[ExI] Transcension and null hypotheses/was Re: Where’s my body’s Control Panel?

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 14 18:31:30 UTC 2009

--- On Mon, 4/13/09, Emlyn <emlynoregan at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/4/14 John K Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>:
> > If I’m right then a blind man in a fog bank could
> detect the
> > existence of ET. So where the hell is he? It seems to
> me that either we’re
> > the first or there is a hidden disaster of some sort
> that slaps down all
> > intelligent races when they get too smart.
> There's another possibility, which is that before ETs get
> to space
> travel, they find something else which makes the whole
> endeavor moot.
> Perhaps there are doors to other universes hidden in the
> subatomic
> particles, something like that? Hopefully something less
> banal than
> that. Anyway, the filter is always interpreted as
> destructive, but it needn't be so.

I don't think it's always interpreted as destructive and this idea -- usually called "transcension" -- has been treated before.  (Damien?:)
> And, of course, there's the possibility that we are looking
> at
> something comprehensively engineered, but are currently too
> stupid &
> ignorant to be able to figure that out. What would an
> engineered
> universe look like, if we go beyond trite space opera? If,
> before you
> colonize the galaxy, you first engineer yourself out of
> Middle
> World[1], then your mega engineering might look to the
> primitives like
> very strange rules of physics that almost make sense but
> not quite.
> Somehow that seems familiar :-)

Perhaps, but for primitives, what tests could be done?  I wouldn't want this to be the null hypothesis: the reason evidence of ETI is not detected is because ETI are too advanced for humans to detect.  Would you?  In my mind such a null hypothesis would turn searching for ETI into something akin to what Creationism is to biology: saving the hypothesis regardless of the data.




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