[extropy-chat] The Drake Equation and Spatial Proximity

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Oct 23 16:32:12 UTC 2006

At 03:46 PM 10/21/2006 -0400, Amara wrote:

>Regarding the Fermi paradox, 
>have interesting discussions. I don't understand why it's a paradox if 
>we've only explored a miniscule portion of the search space (number of 
>stars, percentage of time they are observed, EIRP range, frequency range, 
>signal modulation schemes, etc.), based on an unpublished study of search 
>space I did a few years ago. Comments?
>Robert: regarding invisibility of post-Singularity civilizations (I assume 
>this refers to the transition from RF to more efficient communication 
>schemes?), this would not, of course, apply to communications with other 
>solar systems or galaxies, which could be significant. It might be 
>interesting to look at the Harvard/JPL data and think about what spectral 
>characteristics might be specific to post-Singularity civilizations, 
>including post-ecophage civilizations.

RF is not the only way.  Very early, 1979 or so, when considering the 
consequences of nanotechnology Eric Drexler reasoned by analogy that you 
can see the difference between a wild ecosystem and a tame one (I.e., 
Europe pre and post agriculture or hydroelectric dams).  On this basis he 
went looking at a catalog of unusual galaxies, looking for one with a bite 
out of it from an expanding civilization dimming the stars behind an 
expansion front.

He didn't find any.  In fact, everywhere you look there are massive amounts 
of energy and matter that are clearly not being used in a purposeful way.

The conclusion (as I try to reconstruct it) was that one of the following 
was true.

1.  We are the first (at least inside our light cone).

2.  Civilizations don't survive nanotechnology (singularity now) or if they 
do, they lose interest in the physical universe or (somehow) leave it.

To these I guess you have to add the possibility the whole thing is a 
simulation by a malicious ghod.

It is a bit much to think we are the first, but then again *someone* has to 
be first.

The other consequences range from 100% lethal to simply unknown.

Keith Henson

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