[ExI] taxonomy for fermi paradox fans:

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sun Feb 1 19:51:40 UTC 2015

On 1 February 2015 at 18:37, John Clark wrote:
> ET doesn't need to travel to the stars, ET just needs to send one Von
> Neumann probe to one star, and then almost instantly from a cosmic
> perspective (less than 50 million years, perhaps much less) the entire
> Galaxy would be unrecognizable. And it's not as if this would take some huge
> commitment on the part of ET's civilization, in fact even a individual could
> easily do it. If Von Neumann probes are possible at all, and I can't think
> why they wouldn't be, then they're going to be dirt cheap, you buying a bag
> of peanuts would be a greater drag on your financial resources.
> I am having difficulty grasping the argument that the reason we can't see
> any changes that ET made to the universe with even our biggest telescopes is
> because ET can make changes a million times faster than we can.

It is because ET *thinks* a million times faster than us. But chemical
reactions still take the same time. If it takes a subjective 10,000
years to do one spot-weld, then you are not going to do many. In
theory, robots could do the job, but building the robots takes too
long (subjective time). That's why ET probably retreats into virtual
reality that reacts at the same speed as their thinking.

Humans are finding the same thing already. It is far easier (and
safer) to make a virtual reality SF world than actually build physical
stuff to go to Mars. (World of Warcraft?).

As for voluntarily slowing down their processing, I think that is a
rather obvious non-idea. It would be like voluntarily 'dying' for
thousands of years. Humans could almost do that already. We can't stop
ageing yet, but you could travel into the future as soon a workable
hibernation technique is developed. (NASA are already looking at this
for Mars trips). But would there be many takers for this trip into the
future? A human from only 100 years ago would face considerable
problems re-educating themselves to the modern environment. They would
probably need a 'carer' to look after them while they tried to adjust.
As for thousands of years - forget it. You would never adjust.


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