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Nobody out there: Combinatorial case against other space goers

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Second part of joint presentation with Bill Hall, neither of us arguing for something we want but rather where the evidence leads us. Bill presented common ground on Fermi paradox then argued that civilisations are likely but self-destructive.

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  • Adam Ford kindly recorded and uploaded audio of the presentation and ensuing discussion with Bill Hall and later some audience members. https://archive.org/details/NobodyOutThereCombinatorialCaseAgainstOtherSpaceGoers-TonySmith
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Nobody out there: Combinatorial case against other space goers

  1. 1. Nobody out there a combinatorial case against the existence of other space goers Tony Smith Central Victorian Atheists and Freethinkers 18 April 2018
  2. 2. • Introduction: Informed by mathematics and systems • Condensing matter to moon making collision • Origin of life to eukaryotic cells • Snowball Earth to Erectus on Lombok • Common exploitation becomes supercharged • What might lie beyond if we make it to the other side? • Conclusion: Accepting cosmological responsibility
  3. 3. the land was invaded and people who weren’t here were killed Myron Lysenko Woodend Poet 1 August 2016
  4. 4. • Early specialisation in mathematics and systems, interest in harder sciences, introduction to complexity/emergence • Can’t assume others know what I’ve learnt but can’t teach • Cantor and difference between countable and uncountable • Gödel and limitations of the formalism project • In reality there are approximations but no closed systems • Microevolution increases local efficiency. Macroevolution exposes new niches through synergies/behaviour change Robert G. B. Reid: Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment • Order and chaos needed together to increase complexity • Attractor basins and evolutionary convergence Introduction: Informed by mathematics and systems
  5. 5. Persistent systems settle into cycles
  6. 6. • We can ignore multiverse and details prior to deionisation and resultant Cosmic Microwave Background radiation • Cold dark matter model shows galaxy and star formation J. Richard Gott: The Cosmic Web: Mysterious Architecture of the Universe • Heavy elements formed in and disbursed by supernovae • Gravitational collapse to vortex with angular momentum • Exoplanets, biases in detection methods, microlensing • Unlikely collision formed our moon, setting initial mix of elements and future course of rotational parameters • Timing sweet spot, towards tidal lock, stellar evolution Condensing matter to moon making collision
  7. 7. Interpreting Traces Written in Stone
  8. 8. • Evidence of living cells in thin early geological record • Components may have been from elsewhere • Late heavy bombardment, possible restarts • Unified biochemistry survives but maybe not always • Photosynthesis and oxygen poisoning • Earliest eukaryotes found a long way into life’s journey Lynn Margulis: Origin of Eukaryotic Cells • Evidence from Mars and Bayesian constraint • Implications of early life for wider probability of life David Waltham: Why Earth is Exceptional — and What that Means for Life in the Universe Origin of life to eukaryotic cells
  9. 9. Geological periods and epochs defined by identifiable chemistry, microfossils and fossils in decreasingly locatable rocks, each indicating significant change (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_time_scale)
  10. 10. • Plate tectonics, continent aggregation, climatic effects Gabrielle Walker: Snowball Earth: The Story of a Maverick Scientist and His Theory of the Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life As We Know It • Eukaryotic multicellular tissue differentiation • Sessile v motile, benthic v pelagic, invading land • Ediacaran precursors to Cambrian diversification (540 Mya) • Geological ages, epochs, periods, eras and eons • Dinosaurs arose in Triassic after end-Permian extinction then dominated Jurassic and Cretaceous (252, 201-65 Mya) • Eusocial insects, flowering plants, mammals and birds • Homo Erectus technology makes crossing to Wallacea Robert G. Bednarik: The First Mariners Snowball Earth to Erectus on Lombok
  11. 11. Historic traces drowned or buried (https://theconversation.com/ancient-stone-tools-found-on- sulawesi-but-who-made-them-remains-a-mystery-92277)
  12. 12. • Brief interglacials punctuate Pleistocene Ice Age • Hominids control fire and sharpen stone tools • Humans reach Wallacea and Sahul, eliminating Florensis • Coastal migration routes at lower sea levels • Megafauna, Future Eaters, cultural feedback to world Tim Flannery: The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People • Song lines, domestication, monumental architecture Lynne Kelly: The Memory Code: The traditional Aboriginal memory technique that unlocks the secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and ancient monuments … • Trade, empire, industry, wealth, externalities • Ideologies, extermination, globalism, eggs in one basket Common exploitation becomes supercharged
  13. 13. In 1964, Nikolai Kardashev defined three levels of civilizations, based on the order of magnitude of power available to them: Type I Technological level of a civilization that can harness all the energy that falls on a planet from its parent star (for Earth-Sun system, this value is close to 7x1017 watts), which is more than five orders of magnitude higher than the amount presently attained on earth, with energy consumption at ≈4×1019 erg/sec (4 × 1012 watts). The astronomer Guillermo A. Lemarchand stated this as a level near contemporary terrestrial civilization with an energy capability equivalent to the solar insolation on Earth, between 1016 and 1017 watts. Type II A civilization capable of harnessing the energy radiated by its own star—for example, the stage of successful construction of a Dyson sphere—with energy consumption at ≈4×1033 erg/sec. Lemarchand stated this as a civilization capable of utilizing and channeling the entire radiation output of its star. The energy utilization would then be comparable to the luminosity of our Sun, about 4×1033 erg/sec (4×1026 watts). Type III A civilization in possession of energy on the scale of its own galaxy, with energy consumption at ≈4×1044 erg/sec. Lemarchand stated this as a civilization with access to the power comparable to the luminosity of the entire Milky Way galaxy, about 4×1044 erg/sec (4×1037 watts). Energy consumption estimated in three types of civilizations defined by Kardashev scale By Indif - Own work derivative work:1 Earth (blank 2).png4 Milky Way (blank 2).png, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29015315
  14. 14. • Inescapable anthropocentricity of the Anthropocene Clive Hamilton: Defiant Earth: The fate of humans in the Anthropocene • Expectations for space-based traditional industries overtaken by opportunities of information age • Science Fiction as blinkered exploration of possibilities • Freeman Dyson, Nikolai Kardashev, Hoag’s ring galaxy Joseph Voros: Galactic-scale macro-engineering: Looking for signs of other intelligent species, as an exercise in hope for our own • Becoming over-invested in yesterday’s future • Transhumanism: humans as transitional, means not ends Kevin Kelly: What Technology Wants. Colin Hales: The Revolutions of Scientific Structure (challenging assumed digital route to Artificial General Intelligence) • Many great filters, why should the next be the last? What might lie beyond if we make it to the other side?
  15. 15. • Statistical outliers and thin tailed distributions • Technological optimists waiting for the Singularity • What use individual intelligence absent network effects? • Why do we look beyond Earth for other intelligences? Peter Wohelleben: The Inner Life of Animals & The Hidden Life of Trees (+list) • The cost of maintaining or disrupting the privileged few Michael Perelman: The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation • Beware arguments that set oversimplifying boundaries Paul Davies: The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe? • Our fine tuned physics suggests Cosmological Evolution • Unviable monster or role for intelligence to reseed? Charles Massy: Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture — A New Earth Conclusion: Accepting cosmological responsibility
  16. 16. • Gisela Kaplan: Australian Magpie: Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Songbird • Gisela Kaplan: Bird Minds: Cognition and Behaviour of Australian Native Birds • Peter Wohelleben: The Inner Life of Animals: Surprising Observations of a Hidden World • Peter Wohelleben: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries from a Secret World • Frans De Waal: The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates • Frans De Waal: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? • Jennifer Ackerman: The Genius of Birds • Tim Low: Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World • Carl Safina: Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel • Peter Godfrey-Smith: Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life • Laurel Braitman: Animal Madness: how anxious dogs, compulsive parrots, and elephants in recovery help us understand ourselves • Donna J. Harraway: When Species Meet • Andrea Wulf: The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science

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