Monday, August 13, 2007

Dust Theory for beginners

I guess there are lots of things dust theory could be about: household dust and its ability to find hidey-holes resistant to all attempts at cleaning; galactic theories of stellar dust clouds and planetary accretion; the so-called ‘smart dust’ of military science-fiction, an extended, self-organising sensor-computing network. But Dust Theory is none of these things.

There are some concepts which seem strange beyond imagining, yet are difficult-to-impossible to refute.
  1. The idea that the whole universe began one second ago, with everyone’s “memories” pre-built in.
  2. The idea that time doesn’t flow at all, that all times simply pre-exist and that each of our conscious thoughts of “now” are simply cross-sections of that greater space-time bloc-universe.
  3. The ontological argument, which proves that a God-like being must exist.
  4. The Doomsday Argument, which uses statistical reasoning to show that the great age of human civilisation is drawing to an end quite soon (e.g. within 10,000 years).
The Dust Theory we are going to talk about is like one of those...

... continue reading here.