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

Anders Sandberg (
17 Aug 1999 16:12:04 +0200

Rik van Riel <> writes:

> 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.
> 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)

Charlie Stross has one, slightly icky, answer to what would give them input enough in his novel Scratch Monkey (

However, a more likely answer would be something along the lines of David Zindell's description of what the Solid State Goddess (a nebula filled with connected jupiter-brain nodes): she studies evolution, not just of all possible biological systems, but evolution of all forms of complex systems, and evolution of evolution, and so on.

"I was given to understand that She manipulated whole sciences and thought systems as I might string words into a sentence. But Her 'sentences' were as huge and profound as the utterances of the universe itself."

She also amused herself with "testing" space pilots brave/stupid enough to venture into her nebula, most likely as an idle amusement.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y