[ExI] Tabby's star

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Sun Dec 11 18:50:23 UTC 2016

I think that the risk of anthropomorphizing leads to bad assumptions in
both the "it is aliens" and "it isn't aliens" directions.  It's very
difficult to make predictions about what kind of knowledge you *don't*
have.  Assuming it's post-singularity, words like "civilization",
"resources", "thought", even concepts we imagine to be much less mutable
like "energy" or "time" lose a vast amount of meaning.

Maybe it's an oracle, a clairvoyance or backwards time travel machine, or
in a similar vein used for FTL travel or communication. Maybe it's a
factory for exotic matter or a dark (to us) matter manipulator.  Maybe it's
a telephone line to a god.  Maybe  it's an alien movie theater or a
psychoactive drug-esque experience machine.

I think it's very likely that at these scales there are needs that we can't
conceive of--not energy, material resources, or temperature, but the
regulation of an unknown quantity that's extremely important to their
"society".  Maybe they can move extropy through conduits like we move
electricity.  Maybe there's a base SI unit that we don't have yet.  Maybe
they eat Higgs Bosons like caviar.  Maybe it's a weapon or invasion
deterrent.  Maybe it alters the laws of physics in ways we can't imagine in
order to perform certain processes.

Not that speculation is pointless--we can still try to make hypotheses on
what it is or does and who would use such a thing.
But to be honest I'd like to think that this insightful group of people can
do better than "It's a giant computer".  Maybe it's a tautological machine,
like one of those boxes that has a hand come out to switch itself off, that
only exists to confuse us about what it does because  they find it

Gotta think outside the box.  And the box is a tesseract.  And outside is
kata of the tesseract.
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