poly: Is our lightcone is uninhabited except for us?

From: Perry E. Metzger <perry@piermont.com>
Date: Mon Dec 15 1997 - 12:08:33 PST

The colonization thread has reminded me of an old argument I've
made. I suspect that there are no other intelligent lifeforms
substantially more advanced than us visible in our light cone, because
if there were, they would have already built Von Neuman machines that
would have arrived and taken over our solar system.

This is only a suspicion, but it is a strong one. Note that this in no
way precludes the existance of intelligent civilizations outside our
lightcone -- one that is a million light years away and arose two
thousand years ago wouldn't be visible yet.

Although it might seem odd that we would be the only intelligence in
our light cone, it shouldn't be overly bizarre, as if Von Neuman
machine colonization is the norm, then only the first such
civiliazation would be around to view anything.


Received on Mon Dec 15 20:00:21 1997

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