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

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 20 11:45:27 UTC 2013

> From: John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com>
>To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> 
>Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:41 AM
>Subject: Re: [ExI] Where are they? was Re: 2^57885161-1
>On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 , Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

>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.
Perhaps your new law of physics should be that "cultures of an intelligent species cannot exist without inherent politics."  The dissidents you speak of are probably universally supressed by politics in all examples to date. Poor Keith can't get SBSP past the international politics of "scary lasers in space" and the TSA wants to grope me so why would you assume an uber-advanced species would be collectively any less oppressive towards any individual who espoused anything but status quo lotuses and circuses? Intelligence is at least as rare in the universe at large as it is on earth. That is to say very and thus unlikely to get its way in a democracy. 
> 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.
The monetary and energetic cost would be miniscule, but the aesthetic and genetic cost would be quite high. Like a candy bar that caused genocide by turning your and everybody's elses atoms into more candy bars.
>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 eye.

I am glad none of the handful of civilized worlds likely in our galaxy has gone that route . . . yet.
>Or maybe the answer to the Fermi Paradox is the simplest and most obvious, we're the first, after all somebody has to be.
Ahh but in celebration of his birthday, I will invoke the Copernican principle and say that we are unlikely to be the first. I would say that there is about a 2/3 prior chance that we are one standard deviation above or below the mean in age or advancement for civilizations. Also keep in mind that only civilizations indigenous to any of the 14600 stars within our radio light-cone have any chance of detecting us and vice versa. The universe is vast and you have sampled only a small speck of it. It would be unwise to extrapolate that ridiculous sample to the universe at large.  
Stuart LaForge
"Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven." - William Shakespeare

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