06 NOV 2014 by ideonexus

 Matrioshka Brains

Matrioshka Brains (MB)1 are megascale computers constructed out of microelectronic and/or nanoscale components.  MB may be constructed as shells around a star (internally powered Matrioshka Brains: IPMB) or may be constructed independently of a star if large amounts of power are harvested from stars in other locations and beamed to the MB (externally powered Matrioshka Brains: EPMB).  A third variant, (self-powered Matrioshka Brains: SPMB) which generates power via controlled n...
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07 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Aliens to Humans as Humans to Chimpanzees

know what you're thinking: we're smarter than bacteria. No doubt about it, we're smarter than every other living creature that ever walked, crawled, or slithered on Earth. But how smart is that? We cook our food. We compose poetry and music. We do art and science. We're good at math. Even if you're bad at math, you're probably much better at it than the smartest chimpanzee, whose genetic identity varies in only trifling ways from ours. Try as they might, primatologists will never get a chim...
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If small genetic differences separate us from our closest evolutionary relative, then alien brains could easily be vastly superior to ours