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Hold Up While I Kidnap You

May 17, 2011

Imagine if you were kidnapped tonight, were injected with an agent which kept you fast asleep for an unknown duration of time, and then awoke lying on the floor in this place.

What sort of thoughts and emotion does this sight evoke in you?  What would you be thinking?  Would you be completely overwhelmed?  I thought so.  This place is so beautiful and so serene, I can imagine that you would conclude that you’d died and woke up in heaven.  The high ceilings invite your gaze up to the light, which is shining down from above onto the splendorous stone arches. The columns are adorned with ever sort of artistic delicacy and even the floors are dazzling with patterns and designs of all sorts.  You wonder if anyone is around, so you call out, but there is no response.  There’s only your voice echoing throughout the massive central chamber.  It’s time to do a little exploring.  You enter a hallway and notice a series of life-size stone statues.

Look closely at their faces – they’re all at peace and contemplative in mood.  And notice the man on the far right holding the child.  Look at the kindness in his eyes.  And the man on the left – he looks like a wise sage, almost as if he’s watching over the hall.  Where in the world are you?  Who built this place?  What are the books they’re holding and what’s contained within them?   You find out that this hallway leads to a giant circular library.

You take a look at a few of the book bindings:  Quantum well lasers, quantum chromodynamics, QFT and Topology, Charged Particle Beams, An Advanced Course In Modern Nuclear Physics, and other science books fill the shelves.  You think that this must be the home of some sort of scientist.  You head outdoors through the central archway and find yourself in a flower garden with a stream, and then look back to see the exterior of the building you were just in.

You waltz down the path along the stream, listening to the soothing sound of the flowing water, and delight yourself in the sunbeams piercing the through the trees, which are illuminating the flowers of every design and color.

You make you way downstream and find out you’re on a floating island.

Sorry, I’ve just kidnapped you and taken you to my dream home.  Don’t worry, you’ll find me upstairs in the central tower doing research.  Feel free to meet me up there.  In the meantime, have a look around, enjoy the sights, and raid the kitchen for a nice meal.  The robots will gladly make you anything you desire.

If I were immortal, this is where I’d live.  If scientists perfect anti-aging technology before I die, eventually this island will be floating somewhere in the skies over the Pacific ocean.  It’d take a while to construct, but if you’re going to live forever, you’re going to need a lot to do!  I’d design anti-gravitational technology, embed it into the rocks below, and lift an island into the sky.  I’d then build a massive palace at its center connected to various trails along which streams flow toward guest houses.  This place would hover over the ocean, and I would construct wormholes to suck up the ocean water for my streams and sky waterfalls.

The entire island would spin, itself being a giant time-keeping device. The central tower would be an observatory with a massive telescope.  On nights I was not doing any observation, the outer towers would ionize the atmosphere, and blue, green, and red streams of light would dance across the sky in every direction.

You may say, “Jason, that’s ridiculous.”  Well, say what you like.  There’s nothing in the laws of physics which say this sort of place is impossible — well, I don’t know exactly how to make the island float, but if I were immortal, I’m sure I’d figure out the secrets of gravity eventually.  I’d have time to perfect my robot technology, and various small drones of all sorts would maintain the place, upkeeping the flower beds.  I don’t know what would be more fun: building such a place, or living there.

In Michio Kaku’s series Time, he asked various people on the street whether they would drink an elixir which gave them eternal life, completely stopping their aging process.  A few liked the idea, but amazingly most people had strange reasons why they wouldn’t want to.  I guess they don’t like living very much.  That’s sad really.  I have a million things I would do if I had the time.  I’d learn to make rock sculptures, I’d paint, I’d master every form of engineering and masonry, I’d study all the sciences, I’d fly through space, exploring various worlds, I’d genetically engineer all sorts of plants and even docile peaceful animals for my island, I’d build contraptions and inventions of every conceivable kind, and my list goes on for a hundred or so pages.  One person told Dr. Kaku, “I think I’d get bored.”  Bored?  How could you get bored in an infinite universe?  I don’t think people realize the world they live in.  Death and aging are pointless.  It’s simply your mitochondria emitting free-radicals in your cells as its producing energy, destroying cellular DNA.  There’s no reason why you can’t patch that up and live for millions of years.  If you wanted to die after a few billion years, or even a million years, then I can understand; but the normal human lifespan?  Wayyyyyy too short.

I’m sure that with time, I’d start altering my own brain, integrating it with various technologies I’d create.  After all, it’s a complex biological computer.  First, I’d add circuitry allowing me to remember anything I was exposed to.  Next I’d enable a new mathematical calculation system so that I could more easily work with numbers and equations.  Then I’d greatly expand my ability to imagine figures and rotate them, also adding in capabilities to imagine multi-dimensional space-time, and time travel, making complex physics as to understand as Newtonian mechanics in three dimensions. All in all, it would be glorious.

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