Re: poly: Malign Probes and expanding civilizations

From: Perry E. Metzger <>
Date: Sun Dec 21 1997 - 17:10:37 PST

"Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko" writes:
> It seems that most scenarios for the civilizations' expansion assume that
> their power and spread will be shaped more by their spacial expansion than
> growth in complexity, power over the laws of physics, ability to create more
> space/time where they are, etc.

I think that more to the point is that, in spite of the existence of
humans, bacteria are still found in nearly every cubic inch of space
matter will exist in solid phase on this planet. Sure, humans can
stomp out bacteria if we want in a small space, and maybe eventually
everywhere -- but that doesn't change the principle. If there are
resources to exploit, self reproducing devices that evolve will
eventually exploit them given time.

So, sure, some civilizations will be better/superior, some may go into
basement universes, etc. -- but we would expect that if advanced
civilizations were plentiful, we would *still* see at least primitive
von neuman machines everywhere in our light cone. The fact that none
are here is rather interesting.

This reminds me of a side point. Some people have mentioned the
notion that only some humans might choose to transcend, go into deep
space, etc, and ask if the rest of the race will cease to exist. I
doubt that very much. Just because there are humans doesn't mean that
there aren't fish or gazelles. Evolution doesn't replace -- it
generally branches and supersedes only slowly. Evolution eventually
fills all niches, and just because we are transcending genetic
evolution in the traditional sense doesn't mean that we are immune to
it. Some of us will go into space, and some will stay, perhaps even
unchanged for millennia while the rest of us become unrecognizable.

Received on Mon Dec 22 01:02:40 1997

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