[ExI] fermi paradox again, was: addiction

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Apr 6 14:48:32 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Anders Sandberg


Imagine we discover a chemical which does that: creates that feeling for people in general, a real Love Potion Number 9.  It caused the addicted person to be still functional, not stoned as one on opium but definitely high.  Suppose it causes the addicted one to be kind, generous, good, charitable, optimistic, happy, that spectrum of euphoric emotions one feels when in love.  If such a thing is discovered, that could cause a society and even a technology-enabled species to lose interest in anything but having that potion.  Result: cosmic silence.


>>…But some of us will want to help the aliens too! We will go there and give them an adapted version of the potion!  Anders Sandberg


Well now, leave it to Anders to think of that particular take on it.  {8^D


Anders, I would hand you the title of the most kindhearted loving person I know.  If not you, then my great grandmother, who was such a sweetie, I miss her to this day even though she has been gone 42 years.  This I will say without any reservation:  you are the most kindhearted, loving tech-enabled person I have ever met.  Anders me lad, thanks for being you.


That movie Keith describes is the disturbing flip side of the scenario: someone could come up with a Hate Potion Number 9.  


There is a scenario I heard described on the first day of the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq.  As the story goes, the Iraqi commanders were unhappy with the performance of the recruits when the first shots were being fired (they scattered in all directions (apparently displaying a reprehensible lack of enthusiasm for engaging in armed warfare against the US and Britain (imagine that.)))  So as the company prepared for the second encounter, those eager to fight confronted a pacifist, there was an angry exchange of words, and the firebrand shot the pacifist.  He exchanged words with a second soldier and was apparently dissatisfied with the answers for the second reluctant warrior also shot dead.  The third pacifist decided to suspend his beliefs temporarily and returned fire proactively, fatally fragging the lieutenant.  According to an account by a survivor, a close-range firefight broke out in the company of Iraqi warriors.  It was unclear who won that, but apparently the pacifists prevailed, for the company failed to show up for battle.


Keith’s evolutionary psychology notions could come into play a hundred different ways in a scenario involving close-range in-group fighting triggered by insufficient resources and known easily-foreseeable life-threatening shortages of everything.  We suspect the technology exists to harness space based power, but we also can see that humanity is collectively failing to make it happen.  We also know the consequences when cheap oil is no longer cheap.  We can see this coming.





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