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Is reality increasing?

By Memrise Blog

The idea that reality could increase sounds like nonsense. Common sense clings instinctively to a kind of “conservation-of-realness” principle, where reality changes all the time, but the total doesn’t increase or decrease- it just tootles along.

Regardless of what is true here -and if you take seriously the idea that information is real, then maybe you’ll agree that reality is on the increase- it’s anyway worth booting common sense out of the way on this one, even just for a few seconds, in order to see what the idea feels like to try on. Do this, and you will be enjoying a remarkable shift in your perspective on the future and the past: the future will expand out vertiginously before you, while the past dwindles behind.

Just as reading about the early history of the USA can be mind-boggling, because of the tiny subset of a (relatively) small set of people who speculatively put into place institutions and ways of life that have radiated out to suffuse what is now the population of 350 million people who seem to run human culture, so too does a reality-is-increasing view bring an amplified sense of the absurd influence of what happens now on what will happen tomorrow.

I can’t claim to be able to keep this thought in view for long enough to adopt it as a perspective (I might be able to fear environmental destruction more if I could) but I can certainly see that there’s something inspid about how I normally think about reality being an unchanging quantity.