FWD from CryoNet: Re: Musings on the Singularity

From: mike99 (mike99@lascruces.com)
Date: Sat Apr 19 2003 - 12:43:19 MDT

Please indulge my forwarding the message below which was posted by Keith
Henson to CryoNet.

Michael LaTorra

Message #21617
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 09:45:42 -0400
From: Keith Henson <hkhenson@rogers.com>
Subject: Re: Musings on the Singularity

#21615 Mike Perry wrote:

Francois, #21607, writes in part:

>>They will process information, they will process energy and they will
>>replicate. We can recognize all three in whatever form they occur.
>>Furthermore, their advanced technology will permit them to completely
>>process their native solar system into an habitat better suited to their
>>needs. Their increasing numbers will then require them to seek new places
>>to live. Neighboring star system will therefore be processed in the same
>>way, and then they will expand outward at near the speed of light,
>>completey converting their own Galaxy, then neighboring Galaxies, and
>>ultimately the entire Universe into habitats and artifacts. That is the
>>mindbogling but inescapable end product of the Singularity.

>I don't see this "end product" as "inescapable" because I think
>"replication" is being over-emphasized. Replication means creating others
>like yourself. Advanced beings, I submit, will not do this. They may
>new sentient beings, and those beings will no doubt bear certain
>similarities to their creators, but a close resemblance, such as exists
>presently between biological life forms and their offspring, does not
>necessarily follow.

True, but if life forms with Singularity powers are common, then *all* of
them have to restrain replication for the observed wild state of the
universe to exist. Way back in the late 70s when Eric Drexler realized the
consequences of nanotechnology he dug into a catalog of unusual
galaxies. He was looking for ones being dimmed (in visible light) by an
expanding wave front of nanotech capable life forms. He didn't find any.

In recent years it has become obvious that if you want to travel between
stars, using light sails and lasers powered by the stars themselves is a
way to go that does not require very high mass ratios. If anyone were
doing this in our light cone, it would be obvious *far* across the universe.

This relates to Thomas Donaldson's comments about hyperJupiters. Life,
particularly technophilic life, may be so uncommon that we are the only
example of it in the observable universe. This makes the universe
significantly less interesting, but it leaves surviving our Singularly an
open question rather than a certain (death?) sentence that life forms that
go through one no longer affect the physical universe.

To put bluntly, if technophilic life is common, none of them survive their
local Singularity.

There are alternatives, for example, as we speed up our thinking, the stars
recede out of reach. (If your subjective time is sped up a million fold,
the nearest star becomes millions of years away.) But this assumes no
variation, since slowing down your thinking brings the stars
closer. (Assuming no FTL travel.)

Our entire species is going over a waterfall in a barrel. There doesn't
seem to be a way to leave part of them on the shore as we drift downstream.

It is an odd fact that finding the universe to be inhospitable to our kind
of life is a sign of hope.


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