Author: Brian C. Mahon
Posit this: If post-singularity, the lucky ascendants have their consciousness uploaded to a massive mainframe, they would have two rewards.
One: As long as the servers are powered, time is untethered from sensory perception. A second could be a year, and millennium could be a microsecond.
Two: The uploaded population could offer relatively simultaneous concurrence or dissent to any problem or plan put out by any other member. Representative democracy at the speed of ultimate non-quantum processing power.
“So what?” you ask.
Fantastic question. Allow me to address.
Suppose you were an advanced class II or, easily, a class III Kardashev civilization, where some portion of the populace was selectively uploaded to digitally feigned immortality. In this capacity, the populace is, as a whole, capable of lightning speed decisions and bearing the patience of a geologic formation when it comes to watching strategies unfold.
Imagine such a civilization receives a radio signal or notices a non-native satellite. These would indicate an up-and-coming species: youthful, naïve, but with potential to be problematic for our class II/III if ignored. Let’s say this advanced Kardashev civilization determines it can’t risk failing to recognize a duplicitous signal, that it is safer to assume a civilization searching for others is looking for competitors, not friends.
Now, last assumption, and please don’t lose track of this point: If time is perceptively meaningless to such a civilization, then warfare, as we typically understand it, can be waged on the scale of the imperceptible. By that, I mean, only the class II/III Kardashev knows it’s engaged in war. For example, a “rogue planet”, as we know it, could be a rogue planet to any other class I civilization. But to the advanced, digitalized society capable of both calculation and motive force, that planet is a mortar round sent to ensure personal prosperity and peace via complete obliteration of any and all competitors. In that regard, rogue planets defying our classical understandings of planetary lifecycles make more sense.
For posterity, allow me to provide one last clarifying statement. I had significant help in coming to this conclusion. In fact, Xeno species X-3 attached a repetitive transmitter to exo-object H-16 to state just as much. When H-16 was verifiably on a collision course, the transmitter sent laser and radio signals for us (that is, me) to discover and translate. Such a transmission causes reflection such as this. I wish we had the opportunity to see time beyond the “generation” iteration that species X-3 managed to transcend. As it is, we always view our problems in the now, discounting those from before, pretending that the future doesn’t exist. Maybe we could have gotten ahead of this and sent an asteroid of our own over first.
I was always fascinated more by the influence of perception on time than the rational concept of time being a consequence of mass. I wish we had more time to explore it. Perhaps in reflection, with nothing left to do but wait for imminent collision, I wish nature’s answer to the question of how to secure life was more imaginative and less consistent than “at the expense of others”. Perhaps X-3, unbound by time, determined there was no alternative. Should it matter at the point? I- we are robbed of the chance to find out ourselves.