[ExI] fermi question alive and well

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun Mar 31 12:18:48 UTC 2019

On Sun, Mar 31, 2019 at 3:34 AM Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

> *Type 3 civilizations are not possible without FTL. How do you hold  a
> galactic civilization together when it takes 70,000 years to get  news at
> the speed of light from the frontier?*

A single galactic emperor making all the decisions of the Star Wars sort is
not possible but, even if space probes can never go faster than the ones we
make right now, in less than 50 million years a single Von Neumann probe
the size of a grain of sand could engineer a galaxy in such a way that the
entire power output of 100 billion stars was used exclusively for the
manufacture of thought. Such a galaxy would be very hard to miss and yet we
can't find even the hint of one.

> *Think about how unmanageable the Roman Empire became when the
> communication lag with  the frontier was months instead of tens of
> millennia.*

That was always a big problem but not so big as to prevent the Roman Empire
for existing for centuries, and Rome existed at the same time there were
civilizations of similar size in China, India, and the Americas.

> *> And these are supposed to be machines that live at faster subjective
> speeds than we do?*


> Are super-smart machine intelligences superhumanly patient as well?

Why not, it's not as if they don't have the time. And even today people
read books by Plato, a message sent 2500 years ago.

John K Clark
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