*Blood Music* by Greg Bear

Blood Music by Greg Bear by Adam Shand

I love this idea from Greg Bear's Blood Music. Hopefully it's intelligible without the proper context, if not I recommend you read the book:

Information processing—more strictly, observation—has an effect on events occurring within space-time. Conscious beings play an integral role in the universe; we fix its boundaries, to a great extent determine its nature, just as it determines our nature. I have reason to believe—just an hypothesis so far—that we don't so much discover physical laws as collaborate on them. Our theories are tested against past observations both by ourselves—and by the universe. If the universe agrees that past events are not contradicted by a theory, the theory becomes a template. The universe goes along with it. The better the theory fits the facts, the longer it lasts—if it lasts at all. We then break the universe down into territories—our particular territory, as human beings, being thus far quite distinct. No extraterrestrial contact, you know. If there are other intelligent beings beyond the Earth, the wold occupy yet other territories of theory. We wouldn't expect major differences between the theories of different territories—the universe does, after all, play a major role—but minor differences might be expected.

The theories can't be effective forever. The universe is always changing; we can imagine regions of reality evolving until new theories are necessary. The far, the human race hasn't generated nearly the density or amount of information processing—computer, thinking, what have you—to manifest any truly obvious effects on space-time. We haven't created theories so complete that they pin down reality's evolution. But that has all changed, and quite recently.

commentary posted on 13 Oct 2009 in #failing

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