On Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 11:13 AM, Jason Resch <jasonre...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > "The great filter might simply be a belief in non-interference." > A universe wide conspiracy of silence seems like a pretty weak idea to explain the profound fact that the universe does not appear to have been engineered. Just one Von Newman Probe sent to just one other sun would cost pocket change for an advanced civilization, to suggest that not one individual in one of those civilizations bothered to do so even on a whim is simply not credible. Even if the probe moved no faster than the rockets of today (a ridiculously conservative idea) it could engineer the entire Galaxy in less than 50 million years, the blink of an eye in other words. Then we would see an engineered Galaxy, and if that had happened you wouldn't need sophisticated experiments to detect ET, a blind man in a fog bank would know. So either we are the first or mind always runs into some sort of impenetrable wall if it tries to advance beyond a certain point. What could be the nature of that wall? I can think of 2 possibilities, the second much more likely than the first: 1) This idea is almost certainly bullshit, but suppose, just suppose nature is unkind. Suppose that in the technological history of any civilization there will come a time when it will find hints of a new force in nature,and suppose there is a very obvious experiment to investigate that possibility, and suppose because it is so new there is not one scrap of information to think it is in any way dangerous so the experiment is performed. And then BOOM, more energy is released in 10 seconds than the sun has generated in its entire 5 billion year history. It is of course difficult to predict how a newly discovered force in Physics will behave, that's why it's new. Madam Curie was certainly not stupid, and when she first discovered Radium she had not one scrap of information to think that the strange rays given off by that element were in any way dangerous, but it ended up killing her. Well OK, Gamma Ray Bursters are almost certainly not industrial accidents, but the idea might make a good science fiction story. 2) This possibility I think is much more likely. Once we completely understand how mind works it will be possible to change your emotions to anything you wanted, alter modes of thought, radically change your personality, swap your goals as well as your philosophy of life as easily as you change your shirt today, and that would be very dangerous. Ever want to accomplish something but been unable to do so because it's difficult? Well just change your goal in life to something simple and do that; better yet, just flood your mind with a feeling of pride for a job well done and don't bother accomplishing anything at all. Think all this is a terrible idea and stupid as well, no problem, just change your mind (and I do mean CHANGE YOUR MIND) now you think it's a wonderful idea. Complex mechanisms don't do well in positive feedback loops, not electronics, not animals, not people, not ET's and not even Jupiter brains. I mean who wouldn't want to be a little happier; if all you had to do is move a knob a little what could it hurt, oh that's much better maybe a little bit more, just a bit more, a little more... So the world could end not in a bang or a whimper but in an eternal mindless orgasm. I'm not saying this is definitely going to happen but I do think about it a little. "I think nearly all alien civilizations will reach a state of > super-intelligence before it achieves interstellar travel." Even without interstellar travel or Von Newman Probes our largest radio telescopes could communicate with a similar instrument almost anywhere in the Galaxy. So why don't we hear ET? John K Clark -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.