[extropy-chat] The Drake Equation and Spatial Proximity.

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Tue Oct 24 22:06:40 UTC 2006

"Jef Allbright" <jef at jefallbright.net>

>Maybe advanced intelligence develops inward for a significant
> phase of its evolution.

Maybe, in fact probably, ET does indeed develops inward at first, but their
brains operate millions of times faster than ours and the universe is 13.7
billion years old. That inward phase would last a long time subjectively,
but objectively it would only be about 20 minutes long, maybe an hour. Yes
there's plenty of room at the bottom, but there's not infinite room. I make
the (reasonable I believe) assumption that any intelligent being, including
ET, will have at least a little will to power; so ET wants to be the best
Brainiac a Brainiac can be. Thinking, computation, is not mystical or
abstract, it is a physical process needing matter and energy and obeying the
second law of thermodynamics. All this activity should be very obvious to us
here on Earth, but it's not. That is a very profound mystery, and I don't
believe Star Trek will help us find a solution.

Even in the extremely unlikely event that ET can't produce speeds faster
than we can with our rockets, in less than 100 million years ET could
send von Neumann style reproductive probes to every star in the Galaxy.
Remember the universe is 13.7 billion years old. A blind man in a dead drunk
on a cloudy day could observe that event, but we don't see a hint of it.
This astronomical discrepancy between theory and experiment needs
explaining, and the Star Trek prime directive just doesn't hack it.

> wouldn't it make sense that advanced intelligence would rather tend to
> focus on inwardly increasing complexity?

Certainly, but that supports my ideas not yours. You can make more complex
things with 4 atoms than you can with 2, you can make more complex things
with 8 atoms than you can with 4, you can make more complex things with 16
atoms.. well you get the idea.

  John K Clark

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