Robin Hanson wrote:
>I continue to be disappointed that those who advocate this galactic
>view do not even address the biggest puzzles it presents: Why doesn't that
>civilization intercept more that 1% of the light from each star? Why don't
>they use the mass from the stars to build things? These aren't cooperation
>issues. Making full use of the resources at a star doesn't threaten life
>at other stars. So why don't they do it?
I don't have all the answers, and I'm always surprised at those who can
answer enough of the many questions that exist--even answer them
tentatively--to create the necessary foundation for an extended discussion.
Perhaps there are many civilizations, but few individuals, so, they simply
don't need to use it all. Perhaps, like humans, as they get more advanced
materially, they reproduce less. Or perhaps, as they become more
advanced, they cease to be biological and simply disable/dispose of
the biological compulsion to reproduce.
Since some substantial portion of the mass of the universe is "dark matter"
--whatever that means(more questions; more assumptions required)--perhaps
they in fact do intercept the energy, and what we see is what remains, unused
for reasons other than inability, and we simply don't see that yet. Perhaps
transcendent intelligence is easy once intelligence is achieved, much easier
than intelligence itself. Perhaps the answers gleaned--the understanding
nature of existence--from transcendent intelligence make it possible and
desireable to go 'elsewhere', and the transcendent beings have left the
Perhaps this material realm is not more used because the nature of
is such that THAT is its function: it is the nursery of the gods. No way, of
course, this idea is even remotely original.
Some people insist that species expansion and thorough use of resources is
Darwinian and inescapable. I consider it possible, if not likely, that
intelligence may be able to modify relentless Darwinism, perhaps by creating
a Darwinism of memes. This might result in what seems to me--with my
limited and fallible human-level cognitive ability--an intelligent approach
to galactic resource management, a kind of galactic conservationist ethic.
Alternately or additionally, if resources vastly outstrip needs--and we
don't know what the needs of advanced civilizations would be--perhaps the
dreams of jupiter/matrioshka brain intelligence can be achieved with much
less resource conversion than we imagine, from where we sit. Perhaps, as
has been mentioned in discussions of j/m brains, there is an inherent
arising from the nature of the matter from which these intelligences would be
built. This, for me is a case of more questions, without more answers.
Additionally, I can only guess what a vastly transcendent civilization/being
would be like, would want to achieve, how they would be motivated. Perhaps
a superconductive, supercold, superefficient, nanodetailed, energy-conserving
brain might do. Bigger may not be necessary, much less better. I don't
how could I know? This is not to say that speculation isn't fun, or that the
drawing of conclusions, bold though it may be, is not 'allowed'. But I get
amused when people get convinced and insistent and demand sturdy regimens
of falsification. We're all like Wily E. Coyote, out over the edge, held
nothing more than the momentary pause which gravity allows for the
of the consequences of hubris.
Best, Jeff Davis
"Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:18 MDT