03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Stages of Galactic Intelligence

Imagine the history of the galaxy with respect to extraterrestrial intelligence. Very early there were only first generation stars, no heavy metals and therefore no possibility of life, much less intelligence. That's Stage One. In Stage Two planets with heavy metals form from the starstuff processed in the previous generation of stars, life arises and evolves, but It's quite some time before a technical intelligence developes. In Stage Three, radiotélescopes are invented, radio contact among...
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What stage are we in now?

15 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 How Do You Find Emergent Intelligence on the Internet?

How would we know if there was an autonomous conscious superorganism? We would need a Turing Test for a global AI. But the Turing Test is flawed for this search because it is meant to detect human-like intelligence, and if a consciousness emerged at the scale of a global megacomputer, its intelligence would unlikely to be anything human-like. We might need to turn to SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), for guidance. By definition, it is a test for non-human intelligence...
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How would you communicate with it? How would it reveal itself?

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Stanley Kubrick Sought Insurance Against the Discovery of...

During the filming of 2001, Kubrick, who obviously has a grasp for detail, became concerned that extraterrestrial intelligence might be discovered before the $10.5 million film was released, rendering the plot line obsolete, if not erroneous. Lloyd's of London was approached to underwrite an insurance policy protecting against losses should extraterrestrial intelligence be discovered. Lloyd's of London, which insures against the most implausible contingencies, declined to write such a policy....
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Because it would ruin the premise of his film 2001.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Sagan's Positive View of Advance Alien Civilizations

It is at this point that the ultimate significance of dolphins in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence emerges. It is not a question of whether we are emotionally prepared in the long run to confront a message from the stars. It is whether we can develop a sense that beings with quite different evolutionary histories, beings who may look far different from us, even "monstrous," may, nevertheless, be worthy of friendship and reverence, brotherhood and trust. We have far to go; while th...
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We need to understand animal minds as practice for understanding alien ones.

04 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 More Exciting Than the Supernatural

And yet there's so much in real science that's equally exciting, more mysterious, a greater intellectual challenge - as well as being a lot closer to the truth. Did he know about the molecular building blocks of life sitting out there in the cold, tenuous gas between the stars? Had he heard of the footprints of our ancestors found in 4-million-year-old volcanic ash? What about the raising of the Himalayas when India went crashing into Asia? Or how viruses, built like hypodermic syringes, slip...
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There are wonders in science far more amazing than the ideas presented in superstition.