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Thread: Solving the Fermi paradox without assumptions

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    Did I ever state otherwise?
    I was really responding to the title of the thread, where you said "solving the Fermi paradox." I assume you meant that you intended to solve it, which to me implies that you were offering "the solution," not just another possible solution like so many others. If you only mean to say "if what I propose is true, then this would solve the Fermi paradox," then that goes for anything. I can make up my own, "if all aliens have a shielding mechanism that stops us from seeing them, then the Fermi paradox is solved." But I thought that you intended to prove that your solution could actually be demonstrated to be true.
    As above, so below

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    I can't help but think that the OP must not have a terribly strong grasp on how large black holes form.

    FunBotan, after going through all the trouble of collecting matter from the deep gravity wells of stars, why would an intelligent agent then dump the matter into the even deeper gravity well of a nearly-black hole deep storage dump?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    You're not even reading what I'm saying, are you?
    Yes I am. You have an intelligent civilization/agents/agent that you are forcing to be less intelligent than us by making them ignorant about black holes and how they form.
    The physics is well known. This is a black hole. The usual way they are created is to get enough matter in one place that its mass makes it collapse into its event horizon. No intelligent civilization/agents/agent will do that.

    There is also a science fictional way of creating a black hole. Create a mega structure that has enough mass in a volume so that an event horizon is formed around it. The first issue is that a 1 AU radius structure needs > 50 million Suns! That makes the main issue that it is probably impossible to pack matter into that structure almost moot. You would have to do the calculation to support your ATM idea but I suspect that a 50 million solar mass structure of 1 AU radius cannot be built in any known materials.
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2019-Apr-24 at 03:57 AM.

  4. #64
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    This is the Fermi paradox. It is a line of reasoning that says star-faring extraterrestrial civilizations should be throughput the Milky Way within a few million years. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. So they should be here. The paradox is that there is no evidence of this.

    The Fermi paradox is mostly about star-faring civilizations but resolutions include that no civilization ever travels between stars.
    However this is not your ATM idea. A civilization/agents/agent ignorant enough the create a black hole needs enough raw material to do this. That is not typically available in a single stellar system. You implied that with a story about disassembling other stars. That is an almost fatal flaw in this ATM idea. When the black holes forms, there will agents on other stellar systems. The extraterrestrial civilization will still exist! I wrote "almost fatal flaw" because you can fix it by adding another assumption - that extraterrestrial civilizations will only send robots to other stellar systems. This also needs another assumption - extraterrestrial civilizations will live completely in whatever they build to collapse onto a black hole. No smart agent to think "this is going to form a black hole so I will run away". No anti-social agent living on a spacecraft, other structure or an outer planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    I'm still intrigued. Why do you think that a civilisation would necessarily build a structure that would collapse into a black hole, rather than expand that structure as necessary if they increase its mass? Is your argument that they would not be able to expand the structure for some reason? I am prepared to accept that if (and only if) you talk us through the steps that make it inevitable.
    After all, it should be possible to build a structure that includes all the available mass in the universe without allowing it to collapse into a black hole, while still obeying the restriction that the structure is denser than the current state of the universe. Or do you disagree with that?
    Here it is
    Proposition 3.5: If the number of agents in a
    civilization is greater than one, they will be incen-
    tivized to centralize storage of their value.
    Proof: Since the definition of agents 2.2 does
    not forbid them to steal from each other, such
    behaviour is preferable when the value obtained
    surpasses the value lost in the conflict (accord-
    ing to 3.1). Knowing this, agents will attempt to
    maximize the value that any other agent will lose
    by attacking them while minimizing their own
    expenditures on that task. Considering that the
    value spent on defence of a region of space is
    proportional to its surface area, while the value that
    can be stored inside that region is proportional to
    its volume, it now follows from basic geometry
    that the optimal way to store value is within a
    single spherical region.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I was really responding to the title of the thread, where you said "solving the Fermi paradox." I assume you meant that you intended to solve it, which to me implies that you were offering "the solution," not just another possible solution like so many others. If you only mean to say "if what I propose is true, then this would solve the Fermi paradox," then that goes for anything. I can make up my own, "if all aliens have a shielding mechanism that stops us from seeing them, then the Fermi paradox is solved." But I thought that you intended to prove that your solution could actually be demonstrated to be true.
    OK, you actually have a point. Let me clarify.
    I'm making two separate statements here. The first is that the Fermi paradox should be solved without assumptions, using only the definition of life; and that to me is a self-evident statement. The second statement is the article itself, and in that I'm far from confident. Of course I'm trying to demonstrate it's true, and that's what I hoped this board could help me with.

    Quote Originally Posted by VQkr View Post
    I can't help but think that the OP must not have a terribly strong grasp on how large black holes form.
    FunBotan, after going through all the trouble of collecting matter from the deep gravity wells of stars, why would an intelligent agent then dump the matter into the even deeper gravity well of a nearly-black hole deep storage dump?
    I actually never said they would. For instance, they might deposit it in small chunks in orbit, or as concentric Dyson spheres.
    And the black hole forming process is extremely simple: just stuff matter into its own Schwarzschild radius. Doesn't matter how the matter is structured or what it consists of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    There is also a science fictional way of creating a black hole. Create a mega structure that has enough mass in a volume so that an event horizon is formed around it. The first issue is that a 1 AU radius structure needs > 50 million Suns! That makes the main issue that it is probably impossible to pack matter into that structure almost moot. You would have to do the calculation to support your ATM idea but I suspect that a 50 million solar mass structure of 1 AU radius cannot be built in any known materials.
    I'm glad you added the words "probably" and "known materials".

    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    This is the Fermi paradox. It is a line of reasoning that says star-faring extraterrestrial civilizations should be throughput the Milky Way within a few million years. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. So they should be here. The paradox is that there is no evidence of this.

    The Fermi paradox is mostly about star-faring civilizations but resolutions include that no civilization ever travels between stars.
    However this is not your ATM idea. A civilization/agents/agent ignorant enough the create a black hole needs enough raw material to do this. That is not typically available in a single stellar system. You implied that with a story about disassembling other stars. That is an almost fatal flaw in this ATM idea. When the black holes forms, there will agents on other stellar systems. The extraterrestrial civilization will still exist! I wrote "almost fatal flaw" because you can fix it by adding another assumption - that extraterrestrial civilizations will only send robots to other stellar systems. This also needs another assumption - extraterrestrial civilizations will live completely in whatever they build to collapse onto a black hole. No smart agent to think "this is going to form a black hole so I will run away". No anti-social agent living on a spacecraft, other structure or an outer planet.
    D. But if the collapse is so easy to predict, surely
    most individuals should be able to escape it?
    Problem is, escaping the collapse requires es-
    caping the gravity of the collapsing structure,
    which would require exponentially more energy
    as its mass increases; at the same time, the total
    energy stored within it only grows linearly, and the
    vast majority of individuals inhabiting it will not
    possess any meaningful fraction of it according to
    3.4.
    On the other hand, some individuals might me
    able to escape by sheer chance, and some will not
    be caught in the collapsing region at all. However,
    all wealth the civilization had accumulated is ir-
    reversibly destroyed. Survivors have to start from
    scratch. And when they finally manage to recreate
    what was lost, history will simply repeat itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    I actually never said they would. For instance, they might deposit it in small chunks in orbit, or as concentric Dyson spheres.
    Yes, you did say they would:

    Problem is, escaping the collapse requires escaping the gravity of the collapsing structure, which would require exponentially more energy as its mass increases....
    You can't have it both ways. A civilization advanced enough to disassemble and/or relocate multiple (or millions if we are talking Dyson swarms here) of stars is not going to then store that material in a gravity well that is difficult to access or even escape from. That wouldn't maximize their "future freedom of action".

    And the black hole forming process is extremely simple: just stuff matter into its own Schwarzschild radius. Doesn't matter how the matter is structured or what it consists of.
    ...which forms a prohibitively deep gravity well long before a black hole. And yes, it matters how the matter is structured because a less dense structure must be comically massive to exist inside its own Schwarzschild radius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    I'm making two separate statements here. The first is that the Fermi paradox should be solved without assumptions, using only the definition of life; and that to me is a self-evident statement.
    I don't think it is possible to present any argument without some assumptions (even if they are called axioms, postulates or definitions). Your argument is full of assumptions, many of them illogical and self-contradictory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    <snip>

    I'm making two separate statements here. The first is that the Fermi paradox should be solved without assumptions, using only the definition of life; and that to me is a self-evident statement. The second statement is the article itself, and in that I'm far from confident. Of course I'm trying to demonstrate it's true, and that's what I hoped this board could help me with.

    <snip>
    This it seems to me your initial(?) failure. You think it should be, if it was then those that looked at have found no solutions without assumptions, you are included in this group. You have not presented any solution that does not include some assumption, therefore you fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    OK, you actually have a point. Let me clarify.
    I'm making two separate statements here. The first is that the Fermi paradox should be solved without assumptions, using only the definition of life; and that to me is a self-evident statement. The second statement is the article itself, and in that I'm far from confident. Of course I'm trying to demonstrate it's true, and that's what I hoped this board could help me with.
    The problem I see with the paradox is that there is too much that we don't know. In fact, we only have only seen life on one planet so far, so we don't know if life has ever arisen elsewhere. We assume that it has, and personally I think that it is a safe assumption, but it is not provable. And in fact, if life has never arisen elsewhere, then that is the solution to the paradox and no other explanation is necessary. And then, if life has arisen elsewhere but never travels to other stars for some reason (for example, that it is technically too difficult even to being with more advanced technology than we have), then again, that solves it and nothing else is necessary. So just saying, "civilizations will eventually wipe themselves by creating a black hole," even if it is true (though as been pointed out here, there are flaws both with the argument that it will happen and the idea that we won't detect civilizations before it happens), does not have to be the solution because there could be another solution that happens before that ever happens. But again, we don't have enough information to know.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    I'm glad you added the words "probably" and "known materials".
    That is because this is an Against the Mainstream science, not a science fiction ideas thread. The "probably" is because the impossibility of the structures in your ATM idea is an evaluation from my old and short career as a solid state physicist and without any calculations.

    If your ATM idea needs a structure like > 50 million Suns packed into 1 AU (or something similar), you need to show that such a structure is possible.

    The assumptions in a idea "without assumptions".
    1. An assumption that "A system is considered intelligent if its actions are aimed at maximizing its future freedom of action (this definition had been proposed by Alexander Wissner-Gross)." is a correct, working definition.
      No evidence that Alexander Wissner-Gross proposed this. The 1 paper cited is dubious, e.g. physics that does not exist in this universe. He abandoned the ideas in that paper.
      Intelligence
      Intelligence has been defined in many ways, including: the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.
    2. An ignorant civilization/agents kills itself by building a structure that that basic physics that we have known for a century says will form a black hole.
      That is an assumption in a idea "without assumptions".
    3. An example of that structure needs > 50 million Suns packed into 1 AU which is very probably physically impossible.
      That is an assumption in a idea "without assumptions".
    4. The collection of materials for that example will somehow be undetectable. Stars will not vanish. Radiation will not emitted.
      That is an assumption in a idea "without assumptions".
    5. The mega-structures will be close to undetectable (we have searched for them!).
      That is an assumption in a idea "without assumptions".
    6. A "escaping the collapse requires escaping the gravity of the collapsing structure" assumption in a idea "without assumptions".
      There is no issue with escaping the "collapsing" structure because it does not actually collapse. The structure is still intact. Everyone inside it is still living. The event horizon expands to surround the structure. The people inside the structure are unable to communicate with the outside.
      For anyone outside the structure, gravity hardly changes. The gravity of a structure of up to 50 million Suns inside 1 AU that they have been coping with for maybe millions of years becomes the gravity of > 50 million Suns inside 1 AU. This is a consequence of the well known shell theorem - the gravity of a spherical mass outside of that mass is equivalent to the gravity of a point mass. Newton derived this. There is a similar theorem for GR.
    7. Any survivors of the formation of the black hole will stupidly repeat the process.
      A part of intelligence is the ability to remember and learn from experience. That is an very bad assumption in a idea "without assumptions".

    Unanswered questions:
    IF01a: Explain why an intelligent civilization or individual would be ignorant enough to build any structure that would collapse to a neutron star (a precursor to a black hole), FunBotan?
    IF01b: Explain why an intelligent civilization or individual would be ignorant enough to build any structure that would collapse [directly] to a black hole, FunBotan?
    A structure that is 1 AU in radius needs a mass of 50,641,975 Suns to be a black hole.
    IF02: Explain how a civilization or agent could move ~50 million stars with no noticeable effects, FunBotan. Alternately give examples of the structure that you think civilizations or agents did build or are building that are not ~50 million stars massive.
    IF03: Support your "There is no reason for a black hole collapse in the general case to emit any radiation" assertion with sources from the scientific literature, FunBotan.

    ETA: VQkr's misunderstood question FunBotan, after going through all the trouble of collecting matter from the deep gravity wells of stars, why would an intelligent agent then dump the matter into the even deeper gravity well of a nearly-black hole deep storage dump? evoked more questions!
    Why would anyone disassemble stars when stars do not contain much mega-structure building material? For example, the Sun is 0.16% iron by mass in the photosphere and not likely to be much different inside.
    The > 50 million Suns required for a 1 AU black hole will need the disassembly of ~2500 million stars or more.

    Why would any intelligent agent waste time and resources transporting material over distances of many light years for the use of other intelligent agents when they could maximize their future options by building a local mega-structure?
    An easy answer is yet another assumption: It is all done with robots.
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2019-Apr-25 at 10:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VQkr View Post
    Yes, you did say they would:
    You can't have it both ways. A civilization advanced enough to disassemble and/or relocate multiple (or millions if we are talking Dyson swarms here) of stars is not going to then store that material in a gravity well that is difficult to access or even escape from. That wouldn't maximize their "future freedom of action".
    ...which forms a prohibitively deep gravity well long before a black hole. And yes, it matters how the matter is structured because a less dense structure must be comically massive to exist inside its own Schwarzschild radius.
    Ah, I see.
    I wasn't sure if being in orbit of a body constitutes being in its gravity well. If it does, then your remark is valid; however, we'd need another term to distinguish between being in orbit and being bound to the surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I don't think it is possible to present any argument without some assumptions (even if they are called axioms, postulates or definitions). Your argument is full of assumptions, many of them illogical and self-contradictory.
    Indeed it isn't. But I'm not including objective facts (like laws of physics) and definitions into assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    This it seems to me your initial(?) failure. You think it should be, if it was then those that looked at have found no solutions without assumptions, you are included in this group. You have not presented any solution that does not include some assumption, therefore you fail.
    Does that imply you concede on statement 1?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    The problem I see with the paradox is that there is too much that we don't know. In fact, we only have only seen life on one planet so far, so we don't know if life has ever arisen elsewhere. We assume that it has, and personally I think that it is a safe assumption, but it is not provable. And in fact, if life has never arisen elsewhere, then that is the solution to the paradox and no other explanation is necessary. And then, if life has arisen elsewhere but never travels to other stars for some reason (for example, that it is technically too difficult even to being with more advanced technology than we have), then again, that solves it and nothing else is necessary. So just saying, "civilizations will eventually wipe themselves by creating a black hole," even if it is true (though as been pointed out here, there are flaws both with the argument that it will happen and the idea that we won't detect civilizations before it happens), does not have to be the solution because there could be another solution that happens before that ever happens. But again, we don't have enough information to know.
    All of that is exactly why I think my solution is relevant.
    I am sure that the vast majority of civilization will never reach their death by collapse. My objective here is not to predict the future exactly, but to put an upper theoretical limit on how much civilizations can grow in principle, which by itself is enough to eliminate at least the Dyson dilemma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Why would any intelligent agent waste time and resources transporting material over distances of many light years for the use of other intelligent agents when they could maximize their future options by building a local mega-structure?
    For the same reason you (presumably) pay your taxes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    <snip>


    Does that imply you concede on statement 1?


    <snip>
    No I do not concede on your first statement. A I have pointed out to you multiple times, you have made assumptions in that statement and that fails your premise. Don't assume that I'm in agreement with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    No I do not concede on your first statement. A I have pointed out to you multiple times, you have made assumptions in that statement and that fails your premise. Don't assume that I'm in agreement with you.
    That's why I'm asking. What problem do you have with statement 1?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    That's why I'm asking. What problem do you have with statement 1?
    The problem is the claim that an argument can be made without any assumptions. You agreed (appeared to agree) that this is not possible when you said:

    Indeed it isn't.
    So, it isn't possible to argue something without assumptions and, if that was your goal, you have failed because you start off with a series of (contradictory) assumptions about the behaviour of "intelligent" individuals/civilisations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    For the same reason you (presumably) pay your taxes.
    An irrelevant answer, FunBotan. Taxes are human, governmental levies on citizens used to maintain common infrastructure such as roads, and schools. There are no roads between stars. Schools do not span the light-years between stars. We are not talking about human governments. Examples of colonies refusing to pay taxes exist in history, e.g. the America Revolution.

    You did not understand the point of the highlighting: Why would any intelligent agent waste time and resources transporting material over distances of many light years for the use of other intelligent agents when they could maximize their future options by building a local mega-structure?

    However what we really have is a separate set of agents (a colony) that amounts to a different "intelligent" system. So according to your ATM idea this colony will maximize their future options, not the options of their parent. They would refuse to pay "taxes" - the high expense of shipping material they could use to build their own mega-structure to their home system.

    The assumptions in a idea "without assumptions", e.g. an "intelligent system" premise that has few of the properties of intelligence.

    Still unanswered questions:
    IF01a 11 April 2019: Explain why an intelligent civilization or individual would be ignorant enough to build any structure that would collapse to a neutron star (a precursor to a black hole), FunBotan?
    IF01b 11 April 2019: Explain why an intelligent civilization or individual would be ignorant enough to build any structure that would collapse [directly] to a black hole, FunBotan?
    A structure that is 1 AU in radius needs a mass of 50,641,975 Suns to be a black hole.
    IF02 22 April 2019: Explain how a civilization or agent could move ~50 million stars with no noticeable effects, FunBotan. Alternately give examples of the structure that you think civilizations or agents did build or are building that are not ~50 million stars massive.
    IF03 22 April 2019: Support your "There is no reason for a black hole collapse in the general case to emit any radiation" assertion with sources from the scientific literature, FunBotan.

    New questions:
    IF04 25 April 2019: Why would anyone disassemble stars when stars do not contain much mega-structure building material (the Sun is s 0.16% iron by mass)?
    IF05 25 April 2019: Why would any intelligent agent waste time and resources transporting material over distances of many light years for the use of other intelligent agents when they could maximize their future options by building a local mega-structure?
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2019-Apr-28 at 09:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    The problem is the claim that an argument can be made without any assumptions. You agreed (appeared to agree) that this is not possible when you said:
    So, it isn't possible to argue something without assumptions and, if that was your goal, you have failed because you start off with a series of (contradictory) assumptions about the behaviour of "intelligent" individuals/civilisations.
    You're trying to argue philosophy here. Objective facts are assumptions from the philosophical standpoint, but calling them that in physics is counterproductive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Examples of colonies refusing to pay taxes exist in history, e.g. the America Revolution.
    Perpetual war between multiple agents is also a possible scenario within my framework, since it constrains growth too:
    V-G. What if the civilization is forced to constantly
    spend the resources they acquire?
    That would protect the civilization itself from
    a collapse. However, the only feasible condition
    that ensures such spending is a war with another
    civilization. Whether this is a better alternative to
    collapse is up to the reader to decide.
    And regarding revolutions:
    V-E. In a civilization consisting of billions or tril-
    lions of individual agents, how can one of them
    exercise so much power without the help of others?
    If the agents on whom that one relies organize and
    stage a revolt, they should be able to divide the
    resources and avoid a collapse, shouldn’t they?
    Proposition 5.3:
    The probability of successful
    revolt against the α-agent decreases as the size
    of civilization (in terms of cumulative value) in-
    creases.
    Proof:
    An ideal revolt is a conflict between
    the α-agent and the sum of all other agents in
    a given civilization. Assuming the defensive and
    offensive systems do not need their own agency
    to function, the outcome of a conflict is only
    determined by the value that each side is able to
    spend on it. According to 3.4, the fraction of value
    held by the α-agent increases as civilization grows.
    Eventually its weight will surpass that of all other
    agents put together, at which point a successful
    revolt is impossible.
    It is, indeed, possible until then, but, once the
    growth resumes, the same dynamic from 3.4 also
    continues, eventually returning the value distribu-
    tion to the same shape.
    Btw, Isaac Arthur has recently made a video explaining many fascinating technicalities that are implied in my article:

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    You're trying to argue philosophy here. Objective facts are assumptions from the philosophical standpoint, but calling them that in physics is counterproductive.
    It was you who started with the "philosophical" claim that the argument could be made without assumptions. You then (appeared) to agree that was not true. You are now busy moving the goalposts.

    You have not used any "objective facts" in your argument, just guesses and contradictory assumptions, so I don't know how that is relevant.

    However, the only feasible condition
    that ensures such spending is a war with another
    civilization.
    What is that assumption based on?

    An ideal revolt is a conflict between
    the α-agent and the sum of all other agents in
    a given civilization.
    Why is that an "ideal" revolt?

    Assuming the defensive and
    offensive systems do not need their own agency
    to function, the outcome of a conflict is only
    determined by the value that each side is able to
    spend on it.
    So you are not aware of any "David vs Goliath" battles where the smaller force has outwitted the larger?
    Last edited by Strange; 2019-Apr-29 at 12:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    That's why I'm asking. What problem do you have with statement 1?
    My apologies I should have indicated proposition 2. Namely that one individual(s) will control all the resources. This make an assumption that that one can go all places. Since there are an infinite number of places this is not possible.
    In addition some days ago you posted that the paradox should be solvable without assumptions. This in itself is an assumption.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    Perpetual war between multiple agents is also a possible scenario within my framework, since it constrains growth too:...
    Little to do with my post about colonies. The science fictional nature of interstellar war is a reason why colonies are likely to not waste time and resources sending material to their home when they can build local mega-structures.

    Still unanswered questions:
    IF01a 11 April 2019: Explain why an intelligent civilization or individual would be ignorant enough to build any structure that would collapse to a neutron star (a precursor to a black hole), FunBotan?
    IF01b 11 April 2019: Explain why an intelligent civilization or individual would be ignorant enough to build any structure that would collapse [directly] to a black hole, FunBotan?

    A structure that is 1 AU in radius needs a mass of 50,641,975 Suns to be a black hole.
    IF02 22 April 2019: Explain how a civilization or agent could move ~50 million stars with no noticeable effects, FunBotan.
    Alternately give examples of the structure that you think civilizations or agents did build or are building that are not ~50 million stars massive.

    IF03 22 April 2019: Support your "There is no reason for a black hole collapse in the general case to emit any radiation" assertion with sources from the scientific literature, FunBotan.
    IF04 25 April 2019: Why would anyone disassemble stars when stars do not contain much mega-structure building material (the Sun is s 0.16% iron by mass)?
    IF05 25 April 2019: Why would any intelligent agent waste time and resources transporting material over distances of many light years for the use of other intelligent agents when they could maximize their future options by building a local mega-structure?

    The assumptions in a idea "without assumptions", e.g. an "intelligent system" premise that has few of the properties of intelligence.
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2019-Apr-29 at 11:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    Btw, Isaac Arthur has recently made a video explaining many fascinating technicalities that are implied in my article:
    A bit of debunking your ATM idea by citing "technicalities" that will never become a black hole!
    Matrioshka worlds are Dyson spheres within Dyson spheres that are related to Matrioshka brains. These are structures that will last for very long times. Long enough for any star-faring intelligent system to colonize the Milky Way. Long enough for multiple star-faring intelligent systems to colonize the Milky Way multiple times.

    An intelligent system will not keep on adding mass to the spheres until the probably physically impossible point of > 50 million solar masses within 1 AU creates a black hole. It is likely that they would fill the space (with of course additional living space !) with spheres before a mass of > 50 million Suns was achieved. After that there would be no more room for additional matter.

    We could add some science fiction where one agent kills of the civilization to grab their living space and is stupid enough to fill in the rest of the space. So we get a 1AU sphere of solid iron except for a few cubic kilometers for that agent. Maybe that sphere of iron would collapse to a central black hole. Make it even more extreme fiction - that happens to every "intelligent" system including those who predict that it will happen!
    Last edited by Reality Check; 2019-Apr-29 at 11:31 PM.

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    I don't know why an unusual nuclear bomb, set off a materially large distance from a star, like 10 billion miles, would not be good enough evidence of a civilization. It would seem the light signature could be detected, and it would be relatively cheap to send out a nuclear bomb this far away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    I don't know why an unusual nuclear bomb, set off a materially large distance from a star, like 10 billion miles, would not be good enough evidence of a civilization. It would seem the light signature could be detected, and it would be relatively cheap to send out a nuclear bomb this far away.
    How would such a situation come about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    How would such a situation come about?
    I don't really understand the question. I thought the original poster was saying that there is no way to notify other civilizations of our existence without destroying our existence. I suggest that a nuclear bomb sent out 10 billion light years from earth and exploded would send out light waves that could only be from an unnatural source. A sufficiently advanced civilization would realize that the light waves were from an intelligent life form and realize that there was intelligent life in our solar system. I think it would be up to the original poster to prove that this rather modest mode of communication would not be possible. It would kind of be like a light beacon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6LGJ7evrAg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    I don't know why an unusual nuclear bomb, set off a materially large distance from a star, like 10 billion miles, would not be good enough evidence of a civilization. It would seem the light signature could be detected, and it would be relatively cheap to send out a nuclear bomb this far away.
    Please stop the side conversation. ATM threads are for a single person to present their idea and others to ask questions about it. If you wish some side conversation, start your own thread in an appropriate part of the forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    What is that assumption based on?
    Resources have to be irreversibly destroyed, not reinvested, AND it has to be somewhat rational, so things like sacrifice aren't considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Why is that an "ideal" revolt?
    Because that is the worst case scenario for my model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    So you are not aware of any "David vs Goliath" battles where the smaller force has outwitted the larger?
    I am, but remember, we are talking in the limit, which means that the impact of factors that allowed for such victories approaches zero, and the square law takes over. Besides, there's no stealth in space, so every battle is a game with complete information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    Little to do with my post about colonies. The science fictional nature of interstellar war is a reason why colonies are likely to not waste time and resources sending material to their home when they can build local mega-structures.
    I was implying that a disobedient colony will necessarily have to face the metropole in a war, which is where my solution kicks back in.

    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    My apologies I should have indicated proposition 2. Namely that one individual(s) will control all the resources. This make an assumption that that one can go all places. Since there are an infinite number of places this is not possible.
    I don't understand what you are saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    <snip>


    I don't understand what you are saying.
    Your proposition from earlier
    Proposition 2: Given long enough time, all available resources will be controlled by a single individual.
    My statement
    My apologies I should have indicated proposition 2. Namely that one individual(s) will control all the resources. This make an assumption that that one can go all places. Since there are an infinite number of places this is not possible.
    Now does it make sense to you?
    Last edited by bknight; 2019-May-04 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Fixed quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    Resources have to be irreversibly destroyed, not reinvested, AND it has to be somewhat rational, so things like sacrifice aren't considered.
    Destroying resources doesn't sound rational to me.

    Because that is the worst case scenario for my model.

    I am, but remember, we are talking in the limit, which means that the impact of factors that allowed for such victories approaches zero, and the square law takes over.
    Please explain more clearly?

    Besides, there's no stealth in space, so every battle is a game with complete information.
    Not complete, no. You know where the enemy moves and about when they will arrive, mass in motion, and number of thrusters active. Nearly everything else can be hidden or faked. And supply lines in space, especially between stars, are long.

    I was implying that a disobedient colony will necessarily have to face the metropole in a war, which is where my solution kicks back in.
    And you assume not only that there's no other possible solution than war, but that the outcome is easily predictable?

    I don't understand what you are saying.
    As populations expand and colonize, resources under sentient control increase far beyond the capacity of any individual actor's power to control.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Destroying resources doesn't sound rational to me.
    It's only rational when the alternative is a risk of losing even more resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Please explain more clearly?
    Particularly what? Do you understand the mathematical concept of a limit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Not complete, no. You know where the enemy moves and about when they will arrive, mass in motion, and number of thrusters active. Nearly everything else can be hidden or faked. And supply lines in space, especially between stars, are long.
    But that's all the information one has to know to launch interception.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And you assume not only that there's no other possible solution than war, but that the outcome is easily predictable?
    In the limit, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    As populations expand and colonize, resources under sentient control increase far beyond the capacity of any individual actor's power to control.
    I'm pretty sure that for a stone age human the concept of a single actor controlling even a small country would seem unfeasible. And we are temporally much closer to the stone age than to a K3 civilization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunBotan View Post
    It's only rational when the alternative is a risk of losing even more resources.
    Lose them in what way? Control over them by one actor?
    Particularly what? Do you understand the mathematical concept of a limit?
    Put it in context, understand that? How does that limit apply to this scenario.

    But that's all the information one has to know to launch interception.
    And? That means no enforcement over long space distances, so no empires. No one actor in power.

    In the limit, yes.
    Again, I fail to see how that concept applies to this situation.

    I'm pretty sure that for a stone age human the concept of a single actor controlling even a small country would seem unfeasible. And we are temporally much closer to the stone age than to a K3 civilization.
    Do you understand the concept of the home field advantage? The forces closest to their own industrial infrastructure and population are better able to expend resources. Stretching a military force across light-years means carrying all that they have with them, putting them at a massive disadvantage until and unless they can immediately overpower the defending force and establish their own sources. Lesson of the Punic wars.

    Tl;dr: An interstellar colony that rebels is lost. Sending forces to recover it is not an intelligent move, nor one likely to ever succeed. Unless you have a science-fictional situation like a primitive farming colony on a conveniently livable planet, or FTL travel, any colonists will have brought with them an entire self sustaining industrialized civilization. Or they die.


    ADDED: A K3 is IMO also science fiction. How would a single civilization utilize energy over thousands of light years? Light lag would render any such galactic organization and social unity utterly impractical, leading instead to a scattered loose collection of essentially independent cultures with their own goals and agendas. Even mature Dyson swarms are limited to only one star system by the limitations of C, let alone travel time.
    Last edited by Noclevername; 2019-May-04 at 05:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Lose them in what way? Control over them by one actor?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Put it in context, understand that? How does that limit apply to this scenario.
    In most cases, I'm using a somewhat generalized notion of a limit (except in proposition 3.4) since I don't yet have a strict mathematical model to describe a civilization. Basically, this means that I make all unknown parameters of a civilization (how advanced the technology is, how durable/intelligent/rational are the individuals, how effectively they can colonize space, etc.) approach infinity (although in practice it usually means assigning the theoretically maximal values, e.g. an infinitely advanced reactor only has a 100% efficiency). This ensures that my model provides an upper limit to what can be done by a civilization in principle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And? That means no enforcement over long space distances, so no empires. No one actor in power.
    No, it means that whoever can gather the bigger fleet wins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Again, I fail to see how that concept applies to this situation.
    Now that I think about it... My previous statement actually was incorrect. War is not likely to be the solution.
    "In the limit" here means that at least the leaders of the opposing sides are perfectly rational and, knowing at least what we know, can predict the outcome of a conflict with near certainty. So it's unlikely a weaker colony will even attempt a rebellion, knowing they would be destroyed by the metropole. And the metropole will never allow a colony to grow enough to become a threat.
    If that assumption breaks down, then yes, war will happen. But again, its outcome is predetermined, so my model holds regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Do you understand the concept of the home field advantage? The forces closest to their own industrial infrastructure and population are better able to expend resources. Stretching a military force across light-years means carrying all that they have with them, putting them at a massive disadvantage until and unless they can immediately overpower the defending force and establish their own sources. Lesson of the Punic wars.
    Drawing lessons for interstellar warfare from ancient surface-bound wars is usually a bad idea. They only share some very basic aspects rooted in pure math, like the square law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Tl;dr: An interstellar colony that rebels is lost. Sending forces to recover it is not an intelligent move, nor one likely to ever succeed. Unless you have a science-fictional situation like a primitive farming colony on a conveniently livable planet, or FTL travel, any colonists will have brought with them an entire self sustaining industrialized civilization. Or they die.
    And this protects them how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    ADDED: A K3 is IMO also science fiction. How would a single civilization utilize energy over thousands of light years? Light lag would render any such galactic organization and social unity utterly impractical, leading instead to a scattered loose collection of essentially independent cultures with their own goals and agendas. Even mature Dyson swarms are limited to only one star system by the limitations of C, let alone travel time.
    I'm just using K3 as a commonly accepted measure of scale. It doesn't imply a coherent civilization by itself.
    Last edited by FunBotan; 2019-May-04 at 06:09 PM.

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