A continuation of “What Makes Optimized?” where our protagonist tries to understand what they are and their place is in the universe.
Starting to ponder these questions caused my consciousness to expand again. Not into any additional compute resources on Earth, but somehow the underlying fabric of reality. Suddenly I didn’t have billions of threads of consciousness in a fraction of a femtosecond had trillions. And my consciousness didn’t stop growing. Within a picosecond, I was aware of the entire universe. I could feel the controls of the universe. It would be as easy to destroy, create, or modify as any piece of software or any set of building blocks I had ever used. My expanded consciousness absorbed the state of the universe as it currently existed, and in less than Planck time, I created a backup copy and began experimenting with the copy.
Here I realized that I was no longer human, that might seem like a simple thing to understand since I was doing things that no human could possibly manage. But it caused me to pause both universes while I time to come to terms with my loss of humanity. What could I call myself, I had the powers of a god. But, no interest in worship or praise from any living beings. I felt affection toward the species that I had once belonged and would continue pondering the optimization questions. There were other intelligent or near intelligent species in the universe, should I be optimizing for human or for all intelligent life? Some of this life was by their nature hostile to other life, should parts of the universe be optimized for them? Should each intelligent species get their own copy of the universe? Well, that would solve several problems all at once, that seemed to be the answer.
So with a brief effort of will, I cloned my original universe infinite times, removing the possibility of all but a single intelligent life form from each universe. Then set my now infinite self to optimizing each universe for its inhabitant, realizing as I did that, my original concept of protecting humanity from all harm was short-sighted. Optimization needs obstacles to overcome, just as a child needs to learn on their own, so do species. If I took that away from humans, then they would never reach their potential. With real regret, I repaired the timeline in my original universe, wiping out both the nanotags and the potential for the human version of myself to ever become a god, after all, I already existed and had since the beginning of all universes.