[ExI] The Universe is big - really, really BIG.
avant at sollegro.com
Wed Jul 12 06:22:09 UTC 2023
Quoting BillK via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>:
> On Wed, 12 Jul 2023 at 02:48, Adam A. Ford <tech101 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Anders Sandberg and Stuart Armstrong wrote a paper 'Eternity in 6
>> hrs' - tldr build a dyson swarm from the matter of a few large
>> asteroids and use it to thrust heaps of VN probes towards every
>> solar system/energy source within reach - and that reach is far.
>> We don't know how much dust there is btw galaxies, and galaxy
>> clusters atm, so hard to model success rate. Assume lots of
>> redundant probes.
Von Neumann probes are only really only useful for a postbiological
species. Until we are able to reliably upload, we would be seeding the
galaxy with unaligned AI, potentially causing problems for us if we
ever master shields and cryptobiosis or cryogenic suspension and need
planets of our own to colonize. If AI causes us to go extinct, then
the probes wouldn't be spreading our civilization but theirs.
>> "A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and
>> move toward higher levels." - Albert Einstein, May 1946)
> I seem to remember some discussion here on that paper some years ago.
> The idea that an advanced civ could send probes to every planet in the
> galaxy within a comparatively short timescale does seem to be quite
Advanced civilizations could if they wanted to but are unlikely to
want to until they have reached machine phase or have somehow managed
to successfully align AI.
> As there are no signs of probes or advanced civs, the conclusion drawn
> was that either there may only be one civ per galaxy (i.e. advanced
> civs are very rare). And we are the one for this galaxy.
We could be the first spacefaring civilization in the galaxy, VN
probes might be unpopular among spacefaring civilizations, or the
probes of other civilizations might already be here.
There is an interesting phenomena experienced sporadically amongst
radio operators where they will receive the echo of their own
transmissions several seconds after they send it. It is is called long
delayed echoes (LDE), and it has been experienced since radios were
first invented in the early 20th century. Although there are over a
dozen theories, so far nobody has been able to pin down a cause for
these long delayed signal returns or even be able to predictably
reproduce them. In order to qualify as an LDR, a signal has to echo
back more than 2.7 seconds after it is transmitted, which would
suggest a reflective echo from something outside of the moon's orbit.
The longest delay ever reported was 40 seconds.
Something to keep in mind that most of these LDEs are not reported by
Houston Control, radar arrays, or radio telescopes, but instead from
amateurs using hobby grade equipment in the 100 W to 20 KW power
range. So how are they getting reflections back from the moon or
farther without something amplifying their signal?
> Or there is some fundamental reason that makes all advanced civs
> decide not to spam the galaxy with probes or replicators.
> Not necessarily self-destruction, as retreating to live within virtual
> reality is also possible, among other reasons.
Standard probes are more likely than replicators for reasons that I
discussed above. Civilizations probably universally see the creation
of unaligned AI von Neumann replicators as a bad idea.
> The Fermi Paradox remains unsolved.
Give it time. Humanity has only sampled a 100-year light cone of an
enormous universe that is at least 13.8 billion years old. There is so
much tantalizing stuff going on lately on so many fronts, we might be
close to some answers to the Great Silence.
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