Posts Tagged ‘Exterminator’

The Dark Forest

Volume two of Cixin Liu’s science fiction trilogy.

The universe had once been bright, too. For a short time after the big bang, all matter existed in the, and only after the universe turned to burnt ash did heavy elements precipitate out of the darkness and form planets and life. Darkness was the mother of life and civilization.

The dark forest is the universe, but to get there — with insight — takes a path through Cosmic Sociology:

“See how the stars are points? The factors of chaos and randomness in the complex makeups of every civilized society in the universe get filtered out by distance, so those civilizations can act as reference points that are relatively easy to manipulate mathematically.”
“But there’s nothing concrete to study in your cosmic sociology, Dr. Ye. Surveys and experiments aren’t really possible.”
“That means your ultimate result will be purely theoretical. Like Euclid’s geometry, you’ll set up a few simple axioms at first, then derive an overall theoretic system using those axioms as a foundation.”
“It’s all fascinating, but what would the axioms of cosmic sociology be?”
“First: Survuival is the primary need of civilization. Second: Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant.”

“Those two axioms are solid enough from a sociological perspective … but you rattled them off so quickly, like you’d already worked them out,” Luo Ji said, a little surprised.
“I’ve been thinking about this for most of my life, but I’ve never spoken about it with anyone before. I don’t know why, really. … One more thing: To derive a basic picture of cosmic sociology from these two axioms, you need two other important concepts: chains of suspicion, and the technological explosion.”

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October 1, 2015admin 34 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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Filtration

The combination of grace and insight crammed into this short post by Bonald is an amazing thing. Read the first two paragraphs for the historical wisdom, but it is the concluding section that packs the prognostic punch:

… the Neoreactionaries are doing a great job building up an intellectual movement. This is something to be proud of – lots of groups never achieve anything like what Moldbug’s followers have already done. On the other hand, it has happened several times already in the history of the Right that intellectual movements have gotten to this level. Then they dissipated. For whatever ultimate cause, they became corrupted and oversimplified; they lost the enthusiasm of their followers and the attention of everyone else. These schools of thought all failed to impede the advance of liberalism. Between its initial awakening and world historical influence there seems to be a Filter (perhaps several, but let’s keep things simple), and no antiliberal movement has yet survived it. And this challenge is before the neoreactionaries, not behind them.

It’s too succinct to need a ‘read it all’ exhortation (but you should). That such gems of civilized discourse are still being produced is cause enough for delight, however grim the message they relay.

ADDED: Still wider-angle Exterminator. (Plus Cowen’s brief thoughts.)

April 20, 2015admin 40 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction
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Still Greater

The Great Filter is the most conspicuous absence in the universe (from an anthropic perspective, naturally). The cosmic reality visible to us is characterized by an intense, efficient aversion to the existence of advanced civilizations. The pattern looks consistent across super-galactic scales:

… the galaxy seems to be a very quiet, rather lonely place. […] Now, new results suggest this loneliness may extend out into the universe far beyond our galaxy or, instead, that some of our preconceptions about the behaviors of alien civilizations are deeply flawed. After examining some 100,000 nearby large galaxies a team of researchers lead by The Pennsylvania State University astronomer Jason Wright has concluded that none of them contain any obvious signs of highly advanced technological civilizations. Published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, it is by far the largest of study of its kind to date — earlier research had only cursorily investigated about a hundred galaxies. […] Unlike traditional SETI surveys, Wright and his team did not seek messages from the stars. Instead, they looked for the thermodynamic consequences of galactic-scale colonization, based on an idea put forth in 1960 by the physicist Freeman Dyson. …

(Article spoiler: The aliens are out there, but we can’t see them because they’re druids. Cathedralization of the Fermi Paradox into a re-twisted green ideology in sight …)

April 18, 2015admin 22 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos
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