Interesting futures and teleology
Teleology is here used to mean backward causality, ie the future somehow acts back on the present.
The ideas put forward are very speculative and dont have any factual basis. Nevertheless they
may act as a source of inspiration.
Towards the end of the 1980s, I was considering various aspects
of the time concept. One of the ideas was connected with the concept 'the present' or 'the now'.
In order to make it stand out I will henceforth refer to it as 'the temporal entourage' or 'ET' for
short. Basically, I was asking myself if there might be more than one distinct ET, that would play
an important role (ie in addition to the conventional meaning of 'the now',
having a zero extension).
This argument is not based on physics, but if we just briefly make a digression into
physics we can make the observation that very long physics ETs, in a certain sense, correspond to very small energies.
Without going into detail, one conclusion is that there might be phenomena widely separated in time,
that might nevertheless, somehow, be connected.
(Later I was actually trying to use that in order to interpret quantum jumps, in terms of extremely
long time intervals.)
End of digression.
Instead, lets consider an ET spanning somehow over our world and into
the world of our descendants. The world of the unborn. That world is, to us, only a potential world or
rather, many parallell, potential worlds. In terms of ordinary time concepts such an ET would be, say 50 years.
Note that ET spans over both our existence and theirs (the unborns). And that in the hypothetical framework
where this ET is significant, they exist just as much as we do, although we have no direct means of communication.
One way of understanding that could be to think of our time scales as being out of synchronisation somehow.
Infinitely fuzzy relative time scales.
Since there is no way to signal, causality is not violated.
Since these unborns exist in the context of the particular ET, they are, however, able to feel the consequences of
our decisions. Some decisions, that seem harmless to us, may look like genocide from their
Might this shed some new light on ethnic conflicts?
A subgroup of the potential future realization might simply vanish, never come into existence.
Since there is no communication with other parallell future realizations where this doesn't happen, it
may seem illogical to say that it looks like genocide. In order to make sense it seems necessary to take
into consideration the combined effect of alternative subgroups acting back on us somehow. But that kind of detail
is far above my present level of ambition.
In what way could such a potential world, manifest itself physically?
This question may seem irrelevant. But nevertheless, lets try to suggest an answer. Since we dont want to violate
causality the physical manifestation must necessarily be fuzzy, chaotic. In addition it must have a stable existence.
It must be persistent. There aren't many candidates other than large astronomical phenomena, such as the sun.
There are persistent magnetic vortices in the sun beleived to last for millions of years. Is it conceivable that
the sun is a kind of fuzzy image of many potential worlds causally disconnected from us in this context?
(ie in the context of the speculated physical manifestation).
But lets forget about that particular speculation.
About those unborns. Is it conceivable that some such
potential future realizations of human civilisation, could act as stronger attractors than other realizations?
If we answer in the affirmative, we have provided a teleological hypothesis.
(Admittedly, I havent given any proof that teleology is necessary here.)
What would be the factors determining
the strength of attraction from such a future world?
In the title I have suggested one qualitative measure: Namely that
interesting futures act as strong attractors.
Lets consider the great wars in this connection. Appart from the mass killings, such wars
lead to great scientific advances, that probably wouldn't have come about without the war-time challenges. No matter who wins
the war, science and technology itself always benefits. The best ideas and inventions survive. An interesting future emerges
as a consequence of the organized efforts motivated by external threats.
Prediction. Any political idea, aiming for more equality among people, will fail unless it creates an interesting future.
I am not offering any precise definition of 'interesting future'. I leave that to the reader. But I suspect that just
redistributing resources from the rich to the poor would not lead to such an interesting future and that, this may be one reason
why many such political ideas have failed.
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