[ExI] fermi question alive and well

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Sun Mar 31 02:05:42 UTC 2019

John Clark wrote:

> Parallax measurement from Gaia gives us a firm foundation to a chain  
> of distance measurements. For example it tells us precisely how the  
> absolute brightens of Cepheid Variable stars is related to  
> the frequency of their variation. Cepheids are very bright stars so  
> that allows us to make very good distance measurements up to about  
> 200 million light years. And after we know that we discover that all  
> Type 1A supernovas have nearly identical absolute magnitude, they  
> are far brighter than even Cepheids so they can gives us distances  
> to several billion light years. And although more tentative than the  
> other rungs on the distance ladder Quasars are even brighter than  
> supernovas and it looks like there is a connection between how fast  
> they fluctuate and their absolute brightness. That would enable us  
> to made distance measurements to the end of the observable universe.  

What good is that distance yardstick if you can't resolve individual  
stars in other galaxies? I don't see how you could distinguish waste  
heat from the background heat in another galaxy with current  
technology. Except maybe the closest galaxies like our satellite  
galaxies and maybe Andromeda.

>> This could mean ET doesn't exist but I think it more likely means 
> Dyson spheres are not practical to build.
> The known laws of physics don't demand that ET exist, but if Dyson  
> spheres can't be built there must be a new law of physics that we  
> know nothing about that prevents it; but is never a good idea to  
> conjure up new physics unless every other possibility has been  
> exhausted    

I don't mean that Dyson spheres can't physically be built, I am saying  
perhaps they are not fit in a Darwinian sense. They might filter  
themselves out and fail to reproduce which is why we don't see them.  
Especially if they have to compete with numerous smaller and more  
agile brains. The problem with the Kardashev scale is that the model  
civilizations are too dependent on solar energy. I can see how being  
able to harness solar energy is a useful trait but if a civilization  
specializes in it, they can't compete against civilizations who  
instead go nuclear and thereby maintain mobility and stellar  

>> Maybe jupiter brains that stay put around star systems vegetate and 
> become stupid due to lack of stimulation.
> That could be. I think if technological civilization is common but  
> always meets a disaster then electronic drug addition would be the  
> cause; we'll just set the pleasure and happiness dials on our  
> emotional control panel to eleven and vegetate for eternity.

That is one possible shape of what I am suggesting.

Stuart LaForge

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list