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New model predicts that we’re probably the only advanced civilization in the observable universe
The Fermi Paradox remains a stumbling block when it comes to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI).
june 2018 by josephaleo
Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata - John von Neumann

Comparisons between computing machines and the nervous systems. Estimates of size for computing machines, present and near future.

Estimates for size for the human central nervous system. Excursus about the “mixed” character of living organisms. Analog and digital elements. Observations about the “mixed” character of all componentry, artificial as well as natural. Interpretation of the position to be taken with respect to these.

Evaluation of the discrepancy in size between artificial and natural automata. Interpretation of this discrepancy in terms of physical factors. Nature of the materials used.

The probability of the presence of other intellectual factors. The role of complication and the theoretical penetration that it requires.

Questions of reliability and errors reconsidered. Probability of individual errors and length of procedure. Typical lengths of procedure for computing machines and for living organisms--that is, for artificial and for natural automata. Upper limits on acceptable probability of error in individual operations. Compensation by checking and self-correcting features.

Differences of principle in the way in which errors are dealt with in artificial and in natural automata. The “single error” principle in artificial automata. Crudeness of our approach in this case, due to the lack of adequate theory. More sophisticated treatment of this problem in natural automata: The role of the autonomy of parts. Connections between this autonomy and evolution.

- 10^10 neurons in brain, 10^4 vacuum tubes in largest computer at time
- machines faster: 5 ms from neuron potential to neuron potential, 10^-3 ms for vacuum tubes
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april 2018 by nhaliday
Eternity in six hours: intergalactic spreading of intelligent life and sharpening the Fermi paradox
We do this by demonstrating that traveling between galaxies – indeed even launching a colonisation project for the entire reachable universe – is a relatively simple task for a star-spanning civilization, requiring modest amounts of energy and resources. We start by demonstrating that humanity itself could likely accomplish such a colonisation project in the foreseeable future, should we want to, and then demonstrate that there are millions of galaxies that could have reached us by now, using similar methods. This results in a considerable sharpening of the Fermi paradox.
pdf  study  article  essay  anthropic  fermi  space  expansionism  bostrom  ratty  philosophy  xenobio  ideas  threat-modeling  intricacy  time  civilization  🔬  futurism  questions  paradox  risk  physics  engineering  interdisciplinary  frontier  technology  volo-avolo  dirty-hands  ai  automation  robotics  duplication  iteration-recursion  von-neumann  data  scale  magnitude  skunkworks  the-world-is-just-atoms  hard-tech  ems  bio  bits  speedometer  nature  model-organism  mechanics  phys-energy  relativity  electromag  analysis  spock  nitty-gritty  spreading  hanson  street-fighting  speed  gedanken  nibble 
march 2018 by nhaliday
A National Plan for EMP Protection | Interference Technology (
Solar rooftop costs are projected to achieve parity with the electric grid in kWhr cost before the end of the present decade. This encourages rapid EMP protection expansion, hopefully, before the first EMP event strikes. In addition, the existence of widespread EMP protection dramatically reduces the chances of experiencing an EMP attack in the first place.

See also Part 2 of the same article:

EMP History:
"This article is concerned with a particular type of electromagnetic pulse (EMP), specifically high-altitude nuclear EMP. Although much of the history of high-altitude nuclear EMP remains classified, the unique characteristics of high-altitude nuclear EMP were apparently not foreseen by anyone in the scientific and engineering community.

"The effects of low-altitude nuclear EMP, however, were foreseen by Enrico Fermi prior to the very first nuclear test in 1945. As a result of Fermi’s foresight, all of the lines leading to electronic recording instruments were carefully shielded. Nevertheless, much information was lost because of the intensity of the EMP close to a nuclear explosion.

"By the time of the first high-altitude nuclear explosions, Fermi had died and the other great physicists of the time expected the EMP from a high-altitude detonation to operate under the same basic mechanism as a low-altitude detonation.

"The first openly available account of a high-altitude nuclear EMP is from the helium balloon lofted Hardtack-Yucca test of a 1.7 kiloton nuclear device over the Pacific Ocean on April 28, 1958.

"The EMP from that test was a pulse that was five times the oscilloscope limits at most locations. The electric field was initially a positive-going pulse rather than the expected negative pulse. The EMP was principally horizontally polarized rather than the expected vertical polarization. Since the facts did not agree with the accepted theory of the time, the results were dismissed as possibly a wave propagation anomaly.

"In July of 1962, a higher yield detonation at a much higher altitude made its effects known in a much more dramatic fashion that proved conclusively that previous theories of high-altitude nuclear EMP generation were wrong. That test was the Starfish Prime test over Johnston Island in the Pacific.

"Because of its proximity to Hawaii (about 900 miles away) it was necessary to announce the time and location of the Starfish Prime test to the public. Many were watching the detonation under cloudy skies over the Pacific as 300 streetlights in Honolulu were abruptly extinguished, many burglar alarms went off and a microwave telephone link to the Hawaiian island of Kauai suddenly went dead.

"Although the intensity of the EMP from Starfish Prime caught scientists completely by surprise, and resulted in very little in the way of useful EMP measurements, they were more prepared for the subsequent high-altitude tests of 1962.

"Finally, in the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish high altitude nuclear tests of October and November 1962, the scientists were ready for this previously unexpected phenomenon, and accurate EMP records were obtained."
EMP  solar  energy  infrastructure  protection  shield  nuclear  Starfish  Fermi  Hawaii  Bluegill  Kingfish  high-altitude 
march 2018 by Tonti
Fermi paradox - Wikipedia
Rare Earth hypothesis:
Fine-tuned Universe:
something to keep in mind:
Puddle theory is a term coined by Douglas Adams to satirize arguments that the universe is made for man.[54][55] As stated in Adams' book The Salmon of Doubt:[56]
Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact, it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be all right, because this World was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.
article  concept  paradox  wiki  reference  fermi  anthropic  space  xenobio  roots  speculation  ideas  risk  threat-modeling  civilization  nihil  🔬  deep-materialism  new-religion  futurism  frontier  technology  communication  simulation  intelligence  eden  war  nuclear  deterrence  identity  questions  multi  explanans  physics  theos  philosophy  religion  chemistry  bio  hmm  idk  degrees-of-freedom  lol  troll  existence 
january 2018 by nhaliday
Dissolving the Fermi Paradox
The Fermi question is not a paradox: it just looks like one if one is overconfident in how well we know the Drake equation parameters.

Doing a distribution model shows that even existing literature allows for a substantial probability of very little life, and a more cautious prior gives a significant probability for rare life.

The Fermi observation makes the most uncertain priors move strongly, reinforcing the rare life guess and an early great filter.

Getting even a little bit more information can update our belief state a lot!
january 2018 by josephaleo

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