Re: evidence?

From: Adam Safron (
Date: Wed Sep 05 2007 - 10:11:25 MDT


With regards to the missing heat, the outer layer of a matroishka
brain ( might be as
cool as interstellar space. This seems more likely than hiding. If
you can harness a billion light-years worth of galaxies, you don't
need to hide. The appearance of a void gravitationally is more of a
pickle, but could possible be explained by things like Shkadov
thrusters: Your point
about the time-scales of complex-life evolving is another pickle.
However, you only need it to happen once to explain this particular

Most likely, it's just a big void and the exponentially expanding
intelligence (EEI) speculations are wrong in this case. If
gravitational lumpiness ends up being the best explanation for this
void, then it may be more parsimonious to assume that it is the best
explanation for other voids as well. Though it is still possible
that there are more than one type of void, evidence is needed to
support EEI theory.

So Fermi's paradox may not have been solved by EEI theory of voids.
Too bad. In my opinion, it seemed like a good contender. For a
complex intelligence, the most reasonable thing seems to be to expand
outwards and try to harness as many stars as possible for driving
computation. Even under the conservative assumption that recursively
improving AI is achieved once only every couple 100-1000 galaxies, we
should be able to explain interstellar voids and Fermi's paradox. If
EEI theory is wrong, then there are several different possible
implications, which are also reasonable:
        1. Complex intelligence evolves very rarely; much less than one in
a thousand galaxies.
        2. The evolution of complex intelligence does not imply the
creation of recursively improving AI; perhaps the civilization is
destroyed before obtaining that technological achievement.
        3. Even assuming recursively improving AI, stellar engines are
unfeasible (not enough mass in the solar systems; no way of
controlling star dynamics) or undesirable (super-intelligences
thought of something better).
        4. Evidence for simulation (less reasonable)? Something else?

Doesn't look good for EEI theory... Case closed pending further

Thanks for the discussion.

On Aug 24, 2007, at 10:15 PM, Jeff L Jones wrote:

> On 8/24/07, Adam Safron <> wrote:
>> If we are now seeing the light from 6-10 billion years ago, then how
>> can we be sure the void isn't (still) expanding?
> That's a good point. I think you're right, that we can't really tell
> whether the void is still expanding (as long as it's expanding slower
> than lightspeed). So I take my rhetorical question about "why would
> it have stopped?" For some reason, I didn't think of that when I
> wrote that.
> But the other two issues still seem puzzling. How any sort of
> intelligence would have developed that early on (3-7 billion years
> after the big bang, when it took 4.5 billion years on earth... and the
> universe looked very different and less life-friendly back then). And
> if they're living there but hiding... how they could unbend the light
> passing through in such a way that it looks like there is no
> gravitational disturbance there. Another question is how/why they are
> cooling the cosmic background radiation as it passes through, but that
> actually seems to have a rather simple answer in the context of
> superhuman intelligence... they could be harvesting energy from the
> cosmic background radiation too (perhaps large antennas set up to
> collect it?) If there's a way to do that technologically, it might
> provide them with even more energy than they could get out of the
> stars! (Just speculating here). But the only way to explain why the
> amount of cooling happens to be exactly what you'd expect if there
> were nothing there is that they are deliberately trying to trick
> outside observers into thinking there's nothing there. So the
> question still is... why do they go through all that trouble to hide?
> Jeff

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