ET: Scientific American article on GHZ

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 16:42:50 MDT

Hal Finney wrote:

The explanatory power claimed for the GHZ with respect to the Paradox
is that it reduces the time frame in which life could have evolved.
Until the last few billion years the galaxy was supposedly much more
dangerous, with supernovas and an active nucleus. Plus our Sun is
about 40 percent richer in heavy elements than most other stars formed
in the same place and time, making it more likely to develop a variety
of planets. This suggests that the Solar System may be near-optimal
for the first development of complex life in the galaxy.

### When I read the article I also had the same thought - we might actually
be the first sentients in the Galaxy (after all somebody must be first,
right?). If we play our cards right we might spread unmolested all around
the neighborhood ( about 5 x 10e14 cubic lightyears) in the next few million
years, even if only sublight travel is possible.

Imagine spawning a hundred copies of your uploaded personality and flying
out to the 100 nearest planetary systems. Then colonizing the planets, and
flying out again! I really want to be there when it happens.

By the way, I wonder what are the limits to the resolution and
light-gathering capacity of space-based telescopes. If you build beyond the
orbit of Jupiter a system of telescopes with huge, if optically imperfect
mirrors out of thin metal foil, stretched on wispy thin carbon fiber frames
(a few thousand square meters, for example), then a system of adaptive
optics mirrors to bring all the light into focus, then you could perhaps
connect the telescopes across the solar system to form a very long baseline
optical interferometer - this would be just mind-boggling. Maybe you could
read the license plates on cars in the Alpha Centauri system ;-)

Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD

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