If you want some black humour, the idea that the human brain, the internet and the cosmos are on the same developmental track is an interesting departure from the norm. It’s also a rather scary thought.
By performing complex supercomputer simulations of the universe and using a variety of other calculations, researchers have now proven that the causal network representing the large-scale structure of space and time in our accelerating universe is a graph that shows remarkable similarity to many complex networks such as the Internet, social, or even biological networks.
I can see it now- A supernova trying to remember its password or get a page to load. Maybe that’s why they explode. Cosmic spam, billions of light years in the making. The complexity of the human brain, which includes various dirt-poor specimens blowing each other up in the name of God and believing billionaires will save them from other billionaires.
Excuse a certain lack of enthusiasm. Complex systems tend to develop because they have to. Drawing parallels between the cyber cave dwellers and the stars does have a few thematic issues. ‘
The researchers are commendably not claiming the universe is a giant brain. That could get a little tedious with the likely arguments from “God’s beneficiaries”. The search for universal truth may be a little more than these guys are stupid enough to take on.
The idea of a cosmic dynamic with similar properties to working biological systems is interesting. Now wait for those other super minds, the conspiracy nuts and the thought leader idiots to get a grip on it:
Obviously the universe is a socialist. Otherwise it’d be nicer. A capitalist universe would have signs everywhere, too and charge top dollar for everything. Obvious, isn’t it?
The universal mind will be the theory, despite any level of denial from the scientists. Clearly the universe is some middle aged, neurotic, academic with a lecture tour agenda. It’s also suffering from gas and apparent neurological disorders, so it will have to be sedated.
Enter some ambivalence in viewing the research:
"In addition to being able to complete these simulations much faster than previously ever imagined, the results perfectly matched the theoretical predictions of the researchers," said Sinkovits. (Robert Sinkovits, a computational scientist with San Diego Supercomputer Center, which ran the numbers for this research.)
Uh huh. We predicted it, then proved our theory. That’s reassuring. Nothing could be possibly be more useful than yet another group of people not looking at what they get wrong.
"The most frequent question that people may ask is whether the discovered asymptotic equivalence between complex networks and the universe could be a coincidence," said Krioukov. (Dmitri Krioukov, co-author of the paper) "Of course it could be, but the probability of such a coincidence is extremely low. Coincidences in physics are extremely rare, and almost never happen. There is always an explanation, which may be not immediately obvious."If you stir a cup of tea, you get a vortex which imitates a galactic whirlpool, too. It’s not a coincidence, it’s a fact. Commonalities in a shared system aren’t exactly an entirely new discovery.
Check out a comparison of neural networks and the picture of the universe above. What does the universe have to think about? Talk about an introvert, it could be called self-obsessed.
I’ll take a guess here- Things happen for a reason. Common morphologies are common in animals, birds and even plants. Common structures exist across biology, geology, and space dating back 14 billion years. If the causes of systems were similar, the results would be similar. If it looks like a duck, acts like a universe and quacks, what are your options?
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