[ExI] Silence in the sky-but why?

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Aug 27 13:32:33 UTC 2013

Subject: [ExI] Silence in the sky-but why?

Anders tackles the Fermi paradox.


>...'We still don't know what the answer is, but we know it's more radical
than previously expected.'


Of all the observed scientific anomalies that I know of, the misnamed Fermi
paradox is absolutely the most vexing.  The more we study that question, the
more clear it is that there is something fundamentally wrong with our models
of everything we think we know about intelligence, evolution, space travel,
everything.  If our current understanding of these things is anywhere close
to correct, there has been plenty of time for intelligence to evolve and
colonize everywhere in the visible universe, and the signals between
civilizations should be easily detectible.

After pondering all the possibilities, I am forced to conclude that
apparently intelligence is inherently self-destructive or self-limiting, and
that our current level of intelligence on this planet is anomalously high.
It goes against everything I dream for and envision for the future of
humanity: that the collective intelligence on this planet a century from now
will me more like what it was a century ago, and a millennium from now more
like what it was a million years past, more like what it was for the 99.99
percent of the time since life existed.  In that view, intelligence is
temporary always and everywhere.

This view of the evolution of intelligence as a temporary random excursion
from the boring mean, a spike rather than an S curve to a new and higher
plateau, goes against everything I have always believed and hoped for, but
it is the only way I have been able to explain Fermi's paradox.  This
realization is in some ways worse than when my own fundamentalist religious
notions crumbled to dust beneath my feet.   I do hope someone can talk me
out of this grim conclusion.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list