February 18, 2012

SETI stuff

Surprising article about SETI and the Fermi Paradox in Psychology Today: Where are all the Aliens? by Robert Lanza. He writes:
Perhaps across space, more advanced intelligences have taken the next evolutionary step. Perhaps they've evolved beyond the three dimensions we vertebrates know. Such advanced civilizations would certainly have changed the algorithms so that instead of being trapped in the linear dimensions we find ourselves in, their consciousness moves through the multiverse and beyond. Why would Aliens build massive ships and spend thousands of years to colonize planetary systems (most of which are probably useless and barren), when they could simply tinker with the algorithms and get whatever they want?
Meanwhile over at Next Nature, they're making the case that any sufficiently advanced civilization is indistinguishable from nature.
The apparent science fictional nature of ecological-scale projects has prompted science fiction author Karl Schroeder to observe that the large-scale harnessing of ecologies might explain our current lack of success in encountering advanced alien civilizations. Schroeder explains the Fermi Paradox – the apparent contradiction between the likelihood that extraterrestrial civilizations exist and the lack of evidence for them – by speculating that we have not yet encountered our cosmic neighbors because they are indistinguishable from their native ecology.

Despite our visions and desires for a more ecologically integrated kind of technology, the scientific paradigm, which underpins technological development, considers the world to be a machine. Ecologist Fern Wickson argues that humans are intertwined in a complex web of biological systems and cannot be included within a definition of nature where “an atom bomb becomes as ‘natural’ as an anthill” and wonders whether there is a better definition of nature.
And for those of you inclined to attend such things, SETICon 2012 will be held from June 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California.

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