[ExI] von Neumann probes (was Re: fermi paradox)

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Sat Dec 8 17:52:50 UTC 2007

On Saturday 08 December 2007, spike wrote:
> I can see a big advantage in sending at least *some* matter, some
> minimal amount, rather than just information.  I can imagine a
> nanoprobe or virus-like machine making copies of itself at the
> destination somehow.  But with just laser-carried information, I
> don't easily see how it could be done, especially if the sender knew
> not what conditions exist at the far end.

That's where the cosmologists, astrophysicists and astronomers would 
come in, followed by the friendly biochemists and synbio experts. You'd 
have to be able to predict where a planet will be, dozens of ly away 
(or more). You might have to play with planetary atmospheres, which is 
dangerous because you have the potential destruction of already 
established lifeforms.

- Bryan

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