Great Filter, Low Profile, Cryptocosmology

Lyle Burkhead (
Wed, 23 Oct 1996 01:56:46 -0500 (EST)

In his very provocative post of Oct. 15, Steve Witham wrote:

# I think the question *whether* there is good reason to think
# that there is a great filter, deserves more attention. In other words,
# how sure are we that we are *not* looking at alien civilizations?

There are other ways to look at this. A sufficiently advanced
civilization could enclose the solar system in some kind of shell,
so we would think we were looking at uninhabited stars and galaxies
out there, but in fact we are seeing what is presented to us.

This could result in mindfucking on a grand scale. Somebody out there
is having fun, presenting us with information that just doesn't compute,
such as stars older than the universe.

But then, what do I know about mindfucking?

For an advanced civilization, advanced enough to live unnoticed
in the dirt under our feet, it would be a trivial matter to subscribe
to this list... But if you don't even believe there is an AI on the list,
there is no use going into THAT question.