Re: Great Filter, Low Profile, Cryptocosmology

Chris Hind (
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 22:17:07 -0700

> "Sufficiently advanced communication is indistinguishable from noise."

I really like this quote.

>Again I apologize as I explain the joke fully because it's the basis of
>what I want to say: 1) Arthur C. Clarke's Law is that "Any sufficiently
>advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." 2) Cryptograpy,
>steganography (hiding data within other data) and data compression produce
>signals that look as much as possible like random numbers. Cryptography and
>steganography because they are trying to reveal as little as possible,
>data compression because any non-noiselike character of a signal represents
>redundancy, a waste of bandwidth. The joke for crypto and compression
>people is that here is a basic truism in both fields that happens to
>have a natural phrasing just like Clarke's law. The joke for extropians
>is that Clarke is wrong (or was, if he's since wised up): information is
>the ultimate technology, and ultimate information looks like...nothing.
>Not flashy magic, just nothing. It works hard to look like nothing.

The better the compression, the more information looks like noise so this
means that possibly we will never see civilizations more advanced than we
and the only civilizations we will ever see will be less evolved because
equal or higher means we're less likely to recognize them. Damn. Although
this does give justification to requote entire posts so to make more
redundant data for the alien civilizations to recognize. :)

>Which is what we see when we look at the skies. Or at the dirt at our feet,
>or at the Sun, or each other, for that matter. Nothing...unnatural.
>Nothing...unexpected. Nothing...out of the ordinary.

Shit, you're right. If you wished to get really bizarre, you could say that
the dirt under your house is actually an uploaded civilization in statis
with their molecular patterns stored in an organization of dirt molecules