Scientific Sense Podcast

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Broken universe

A recent report from the journal of Physical Review Letters show data that point to an anticipated break in time symmetry. This rejects symmetry in any dimension of CPT and we are left with a broken universe with no mirror images in anything. So, there is no looking back after all and contemporary time should flow uninterrupted in a singular direction. This coupled with the current hypothesis that the universe will expand forever with an unimaginable and unending outcome of complete darkness completes the pessimistic view that humans have strived to reach for generations. We are completely and permanently sealed in an irrelevant corner of a fish bowl, that leaks.

Is such knowledge useful? Would the participants of a system with programmatic bad outcomes like to know them in advance? How could science bridge the gap between the limited lifespan of a human and her yearning to understand the future she does not control? Are we coming full circle to the beginning where ignorance was bliss? If knowledge cannot be shown to be any more utility maximizing than ignorance, why would we engage in such a process?

The reason, ironically, may be that humans are programmed to seek information. This is likely a property of the system and it is no different from entropy. It seems that knowledge and entropy will increase unambiguously along an unwavering direction of time. So, it is unavoidable that humans will fully internalize the inevitable but sad truth.

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