[ExI] taxonomy for fermi paradox fans:

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 11:14:31 UTC 2015

On 2 February 2015 at 10:35, Anders Sandberg wrote:
> This is linked to a reduction of opportunity costs: advanced civilizations
> have mainly ``seen it all'' in the present universe and do not gain much
> more information utility from hanging around in the early era\footnote{Some
> exploration, automated or ``manned'', might of course still occur during the
> aestivation period, to be reported to the main part of the civilization at
> its end.}
> This is why even a civilization with some temporal discounting can find it
> rational to pause in order to gain a huge reward in the far future. If the
> subjective experience is an instant astronomical multiplication of goods
> (with little risk) it is rational to make the jump. "
> This is used in a larger argument that advanced civilizations might
> aestivate until a late cosmological era, in order to use the low temperature
> to do more computation. This in itself does not solve Fermi, but I also
> argue that in this scenario there would have to be caretaker systems to
> monitor things and protect resources, and these may have good reasons to be
> 'quiet'.
> The above reasoning suggests that even very fast civilizations may do
> long-term stuff, even if the aestivation idea itself is wrong.

The problem is that the bird in the hand is worth more. Remember it is
exponential growth. Assuming a fast-thinker civ living in a created,
ever-changing virtual reality, then the idea of voluntarily shutting
down for trillions of years (even more in subjective time) until the
end time of the universe appears very unlikely.

I like Rafal's suggestion that to outsiders fast-thinker civs would
appear to be dead and unresponsive. That's exactly how the outside
universe would appear to them.

The evidence we have is that if ETs exist, then they go somewhere
else. We are in the very early phase of developing virtual reality
worlds, but the possibilities look unlimited.
Add in a bit of AI and nano-tech and we're there!


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