Re: Barely Detectable Aliens

Paul Schauble (
Tue, 27 Jul 1999 00:34:54 -0700

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> Another scenario: 20 years from you build your spaceships, I build my
> nanocomputers, we both being individua, members of the same
> population. You embark on a journey to Alpha Centauri, while the world
> behind you explodes in a developmental Singularity. Nanotechnology is
> a critical enabler for it, but it may not stop at that -- but
> extrapolate beyond that is pointless speculation. While you spend 10
> kYears in transit, the sphere of nanoprobes has colonized a volume
> hardly less than 20 k light years in diameter. Now, think how many
> civilisations there might be in the volume of the observable
> universe. Of course, the light coming from there is too old, and they
> all might be hatching semisynchonously with us. However, 100 kYears is
> next to nothing in geological time scales, and there are billions of
> stars in our very own local galactic system.
> > As a possibility, I have no trouble with it whatsoever. Maybe it's even
> > likely--but I'm not going to go beyond my data and proclaim that it's "nano
> > or nothing."
> Assuming above scenario, you (monkeys in speeding cans) are not
> observable. The gaping hole in the skies few 10 k light years across
> is however is very much observable. The very absence of such
> observably transformed regions imposes a whole lot of contraints. I'm
> sure there are thousands of people all over the world going bananas
> over that dilemma.
Perhaps we have observed the holes. Astronomers have found huge voids with few if any stars and are now describing the universe as a soap bubble foam with the stars concentrated in the bubble walls.