Re: Great Filter

Forrest Bishop (
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 01:18:11 -0700

Forrest Bishop writes:
>>If this colonization effort could hide its origins from
>>those who might retaliate, what would they have to lose?
>[[Hiding its origins may require forgetting them. If this is the case,
>then colonization becomes a pointless exercise. ]]

Why should you care that much if your decendants don't know where
exactly in space you lived, as long as they shared your values and
other central characteristics?

[[The idea was that the descendants may be infiltrated and give away
the ancestor’s location.]]

>One method of countering this obstacle is to blast clear corridors
>ahead of the probes.]]

Anyone try to work out the details on this?

[[AFAIK, this idea is originally mine. I took it from my previous work,

the “South Pole Accelerator” of 1981, which uses its probes to blast a
partial vacuum corridor through the Earth’s atmosphere. That in turn
from particle beam research (in vogue at the time). A pilot beam blasts
corridor in the atmosphere, followed by the energy weapon.
I have not put much analysis into the interstellar version yet. The SPA
version was modeled continuously. Gas kinetic theory is applicable to
interstellar medium, and perhaps also to the dust grains
(alternatively, these can be treated as stationary objects). One rather
open problem is the method of interaction and energy deposition in the
spacecraft structure. This requires a lot of quality analysis.
The short answer is to launch lots of colinear probes.]]

>[[There may be practical upper limits on the size of a (self aware
> computer, beyond whicha high power function of signal propagation
> speed, OS complexity, etc. diminishesor even reverses the gains in
> computational power. Gravitational limits also come into play, long
>before a Jupiter-size brain is reached.
> A superintelligencemay find at some point it doesn t want to get any
>bigger.This point may be physically small. Sending clones of itself
>other star systems would not help its realtime crunching at all.]]

Dan Clemmensen raised this point, and I tried to respond to it in some
detail. Did you read those posts?

[[No, wish I had. I did see a thread about quality of posts vs noise.
I’ve been
deleting most ExI and >H mail lately due to the noise level.
One idea I came up with is to have a _self rating_ system in the
header, say
Quality Levels 1-5 (Q1-Q5). It might make for an interesting

>.. The point is that in general the creatures whose purposes lead to
>the most reproduction end up dominating the future.
>[[This an argument for quantity over quality. Since viri and bacteria
>reproduce the fastest and the mostest, do they therefore dominate ?]]

Yes, they have dominated for quite some time. We have a shot at
beating them, but haven't done so yet.

[[Well we’re off to definition land. To me, domination is the realm of
the intelligent, of those that can rearrange things according to their
conceived desires. But really, I’m not much of a philosopher.

Forrest Bishop]]