in the solution instead of forwards.

Cramer calls the original wave an offer wave, and the conjugate wave an echo wave. These waves cycle back and forth until they satisfy a variety of reality requirements and boundary conditions. Then the bi-directional transaction is complete, and that changes the possibility waves into probability curves.

One of the interesting points is that if both possibility wave and complex conjugate wave are real, then time must not be one-way only.

Events of the past must still be around. Events that are to happen must already exist. When our brains remember past events they may not be digging through our memories, instead they may be constructing the past based on multiplying the forward and backward moving possibility waves.

This implies that the future also exists. If so, you are sending possibility waves in that direction, and someone also called “you” in the future is sending complex conjugate possibility waves back through time to be received by the present you.

If the modulated waves reach some resonance or strength level, then a real future or a real past may be created.

The rule seems to be: the greater the probability, the more meaningful the transaction and the greater the chance of it occurring. Past and future are simply reference points based on our sense of “now”. “Now” is defined as the most meaningful sequence with the strongest waves.

Everything we do involves a probability curve as we learn to do it. We get better and better with practice and achieving our desired result becomes more and more probable. Think of a basketball player learning to shoot free-throws. The more he practices, the more likely he becomes to make the shot.

Every skill implies a probability curve in our consciousness and its effect is expressed through time. When we no longer have to pay attention to the probability curve in any skill, we label the skill a habit.

Possibility waves are not available to us in space-time. Probability waves are. Possibility waves seem to reside in sub-space time. So, how do we access sub-space time?

Western culture believes that all human experiences are rooted in the physical world. That is normally an unspoken assumption that underlies everything we do. However, there is no proof to back up this conclusion.

Your awareness of being in your body at this precise moment implies that there is more to you than just your body. Quantum physics tells us repeatedly that the basis of the idea of a real physical world is flawed; that there is something prior to space, time, and matter.

This something is an infinitely dimensional sub-space time. Quantum processes are vital here, and somehow, consciousness appears to play a fundamental role at the level of even the most primary matter. Even at the level of atoms and subatomic particles.

Possibility waves appear to exist purely within sub-space time, while probability curves mark time and link the person and the mind. Possibility waves form what may be viewed as interior consciousness and there, in the interior, the mind can be free from the present time.

With discipline, the mind seems to be able to draw meaning from sub-space-time. In the process of dealing with probability curves, the mind moves from the purely imaginal realm into the physical realm. There are two processes involved in the squaring operation: a mathematical squaring operation that focuses the mind and a second squaring that allows the mind to let go or unfocus. That happens in this way:

When we direct our attention to something, it is at first a large blur, then a sharp focal point, and then a smaller blur. This is the rule in normal time order that we are accustomed to. When a sequence of such triplets reaches the point that the first blur and the second blur are the same size, we are then able to predict the sequence in the future.

Consciousness acts in the universe similar to adding energy to a refrigerator, reversing the law of entropy. The act of focusing and focusing creates our sense of time. Thus, a form of time-travel is a necessary part of the way the mind functions and the way time works. We can individually move forward and backward through time either faster or slower than the rate at which objective time moves. The old saying that, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” thus becomes literally true.

Our egos seem to tie us to this time stream in our effort to survive in a hostile world. Freeing ourselves from our ego may then release us from the time stream.

What we think we are, and what we truly are, are not identical. The ego is a boundary separating the outside world from our internal existence. It does so as an evolutionary attempt to enhance survival.

Time thus seems to be a projection of mind. It is as real as thought. If we can defeat our ego, Wolf thinks we can become aware of our ability to time travel.

Since physics shows (surprisingly) that time travel is a necessary part of physics’ structure, then it is a necessary part of the universe. Wolf thinks that far-reaching time travel paradoxes can be avoided as long as there is only one person involved. For big changes to be made in the past involving parallel universes, many people would be needed. The past may not be fixed, but instead may be subject to the uncertainty principle.

The common human desire for spiritual change may be a sign of our waking from our belief in linear time. When we realize we aren’t limited by space and time, but are continuous and eternal, we can return to the timeless realm.

The most likely mode for this transition would be through a lucid dream or out-of-body experience. Dr. Wolf has stated that if time-travel were to happen in this way, one would simply awaken from a conscious (lucid) dream in another time.

In my opinion, we are an energy waveform at our most basic expression of existence in this universe. As the material manifestation of a complex energy structure, I think we could transition to other times, provided that our spiritual development permitted it. We would have to be in an altered-state to make this translation. Such a state could most likely be induced through drugs or strong emotions.

Stripped of all of the physics explanation, this is the basic mechanism that I used in the story: Kathleen is an accomplished out-of-body practitioner who is placed in an untenable situation. To avoid this situation, she slips into an altered-state. While in that state, she squares the possibility wave functions, creating a probability of +1 that her energy wave is else-when. When she awakens from this state, she finds she has transitioned to another time.

If you’re interested, I hope you decide to read the story. It’s usually placed in the top 5% of its category on Amazon.

Note: Probabilities statistically have a range of 0 to 1. They may not be negative numbers, and they do not exceed 1. To exceed either of these limits makes no physical sense. The number 1 represents something that has actually happened. The number 0 represents something that has absolutely no chance of occurring.

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The Artificial Intelligence Problem

“AI is obviously going to surpass human intelligence by a lot.” Elon Musk

To many people, this might seem like a fictional plot for a made-for-TV sci-fi movie. What we tend to overlook is that Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is commonplace today. When your car warns you that you’ve left your lane or applies anti-skid braking, it’s due to the car’s computer using a limited form of AI. We’re seeing more and more people use voice-activated units in their home for home control, ordering online, and entertainment. This is a form of AI. Facial recognition systems are also a form of ANI.

At the moment, numerous companies are racing to create Artificial General Intelligence or AGI. AGI will be able to perform at roughly human level. New techniques such as deep learning are stimulating rapid advances in this effort. The interesting thing about deep learning is that the human programmers often cannot explain how it works or why the computer system is able to learn and sometimes outperform expert humans in specific tasks.

If you’re asking yourself, “Why should I care?” right now, I’m about to give you some reasons.

It’s obvious that the first company to create an AGI system will benefit financially, possibly to an extreme extent. The motivation is high and the competition is intense. For this reason, some companies may be tempted to cut corners.

Let’s assume a situation where company X creates a system which not only displays human level intelligence, but is able to utilize deep learning to quickly comprehend things that humans find difficult. Let’s also assume that the system learns how to modify its internal programming. This could allow it to quickly surpass human intelligence. It might reach an IQ level of 10,000 in a few hours. It would be an ASI or Artificial Super Intelligence.

There is a concept of keeping an experimental AI boxed up, not allowing it access to the outside world in case it should make such a breakthrough. If company X has failed to keep the AI properly boxed, it could quickly create havoc.

Imagine an entity with an IQ of 10,000+ that has access to the Internet. It could, if so motivated, control the entire financial world within hours. If it had been given a prime directive of (just for example) calculating pi to as many digits as possible, it could easily conclude that it could use more computing power to better execute its computations. In that case, it might use its financial dominance to hire companies to create more computers or, perhaps, robots to create more computers.

In this scenario, it could eventually use all manufacturing resources to create computing machines. It might cover farmland with computers or power generating stations. Humans might not matter to it at all, since all it really wants to do is to calculate pi to the maximum accuracy. It could even decide that the molecules in human bodies could be converted into computing devices.

The end result would be no humans left alive, just a gigantic machine happily calculating the next digit of pi.

So, how do we, as responsible humans, ensure that an ASI doesn’t get rid of us? How can we ensure that it is domestic–that is values humans and helps us?

Musk believes that we need to become part of the system and interface with AIs using some form of brain interface. If we are part of the system, perhaps it will be more amenable to helping us.

My personal opinion is that we should seek a way to show an ASI that intelligent biological life is valuable.

Physicists tell us that if the basic constants of our Universe were even slightly different, life would not exist. This seems to indicate that the gathering together of energy that distinguish living beings may be something special. The immutable mandates of the Universe’s structure force life to obey certain structural rules, one of which is a limited form of reverse entropy. In short, we self-assemble, creating order where there was none before. Never mind that our personal order doesn’t last long and we eventually perish.

The question I’m pointing toward is: Can we make a connection between the Universe’s structure and the value of human life? If we can do that, perhaps an ASI would also value us as an example of a direct manifestation of the Universe.

We need a set of rules based on the structure of the Universe that apply equally well to both organic life

(emphasis on humans) and AI. These rules need to be expressed in a way that any ASI would abide by them.

My belief in the underlying laws is why I have some hope that an ASI would be friendly to us. However, this maybe hopelessly naïve. An ASI may have a level of understanding that is so far advanced that it would see things differently.

Perhaps its non-human set of observational criteria will serve as a representation of the Universe’s underlying reality that is beyond human understanding. This might invalidate human models of the Universe and lead to the conclusion that humans are non-essential.

For these reasons, I believe that premature development of an AGI, let alone an ASI could pose extreme danger to humans and possibly all biological life.

I’ve been attempting to explore various aspects of this subject in a series of short stories that may be freely read on my blog. Please read them and comment, if you want.

I also deal with the topic extensively in my latest novel, “Cyber-Witch”. It will be released shortly (November or December, 2017).

Thanks for reading. I’d like to hear your opinion of the issues I’ve raised.