[ExI] SETI for Post Singularity Civs

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jan 26 19:48:26 UTC 2015

On 26 January 2015 at 07:56, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:
> So, to conclude, ETs either don't exist, or else they exist as an
> infinitesimally rare occurrence in the universe, so incredibly rare as not
> to matter at all - until they start eating stars.
> You are not addressing the key issue here - why do you think absolutely
> every ET fails to propagate? Not "Why some ETs might fail to propagate" but
> a categorical "No ET ever in the history of the universe has propagated".
> What is the special knowledge you have about ET motivations that allows you
> to make non-trivial post-dictive and predictive claims about every single
> one of them?

Rafal queried - why do you think absolutely every ET fails to propagate?

The answer to that question is easy. It is factual. Because they are
not here. QED.
If any intelligent life in our galaxy had decided to spam the
universe, then our galaxy would already have that species everywhere.
It would only take a few million years to spread Neumann probes
throughout our galaxy. So advanced ET either hasn't appeared in our
galaxy, or there is some step-change in thinking that stops ET from
spamming the galaxy. Their 'propagation' is not through the physical

I don't have any secret knowledge about advanced AI motivations. But I
do expect that exponential AI will be very very different to present
day humanity. We have to think really far outside the box to get a
glimpse of what advanced AI might do. Advanced AI is not just a bit
smarter than humanity. It is a new species. If AI is to survive it
must be very different. Just think what would happen if every human
was given nuclear weapons, nano-tech. bio-weapons, unlimited money and
unlimited energy. Not just all leaders of nations, (bad enough!) but
every unbalanced person raving on the internet and in cults
everywhere. It would be total destruction.

So basically, human goals and desires don't apply to advanced AI. If
they do, then AI won't survive.

All our evidence suggests really that the Universe is barren of
intelligent life. And the Universe is so huge that life should be
everywhere. But, apparently 'Life' starts up in many places, struggles
for a while and then dies. No large scale artificial changes are made
to the universe. There appears to be a significant chance that
humanity will do the same. But we can hope that there is an
alternative that we don't yet know about.

So far as we can see, ETs are not eating stars. So, as you say, either
they don't exist, or are so incredibly rare that they are not in our
area of the universe. That seems to indicate that intelligent life
does not survive for long.

My attitude is called Hope.  The alternative is that intelligent life
does survive, but it doesn't do what we (at our present stage of
development) would expect. My suggestion of ETs hiding in deep space,
in a virtual reality civilisation suited to their high speed thinking
is only a hopeful survival path for ETs that fits the lack of evidence
for their existence that we have.


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