Re: [Fwd: Practical CosmologyPapers]

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Sat Jun 08 2002 - 22:23:02 MDT

Brian Atkins wrote:
> 3. "Answering the Fermi Paradox: Exploring the Mechanisms of Universal
> Transcension" (
> by John Smart

Hi John, here's a few quick points/questions. Even if we take as given that
some slightly-post-Singularity societies make the decision (and adhere to
it down to each and every single individual) not to immediately seed the
Universe with probes to find and uplift any and all semi-intelligent
life that wants it, that still leaves some "holes":

1. Shouldn't such societies (who are theoretically doing this in order to
preserve all the "experiments" running out there) still seed the Universe
with hidden probes to seek out life near transcension, and intervene in
the end if a blight or other life-destroying phenomenon is about to occur?
The only reason not to do this is if you take the true Darwinian approach
and prefer to let failed experiments fail all the way to the end even once
you can see how it is going to play out. That sounds too harsh to be

2. Shouldn't such societies also seed the Universe with probes to prevent
any other societies from attempting colonization? If you want to preserve
the most amount of Universe real estate in its natural state to allow stuff
to evolve there then you may have to expend efforts to protect it from other
post-Singularity societies that don't hold your views. Or would this kind
of intervention be messing with the evolution of the Universe also?

3. Which brings me to point out that doesn't your theory itself predict
post-Singularity societies, since they have been left to themselves, will
end up potentially filling differing "end states"? Unless all of these end
states wind up leading the societies that value the Communication-Censored
approach, then we are missing something... and if they all DO converge on
the C-C approach, what's the real point of letting them suffer through
their adolescence alone when we only end up with cookie cutter end states?

P.S. I don't buy the idea that any society deciding to seed the Universe
with probes is limited to only sending some kind of fixed primer. The
probes could contain vastly more than that, perhaps copies of chunks of
whole post-Singularity societies kept in stasis (or not) that have made
a decision to not transcend past the point of missing out on watching a
part of real space.

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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