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Why We Can't Find Aliens

vr technology aliens simulations future

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13 replies to this topic

#1
TechFu

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Given the current rate of technological growth it won't be long before we have a choice to make.  Do we move into our simulations or do we continue into outer space.  Virtual technology doesn't seem all that impressive right now but how long until we can have a BCI that will allow us to experience virtual worlds like Avatar or ancient Rome indistinguishable from reality.

 

When we can create worlds and modify it any way we want will we still want to continue living in the real world?  Is it possible the reason we can't find aliens is because they're all living in their simulations?



#2
Jakob

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No, Isaac Arthur basically debunked this idea. Any fermi paradox explanation that relies on every individual member of every single alien civilization acting in the exact same manner is very poor. Especially as the dissenting segment of such a society would quickly grow far more powerful and numerous. Even if this idea were somehow tenable, such civilizations would always be on the lookout for more material to convert into computronium, which would have a very noticeable effect on things. A more likely explanation to the Fermi paradox:

  • Alien civilizations are rare. Perhaps a few dozen in the galaxy at any one time, and maybe only ten or fifteen capable of space travel, with the rest ranging from Neolithic to industrial.
  • The few interstellar civilizations that do exist eschew radio communication in favor of more efficient technologies such as neutrinos, gravitational waves, and Bracewell probes. We couldn't observe such communications if we tried. 
  • Most alien civilizations have probably worked out Dark Forest theory in one way or another and conceal their existence to prevent destruction by aggressive civilizations.


#3
Lastseasonsnow

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Good questions, there are actually many theories about this issue. We all know that because the technology isn't advance enough to communicate with aliens, or maybe because they live so far away that our signal can't reach, or just because there's actually no alien at all! 



#4
funkervogt

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Most alien civilizations have probably worked out Dark Forest theory in one way or another and conceal their existence to prevent destruction by aggressive civilizations.

Right. Additionally, it's possible that an advanced alien species is aware of Earth and could easily contact us, but they choose not to since it might inadvertently reveal their existence to a third group of hostile aliens who might also be monitoring Earth. They all know us well enough to understand that as soon as the first alien talks to us, we'll obnoxiously blast out radio signals out into space in every direction, mostly in the form of TV footage of the aliens and human experts and leaders talking about them. 

 

Earth is like a tripwire to advanced aliens. 


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#5
Raklian

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I imagine we're not only divided by distance, but across time as well. That exponentially decreases the odds of detection.

 

And then when you add in a dimensional divide besides distance and time... *mind blown*


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#6
zEVerzan

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No, Isaac Arthur basically debunked this idea. Any fermi paradox explanation that relies on every individual member of every single alien civilization acting in the exact same manner is very poor. Especially as the dissenting segment of such a society would quickly grow far more powerful and numerous. Even if this idea were somehow tenable, such civilizations would always be on the lookout for more material to convert into computronium, which would have a very noticeable effect on things.

 

That's an interesting point as in this hypothetical debate between these alien factions, both of them could justifiably view the other as some kind of destructive luddite.

 

"All THEY want to do is just sit around and stagnate in a false fantasy world while letting everything around them decrepify!"

"All THEY want to do is just stay bound to their weak flesh and consume resources for their filthy biological functions!"


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#7
Raklian

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We may as well be in a reality simulation, and the creator decided we Earthians would be the only ones to evolve into a technological civilization.

 

I mean, there is a chance of this being true.

 

The question becomes... in the creator's reality, is his civilization the only advanced one or there are others?

 

Wait, if there is a creator, does that mean there are two civilizations - ours and his, divided by extradimensionality rather than time and distance?

 

 

It's all a jumbled mess.


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#8
zEVerzan

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Maybe the "draw distance" of the sim is limited around the perception of intelligent observer sims, with celestial bodies taking on less and less detail the further away they are from an observer to give the illusion of astronomical scale while saving render cycles?

 

Maybe when an observer is traveling to another star system, the planets will procedurally take on more detail, imperceptibly?

 

Observer-dependent rendering is actually a whole can of worms. What if everything just becomes wireframe when you turn your back?


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I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#9
Raklian

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Maybe the "draw distance" of the sim is limited around the perception of intelligent observer sims, with celestial bodies taking on less and less detail the further away they are from an observer to give the illusion of astronomical scale while saving render cycles?

 

Maybe when an observer is traveling to another star system, the planets will procedurally take on more detail, imperceptibly?

 

Observer-dependent rendering is actually a whole can of worms. What if everything just becomes wireframe when you turn your back?

 

What's even worse is no matter how advanced we'll become, we may never be able to test this empirically.


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What are you without the sum of your parts?

#10
Vivian

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Yeah, solutions to fermi paradox that relies on all aliens doing exactly the same thing make no sense. If the great filter is ahead of us, the most  likely is that there are many agressive civilizations in the universe.  Advanced civilizations that colonize space are basically  different species  with the same ecological niche. They would compete for energy and materials , so it makes sense for one eliminate the other. Civilizations would  seek to destroy the others or  just hide from destruction. A few could become allies, but would still hide or destroy agressive ones.


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#11
caltrek

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*Raises hand*

 

I know, I know.  It is because our border patrol is too incompetent.

 

Ooooops, I am sorry.  Wrong thread.

 

Seriously, I go with the "because they are just too darn far away" logic.  When considering these questions, I think we are all just way too influenced by Star Trek and the prospect for warp drive (also known as way faster than the speed of light travel).  When you look at how vast the universe is, intelligent life on other planets does't seem all that impossible.  What does seem highly improbable is that such planets would be relatively near. Given that vast size, it may very well be that we are just too far away to detect unambiguous signals. 

 

 

Or, as others have argued, the more advanced civilizations may be using something other than radio, and we just haven't figured out that other method yet. Advanced civilizations may not be working too hard to contact us, not because they fear detection, but simply because they have other more interesting things on their minds. Give us a few more centuries, and perhaps we will stumble upon the answer to the best way to plug into the interstellar equivalent of the internet.


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#12
Sciencerocks

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My theory looking at the data:

Larger stars don't live as long and trend to develop larger planets. Larger planets = more likely to be gasous in nature. The fact that F and up stars don't live as long means life doesn't have as long to develop as a G class star would allow.

 

Smaller stars like M or lower end K class stars would allow for tens of billions to even trillions of years to develop life. These are something like 75% of all stars in our universe. BUT, they have been found to either have mega flares that wipe life out or be tidally locked worlds that orbit extremely close to their star.

 

My theory looking at the data is K and G class stars are the most likely to have life for these reasons. One problem with the larger K or G class stars is both radi and transit based methods for finding these planets aren't nearly as good as of yet as finding the same around smaller M class stars. So who knows..There's a lot to learn and better telescopes may change these ideas in the future.



#13
Alric

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I think the problem is that everything is just so far away. You can't see a spaceship. There could be trillions of ships flying around our galaxy, and we have no way to see them. Communications decay over time as well and they have a very long way to go before reaching us. The only chance we really have of finding someone, is if they make a planet size superstructure, and even then we still might not see it.


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#14
Raklian

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It looks like there are more super Earths than we realize. If there are civilizations on those planets, they may not have the means to escape the more extreme gravitational well those planets exert on them. Scientists have been saying we were lucky to evolve on a planet with a gravitational pull just small enough for us to overcome with existing natural resources we synthesize for propellants for our rockets. Remember super-Earths are the best candidates for biomass to reach a critical point where it thrives to its maximum potential. It may as well be that our planet is actually an exception to the rule.

 

Sure, they might be able to conquer their super gravitational wells with some technology we can't even begin to image, but if they struggled for so long that they evolved to a point where launching to space makes less sense compared to developing technology to access and explore the subatomic world. What if it's easier for them to reach other dimensions due to their unique evolutionary footprint?

 

Maybe that's among some of the plausible answers to the Fermi paradox.


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