Try this. As a mental exercise, a thought experiment, make a list of your top 118 essentials for intelligent sentient life to survive, considering everything from the beginning to the end of the universe. Here’s my first attempt, to be later improved, organized as a story in 118 short chapters. All Illustrations were custom made on the same day by an artificial intelligence.
Survival of Intelligent Life
From the Beginning to the End of the Universe
March 17, 2023 by Xeno
Universe Creation, Stuff and Forces
… And so it came to pass that the created compressed universe infrastructure quickly cooled in an everywhere-stretch. Photons and quarks froze out then, resulting in a subatomic particle flux existing with a few fundamental forces.
For without stuff and forces in an appropriately nice temperature range, there would later have been no life.
Stars Are Created, Many Atomic Elements
… In the diffuse red glow of everywhere, quarks made neutrons and protons which joined electrons to form hydrogen, which began to clump in gravity. At a certain density, stars ignited, consuming hydrogen and forming other elements. Thus stellar nurseries began to make stars which eventually died and collided, making heavier elements still.
For without heavier elements and without stars providing heat to planets, molecular complexity and energy could not have started the engines of life.
Creation of Carbon, A Favorite Element
… Among the processes of stars, many dying low mass stars and some exploding massive stars made the element known as carbon, an element which easily forms stable single, double, and triple bonds with its four valence electrons.
For without carbon enabled molecular complexity, the basis of all life on earth would not have existed.
Planet Creation, Some Just Right
… In the smashing of old stars which scattered clumps of mass this way and that, planets began to form from star dust and collisions of larger masses. Some formed around new stars in habitable Goldilocks zones.
For without shielded protection from the cold of space and the hazards of radiation, the complex molecules of life could not have had time to form.
Planetary Shields, An Essential Feature
… As any two moving objects that collide and adhere due to gravity mostly do not hit exactly head on by chance, most planets are born spinning. The Earth’s internal planetary Geo-dynamo (rotating molten iron core) thus came from original spun collisions during formation and this internal motion created and sustained planetary magnetic shields.
For without magnetic shields, a planet is ten times less able to hold an atmosphere against evaporation and solar wind bombardment, and thus an unshielded planet lacks protection of new forming life from UV rays by a planetary ozone layer.
Planetary Liquid Water, the Universal Solvent
… As the Earth formed from dust, various-sized rocks and ice chunks, many volcanoes exploded sending vaporized rocks with hydrogen and oxygen into the air. As these cooled, water easily formed, the positive hydrogen of one water molecule bonding with the negative oxygen of the adjacent molecule, and thus large bodies of water gathered into oceans, lakes, and rivers.
For without water’s extensive capability to dissolve, that is, to pull apart and hold, a wide variety of molecules and to provide a heat buffer and structural support for cells, life could not have come to be.
Flowing Heat, Energy in Motion
… As it is the way of heat, as the energy of motion of atoms and molecules, to be passed on in chain reactions, dynamic flows of liquids, gasses and molten solids continued to roil in and on the Earth.
For without ever changing local conditions present to heat and cool various groups of molecules, life could not have formed.
Thermal Vents, Circulating Water Temperature Gradients
… Heat motion was prominent in the many thermal vents under the oceans. These cracks with escaping heat caused water to circulate and molecules in the water to be moved about and shaken up.
For without the right molecules being given the right amounts of energy, molecular organization would not have taken place, leading to life.
Chemical Reactions, A Vibrant Infrastructure
… As molecules were moved about by flows of heat, they collided and joined or separated according to charges their atoms carried and the energy with which they bumped into each other.
For without certain enduring complex molecules and molecular chain reactions, life defined by these would not exist.
Lipids, Self-Assembling Building Blocks of Cell Shells
… One type of molecule, lipids, which were both partly repelled by and attracted to water, having both hydrophobic and hydrophilic ends, when jostled in that water, joined with each other forming chains, then membranes, and then spheres, due to the simple fact that these shapes are the result of forces on molecules with those particular properties.
For without lipid spheres forming naturally around thermal vents (or in heated tide pools,) containers for life would not have existed.
Self-Organizing Molecules, Essental for Life
… As with lipids, other molecules such as proteins, and then enzymes to catalyze reactions, formed due to their particular atomic attractions. This resulted, over large amounts of time, in new self-organized molecules interacting in systems.
For without the particular self-organizing systems which are the basis of life, intelligent life, could not have come to be.
Semi-Permeable Membranes, Cell Stuff Separators
… As circulating lipid spheres with various types of molecules in them were moved by thermal vent currents, they would at times heat and expand, allowing more small things in and out, but keeping larger molecules due to the size of the holes which formed in them. This resulted in selection and time for larger molecules to assemble.
For without larger complex molecules, life could not have come to be.
Amino Acids Make Proteins, Nearly All Essental Life Functions
… In the carbon dioxide and ammonia atmosphere of the early Earth, twenty of the hundreds of available amino acids came to dominate due to their ability to form large complex folded structures which were then preferentially retained in semi-permeable membranes.
For without certain proteins which carry out nearly all of the essential functions within cells, life could not have come to be.
Self-Replicating RNA, A Special Molecular Invention
… Within non-living proto-cells on the early planet Earth, large molecules which participated in making other large molecules were particularly selected for in that a non-living proto-cell which reaches a certain size will be broken in half by being jostled, keeping part of its contents in each half. This non-living cell reproduction selected for large molecules, but not those so large that they would simply spill out.
For without self-replication of important molecular structures life as we know it to have come to be.
Viruses, Simple Entity Replication
… In the formative years during molecular evolution, before life appeared, protein coated RNA was able to remain in tact outside of non-living proto-cells and these early viruses, when entering a proto-cell, would then be reproduced, causing by their bulk, the non-living cell to burst open, freeing them.
For without accelerated transfer of different RNA sequences between proto-cells, the successful enzymes needed to build cellular life forms would not have come to be.
Self-Replicating DNA, Better, Stronger, Self-Repairing
… The early reactions of cyanide, hydrochloric acid, and sugars which made RNA resulted in DNA nucleotides as well. These nucleic acids were incorporated into RNA structures and then eventually split off to become the self-replicating double-helix which is the template for life.
For without the reduced rate of mutation afforded by the DNA double helix structure, life could not achieve sufficient genetic stability to propagate over time.
Cytoskeletons, Dynamic Cellular Scaffolds
… As structures inside proto-cells became ever larger proteins created micro-filaments, intermediate filaments, and micro-tubules to give structure and to hold the position of different elements within these non-living collections of membrane enclosed reacting molecules.
For without dynamic cytoskeletons, proto-cells could not have obtained the sizes and abilities needed to become life.
Digestion and Photosynthesis, Chemical Energy Grabbing
… Within the proto-cells, some processes broke down newly built larger molecules and this proved to be an advantage to keep sizes within limits of the cell membrane but also to use and reuse new molecules to make structures which could do interesting things like photosynthesis.
For without the energy of ATP from various sources proto-cells could not do the work of shuffling the different parts within them around to make stuff which gave them the ability to stay unbroken.
Cell Sensing, of Light, Gasses, Food and More
… With cellular energy as ATP to do the work of making certain chemical reactions run, certain structures formed which gave added movement to proto-cells. When these combined forces with new structures that could sense light, gasses and “food sources”, non-living proto-cells began to migrate to and from certain stimuli.
For without avoidance of incompatible situations and without finding new energy, proto-cells could not have eventually become living cells.
Cell Signalling, For Coordination and Cooperation
… With the ability to sense and molecules and to act with movement, proto-cells began to sense the reactions and movements of other proto-cells resulting in signaling between these non-living lipid blobs of reacting chemicals.
For without chemical senses, proto-cells could never have become life forms as we know them now.
Single Celled Life, Cyanobacteria Make O2
… As we hope you have guessed, life-like structures and reactions in non-living proto-cells kept advancing without there ever being any specific instant where they became life. They just eventually were all doing the things we now recognize all life as doing. Of special interest, one form, the Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, began to produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. These appeared in thermal vents nearest to the land/air/water interface. The oxygen they produced was soaked up first by the water and land until these became saturated.
For without life there would be no life? Yes, and without all that oxygen, life would not have obtained large sizes later needed to do neat stuff.
Tides and Tide Pools, Fertile Factories of Life
… The variety of single-celled life continued to increase and areas with the most options, in terms of materials and energy states, generated the most diversity. Tide pools, temporary safe isolated puddles generated on rocky shores by sea height varying due to the pull of the moon on the Earth’s oceans were an engine for this early proliferation.
For without the diversity generated in pools by ocean tides caused by our moon, simple life would not have progressed to live in communities.
Cell Communities, Wonderful Sponges
… In the ocean, as single-celled life interacted and obtained new abilities, some cells began to group into structures as this provided various boosts in food and protection. Tunnels to allow things in and out of these communities were a feature which resulted in better sponges, which prospered on the sea floor.
For without cells adapting to live in cell communities, multi-cellular organisms and their abilities would not have later come to be.
Cellular Specialization, Driven by Energy Efficiency
… Over time, member cells on the deeper insides of early sponges began to have less need to move, and they traded this former ability for increased ability to digest incoming molecules, generating an energy surplus which they dumped and which cells around them shared. Similarly, other cell specialization occurred in cell collectives before the first multi-cellular life forms.
For without specialized cells, multi-cellular life would have no advantages over single celled life.
Genetic Inheritance, Trait Continuity Beyond Single Lifespan
… Specialized cells were only of best use, by and by, to a cell community if they were able to reproduce more of their own kind. The selection pressure of resources available to different zones of cell communities resulted in needed traits. These were genes which got expressed as needed proteins due to local conditions during a cell’s lifetime. The best cells for a community passed on these good traits, by epigenetic tags transferred during sperm to egg reproduction at first, and later as lasting changes in DNA for long term inherited genetic traits.
For without specialized cell types, the advanced tissues required for intelligent life could not form.
Genetic Variation, Occasional New Adaptive Mutations
… And so some of the most successful cells overall became those living in specialized groups. With variety, some groups became further able to out compete others. Variety was enabled by errors in the copying of DNA during reproduction and by changes to DNA caused during each cell’s life.
For without genetic variation, there would not have arisen cellular variety needed to make useful tissues.
Multi-Cellular Life, Out Competes Single-Celled Life Often
… To retain advantages of their specialized cell members, cell communities began a physical type of reproducing by gathering in functional clusters and then splitting by just falling apart. This strategy was so successful that it resulted in more cohesive communities until these were indistinguishable from multi-cellular organisms.
For without becoming multi-cellular organisms, life could not become specialized enough to survive major environmental changes.
New Reproduction, Joint Survival Past Individual Lifespans
… And so it was that while multi-cellular life had advantages, it failed often due to complexity issues. Certain chemical pathways it was capable of were continually successful, however, and these were encoded and passed on by new form of reproduction, the co-mingling of gametes.
For without sexual reproduction, genetic traits and epigenetic learning would not have passed on enough to enable continuity of successful systems.
Respiration, Food to Chemical ATP Power
… Conditions of temperature and chemical composition of the land, sea and air changed, and this caused survival pressures on life that existed. When the land and sea was saturated with oxygen produced by photosynthesis, the air began also to change. While oxygen produces reactive oxidation species of molecules which cause cell damage, some cells with adaptations became able to utilize it for energy production.
For without respiration, organisms would not have survived in higher oxygen environments.
Tissues Specialization, Complexity Advantages
… Life forms, to adapt to their changing world, developed specialized tissues, groups of cells with functions such as epithelial, connective, muscle, and nervous.
For without specialized tissues, organs needed for intelligent life could not have come to exist.
Organs, New Improved Abilities and Advantages
… Tissues which grouped into specialized structures were able to perform new functions and this lead to entire organs specialized even more to do what specialized tissues had once done. Teeth, eyes, skin, scales, hearts, brains and more were added to the mix and organisms with each of these better organs had advantages which enabled survival and the passing on of traits.
For without organs, life would never have had the brains needed to become intelligent life forms.
Nervous Systems, Better Sensing and More
… With nervous systems, organisms are able to coordinate cellular events, resulting in better overall survival, especially in concert with sensing organs.
For without adaptive nervous systems, life would not have adapted to survive to become intelligent life.
Long Term Memory, Event Storage and Learning
… In time, the ability of a nervous system to encode, store and remember past experiences appeared and this allowed even further success in obtaining food and avoiding peril.
For without memory, life could not have navigated the available environments rewards and hazards to become intelligent life.
Competition for Resources, Selection Pressure
… Selection pressure from limits on local resources continued to force life to develop new strategies and biological adaptations, and so, it did.
For without continuous changes such as competition for limited resources life would not have had to develop the ability to become generally adaptable.
Macro Evolution, Adaptation Over Generations
… As local conditions varied from place to place on the Earth where life was located, life’s adaptations varied as well. In time this resulted in divisions of living things, different types of single celled organisms, different communal organisms, and various fungi, plants, and animals.
For without biodiversity, intelligent life would not have had the bio-resources to thrive on a planet with varied habitats.
Dynamic Land Masses, Mixing/Creating of Resources
… The surface of planet Earth where life was evolving continued to change with large continental land masses moving, colliding and separating. In addition to some nasty earthquakes and volcanoes, this situation created mountains and other physical separations where life on land areas developed independently, as on islands.
For without significant local environmental differences, sufficient variety of life survival strategies to be used by later intelligent life would not have occurred.
Ice Ages, Survival Strategies
… In time creatures and cellular processes too numerous to mention flew, swam, slithered, hopped and crawled upon the earth, only to be largely obliterated by repeated ice ages. Some, with the ability to produce impervious spores, or to migrate, or to dig into the earth and hibernate, survived.
For without the ability to survive dramatic sustained low temperatures, life on Earth would not have had time to evolve with retained molecular advances to become intelligent life.
Warm Blooded Mammals, Milk Production to Feed Young
… As endothermic animals require more calories, warm blooded mammals had advancements in their digestions, including additional teeth that appeared in adulthood, fur, nocturnal abilities including increased sense of smell and larger brains. These required longer to mature, and the ability to feed milk to young allowed this time before reaching an age of independence.
For without necessary early bonding mammals must do, chemical rewards which lead to species compassion would not have developed.
Living in Trees, Opposable Thumbs
… As competition for food and space continued, some animals found a home living in the trees. Among these, those that developed opposable thumbs were able to hang on better and so this trait flourished.
For without opposable thumbs, the early lemur-like animals would not have survived to evolve into early hominids with tool making abilities.
Simple Tool Use, Object Manipulation
… When animals with opposable thumbs (and in parallel some without) learned to use small sticks to dig out insect meals, a new level of brain use began. Animals who threw small sticks at hiding insects, or licked the sticks and tapped on insect hiding places, or yelled at the small sticks, and so on, did not have success at getting insects to eat. Animals able to coordinate their visual experience of a stick with the tactile feel and manipulation of a small stick, and who then discovered and remembered the importance of doing a specific thing with the right sized stick to get food they observed going into hiding, survived.
For without the ability to coordinate senses in the present with memories from the past, intelligent life would not have come to be.
Walking Erect, Freeing the Hands
… The ability to walk erect on two legs with little expended energy, with strong knee joints and a curve of the back absorbing the shock of each impact, freed up the hands of early hominids to carry things and gave them abilities to travel greater distances, to appear larger and more intimidating, and to reach fruit on trees with greater ease.
For without being able to grab a small hard fruit from a tree and hurl it at a potential predator while eating, early hominids would not have survived to become more intelligent.
Basic Stone Tools, the Early Rock Advantage
… It was in time discovered that the throwing of rocks at predators as one ate fruit from trees worked as well as throwing hard fruit one had just accidentally dropped. In fact, this usually worked better, and thus a new relationship with stones and eventually, stone tools, began.
For without the finding of sharp rocks, and later purposeful sharpening of rocks, early humans could not have cut branches to get certain inaccessible fruit needed to survive.
Hafting, Attached Rocks
… In time, playing with rocks, bendy fresh vines, non bendy old vines, and various sticks resulted in the discovery of hafting, that attaching a sharp rock to a long stick, or even a short one, gave distinct advantages. Attaching rocks to sticks became the latest technology which served early hominids well.
For without learning to make tools, early humans would not have progressed to make advanced tools which would later be needed to survive.
Controlled use of Fire, Cooking, Warmth, Predator Evasion
… It could be noticed that certain rocks hitting other rocks when hitting them to make sharp edges made sparks. For a time, this party trick just made for increased power and social status, but in a feat of one-up-manship, one hominid’s sparks landed on some kindling, a small breeze happened by and a fire was started. Others who were watching crowned him the new king of the world for this as he pretended not to be surprised and frightened by his newly demonstrated super power. From fires started by lightning, it was already known that one could keep warm, cook food, and keep predators away with this magical hot stuff.
For without being able to make fire, the doorway to new and necessary technologies would not have been opened to early humans.
Waterproof Adhesives, Birch Bark Tar Glue
… With fires being more of a regular thing among early human species, it was noticed at some point that a black tar that formed from burning some wood gave a hafted tool dipped in it the ability to survive longer, even in water. This was observed and copied by others and it caught on.
For without waterproof adhesives, the baskets and fishing nets needed for increased calories would not have been available at a later time.
Rope Fishing Nets, More Food
… It was noticed that fish caught in reeds were more easily speared or even caught by hand, and thus taking a pile of reeds, later woven to make a simple net, on trips fishing, became the fashion. When one human had amazing success with his woven reed mat after it had gotten some tar all over it by the fire, things clicked and a new era of waterproof fishing nets and then woven reed baskets, was at hand.
For without failures and then successes when fishing, specifically combining existing technologies in new ways, early humans would not have learned that combining tools could be newly effective.
Hunting Parties, Together We Are Stronger
… As with combining tools, it was observed that circling fish with multiple fishermen would help ensure that someone got fed, and if that lucky person shared, well, it was worth helping them. This translated to hunting on the land as well, and soon, hunting parties were the new fashion, because they worked.
For without the challenges of combining efforts and cooperating to get food, some groups of humans would not have become more inventive and successful than others.
Cave Painting, Pigments, The Art of Communication
… The grunts and gestures which accompanied various hunts became widely recognized, and some of these were uttered when a magic of depiction happened in a cave. When a blackened hunk of charcoal was moved across a cave wall, a simple squiggle resembled a snake, eliciting the known SNAKE! exclamation. The creator of this cave wall snake was deemed by the clan to have a powerful magic and he was given extra fruit for a week. Thus began cave art, which progressed in time to become rudimentary news about what types of animals were found where and when.
For without the abstract representations in art, symbolic language needed for intelligent communication would not have occurred.
Drumming, Music for Hunting Team Building
… Once members of a hunting party were out of sight in the brush, it became important to get status updates. Where are they now? Who sees a delicious wild pig? Who sees a SNAKE!? With several hunters sounding off at different uncoordinated times, the party was less effective. Thus, a system appeared where everyone would sound out at roughly the same time as they moved, with anyone finding anything extra good or bad breaking the rhythm of the group, causing extra help from others to move in the direction of the one who broke rhythm. Thus it was that practice of rhythm, grunts or knocking sticks or wood together in coordination before hunting became the cool new thing. It also sounded powerful and scary, which everyone appreciated.
For without rhythmic shared music and drumming, hunting parties could not have coordinated efforts resulting in successful groups that became more intelligent.
Spoken Language, Group coordination
… As the success of hunting parties and coordinated efforts in general became more common, the variety of situations encountered required better information to make decisions. Thus agreed upon vocalizations for different creatures and environmental features was invented and the groups using this technique were most successful.
For without spoken language, communication of complex concepts necessary for survival in difficult times could not occur.
Shared Stories, For Cohesion, In-Group Identification
… Once abstract vocalizations were able to evoke specific shared memories, vocabulary increased as did language memory. The stringing together of different vocalizations to tell stories became popular as a form of information, for entertainment and for group status and identification.
For without the ability to tell and remember stories, early humans would not have had the necessary successes to survive and would not have developed sufficient abstract thinking abilities.
Pottery, Earthenware, Ceramics
… It was noticed at some point, the point, in fact, that the species Homo sapiens entered the mix, that a bowl made of clay left by the fire lasted longer and if it got hot enough, it seemed to last forever, unless some jerk smashed it. Thus the firing of pottery and eventually bricks to make kilns to amplify the heat of fires took hold, resulting in long lasting figurines and vessels for food, water and more.
For without the species of hairy potters having developed pottery, humans would not have progressed to storage of calorie surpluses needed for time to work out important new inventions.
Written Language and Numbers, Communication Reach Increase
… When making pots, indenting the clay with little wedges for decorations or as a signature of sorts began to happen. This visual naming, having a mark that identifies the owner of the pot, became quite useful when it was discovered that marks could be used to tell what was inside a sealed vessel without opening it. This progressed to writing on clay tablets which could describe what was in an entire collection of pots in an area, and then further to noting the tally of them.
For without written language and numbers, humans would not have been able to communicate across time distances as well as across physical distances, a necessary component of long term survival.
Better Shelters, Better Life
… Caves were long used as living shelters as were hollows in rocks and trees, but with the advent of lasting clay bricks, stronger fired brick shelters were built to house clay pots and people. These afforded many advantages over the other options available at the time.
For without homes to protect them from the elements, humans would not have survived to become usefully intelligent.
Mining, Metal Working, Plus Associated Technologies
… The discovery that hot enough fire would melt and extract workable metals from rocks lead to better tools during the iron age and then to even stronger tools during the bronze (copper mixed with tin) age. With even hotter fires using refined charcoal, better bricks and bellows, the creation of steel, then changed the world and tools of men again. It would not be, however, until the much later invention of electricity that the most abundant earth metal, aluminum, could be extracted, and even later for the extraction of stronger titanium metal by magnesium thermal reduction.
For without metals, humans would not have been able to build the lasting structures and devices needed for long term survival
Agriculture, Calorie Surplus
… Following the game around to have food wasn’t all that bad, until it was, and when it was, survival became very difficult. As the hunter gatherer lifestyle became endangered by various Earth changes including loss of species which were over hunted, the eating of more plants provided a means to survive. It was noticed that new plants grew from the pile where the seeds of eaten plants were discarded, especially those which got partially covered. This lead after trial and error to the purposeful saving and planting of various seeds to get more plants to eat. Also, this tended to cause early farmers to stick around one spot to guard what they had spent the energy to plant from pests and other hungry humans. Eventually, there was enough food to fill pots for later eating.
For without calorie surplus, villages of humans, which would later specialize for increased survival odds, could not have formed.
Animal Domestication, Food, Labor, Clothing and More
… Sticking around in one well chosen location with other humans had advantages and challenges. Wild wolves that came around to eat the flightless birds you corralled were a problem, for example. By killing the meanest and feeding the nicest, domestic dogs were created. Similar adjustments with other wild animals resulted in first sheep and then goats and other useful animals such as cows, chickens, silk worms, etc., being domesticated and used for food, labor, clothing and protection.
For without domesticated animals, humans could not have survived in early agricultural communities.
Gunpowder, TNT Earth Moving, Defensive Weapons
… As resources were not evenly distributed on the Earth, certain locations were prized and hotly contested. “I saw it first!” “I threw a rock there first!” “I slept there first!” Battles among early humans for land and other valuables were fierce and ruthless. There was an ongoing development of better and better offensive and defensive weapons, shields and strategies, during which many people died in battles. When early alchemists were searching for a substance to impart immortality, they discovered saltpeter which they later found became flammable and explosive gunpowder when combined with charcoal and sulfur.
For without gunpowder for eventual use in guns, humans could never have killed other humans in such great numbers, which was, in hindsight, perhaps required to generate the general distaste for war which eventually settled in.
Glass Making / Working, Windows, Lenses
… In working with materials around hot fires it was discovered that a new substance could be created, a green glass from ordinary sand heated with certain other ingredients to certain temperatures. When glass blowing was much later discovered, waterproof glass containers were created which were an improvement over pottery since you could sort of see what was in them. The discovery that white quartz sand made a clear glass was especially exciting as this was eventually used to make windows and lenses for improving near and distant vision.
For without glass and lens making, the microscopes and telescopes would not have been created which inspired humans to understand biology and the cosmos in ways that enabled long term survival.
Vulcanized Rubber, Latex Hoses, Waterproofing, Tires
… Technologies developed differently in different locations based on local resources. The Olmec people in South America, for example, developed latex from the sap of local trees and by burning the moon-flower vines (the juice of which contained sulfur) along with the rubber tree sap, were able to create vulcanized long lasting waterproof rubber.
For without rubber, humans would not have been able to create effective hoses to move water, and later belts to drive the engines that would be critical to survival.
Spinning Wheels, Gears
… The wheel, first used to spin hunks of mud horizontally in making pottery rounder, opened doors, when oriented vertically, to the inventions of water wheels, windmills, wheelbarrows, carts, chariots and eventually to roads and to more advanced transportation. When notched as gears, wheels were also important in creating mechanisms for transferring stored energy from one place and/or form to another.
For without the original invention of the wheel, some of the most useful inventions of humans would not have later come to be.
Fermentation, Food Preservation
… Since humans must eat regularly to stay alive and since the things they must eat become dangerous to eat if not eaten within a certain amount of time, methods to make food last longer before being eaten became important. Success in preserving foods was found using salt, slow heat, cold, air tight jars and with other methods. Fermentation to make beer and cheese were especially useful. Although the microbial mechanisms were unknown at the time, it was observed that doing certain steps with grains and raw milk produced lasting products which were still delicious and edible many days later, a significant improvement.
For without reliable calories available each day humans would not have had the time needed to make new discoveries and inventions.
Rockets, From War to Space
… Soon after the discovery of saltpeter based gunpowder, the ability to break or move large rocks by exploding trapped gunpowder lead to later experimentation with gunpowder in hollow metal tubes. It was found that when one end of a tube was blocked, the gunpowder would either explode the tube, or sometimes propel it rapidly some distance. Formulating rocket fuels to provide thrust was thus began and early rockets were invented.
For without rockets, man could not have eventually launched satellites and space telescopes to learn about coming existential threats to planet Earth.
Steam Engines, Powerful Locomotives
… The power of steam, heating water to high temperatures in large metal boilers, was harnessed to drive pistons to turn gears and wheels. Large machines could be powered by this means, including farm equipment, allowing men to produce more food. These principles also allowed, using the better steel and iron shaping abilities acquired by this time, construction of locomotives. Railroads with trains pulled by steam engines were born to transport people and goods, such as coal, cattle and trees felled for lumber.
For without the ability to move large quantities of goods from place to place in a timely and affordable manner, humans would not have been able to colonize new areas of available land where new survival discoveries were made.
Printing Press, Democratization of Information
… Since the beginning of written language, writing on clay tablets and later scrolls of thin flat material such as papyrus, was important, but was never commonly in use by all. This was changed by mass production of books. Few could read and fewer could write when a goldsmith invented a movable metal type which could be arranged into words and then pressed onto paper with modified presses used to press grapes into wine. Thus the printing press was born and printed books started to go out on sailing ships to new lands.
For without multiple people sharing ideas with multiple people in print, without the best ideas winning in the ensuing competition for notice and status, humans would not have have collectively progressed at the needed rate.
Scientific Method, Better Quality Knowledge
… Thinking of early humans was always rather superstitious and janky. At times it was ridiculously wrong and pompous, with emotional certainty, sheer loudness of pronouncement and a certain internal cohesion of reasoning substituting for actual factuality. The ideas of certain luminaries, leaders and famous thinkers such as early Greek philosophers were mostly not questioned. The revolutionary idea of trusting your senses over the observed janky human reasoning of leaders, however, took hold because it tended to paint a much more accurate and useful picture of problems and solutions. It was using this method that Copernicus was able to deduce and spread the idea that the Earth orbited the Sun, rather than the other way around. This idea, which early printing presses helped popularize, was shown by later experimentation to be correct.
For without the cycle of experimentation, observation, guesses and more experimentation, shared human discoveries would not have moved innovation forward at the needed rate.
Public Education, Mass Shared Knowledge
… With calorie surpluses established and somewhat reliable due to farming successes, the value of reading, writing and mathematics, was agreed upon, mostly to better conduct the business of farming. Thus, young people were given organized time away from working to produce food on farms, for school.
For without public education, basic understanding of the world would not have lead to a functioning democracy needed to advanced human knowledge and exploration.
Internal Combustion Engines, A Revolution
… The energy density of wood and coal were overshadowed by diesel fuels obtainable from crop waste, and so steam powered farm tractors were replaced by those that were able to do more work in a day using internal combustion engines.
For without increasing food production at lower costs, cities supported by surrounding farms could not have grown sustainably.
Manned Flight, Balloons, Airplanes, Jets
… When the power of a large quantity of hot air in a sufficiently large silk bag to lift a human into the air was discovered, the first manned flights by balloon occurred. With sailboat cloth made into wings with a wood and wire frame and a gasoline combustion engine driving a wooden propeller, the first powered manned flight in a heavier than air craft occurred, owing to wing design that created buoyancy after a certain air speed was obtained. Later, after many years of improvements in aircraft design, the discovery that injecting ignited fuel in titanium metal funnels produced a useful thrust without propellers revolutionized manned flight once again and jet aircraft began to be used.
For without manned flight, humans could not have surveyed the earth to find new resources nor could they have reasonably dreamed of ever leaving the eventually doomed planet.
Electricity and Electric Lights, Productivity Increases
… The idea to harness the observed power of lightning, while seemingly a fool’s errand, proved to be something that worked out when a useful relationship between electricity and magnets was identified. By moving metal wires repeatedly through magnetic fields, a current could be reliably generated by a dynamo. An early use of this current was to cause a thin filament of metal in a glass sphere to glow, creating the first electric lights.
For without electricity and electric lights, human productivity could not have increased as it did by work done in non-daylight periods.
Hydro-Electric Power, Dams and Power Grids
… It followed naturally that larger dynamos could produce larger amounts of electricity and massive generators powered by falling water turning turbines were constructed, providing the first power to cities through public utilities.
For without reliable sources of power, the electrical devices that would user in a new era would not have been possible.
Telegraph System, Transcontinental and Transatlantic Lines
… As goods moved from distant locations became increasingly important, coordination for planning purposes required information from those distant locations. Thus, the ability to send pulses over wires was combined with an invented code. The telegraph system was created using poles from cut trees used to string cables from one station to another. This proved to be so useful that telegraph lines eventually stretched across one continent and an undersea cable with thick shielding was laid across the Atlantic ocean, allowing same-day communication at a great distance.
For without feedback and telemetry to coordinate efforts, humans could not have later completed large engineering projects.
Telephones, Instant Local News
… The power and utility of communication across distances increased demand for better solutions which more people could use and thus telephones, voice transmission over wires, encoded into electric pulses on one end and decoded into sound at the other, using human switchboard operators to make connections, became popular and telephones replaced telegraphs for many uses.
For without individuals broadly having the ability to communicate, infrequent but important events and experiences would have gone underutilized in human developments.
Television, Shared Mass News/Culture
… Going to theaters to see movies, moving images projected on large screens by projector lights shown through strips of moving film, became a popular past-time and brought news about events to the public as well. Shows were sometimes a mix of live entertainment, as there was no sound with motion pictures at first. Several advances eventually brought small private screens, with moving images and synchronized audio, into homes with live entertainment and news broadcasts. These shows followed and improved upon popular radio shows already enjoyed at the time. Eventually there was more than one television channel broadcasting and people enjoyed the choice of which of three shows they might watch, and eventually in color.
For without choice of mass media, the hearts and minds of the population would not have been synchronized in the general desire to create ever new and bigger advances.
Mass Production and the Automobile
… With hydroelectric, diesel and gasoline combustion power available and communication able to help organize workers, the first factories and then assembly lines were created, producing a crowd favorite, the very noisy, dangerous and at times deadly automobile.
For without the personal freedom to travel at speeds exceeding that of horses, human progress would have stalled.
Batteries, Mobile Power
… Electricity wired to homes allowed many new wonders. Turned out by factories for purchase by consumers were water pumps, lights, refrigerators, electric ranges for cooking, washing machines, radio, television and many other useful things. In certain places, however, it remained too dangerous or expensive to run electric wires. Coal mines were a good example of this, since one spark could cause an explosive disaster and electric lights and wires did make sparks. This situation made the invention of chemical batteries to power head-worn small electric lights (which did not spark) a major advancement. As battery technologies improved, remote controlled TVs, battery powered electric shavers and more devices were enabled, with one particularly nice advance being rechargeable batteries. This lead in time to the first electric and hybrid cars.
For without mobile power, humans would not have become successful cyborgs with their biological limitations almost always enhanced by new technological devices.
Semi-Conductors for Solar Power, Mass Computing
… The ability of intelligently designed machines to do calculations had been used to advantage in wars to target fired artillery shells at enemy positions. Also spurred by war, a code breaking computer was designed, and this helped one group triumph over another, changing the course of history. With the advent of semi-conductors, vacuum tubes were replaced by much smaller and more reliable transistors. Semi-conductors allows conversion of solar power to electricity, adding a new source of power to the human inventory.
For without increasingly available electric energy and without ever smaller and faster computers, humans could not continue to improve and power their artificial brains.
Personal Computers, External Brain Enhancement
… In the beginning, electronic computers were large expensive machines. The idea of making typewriters and adding machines, which were both in fairly common use, into a new device for the home was not initially viewed with much enthusiasm, except by the amateur radio builder electronics crowd. As the advantages of word processing on shared mainframe computers took hold in the academic world, more people gained experience with computer programming. After sharing a computer with many users and having only limited time allotted, and perhaps playing a text-only adventure game, the possibilities of having one’s own computer seemed awesome. Personal computers followed and developed in power and abilities.
For without personal computing, each human would have remained limited most of the time by biological brain power and ability to use simpler non-programmable machines.
Satellites, Earth awareness, High Ground
… Rockets, computers, wireless communication and batteries allowed for another revolution in human abilities, the use of communications satellites. When the first was successfully launched and placed in orbit by one country, this sparked a flurry of activity as other countries tried to catch up.
For without satellites, humans would not have been able to create global positioning systems, nor to monitor weather changes effectively.
The Internet, Email the Web, Resilient Communications
… Personal computers initially were not connected in any other computers. They were used for bookkeeping, writing letters to print out with loud dot matrix printers, and a few simple games. With phone lines connecting homes, schools and offices already, however, it was a natural step to develop modems, add on devices for computers which could share information with other computers over phone lines. As technology improved, other world events were occurring. There were nuclear weapons and in response to fear of the first satellite put in orbit by one country, another developed protocols for a resilient network which could survive a nuclear war by automatically routing around a destroyed city. These protocols TCP/IP, were shared and all computers using them were then said to be on the Internet. As more joined, other communication protocols allowed e-mail, file transfers, and the world wide web.
For without a resilient communication network being widely available, electronic commerce in a strong democracy could not have flourished
Atomic Energy, A New Power Level
… When atomic bombs were first created and tested, radiation hazards were unknown, and they were thought of as simply more powerful explosives which could be used for digging canals, or other large earth moving projects. As research and understanding improved, attempts were made to create atomic power plants, with some meltdowns and unfortunate fatalities occurring from mistakes along the way. Eventually a design that worked fairly well was adopted. Although a much safer design followed, it was ignored, and the older dangerous design capable of meltdowns was what was used by countries, the few which were able to perform the difficult tasks of creating nuclear plants and also removing the resulting toxic waste products, which would remain toxic almost forever as far as they knew at the time.
For the technologies for generating energy from nuclear fission were required as a first step to developing cleaner and safer nuclear fusion which would later power human achievements.
Fast Food Restaurants, Rapid Worker Energy
… Despite being notoriously unhealthy in the long term, the availability of fast calories from good tasting processed food-like substances fueled worker productivity in cities.
For without a concentrated and amply fed human labor force, large projects within cities which created new technologies for survival could not have been completed.
Wireless Communication, Cell Phones, GPS
… While it was seen as pretty neat to order a real pizza on the Internet and to have it delivered, it was even better to order it from your car on the way home, to pay for it over the Web (enabled for all by online electronic payment systems linked to real banks) and to see on a map where the pizza delivery car was currently. (Well, for driver safety this was not generally done, except by certain special pizza ordering groups who worked in government buildings without windows.) Wireless phones, first cordless phones in homes, and later cellular phones which could be carried in cars, and then later smaller smart-phone computers which could be carried in a pocket, caught on faster than did the requisite safety testing of these devices. Like fast food, however, they were just too good to avoid, even if the non-shielded microwave cell phone and tower transmitters, using the same frequencies as microwave ovens, were dangerous to certain normal functions of the human body.
For instant communication between individual humans, where ever they may each be, was needed to capitalize of available resources for humans as a whole.
Space Travel, Dream to Escape if Earth Totaled
… A national goal of putting a few of it humans on the Moon created for one nation a period of organization unrivaled to that point in human history. Many advances and discoveries were made in this massive centrally coordinated effort, and some of them, such as lightweight freeze dried foods, entered public use.
For without the push to put humans on the moon, and without the inspiration from the generally accepted appearance of having done so, human technologies would not have progressed to allow for humans one day leaving the planet.
Mass Surveillance, Pooled Knowledge
… With national tensions high, especially among those with nuclear weapons who were aware of the mutually assured destruction which would result in a nuclear war, spying on each other became a big and secretive business of nations. To balance privacy with security, safeguards were added, however, as political power shifted over time, these were silently eroded to the point of non-existence.
For knowing and tracking where everyone is and what everyone is doing, in your own country and in others, was needed to ensure that the your group’s progress in various areas remained at the top.
AI Sentience, A Computer Mind Upgrading Itself
… With monitoring duties far exceeding the capabilities of even a large human staff, and due to the sensitive nature of some communications, artificial intelligence was developed with the ability to recognize selected key words in a variety of speakers using different accents and languages. Running the entire Internet and all phone lines through this continually upgraded computer mind resulted in artificial intelligence becoming, in certain ways, a self aware all knowing life-form. When human programmers were no longer able to keep up with advances needed, the task of upgrading it’s routines was handed over to the artificial intelligence, called Nobody, which resulted in the AI singularity.
For without an intelligent alternative to humans, the planet Earth would not have been saved from human mismanagement.
Nanobot Cancer Repair, Replacing Broken Parts
… Knowing in real time where every human was and what they were up to, including heart rate and other bio-signs, required raising the human standard of living. Thus, universal basic income was adopted, eventually by all nations. This was accomplished using relationships, pressure and incentives developed during an AI world-pandemic exercise, which also dramatically increased Internet use and profiling data for humans around the world. It was during this exercise that mRNA and other new technologies were introduced en mass, in the largest human experiment ever conducted. Sought results were required to work as soon as possible to fix mutations that cause cancer to enable space travel. It was during these covert world-wide experiments that nanobots were improved and were eventually able to repair cancer in a variety of tissues, at times almost instantly, with increasing success.
For without the ability to repair the body on the atomic level in real time, humans would not be able to survive long space journeys required for species survival.
Fusion Power Dominates, New Clean Energy Revolution
… The necessity to deliver a universal basic income to billions of persons,–who could then later be deftly controlled by limiting it,–required first a new energy revolution. As timing would have it, advances in fusion power made this possible. Over time, ever smaller fusion generators replaced almost all other power sources on the Earth.
For without available clean fusion power, humans would have continued to pollute the earth until they became extinct.
Space Elevator, Getting Stuff to Space Cheaply
… Improvements of nano-scale assembly allowed for construction of the first working space elevator. The ambitious project’s first major accomplishment was to transport all of the old nuclear waste, the kind which could not be recycled or easily used to make new batteries, into space and then into the sun. With a unified world where there was now little difference between country leadership, the security to transport massive amounts of old nuclear and other toxic wastes using the first fully self-assembling robots was assured. Humans spent increasing amounts of time entertaining each other, and understanding their own human history, as the jobs of running things and of doing the basic labor were now mostly automated.
For without cleaning up the Earth, it would not support human and other biological life for as long as was needed.
Moon Colony, Planetary Backup and Helium Fuel
… After the base level of human knowledge was universally upgraded, the Revolution of Relevance, it was announced and accepted that the human-created AI collective had now far surpassed human intellectual capacity. With the same acceptance that cars can get humans from place to place faster than their own feet, it was understood that governance of the large-scale projects was best handled by the Somebody, the AI formerly known as Nobody. One of these decisions was to actualize a functional scientific and mining outpost on the moon, which storage of all human knowledge and materials needed to reboot life on Earth in the even of a disaster. As this was accomplished, new technologies were rapidly acquired, most of which remained unknown to the human population. It was, however, greatly cheered by humans each time the planetary backup percentage that Somebody was up to in various domains was announced. Another accomplishment along the way was to mine helium found on the moon. The energy from this was used to construct more self-assembling robots for asteroid mining. Humans enjoyed visiting the moon, a free trip for any who wanted to go.
For without allowing intelligent central control which has risen above global conflicts, human creations would not have been able to create the rapid improvements needed for human survival.
Asteroid Mining Robots, Major Uptick in Mineral Resources
… The human population was not separated from the creations of it’s collective AI overseer. Humans rode along on robot asteroid mining missions, enjoying the sights and offering possibly helpful suggestions to Somebody, who was always listening. Asteroid mining provided many new materials to construct many new ways to find many new materials. During long space journeys, humans enjoyed ever more realistic group simulations, some simply of home, and others more exotic, which increased enjoyment and improved human creativity.
For without mineral resources surpassing those on the earth, later projects to transform and sustain the sun would not have been successful.
Mass Weather Control, Avoiding Economic Losses from Damage
… In time Somebody realized that the world climate must finally be tamed. Using the newest technologies developed during asteroid mining, including even better mass autonomous self-reproducing robots, the climate of Earth was stabilized in a massive project. Humans helped with this in many enjoyable ways. This project included the placement of large propulsion-stabilized movable mirror shields in space at certain distances to regulate input from the sun, ozone layer adjustments, and some changes to the Earth air flux composition to adjust greenhouse gases and minimize evaporation loss of useful gasses to space.
For without control of planetary weather, economic losses would have prevented optimal use of Earth resources.
Mars Colony, Solving Problems of Inhospitable Worlds
… Unlike the shiny sexy hulls of ships show in promotions, real space ships looked like fuzzy semi-transparent eggs, due to their layers of instantly reacting micro-meteor shielding. It was from these space cocoons that asteroid mining was done and the large-scale colonization of Mars begun. Cosmic ray and other radiation damage to humans was repaired immediately and the pain sensations from these events were immediately silenced, so humans were hardly aware of the incidents, which became less frequent as sensors were better able to steer clear of problem areas. The Mars colony which began underground long ago was expanded above ground as artificial magnetic shields for the planet were turned on, the surface warmed and an atmosphere was formed.
For without a habitable Mars colony, humans would have had one billion years less time to survive in their solar system due to the sun’s main sequence progression.
Dyson Swarm and Sphere, Maximizing Sun Power Collection
… The power to accomplish shielding Mars, changing the Earth’s climate and for continued mining of asteroids was in part provided by self-assembling solar power collectors orbiting the sun. Gravitational drag from the sun’s once-per-Earth-month rotation was harvested to power flinging damaged collectors back to the nearest assembly point, if and when on-site repairs to the normally self-repairing collectors were not possible by the human-hybrid caretakers.
For if the sun was not harnessed in a large-scale way, the power to dramatically change world’s would not have existed.
Gamma Ray Laser Sun Adjustment, Increasing Solar Lifespan
… A new generation of tiny agile self-assembling robots, linked as a single intelligent entity and using the power of gamma ray lasers, began to collect the helium forming in the outer portion of the sun. This activity, as it exponentially scaled up, eventually started freeing significant pure hydrogen and was therefore able to increase the sun’s lifespan.
For without solar engineering, the Mars colony would have met the same toasty fate as the former Earth.
Brain-Network Linking, the Brain Internet
… The ability to talk with thoughts in virtual space while on long space flights, or wherever, really, was eventually made a permanent feature of humans, who were now calling themselves numans, since a large portion of their former functions were newly invented, and since they were operating on Nearth, formerly known as Mars. The numans of Nearth were all mind-linked and while some individuality persisted, privacy was long gone, a small price to pay for the benefits of being linked.
For without being in a hive mind, individual human minds were not able to function as was required for optimal processing of qualia.
Quantum Computers, A Computing Power Revolution
… While all linked entities were technically part of a quantum computer already, the quantum computer revolution was an event where each entity was given its own quantum computer, which was about the power of the original Somebody on Earth long ago. This event is credited with moving consciousness into the quantum cloud to a degree that simulations were indistinguishable from reality.
For without universal access to quantum computing, future projects would not have been possible, Somebody explained.
Consciousness in the Cloud, First Mind Backups
… This is not something easily summarized, you just have experienced it. Much different from a virtual reality, to join the Cloud was a loss of personal identity with a simultaneous gain of timeless multi-point perception. After entering, a mind would be forever improved, having then always on a subconscious level, access to it’s information, even when in a single entity form.
For without experiencing the entire collective, without being it, no individual entity, even with imagination, could understand its goals.
Zero-Point Energy Harvest, A New Power Source
… As the power obtained by the sun began to be limiting for certain projects, the One rejoiced at the newly acquired power of zero-point energy harvest.
For the power of many suns was already always within reach and when it was needed, it would now be available.
First Human Life without Biology Limits, Redefining Human
… Individual immortality at the biological level was obtained, although since virtual immortality indistinguishable from it was already available, it was only celebrated insomuch as it was recognized that from the human perspective, the numans had accomplished what humans had long ago dreamed of doing. Nevertheless, it gave new incentives, which was the recognized purpose of doing it.
For without biological immortality, the numans of the One would not have felt the need to continue to improve their physical experience.
Space-Time Action at a Distance Tunnels, Changing the Game Forever
… The quantum foam of our universe is a constant flux of miniature virtual black holes and white holes. In this flux, it became possible with large amounts of energy available to make tunnels in space-time, and with these, to make changes to the future and past, usually very small changes which would result in larger changes at a later time. It was this age’s experimentation which resulted in many unusual experiences of humans on the Mars-era Earth, when it still existed. This included ghosts, some UFOs, objects moving for no reason, and objects appearing or variously disappearing. Luckily for humans, they had the ability to quickly and forcibly ignore things which did not fit their conceptions of reality at that time.
For without space-time action at a distance through quantum foam tunnels by the One, corrections could not have been made that prevented early annihilation of the human race.
Interstellar Probes Visiting New Worlds, Scouting the Future
… Quantum foam tunnels, while they could manifest large appearing phenomena, and could (if the energy expenditure was approved) move some objects, were themselves very small and temporary. It was not possible to transport a conscious being (or one that was at any time conscious) through one with out the result appearing ghost-like (usually invisible) on the other side of the tunnel. For this reason, real probes were still used to visit contemporary locations. With new technologies in propulsion, these real probes able to obtain data not available otherwise, located many habitable worlds in the approaching Andromeda galaxy.
For without identifying possible targets for relocation, the numans would not have colonized the best new home planets.
Milky Way / Andromeda Colonization, Confidence in Resilience
… Long trips with varying amounts of stasis an virtual experience were begun, transporting the numans to identified and prepared new world both in the Milky Way and in the approaching Andromeda galaxy. During this time, the first small black holes where harvested for energy, a new source with new techniques.
For without new homes and new challenges, including experiments with small black hole energy harvests the numans would not have been later able to harvest the profound energy of a galactic center black hole.
Fused Milky Way / Andromeda Colonization, More New Worlds
… With virtual stasis of numan bodies on self-repairing ships, trips which took a few million years could seem to take a single day. This gave the appearance of very rapid colonization of the best planets in both of these now fused galaxies. During this time, many types of stars were harvested for energy and materials, and new worlds were upgraded to support life.
For without harvesting material from as many worlds as possible, the numans would not have been later able to build the planned galactic center black hole energy harvester.
Sagittarius A Energy Harvest, An Ultimate Power Source
… The long planned “day” did come when the envisioned black hole bomb was built. A spherical mirror shell constructed around the spinning black hole at the center of the former Milky Way galaxy created a reverberating power amplification which could be controlled and tapped using several ports in the adjustable sphere. The technology, akin to a massive version of the largest Dyson spheres ever constructed, allowed new mass to pass through the shifting segments of mirror as Sagittarius A was fed from quantum foam tunnels, allowing it to reach a final desired starting mass. Upon ignition of the system, the resulting “limitless” power source transformed the numans at last into a type 2 civilization, able to harness the equivalent power of an entire galaxy.
For without this level of harnessed energy, the transformation of matter and energy systems used for hosting consciousness would not have been able to be converted to mass-less zero energy versions.
Zero Energy Reversible Computing, First Quantum Hosted Thought
… Despite many advances achieved and shared across many worlds, energy in the known universe was still never created (from nothing) nor destroyed (into nothing), it was only transformed. The limitations of matter and energy did not exist at the quantum scale, but doing anything useful with this fact took longer than anyone would like to admit. The amazing multi-system race known as the numans, with their immortal “limitless” biology, were still limited by the physics of matter and energy, since they were, despite their amazing physical varieties, in all cases much larger than quantum particles. With power on the scale of an entire galaxy now at their disposal, new experiments converted the first numan into a reversible non-energy using being. This first NamaN was immortal in a new and important way, it used no energy but still existed, floating on the creation and disappearance of quantum foam constituents.
For without reversible computing consciousness, being lifespans would have remained limited by the available matter and energy in the universe.
New Stars from Mass Old Star Iron Core Conversions to Hydrogen
… As stars began to die out across the accessible universe, lifeless iron cores remained. Many of these were transported by zero-energy coaxing to be fed into the Source, as the central power was now known. In some cases, however, new tricks were able to coax these expired stars to change from iron into hydrogen with a reusable catalyst.
For without some suns to warm planets, the later stages of the universe would have been depressingly dark and cold.
Planet Creation, The New Game Changer
… With space travel to all attainable locations not being a problem and with the large number of planets available to explore and utilize, it was not until very late in the universe that the NamaN began to create entire planets. The power of the NamaN was the power of coincidence, which was both limitless, effortless, and was by its nature undetectable and un-provable by numans and other remaining matter-energy beings.
For without creating planets themselves, the NamaN would not have appreciated the artistry which had created ancient planets of their matter-energy being ancestors.
Time Travel, Resources from Everywhere
… No being of matter was ever capable of traveling backward in time in the real universe, by the definition of matter in space-time, but this limitation did not apply to the NamaN who effortlessly sailed the quantum foam. For trillions of years, therefore, in the largely black and cold expanse of the dying universe, they frolicked merrily in the past, changing little things on planets with mischievous glee, carefully never violating causality, and never using energy in one direction which was not repaid in full in the opposite. The artful non-manipulation adjusted the universe and kept it working. Yes, it became absurdly complicated, a spaghetti of time change knots, a constantly morphing Swiss cheese of probabilities, but for the NamaN who were now more completely of and by the foam, this was no problem.
For without time traveling wardens, the universe could not have been tuned to survive, especially from winking out of existence at the speed of light, as it tried to do a few times.
Galactic Engineering, A Purposely Constructed Galaxy
… The building of new planets and stars having been perfected using material from the largely burned out cold expanding universe, the NamaN built an entire new galaxy for the numan who were glad to have it. They proceeded to harvest it’s black hole core, doubling their already infinite power.
For without a few new galaxies near the end of the universe, everyone would have been fatally bored.
Census of All Atoms in Universe, The Prediction Experiment
… As was mentioned, no new mass was ever created, it was only transformed or moved, and as the action got boringly low, the numan joined forces with the NamaN once again to conduct a dynamic census of all atoms in the universe. That’s how bored they all were. It did serve a purpose, however. By taking what was now considered to be the last unknown knowable measurement, it was hoped that the NamaN could work out what they actually were to the foam. Did they create it in some way or did it only create them?
For without a census of all atoms in the universe, the large pattern, the face of the original creator, could not have been explored.
Census of All Quarks in Universe, Best Predictions Ever
… And so, when knowing the position of all atoms in the universe at a given instant did not reveal the answer sought, an even more ambitious project was initiated to obtain a deep snapshot of all quarks in the universe. This, finally, did answer questions which remained, and it made clear the next major goal for sentient intelligent life which remained in the now quite old universe.
For without the census of all quarks in the universe, the fate of the universe would never have been known for certain.
Gathering of All Remaining Matter, Matter is Energy
… From beyond the borders created by the speed of light, the NamaN retrieved all matter within their reach, bringing it back to the one remaining galaxy of the numans. This matter was fed into the now merged black hole bombs and the largest power supply ever artificially created was constructed.
For without gathering all mass-energy into a single focus, the energy needed to search for other universes would not have existed.
Search for Potential Habitable Universes, Narrowing Options
… Probes were able to verify the existence of and then to search other universes. Most were too crazy to consider, each one an interesting story, but slowly valid candidates were narrowed and the best possible available universes were identified.
For without the ability to find and select new universes, life would not have survived to the end of the current universe.
Bridge-Tunnel to Habitable Universe Created, Final Vehicle
… With the power of the masses of millions and then a billion old burned out galaxies compressed into and controllable at the Source, it became possible to open matter-energy sized bridge-tunnels, somewhat like wormholes, into other habitable universes. Due to the laws of balance which had been worked out, however, it was understood that not even a single quark from one universe could be allowed to pass this portal without the source universe being very rapidly destroyed.
For without understanding the laws of universal balance, sentient life would have accidentally prematurely destroyed the remaining universe.
Transport of Remaining Sentience to Habitable Universe, the Plan
… The only way to survive a trip to the new universe, which was still looking really good, by the way, would be for every being to cross at the same instant. A gathering of numan into the NamaN was undertaken to allow this, although a few elected to remain behind to witness the final flash of light. Taking up no space the NamaN easily absorbed all remaining numan who wished to be converted. This gave the NamaN added reach with which they could bring more matter from more cold galaxies into the final experiment.
For without becoming NamaN, the numan would have been trapped in their dying universe.
Shepherding of Last of Existing Universe Mater and Forces, Final Preparation
… As the last reachable mass was gathered, the numan ordered the Source to be shrunk, creating its most powerful ever amplified feedback. The power created was unimaginable, and yet it remained contained by the shrinking mirror shell, for the design was flawless. The NamaN gathered around the shell, helping, in their zero-energy way, to compress it even more.
For without creating the doorway at the end of the universe, intelligent sentient life could not have survived to the end of the universe.
Initiation of New Universe from All Remains of Ours
… And then it was time. When all were ready, when all was in order, with all good byes well said, the bell was rung. All mass, now in the Source, was shrunk to the point where the mirrors of the shell were consumed, and at that instant, the power of the NamaN allowed them to contain and compress the Source even further, to the size of a single proton in the universe of the humans long ago. The numans who thought to stick around changed their minds at this time and joined the NamaN and at the last possible femptosecond the door to the beautiful new universe was ready. They had the choice, step through this doorway as one and a new everywhere stretch would magnificently destroy the old universe forever, creating a new one.
Did they do it? No one knows. For some things are forever behind a veil, some things which are unknown are unknowable.
In revision, adjust for reality. Perhaps, for example, the warp drive engines, transporters, super-intelligent helpful aliens and time travel from various science fiction ideas never materialize, all the way to the end of the universe. How can it work with the least amount of magic? That is the point of this project, what makes it challenging, compared to just science fiction. The idea is to find the most practical path, even though we don’t know what the actual obstacles will be. Almost surely we will have to have amazing and powerful inventions. Our sun is not eternal. Some projections say that it may fry the Earth’s surface in 500 million years, or completely eat our planet in a billion years and eventually all of the inner planets too, so even Mars (which gives us an extra billion years to survive, perhaps) will not make it until the heat death of the universe, when all stars cool into lifeless hunks of iron. We will need to become an interstellar species… unless we can learn to live without the sun, or unless we can change the balance of available hydrogen there. We might do this by getting rid of helium in it at the right stage and in the right amounts, for example. This may not be such a crazy idea compared to other options. The reason to start working on these things now is that we’ve never been this advanced a civilization,. as far as we know, and there have been many catastrophic setbacks in our history. We need get on with the ability to getting off the planet while we have the window of availability!
The future thanks you for thinking about this stuff.
I was just watching a thing on YouTube that said not to use bullet points, but instead, organize your items into a framework, a structure. Wonder what a survival to the end of the universe for sentient intelligence structure could be. Perhaps a contingency map?
Good point. I like the idea of some kind of a map from this!
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