[ExI] Drake Equation Musings
Anders Sandberg
anders at aleph.se
Tue May 17 08:52:56 UTC 2016
On 2016-05-16 04:16, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
>
> Is the technogenesis likelihood of 10e-15 per solar mass a reasonable
> estimate?
Our view is that is a reasonable estimate. Although it is a fair bit
higher than what our priors suggest - one civilization per multiple
observable universe-volume is closer to our mean. The variance of the
prior is *big* (I actually had to do numerical voodoo for some of the
calculations on my computer, since precision breaks down for absurdly
small numbers).
The thing is, people tend to assume that if you see one instance of
something out of N objects, the probability of it happening should be
about 1/N. But this misses the observer selection effect: if you have an
absurdly low probability but it has to happen somewhere (because it
results in you), then the relevant class may be far larger than N. So if
the technogenesis probability is 10^-1000 there will still be lots of
observers in an infinite or very large universe, but they will all be
very distant.
--
Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University
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