[ExI] Eternity in six hours: intergalactic spreading of intelligent life and sharpening the Fermi paradox

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Sep 11 09:07:49 UTC 2013

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 08:38:47PM +1200, Andrew Mckee wrote:

> Ummm, not really. In fact I'm pretty sure I made no mention
> regarding anyone traveling around or not.

Yes, you did. Metabolism on a stellar population is very
detectable. Any implication of undetectability implies
no growth and no travel.
> I was trying to suggest that there may be classes of Dyson spheres
> that are not detectable to us because the inhabitants are so
> technologically advanced they have discovered the technical means to
> recycle or translate what we would consider low grade- low utility
> emissions back into some form of useful energy.

Sure, if you believe in magic.
> Yes I know what I'm suggesting is scientific heresy, and I should be
> burnt on a thermodynamically correct bonfire.

You're suggesting a great deal more: an infinity of possibilities,
so everything is possible. Magic. There's a vast body of literature
about it, it's called fantasy and science fiction. 
> But I'm just sayin, that we the human race, haven't been practicing
> science and engineering for very long even by human standards. Maybe
> the universe is full of highly advanced alien civilizations that
> have been refining their scientific understanding for millions of
> years and they know things that we currently do not.

You're extremely self-limiting and terribly inconsistent. Why
stop here? The sky is no longer the limit. Nyan-cat propulsion
and buttered toast/cat antigravity, improbability drive, machine
elves from hyperspace, and so on, you can enumerating them until
the stars burn out. So you can sure do that, but I've got something
else to do. 
> That seems like a fair assumption to me, given that we have been

It's not a fair assumption. It is a self denial of service, would
you be borderline self-consistent.

> after all discussing some of the universe's puzzles for which we
> have no really conclusive answers.

There is a perfectly boring explanation for Fermi's paradoxon: it isn't.
> And if Eugen doesn't like my suggestion, well tough, I'm pretty sure
> what I'm suggesting is already on the 101 solutions to the Fermi
> paradox list already anyway, and there's nothing he can say to have
> it taken off.  Nah, Nah Nah Nah, Nah! ;-)

Your suggestion is roughly 50 kYears old. Probably, even a lot
older. It's fun, but it doesn't get shit done.

Do you want shit done, or do you want to goof off until a 
coronary insult drops you in the parking lot?
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