Re: The Great Filter

Eugene Leitl (
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 11:28:36 +0200 (MET DST)

On Tue, 13 Aug 1996, Robin Hanson wrote:

> Michael Wiik writes:
> > [ inwards, not outwards ]

This one reminds me of 'Little, Big' by J. Crowley...

> >The original Great Filter post wondered why we didn't see evidence of
> >intelligent reengineering of the universe. It might seem a shame to us

I think the standard response on this is: either life nucleation
concentrations is so very low they haven't reached us yet, it is not low,
but for some reasons there is no macro scale engineering at detectable
scale or we mistake it for natural phenomena and alien >H's don't tread
on us, having respect for budding life, or they have transcended, by
whatever means, and thus no longer interact with this universe. And, of
course, the old simulation argument ( the first thing you see in heaven
is a score list?).

> >to consider that advanced civilizations always take the inward path,
> >but it seems possible that the rewards therein may be as great, or
> >even greater than, those obtained by outward exploration. Perhaps they
> >discover that the whole universe is a computer program, and escaping it
> >(or teleporting anywhere within it) is just a matter of reconfiguring the
> >kernal.

This requires the emulation entity to contain an 'emergency exit' as a
built-in feature orelse no exit is possible. The same thing why nuclear
hydrodynamics runs are hardly felt by anybody outside the computer model.

> Unless you can indeed rewrite the universe's kernal to give unlimited
> local computation, you will eventually need to move out into the
> universe to support increasing computation abilities. VR happens in

Yes. The transcension scenario. The silence in the skies is a good
argument for it, imo.

> real physical computers in our real universe; it doesn't change the
> basic economics which pushes for expansion.

_Are_ >H's bound to push towards expansions? How can we know?

> Robin Hanson