Re: seti@home is SORTA WORKING
Sat, 10 Jul 1999 07:01:03 EDT

In a message dated 99-07-10 01:09:43 EDT, (Spike Jones) wrote:

> Given enough raw material, it seems that a really out-there nanotech

> civilization could make a sphere and keep its surface at 3 kelvin, so
> that it would be undetectable by us less advanced (and therefore more
> dangerous) intelligences. Do we have any thermodynamics experts
> out there who can confirm that such a scheme does not violate the
> third law? Seems to me it doesnt.

Based on the conversations we had at Foresight in May, I think one of the more intriguing proposals for empirically verifying his ideas that Robert Bradbury will make in his upcoming presentation on bioastronomy is based on the thermodynamic radiation of waste heat by SIs. As I recall, it's based on the idea that completely masking waste heat is something that even the most advanced SI can't do and that a systematic search for the signature of that heat is something within our current technological capabilities..

Just a personal comment: The discussion Robert and I had at Foresight about this subject was one of the most stimulating I can remember for years. I really don't think Robert meant any disrespect to the SETI crowd with his initial post in this thread, but rather, as he tried to explain, he was using a little turbocharged rhetoric to get some well-deserved attention for the truly impressive amount of work he's done on this subject. After listening to him explain his ideas at the white board and then field questions from some of the certifiably smartest people on the planet, I can assure you that although he might be wrong, his ideas are extremely well thought-out. I remember thinking that the scene at Los Alamos when Von Neuman proposed the idea of galactic exploration with self-replicating probes must have been something like that . . .

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley