13 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Dyson Spheres

The purpose of this report is to point out other possibilities which ought to be considered in planning any serious search for evidence of extraterrestrial beings. We start from the notion that the time scale for industrial and technical development of these beings is likely to be very short in comparison with the time scale of stellar evolution. It is therefore overwhelmingly probable that any such beings observed by us will have been in existence for millions of years, and will have already...
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An extraterrestrial civilization grown to a certain population will need to harvest the full resources of it's environment. By converting a planet like Jupiter into a shield around the system's star, the civilization could maximize the use of the sun's output.

23 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 How Technology Makes Us Smarter and More Uncertain

When I do long division or even multiplication I don’t try to remember the intermediate numbers. Long ago I learned to write them down. Because of paper and pencil I am “smarter” in arithmetic. In a similar manner I now no longer to try remember facts, or even where I found the facts. I have learned to summon them on the Internet. Because the Internet is my new pencil and paper, I am “smarter” in factuality. But my knowledge is now more fragile. For every accepted piece of knowledg...
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The Internet is a cognitive prosthesis, helping our brains to summon facts, but it also makes us more uncertain about the facts we take for granted, because there are challenges to what we know everywhere online.