[ExI] 2^57885161-1

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 16:53:31 UTC 2013

On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM, Anders Sandberg  wrote:
> It only takes one to break that. Or one individual or group within such a
> civilisation. And the technology needed doesn't have to be super-advanced,
> as per the usual galactic colonization arguments. Once you get up to
> nanotech, enough robotics to make a replicating system and good coilguns
> interstellar and likely intergalactic colonization is very doable.

Correct. That's why there must be more involved than just building
self-replicators and firing them off into the void. Some other failure
point(s) must exist. Not necessarily extinction events, but
alternative paths that avoid seeding the universe. Perhaps different
causes for each civilisation, as each develops differently. Or,
perhaps there is one insurmountable wall that we have not yet
encountered that applies to everyone.

> Or, if they did, the first group decided they wanted to keep it looking
> natural and uninhabited. Remember, a mere million years of head start means
> you get to set up the rules as you see fit.

Heh! :)   That's like creationists saying that when God created the
world in six days, he also created fossils in order to test the faith
of believers. Occam would say that if all the *universe* looks natural
and undeveloped, then it probably is.

> The more I think about the Fermi question, the more I lean towards the "they
> are already here", a somewhat paranoid view. Of course, the they that is
> here is very likely just caretaker automation. However, I also recognize
> that this sounds almost like a transhumanist religion: "Look, an universe
> looking uninhabited is so unlikely given what we know about planet formation
> and the evolution of intelligence. So clearly there has to be a guiding hand
> for it - our space overlords! We must follow their will, or they will stomp
> us." ;-)

I lean more towards the 'something stops everybody' view. Perhaps they
are just having so much fun around Alpha Centauri that they can't be
bothered about elsewhere. :)
By the time we develop to their level of intelligence, we might think
the same way.


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