Gamma Ray Bursters

John K Clark (
Fri, 2 May 1997 22:02:34 -0700 (PDT)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- On Fri, 2 May 1997 Wrote:

>Speaking of GRBs, does anyone think the phenomenon could be
>something created by advanced civilizations for the purpose of
>energy uses, or something like that?

Who knows? it's probably just a natural phenomena of some sort, but I must
admit when I first heard of it I thought of Robin Hanson's essay "The Great
Filter". This is almost certainly bullshit, but suppose, just suppose nature
was unkind, suppose in the technological history of any civilization there
will come a time when it will find hints of a new force in nature, and suppose
there was a very obvious experiment to investigate this possibility, and
suppose they had not one scrap of information to think it was in any way
dangerous. And then BOOM.

It is of course difficult to predict how a newly discovered force in Physics
will react, that's why it's new. Madam Curie was certainly not stupid, and
she had not one scrap of information to think that the strange rays given off
by Radium were in any way dangerous, but it killed her.

If the Gamma Ray Bursters are the product of intelligence, it looks more like
a horrible miscalculation than a energy project to me. I very much doubt that
the signature of an advanced civilization would be anything super hot like
Gamma Rays, because that would be very inefficient. I think that waste heat
would probably be in the infra red, just a little above the 3 degree
background black body radiation.

John K Clark

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