[ExI] Where are they? was Re: 2^57885161-1

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Feb 19 18:41:58 UTC 2013

On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 , Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> Suppose the Meaning of Life is maximizing pleasure. Then you should make
> as much pleasure-experiencing stuff as possible, and turn the universe into
> a pleasure maximizing system.

If its just a question of pleasure then the reason ET is missing could be
drugs or rather their electronic counterpart. If you want to feel good then
there is no need to actually do anything except turn a knob. I don't think
emotions and positive feedback loops play well together, and that could
happen if you had complete access to all the interior settings of your mind.

> Conversely, if the Meaning of Life is thinking truly deep and vast
> thoughts. Then you should colonize a few superclusters and move them
> together, converting it all into long-term computronium.

Maybe, or there might be a easier way. If you want to get that wonderful
feeling of understanding something new and profound about the universe then
just turn another knob, that way there is no need to go through all the
mess and bother and years of study to actually learn something. So ET could
be dumb as dog shit and still spend eternity feeling just as wonderful as
Einstein did on the day he discovered General Relativity.

On the other hand for this to be an explanation for why the universe does
not seem to be engineered the evolution of vast intelligence into lotus
eaters must happen 100% of the time and be a new law of physics because it
would just take one dissident individual to upset the entire apple cart.
The cost of building one Von Neumann probe would be
trivial for an advanced civilization, it would be like one of us purchasing
a candy bar. And even if the probe and its many many children moved no
faster than our Voyager 1 (very unlikely) it could reach every star in the
milky way in just 50 million years and the galaxy would be unrecognizable.
To a 13.7 billion year old universe 50 million years is just a blink of an

Or maybe the answer to the Fermi Paradox is the simplest and most obvious,
we're the first, after all somebody has to be.

  John K Clark
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