[ExI] Where’s my body’s Control Panel?

John K Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Mon Apr 13 21:34:04 UTC 2009

: "Dan" <dan_ust at yahoo.com>

> you seem to believe is that technological progress goes at some rate for
> most or all intelligences and along a fairly specific path

Yes I plead quality on that point. I believe that all intelligent races are
bounded by the laws of physics and so there must be some similarity among
their development; not year to year or decade by decade or even century by
century; but when you’re talking abut million years by million years, yes I
think there must be some correspondence with rate of development. It’s all
the same Physics after all and to the Universe a million years is a very
shot time.

> yes, there must be some filter -- whether humans were the first or
> intelligence always self-destructs or whatever -- but this particular
> filter -- which has been proposed in other varieties before -- could only
> work if almost all ETIs embrace it before they start out to cause changes
> humans might notice.

Let me make it clear that the following is almost certainly bullshit, but
suppose, just suppose nature is unkind. Suppose that in the technological
history of any civilization there will come a time when it will find hints
of a new force in nature, and suppose there is a very obvious experiment
to investigate that possibility, and suppose because it is so new there is
not one scrap of information to think it is in any way dangerous so the
experiment is performed. And then BOOM, more energy is released in
2 seconds than the sun has generated in its entire 5 billion year history.

It is of course difficult to predict how a newly discovered force in Physics
will behave, that's why it's new. Madam Curie was certainly not stupid, and
when she first discovered Radium she had not one scrap of information to
think that the strange rays given off by that element were in any way
dangerous, but it ended up killing her. Even today her lab notes are so
radioactive you’d need protective clothing to read them.

Well OK, Gamma Ray Bursters are probably not industrial accidents,
but the idea might make a good science fiction story.

 John K Clark

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