Re: Big Bang demiurges (was: Re: El Aleph)

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 05 Jan 1999 11:19:22 -0600

Billy Brown wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > 3) The mortal civilization obeys the Prime Directive and the Powers
> > aren't home..

> Let's not forget the obvious, 'boring' possibility: There has never been a
> technological singularity, and everything is just as it appears. After all,
> the fact that we are here is pretty good evidence that there were no Big
> Bang people.

That's possibility number 3. Supposing that our intelligence is the max, it's still sufficient for us to reproduce and reproduce and reproduce and fill up the entire Milky Way with Orbitals and then go on to other galaxies as fast as lightspeed will let us, in a million-year blink of the eye. But we see no sign that other races have done this.

Latest astrophysical data suggests that planets aren't all that rare. You can make whatever assumptions you'd like about the rarity of intelligence. But, as I understand it, we aren't in a particularly early stage of the Milky Way or of the Socrates Universe. Suns like ours have grown old and died already. Our 4.5-billion-year path to intelligence was not a noticeable sprint. So why isn't the real estate used up? This set of assumptions yields mortal races, but the vast majority are born during the early years of the galaxy.

You can explain mortal silence by reference to Singularity, and you can explain Power silence by reference to unSingularity, but it's kind of difficult to explain both.

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.