[ExI] Interstellar Travel is really hard

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sun Jan 9 06:03:15 UTC 2022

On Sat, Jan 8, 2022 at 9:12 AM BillK via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 8 Jan 2022 at 01:13, Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> >
> > Just one civilization that likes the idea of spreading and develops the
> technology is enough to change its light-cone.
> >
> > Rafal
> > _______________________________________________
> 'Liking' or 'wishing' won't change the laws of the universe.
> So if interstellar travel is impossible, it will remain impossible no
> matter how many resources are thrown at the problem.

### Interstellar travel is possible. Obviously.


> Therefore the alternative is that interstellar travel is so difficult
> and so expensive in resources that while theoretically possible, it
> becomes impossible in practice.

### It is possible in practice. We already have most of the technologies
needed for it, the price of space travel is going to go down by at least
two orders of magnitude soon, and additional technologies that are almost
guaranteed to happen will make interstellar travel widely accessible, as
per my analysis of existing trends. It would be also silly to think that
all other civilizations in the universe are less lucky or in other ways
prevented from progressing beyond our current capabilities. If we, after
only 50 years in space, can almost do it, then other civilizations can
definitely do it, after 500 or 5000 years of additional technological


> Humans have arrived quite late in the universe development

### No, we are most likely very, very early. Otherwise we would see a
universe filled with other civs.

> so the
> chance of other intelligent civilisations arising before us is rather
> high also. But looking around, we see nothing unnatural appearing in
> our galaxy. So nobody else has so far decided that spamming the galaxy
> or re-engineering the galaxy is a good idea. We could be the first!

### That's the only explanation that makes sense to me.

> Interstellar travel will require the resources of (at least) a nation,
> plus more advanced technology than we have at present. AGI will
> probably arrive before advanced space technology and that may cause
> the famous Singularity to happen. Will posthumans think that
> colonising the galaxy is the best way to spend resources? They are
> supposed to be highly intelligent after all, with the advanced
> knowledge to do almost anything they desire. Running the Metaverse
> with universal uploading and eternal life may be much more preferable.
### As I said, just one group who likes to travel, out of thousands who
like to navel-gaze, collapses this line of argument.

It's just like when a bacterial culture in a small flask with 10e7 cells is
exposed to antibiotic - even if 99.9999% are sensitive, you are guaranteed
to have a thick broth of bacteria descended from the remaining 0.0001%
filling the flask in a couple of days.

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