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Update to Fermi's Paradox: Where are the alien computers?

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posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:07 PM
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Lately I've been reading a lot of interesting stuff by transhumanists like Ray Kurzweil. Basically, their argument is that Moore's Law could be some sort of universal constant, always accelerating the performance of our computation. Because Moore's Law is exponential, they have charted it out to come to the startling conclusion that by the year 2030 or so, we will be able to completely simulate a human brain with a computer. By 2040, we'll be somewhere like a billion times further along. That's how exponential increases in computer performance work -- as long as the curve holds.

So I got to thinking... what happens in the year 2080, or 2180? It turns out that by following the Moore's Law curve, we get into some pretty crazy realms very quickly. Essentially, we would consume the entire universe into one giant supercomputer within only 600 years, if moore's law was able to hold (and break the speed of light with our super intelligent AI sometime around the year 2100).

Think about the implications of that for the search for alien life:




A number of questions logically follow from this calculation. The first is, why haven’t we yet encountered the advancing wavefront of an alien computer colonization project? The speed with which transhumanists imagine this taking place means that they, more than anyone, need to seriously contend with Fermi’s paradox. Perhaps such a computer has already gobbled us up, and we simply aren’t aware of it. In this scenario, we wouldn’t exist inside of a simulation, but the atoms in our bodies would be carrying out computation without our awareness or consent. Another question to consider is: what will our civilization do with 10^100 calculations per second? Will we simulate our own universes? For what purpose? Nick Bostrom suggests that we’ll do it because we are curious about our predecessors and want to enable an effective form of time travel.

Importantly, if the transhumanists are right, then it is almost certain that first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization will be a meeting of machine intelligences, rather than biological organisms.


Source: We are not living inside a simulation -- we are building one



So what do you all think? Is the fact that we haven't met an alien supercomputer proof that they don't exist? Or is it proof that we are already living simulations INSIDE that supercomputer?


Or are the transhumanists just wrong and we shouldn't take Moore's law so seriously?



edit on 10-6-2011 by kristobal because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:18 PM
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Brian Greene said that if the universe is a simulation, then simulated human scientists would be able to figure out the laws of nature embedded in the simulation. However these wouldn't be the laws underlying actual reality, since those laws are in the Simulators world not the computer simulation which we mistakenly take to be reality.

Yes, these notions do remind me of how maya is viewed in Hinduish sorts of philosophies. However, theyre also quite different in that the ultimate reality we arent able to know isnt some divine or supernatural realm, but a material world.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:19 PM
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OMG I was just about to post a thread about Moores law regarding spacecraft.

Thats friggin rattled me a little.

S&F !!!!!



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:22 PM
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Great post, I love to think about this type of thing; and Isaac Aimovs "The Last Question" is one good example. However I think we're progressing faster than he originally anticipated, and by the start of the events mentioned in 2061 we'll already be VERY far on our way. I hope that this generation is at the escape velocity for life extension/biological immortality because I would love to live to see the human race create the ultimate simulation. Not only that but create artificial universes where anyone can go to live out there fantasy/desires. For example have a computer generated/user compiled universe based on magic, dragons; and then a "player" could essentially insert their consciousness into the system and being your experience/alternate life. You would be almost like a "God" of your universe [limited however] or just a person who could live forever, experience many things, make impacts on that specific world; and perhaps there would be some form of identification that only "players" could identify each-other by.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Raelsatu
For example have a computer generated/user compiled universe based on magic, dragons; and then a "player" could essentially insert their consciousness into the system and being your experience/alternate life. You would be almost like a "God" of your universe [limited however] or just a person who could live forever, experience many things, make impacts on that specific world; and perhaps there would be some form of identification that only "players" could identify each-other by.



Since I don't know the secret player handshake, does that mean I'm probably just an NPC in some alien's simulated video game?



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by EnigmaAgent
 



I'd be really interested to know what you think about spacecraft in relation to Moore's Law. Personally, I think that people don't realize how close our civilization is to developing interstellar travel (by automated probe). With propulsion technology available in maybe 10-20 years, we could build an unmanned probe capable of reaching the nearest stars (5 light years away) within 60 years or so.

We won't finish the 21st century without being an "interstellar" civilization, at least by robotic proxy.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by kristobal
That's how exponential increases in computer performance work -- as long as the curve holds.


That's the question. Does the curve hold? My guess is, probably not, because you're talking about systems constructed within certain parameters. Computer speed is limited by molecular size, the speed of light, and heat death (the point at which the heat generated by moving the data ruins the data). So the curve eventually flattens out.

The trick then is to find a way to accomplish your goal by using a system created within different parameters. For instance, how do you make a trumpet sound louder? In the old days, you do it by adding more trumpets, which works for a while. But if you want to make it really louder, you have to move to electronic amplification of the trumpet sound. Move to a different system.

The thing is, though, we humans are only at the beginning of being able to find and manipulate new ways of doing things. We have our mechanics, and our electronics, but if there are other things, such as psychic energies that are context driven and not limited by the speed of light, we don't have a handle on those at all, and may never.

So where are the alien computers? It's entirely possible that they're all around us, but we just don't have the perceptual ability to recognize them or interface with them.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by kristobal
 


Haha you could choose to remain an "NPC" to other players if you really wanted. But if a player wanted to ID another player there could be an infinite number of ways to achieve this. For example use a few "lines of code" so that if a player sees another player, he/she will have a augmented symbol floating over their head until you choose to toggle it off. You could choose to select somebody and request a "friend add" and then meet up whenever, talk, plot events for your planet/world etc.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:05 PM
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Perhaps TPTB in the universe created it for other purposes than to end up as nano replicator soup - so that any civilisation verging on the brink of technological singularity (tower of Babel) is destroyed or converted into a One World order of Dumbed down serfs under an elite controlled by 4D entities.
edit on 10-6-2011 by JohhnyBGood because: spell ing



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by JohhnyBGood
 


If that were the case and we were really being controlled by powers that created our universe, it would be a disaster. Because at that point you can't really do anything or go past a certain threshold without having your civilization destroyed. Question is, WHY would they want to do this and at what means to an end? You would think that the Creator(s) would want their creation to continue the process and become the next Creators; a cycle that may continue on for eternity/infinity resulting in an infinite number of both creations and Creators. I wonder if there can even be an "original" Creator? If so he/she must be omni-everything existing inside and outside of eternity, without a beginning nor end; which is basically the description of God. Perhaps subsequent Creators can learn to exist for eternity but only forward, not "negative eternity", essentially becoming demi-gods.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by JohhnyBGood
Perhaps TPTB in the universe created it for other purposes than to end up as nano replicator soup - so that any civilisation verging on the brink of technological singularity (tower of Babel) is destroyed or converted into a One World order of Dumbed down serfs under an elite controlled by 4D entities.
edit on 10-6-2011 by JohhnyBGood because: spell ing



Nano-replicator soup, I like that. You raise the point that I was trying to make: The fact that our universe is not Already computational soup means that either

1) Humanity is early on the scene and it hasn't happened yet
2) Humanity is ultimately alone in this universe
3) The computational soup scenario can't happen for any number of reasons including the one you hypothesize


If anyone plays the PC game Minecraft, you will know that some people have made rudimentary computers that actually run inside the game world. It's interesting to consider that our current day PCs are advanced enough to simulate a world with enough complexity that logical operations can be run within that simulation. And a Minecraft citizen wouldn't necessarily be able to discern that there was a wider world outside that was not made up of 1x1 unit blocks. Essentially the 1x1 block is the Planck length for a minecraftian observer.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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as long as the curve holds.


It won't.

We don't know anything about the END side of the curve or its variables, so how can we possibly make an accurate prediction?

There are also variables such as war, disease, etc. Look at the Dark Ages, for example, and it's effect on the curve of human technology.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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The quality of discussions in this thread is surprisingly good.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by kristobal

Personally, I think that people don't realize how close our civilization is to developing interstellar travel (by automated probe). With propulsion technology available in maybe 10-20 years, we could build an unmanned probe capable of reaching the nearest stars (5 light years away) within 60 years or so.



Whilst technological advances might make it a possibility.......I somehow doubt man would spend his resources and money on sending probes to our nearest stars.
It's going to cost millions to get back to the Moon, and even more millions getting a manned mission to Mars and these would take up any budget that any space projects undertaken in the next 60 years or so.
And let's not forget........by then the oil might have begun to run out and who knows how bad global warming will have become.
I get the feeling that the world will have it's handful trying to solve the problems here on Earth and would probably have little time money or resources to make interstellar travel a reality.

My prediction........we won't involved in interstellar space travel for perhaps a century or two.....and that assumes we solved the energy crisis by then!

edit on 10-6-2011 by Logical one because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 05:11 PM
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Looked at another way, one might consider Moore's Law as a valid solution to Fermi's Paradox.

If we assume that Moore's Law does hold (which, I agree, seems unlikely to hold to infinity, but still), you end up with technological civilizations discovering that it gets exponentially easier to create artificial, simulated worlds — worlds where every individual can have anything they want forever — rather than explore the universe. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the usual path of technological civilizations is to upload into a computer, and then just hang out in decadent worlds of their own devising, rather than investing resources in traipsing about the universe.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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Hitch hikers galaxy!
the Mice made earth to be the Ultimate computer.
we are program’d not to see this.
but some of us are like hackers.
now some one say matrix!
oh to late.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 05:20 PM
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It could be proof we are the FIRST intelligent species in the Universe.

Sad, but actually possible...



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 05:25 PM
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I think we do not see a universe swarming with life and technology because
we are in a simulation.

A very, very, very, sophisticated simulation but a simulation nonetheless.

My player needs to level me up more and get me some sweet new gear.



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by kristobal

So what do you all think? Is the fact that we haven't met an alien supercomputer proof that they don't exist? Or is it proof that we are already living simulations INSIDE that supercomputer?




edit on 10-6-2011 by kristobal because: (no reason given)


If everything we all have ever known or experienced - the entire universe, our own thoughts - is a simulation, what is it a simulation of?



posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 08:39 PM
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Originally posted by Orkojoker

Originally posted by kristobal

So what do you all think? Is the fact that we haven't met an alien supercomputer proof that they don't exist? Or is it proof that we are already living simulations INSIDE that supercomputer?




edit on 10-6-2011 by kristobal because: (no reason given)


If everything we all have ever known or experienced - the entire universe, our own thoughts - is a simulation, what is it a simulation of?


Hell




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