The Transcension Hypothesis: Cosmic Censorship of Advanced Civilizations Royal Society Satellite Meeting October 2010 Buckinghamshire, UK John Smart, President Acceleration Studies Foundation accelerating.org/slides.html | [email protected]
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We practice evolutionary developmental (“evodevo”) foresight, a model of change that proposes our universe contains both:
1. Contingent and unpredictable evolutionary choices that we use to create unique, informationally valuable, and creative paths (many of which will fail) and
2. Convergent and predictable developmental constraints (initial conditions, constancies) which direct certain aspects of our long-range future and
Some developmental trends that may be intrinsic to the future of complex systems on Earth include:
Acceleratingintelligence, interdependenceandimmunityin our global sociotechnological systems
Increasing technological autonomy, and
Increasing intimacy of the human-machine and physical-digital interface.
Main Actor: Organism
Main Actor: Seed
Early Species Radiation
Main Actor: Environment
Heritability, Life Cycle, Replic.,
STEM Compression, Self-Org.,
‘Left Hand’ of Change
‘Right Hand’ of Change
New Computational Phase Space ‘Opening’
Well-Explored Phase Space ‘Optimization’
Evo Devo Universe?, J. Smart, In: Cosmos & Culture, Steve Dick (ed.), 2009
Energy Flow Density (Φ)
Eric Chaisson, Cosmic Evolution, 2001
Free energy flow density values inhierarchically emergent CAS.
▪ Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar
▪ Chaisson’s FERD (Complexity)
▪ Global Economic Performance
▪ Sci & Tech Performance Metrics
▪ Cultural Adoption of Innovation
Accelerating Socio-Technological Evol.: From Ephemeralization & Stigmergy to the Global Brain, Francis Heylighen, 2007.
The Larger Context for Moore’s Law: Superexponential Long-term Trends in Information Technology, Nagy et. al., 2010
Start with: Lee Smolin, The Life of the Cosmos, 1997
More speculative: James Gardner, Biocosm, 2003
‘Baby universes’ exploring universal phenospace on a phylogenetic tree, with a low branching rate and frequent terminal branching in this cartoon (Adapted from Linde 1994).
Systematics diagram. Living organisms exploring a phylogenetic tree in evo-devo biology
Forward Time Travel:
Benefits:Instantaneous observation of: the remainder of local universal change. Instantaneous travel to: all the places possible under dark energy.
Passive or active black hole merger scenario.
Even Andromeda Galaxy is
only 2 mill. light yrs away.
Our Milky Way Galaxy is just 45,000 light-years in radius. Earth-like planets are 1-2 Billion years older
than us, closer to the core in the GHZ.
“Leakage signals” and mini-beacons are sent overa very short (200-300 yr?) span prior to transcension.
They have no desire to communicate once they
recognize one-way communication is either not
useful or will reduce their evolutionary diversity.
A Prediction: Leakage signals (10-10,000), and their annual cessation (r = 1/lifespan), will both be detected by future SETI. Major beacons simply won’t be found (except in developmental failure galaxies)
Answering the Fermi Paradox: Mechanisms of Universal Transcension, JE&T, J. Smart, 2002
1. Study Tech Performance Curves.Benefit: Better technology foresight & R&D.
2. Study Acceleration and Complexity Transitions in Cosmology, and Black Holes. Benefit: A developmental physics?
3. Study Immune Systems and Info Theory in Biology to Improve our Models of One-Way (developmental/control?) vs. Two-Way(evolutionary/ complexity construction?) Communications. Benefit: Better Models of Symbiosis, Morality, Resiliency.
4. Search for Very Low Power, Unintentional Leakage Signals of Very Limited Lifespan. Benefit: Empirical confirmation of the transcension hypothesis, even before the theory arrives.
Developmentalists are like Giordano Bruno in 1600, talking of heliocentrism, an infinity of suns like ours, and ETI, before much of the science existed.
Let’s not get burned at the stake, or ignoredbut instead… seriously critiqued.
PCDB at SFI
Campo de' Fiori, Rome
Is There a Computational Advantage (Selective Pressure, Dev. Constraint) Pulling Complexity into Physical Inner Space?
It seems so.
Toward a Theory of Universal Development: ‘Cosmological Natural Selection’2. Virtual ‘Inner Space’
Real structures in “outer space” (the physical world) are being modeled rapidly better and faster in inner, virtual space (first human brains, then the digital world). By comparison to inner space, outer space is:
~200 Bill. Unique Solar Systems
Many More Unique Sims
~100 Trill. Unique Connections
The Future of Scientific Simulations: From A-Life to Artificial Cosmogenesis, C. Vidal, 2008
The Case For Transcension
1. Universal Speed Limit (c), and Isolation of Everything Interesting
2. Hierarchy Emergence Exhibits Singularities (Phase Transitions)
3. Relentless STEM Compression of Hierarchy Emergence
4. Age of Simulations (Networks, Inner Space)
5. Technological Singularity Hypothesis
6. “Plenty of Room at the Bottom” (Richard Feynman about Nanotech)
7. Bottom is Strange (Quantum Weirdness) and Computational
8. Hyperspace (String, M, Supersymmetry or some such theory, 10,11,26D)
9. Multiverse Theories with very early simulation testability (CNS, CNS-I)
10. Fermi Paradox Explanation (Constrained Developmental Transcension)
11. Lambda Universe Explanation (The Kerrigan Problem. "Why Now?")
12. A Non-Anthropomorphic Future
13. Midpoint Evidence (weak but potentially useful)
The (Highly Suspect) Case for Expansion
1. 3D Space was the Cradle and is the Playground for Biological Life
2. Expansion is a Comfortable Extrapolation of our Frontier Experience
© 2008 Accelerating.org
Learning/Experience/Performance Curves (Moore’s Law, etc.) show accelerating exponential or power-law increases in capacity or efficiency over time. We’ve known about them since the 1930’s.
Santa Fe Inst has started the first online open PCDB
(2008, PCDB.SantaFe.edu). Such data sets are critically important to understanding accelerating tech change and convergence. The SFI PCDB has almost no funding however.Feel free to donate!
I think accelerating change has been ignored for so long because:
Crutchfield, J.P. 2001. When Evolution is Revolution: Origins of Innovation. In: Crutchfield, J.P. and Schuster, P. (eds.), Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Interplay of Selection, Neutrality, Accident and Function.
Genesis of Chemical Elements
Alonzo Ricardo and Jack Szostak. Life on Earth, Scientific American, Sept 2009.
Matthew W. Powner, Beatrice Gerland & John D. Sutherland. Synthesis of activated pyrimidine ribonucleotides in prebiotically plausible conditions, Nature V. 460 May 13, 2009.
Ray Kurzweil, 2006