[ExI] for the fermi paradox fans

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Jun 17 08:49:33 UTC 2014

Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> , 17/6/2014 6:08 AM:

### Long term storage of mass is tricky - you want to avoid formation of stars and black holes, so you can't make it too dense but you don't want the expansion to rip stuff away, so you have to make it dense enough - and of course, higher density means shorter communication lines for your computations.
This is another part where this project touches on Fermi. If storage is invisible it could go on all around us, while if something radical has to be made the lack of it is evidence for either lack of aliens or that my theory is wrong. 
My argument I made at a conference in Milan a few years back (with a precursor to the current model) is that what matters is likely just mass-energy, not so much chemical composition. Stars do not lose much mass into energy (less than 1%), so it might be practical to just let them sit there. Interstellar gas and black holes can be gathered up and energy extracted later on; same thing for dark matter halos. So this would mean that the intelligent beings will just let things settle. Maybe create a bit of galactic flow against the Hubble flow in order to make hyperclusters (the Great Attractor, anyone?)
Over the past year I have become a bit doubtful. Most baryonic matter is intergalactic gas that just gets blown away (just watch the hot gas eruptions at 3.6 billion year in http://www.illustris-project.org/ !) Galaxies leak through "chimneys". Still, dark matter seems to form rather tame halos given current models of its structure (since the WIMPs do not interact much with themselves), so if what matters is just total burnable mass (and dark matter dumped into a black hole is just as good as baryonic matter) maybe this is another reason to leave the baryons alone. Robin's negentropy arguments also suggest that harvesting negentropy now during the stelliferous era might be worthwhile, but I would like to do some calculations for it. 

If *I* were in charge... I would likely Dyson the stars, steer galaxies into a hierarchy of superclusters and hyperclusters (still not finished at calculating the max size; some tricky issues with orbits in the Schwarzschild-de Sitter spacetime) and condense out the now cool gas. Avoiding collapse is mainly a matter of having enough angular momentum to make the assemblage just below the breaking apart limit.
> But this matter soup might be an ideal broth for space grey goo. An external or internal adversary with high time preference might be hard to resist. Grey goo's rationality is starkly at odds with maximizing computational capacity of the lightcone.
Maybe we are the space grey goo. In fact, in my original scenario I suggested that the Old Ones don't care what we do as long as we do not mess up the long-term mass-energy.
Seriously, I suspect that if you set up long-term storage you will add an immune system. Emplace monitors in ever solar system, build a response if something unacceptable happens (and this system can have as much error checks and cryptographic validation as you care, no chance for that mutating). 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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