MIT futurist and author (The Singularity is Near -When Humans Transcend Biology), Ray Kurzweil, has written a fascinating forward to the new book, The Intelligent Universe, by James Gardner. Kurzweil believes that the explosive nature of exponential growth means it may only take a quarter of a millennium to go from sending messages on horseback to saturating the matter and energy in our solar system with sublimely intelligent processes. The ongoing expansion of our future superintelligence will then require moving out into the rest of the universe, where we may engineer new universes.
Kurzweil sums up his mind-boggling tour of the future and Gardner's book with a quote from Muriel Rukeyse, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms," and in his book, "Gardner tells us the universe's own fascinating and unfinished story. Perhaps even more intriguing, Gardner relays in a clear and compelling manner the gripping stories of the rich, intellectual ferment from which our understanding of the universe is emerging."