re: low profile

Forrest Bishop (
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 12:17:45 -0700

Robin Hannson writes:

>Forrest Bishop]]

>With the competition this fierce, the best places for the long term
>may be the less desireable real estate- the dark matter galactic
>halos, the Great Voids (here's where you send the big starships),
>perhaps the interiors of stars. ]]

This would only buy you a little time. You really need to advance
your tech as fast as possible. Anyway, the point is if competition
were this fierce, it would soon be visible, so that can't be what is
going on out there now.

[[Your ~10^20 (say) probes are very small. In the systems they
reach, they do not engage in splashy engineering projects (above the
planetary level, which is above our current detection threshold).
probes also fit this criterion. The struggles are mostly in the
realm and at the mesoscopic scale. Maybe some exceptions _are_
visible: it is hard to say what sets off each and every nova, gamma ray
are a complete mystery, cosmic ray sources are still debated, etc.]]

>It seems to me that the outcome of all this strategizing is that the
>best strategy is just to expand as aggressively as possible. ...
>[[One showstopper is the possibilty of a speed of light pulse
>(perhaps even an electromagnetic pulse of unspeakable amplitude),
> used as a last resort weapon against just such an expansion.

That could be a show stopper for any strategy, it doesn't imply that
this isn't the best strategy.

[[I agree.]]

And if such pulses had an arbitrary
radius, that would be the end of the living universe.

[[The intensity drops off as the inverse square of the distance. The
may also degrade via interactions with the media.
a much more far-fetched idea: a soliton that slightly increases the
speed of light, or "vacuum index of refraction", if you will,
followed by another "restoration" soliton that catches up with the
first at some pre-determined distance.]]

Robin D. Hanson

[[Forrest Bishop]]