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whpearson comments on Max Tegmark on our place in history: "We're Not Insignificant After All" - Less Wrong

18 [deleted] 04 January 2010 12:02AM

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Comment author: whpearson 04 January 2010 07:54:04PM 3 points [-]

As paper-clippers would still be visible astronomically can we conclude that UFAI isn't very likely to be what wiped out previous Oases of life that got to our level of advancement? We really have to hypothesize very low chances of getting to human-level life or high non-visible means of stopping human-like things from spreading (nukes, bio terror, etc?).

Anyone have any favoured previous bottlenecks that we are likely to have dodged? None of the transitions life has gone through seems very special apart from the bottleneck of not getting self-replication started at all. I also don't see earth-like planets being more rare than perhaps 1 in 50 million.

Comment deleted 04 January 2010 09:00:57PM [-]
Comment author: whpearson 04 January 2010 11:56:51PM 0 points [-]

Hmm I hadn't looked at the Drake equation.

It is interesting to note L, the life time of the species or how long you can notice a species. For a dyson sphere blocking the light of a star we would expect it to block for the life time of the star. And if you are making that large you have to make all the other terms a lot smaller than the estimates there.

Or were you thinking of a more realistic equation?

Comment deleted 05 January 2010 11:59:23AM *  [-]
Comment author: Alicorn 05 January 2010 01:49:17PM *  1 point [-]

A colonized civilization that still had contact between its various planets could still be wiped out by a plague or a sufficiently widespread war. Or they could commit mass suicide. Or they could be attacked and killed each and every one by another alien species. Why are you making such confident, general statements about a huge potential class of forms of life you have not met?

Comment author: Jack 05 January 2010 02:08:01PM *  1 point [-]

Even if thats the case it just means that L is dominated by probability any given civilization gets to the level of colonization. Plenty of civilizations could destroy themselves first.

Comment author: thomblake 06 January 2010 03:48:41PM 1 point [-]