Monday, October 13, 2014

something strange happens to civilizations, strange in a bad way...,


aeon |  ‘I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,’ he told me, ‘in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. It would be like, “Good news, the problems of poverty and disease have been solved, but the bad news is there aren’t any humans left.”’

Musk has been pushing this line – Mars colonisation as extinction insurance – for more than a decade now, but not without pushback. ‘It’s funny,’ he told me. ‘Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth’s surface. They say things like, “Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around.” They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I’m not in that school,’ he said. ‘I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.’

Musk told me he often thinks about the mysterious absence of intelligent life in the observable Universe. Humans have yet to undertake an exhaustive, or even vigorous, search for extraterrestrial intelligence, of course. But we have gone a great deal further than a casual glance skyward. For more than 50 years, we have trained radio telescopes on nearby stars, hoping to detect an electromagnetic signal, a beacon beamed across the abyss. We have searched for sentry probes in our solar system, and we have examined local stars for evidence of alien engineering. Soon, we will begin looking for synthetic pollutants in the atmospheres of distant planets, and asteroid belts with missing metals, which might suggest mining activity.

The failure of these searches is mysterious, because human intelligence should not be special. Ever since the age of Copernicus, we have been told that we occupy a uniform Universe, a weblike structure stretching for tens of billions of light years, its every strand studded with starry discs, rich with planets and moons made from the same material as us. If nature obeys identical laws everywhere, then surely these vast reaches contain many cauldrons where energy is stirred into water and rock, until the three mix magically into life. And surely some of these places nurture those first fragile cells, until they evolve into intelligent creatures that band together to form civilisations, with the foresight and staying power to build starships.

‘At our current rate of technological growth, humanity is on a path to be godlike in its capabilities,’ Musk told me. ‘You could bicycle to Alpha Centauri in a few hundred thousand years, and that’s nothing on an evolutionary scale. If an advanced civilisation existed at any place in this galaxy, at any point in the past 13.8 billion years, why isn’t it everywhere? Even if it moved slowly, it would only need something like .01 per cent of the Universe’s lifespan to be everywhere. So why isn’t it?’

Musk has a more sinister theory. ‘The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation,’ he told me. ‘Like when you’re playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can’t ever get there. If it’s not a simulation, then maybe we’re in a lab and there’s some advanced alien civilisation that’s just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish.’ Musk flipped through a few more possibilities, each packing a deeper existential chill than the last, until finally he came around to the import of it all. ‘If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilisations, and I mean strange in a bad way,’ he said. ‘And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilisations.’

18 comments:

BigDonOne said...

The kinds of technology this article demands can never occur if Fuzzlimocentric libtards in control continue to expand parasitic populations and debt-fueled cradle-to-grave support for useless-breathing zero-productive dysgenic ebtswiperz including their "unarmed 18yo 'youths' ".....
The Subrealist speak with Forked Tongue....

BigDonOne said...

...." to purposefully exclude one side of the debate and openly denounce their findings is not just immoral, it is reckless."...No kidding !! Does this also hold when the PRR documents politically incorrect Truth that offends a particular dysgenic "interest group"......??
It cannot be had both ways....
More Forked Tongue....

CNu said...

If your racist religion upheld the standards of science, it would have to reckoned with. Being that it does not, the only people we have to hear about it from are establishment journalists selling sensational media, quacks and hacks purporting to do the pseudo-science, and true believing gimps who need to console themselves for personal and collective failings they've not seen through and overcome years ago.


(p.s., been keeping your spot ready for you BD http://twoinchpunisher.blogspot.com/ Just say the word.)

CNu said...

The truth of the matter is that we spend exponentially more on non-productive "greatest generation" geezers and their neurotic policies, politics, ideologies, and conspicuous consumption - which, taken collectively - are beyond any doubt the driving force behind the anthropocene extinction.

BigDonOne said...

You are surrounded by an ebtswiping culture that cannot fathom a lot of fiscal-FTO-centric geezers who could survive just fine without a dime from the gov't. Lower-level professionals, who deferred gratification to get good careers, invested conservatively, nurtured stable marriages, and didn't blow their wad on bling, substances and irresponsible fast living. There are, in fact, plenty of such folks collecting their un-needed SS, it's just good business given the system. (also, it is Good Genes personified...)

BD would have no problem with shutting down all government benefits today. No more SS/Medicare/Medicaid or unemployment. No more Obamacare subsidies, no more HUD-sec8, student loans, FHA, Freddie, Fannie.


The freebie bubble is on the verge of popping anyway, there are plenty of gurus who see this from Chris Martenson and many others, e.g., this terrific one from last week ---> http://www.garynorth.com/public/12985.cfm

Also, if you've got an hour-and-a-half, this awesome speech on bubbles by Glenn Reynolds ----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyejVcbkNIQ

CNu said...

lol, given that level of FTO exceptionalism BD, you and Sam Brownback would just stay winning..., http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/10/08/no-sam-brownback-its-not-the-medias-fault-youre-losing/

CNu said...

Not to mention the swelling ranks of the highly educated long-term unemployed just spiraling down the ladder of non self-sufficient economic doom http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/highly-educated-unemployed-tumbling-down-ladder-n219451

BigDonOne said...

We leaned real heavy on our kids to get education that would provide high probability of employment, even in bad times. Our daughter, graduate engineer, nothing other than "Soccer Mom" on her resume for the last 20 years, recently went back to work. Even in today's tight labor market she had a job almost immediately (didn't even have a Linked-In page). Glenn Reynolds speaks to this in the video referenced above, with comments on worthless degrees, e.g., in "Woman's Studies." This is basic FTO.......

umbrarchist said...

Oh no, it's science fiction.

Did you read Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson?

BigDonOne said...

"Well, I wouldn't condemn the whole program because of a single slip-up..."
____Gen. Buck Turgidson (Geo C. Scott) in Dr. Strangelove


American scientists and engineers are the only folks who have ever put humans on the moon and returned them safely....

CNu said...

Also, built Fukushima nuclear power station precipitating Pacific die-off about now as well as most probably weaponized Ebola..., civilization is predicated on trust, and nobody on the face of this planet trusts Americans any further than they would trust a Nazi.

Vic78 said...

You just aren't going to admit that you've been conned into submitting your buttcheeks. What's even funnier is that you act as if you're speaking some higher truth. You might as well be one of those religious zealots you enjoy making fun of.

BigDonOne said...

@Trust...Regardless of the recent hype, American dollars are still the world-wide Gold Standard for money.
Also, the richest people, world over, come to America when absolute top-notch medical care is required, it is not available anywhere else....

CNu said...

All these wars since the invasion of Iraq have been fought to shore up the petrodollar hegemony. That hegemony is about to go away no matter what else the U.S. does, and with it your vaunted, obscenely inflated, and formerly non-negotiable American "way of life". Matter fact, you better "pray" that it goes away quick, fast, and in a hurry and that the promise of LENR ushers us into a new energy and new economic frame.

Dale Asberry said...

Will it? I'm not terribly hopeful that the status-seeking, sociopathic powers-that-be can be successfully dislodged without lodging yet another group of status-seekers at the top needing to feed off the bottom.

CNu said...

increased longevity, enhanced cognition, and modified metabolism and physiology are all a bit more concrete than "status".


the question then begged is whether these changelings will have any further use for mere humans?


what further use for mere humans has a yogic/taoist/alchemical adept?


what use for mere humans a glorified saint or mortified cenobite?

umbrarchist said...

But that is the hilarious thing about 9/11. The Empire State Building is 80 years old. 9/11 should be a very simple problem.

Vic78 said...

Why do these jerkoffs keep saying Musk inspired Iron Man? Jack Kirby's spinning in his grave. If anyone was inspiration, it was Howard Hughes. Can the character's inspiration at least be someone that was born before Iron Man was created? These wanna be geeks kill me...