Re: Bioastronomy [was Bloated Stars and excess IR] (fwd)

Robert J. Bradbury (
Sun, 15 Aug 1999 09:26:59 -0700 (PDT)

> Rik van Riel <> wrote:

> The main problem I have with planet-sized brains is that
> they seem to contradict our current idea that 'thinking
> in an intellectual vacuum' really doesn't bring much.

Well, its easy enough to divide oneself into a left brain and a right brain or multi-brains and set them off on different courses. After about probably 5 seconds they are different enough to make the conversations interesting. Given the speed-of-light delays, it is interesting that the more you divide things, the faster the brains think and the faster evolution (devolution?) would occur.

> I for one completely fail to see what such a huge brain
> would have to think about -- there's no way we could
> provide it with enough information to keep itself busy...
> (if only because of the maximum speed imposed by RLT)

That is the general consensus. Even people like Greg Bear and the other people who live in the S.F. world can't imagine what they think about. They don't have a problem with a lack of information however. They can build 100 billion telescopes the diameter of the moon and watch the entire galaxy. They can also have fairly high bandwidth communications with the other SIs (because with their observing capacity they know where the other SIs are). This communication bandwidth is high relative to what we think of as high bandwidth communications, but probably not high relative to their internal thought capacity, due to the power requirements for transmitting long distances.] In short, lots of incoming information, but probably much less outgoing.