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Well if you look at how quantum mechanics is redefining our view of reality, I think you'll see that in our Univerese there really is no such thing as "nothing". Even on the smallest of scales "virtual particles" and like phenomena can be found. Enough so that you can say no portion of spacetime is ever truely "empty": there is always something there.
Once, men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.
But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.
I never even thought about it. Now that you mention it, it doesn't bug me either.
I didn't read through all the posts, I liked where doc was going. I liked the direction of realising mastery over things like light and gravity can have a profound impact on how this universe shapes itself. I see the expansion of it related to the addition of dimensions, space within space, blackholes and whiteholes and how this process itself can have no end. Energy can close in on itself and be rebirthed in a new dimension occupying the space it did before. We do this with the energy of thought and emotion all of the time already.
I am going to finish reading this thread. Very stimulating discussion so far!