Re: SETI/ASTRO: MBrains/JBrains & Globular Clusters

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Jul 18 2001 - 08:00:08 MDT

I'm getting the feeling that people haven't read my
papers in detail, or I'm not making myself clear in
my messages, so I'll make *one* more try:

Eugene wrote:
> Not quite, it's a statistical argument. Out of a population of cultures,
> only expansive ones will autoamplify for their signatures to become
> detectable over astronomical distances.

Not if convergent evolution drives all *conscious* beings
to realize that *expansion* is pointless.

(a) Life, of the non-conscious variety can expand only very
    slowly (panspermia via meteors).
(b) Life, of the non-technological variety can't expand any
    faster than the non-conscious variety.
(c) Life, of the non-conscious & non-technological varieties
    is subject to natural selection via planetary & galactic
    hazards that probably resets the clock relatively frequently.
(d) Rare life of the conscious technological variety rapidly
    makes it through the singularity transition.
(e) Natural selection *FAILS* when the S-curve of the singularity
    flattens out at the top with the complete optimization of
    all local matter at the atomic engineering scale.

Just as humans have *almost* trumped natural selection on
the Earth (no more bears in Europe or tigers in India...),
JBrains & MBrains will trump natural selection in the universe.
They "FIX" the hazard function so it is virtually nonexistant
(at least until the protons decay). After you trump natural
selection, the logical game is self-directed conscious evolution
(which may rely on natural selection for internal development
strategies, but it isn't visible externally).

The path of evolution is to drive complexification, but you cannot
complexify in an efficient manner unless you know what has been
tried and failed. There is a huge cost to trying something that
has already been tried which doesn't work. Nature doesn't care
about this (e.g. it will try "failures" again and again) because
it doesn't give a damn about the optimal allocation of limited
resources. Advanced conscious technological civilizations *do* care
about such allocations because the cost of getting any more of them
is high. Sure, there is lots around to grab, but once you have them,
they can't communicate to you what designs have been tried and fail due to
the speed of light delays and large-body-of-information communication costs.

The bigger the wavefront, the slower you have to go unless
you consciously, intentionally want to waste the resources
(e.g. two MBrains on opposite sides of the wavefront are
trying the exact same sub-atomic engineering designs at
exactly the same time).

For reasons, like the black hole engineering strategies
discussed by Mike & Anders, there may be only certain
specific places in the galaxy where you can go, where
you may have the matter and energy resources that would
allow you to start the next S-curve of technological evolution.
JBrains & MBrains *know* they don't want to get bigger.
They want to get "smaller". They will either know from
a theory of everything and/or having tried trillions of
possible designs that doing so is "impossible" or dedicate
the resources available in the most efficient way possible
to the exploration of the sub-atomic engineering phase space.

For example, if as Frank points out, you can build reversible
computers that trump any non-reversible computer and you need
one of those to take the next steps in sub-atomic engineering
simulations *and* they require a saturn-mass of silicon to
do the engineering, then you are going to go to the location
where that much silicon is available for astroengineering.
You aren't going to run willy-nilly around your local region
of space terraforming every planet or JBraining & MBraining
every star system because it isn't going to get you any
closer to having sub-atomic engineering capabilities or
knowing that they are not feasible.

For Eugene's premises to be valid he has to make a strong
assertion that advanced technological civilizations do not
reach the conclusion that trying to ignore Malthus is doomed.
(Sooner or later you run out of stars or galaxies!)
Its assuming post-singularity technologies with pre-singularity
personal motivational systems and irrational thinking.


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