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Old 26th January 2023, 06:32 PM   #81
Roboramma
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I mean weaker in the sense that the surviving person, and possibly that persons offspring, rely on medical science to survive.

In a sense, it could be argued that a person with a defect, that relies on modern medicine to rectify, is evolving into an environment that suits his evolutionary state.
That's just "weaker" in respect to the old environment (without medical science), not the new environment (with medical science).

I mean, yes, there are potential problems is we somehow lose the ability to do medicine. In some ways its analogous to the evolution of flightless birds. They found themselves in an environment without predators such that their wings were just an unnecessary expense and so started to evolve toward smaller wings relative to body size. They became more adapted to that new environment. But when predators were newly introduced to that environment (like cats in New Zealand), that presented a problem.

But that's just evolution for you: it can't predict the future. When whales lost their arms they were becoming more well adapted to life in the ocean. Yes, bad news if they somehow need to return to the land, but I don't think I'd call them "weaker" in some absolute sense because of it.

If humans are evolving adaptations to the new environment that includes modern medicine that could be a problem if we somehow lose the ability to do medicine, but it could also be a gain in the context of living in this environment.
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Old 26th January 2023, 06:44 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Extinction or total colonisation is what happens to non-intelligent species. Only intelligence is able to stop before either.

Every species we know of will fill its niche to the fullest, which means it will stop when a lack of space or food causes the excess population to die off. Extinction can happen when the species destroys its own niche, or an outside catastrophe happens. Both events can be averted by using intelligence - although there is guarantee.

Whenever extraterrestrial intelligence is discussed, it is always assumed that it will be like terrestrial intelligence, ie it will be as interested in discovering and being discovered as we are, and that it will be as susceptible as we are to empire-building. I cant see why.

Life on Earth is wildly different between species (see animals vs plants), and there is no reason why intelligence could also be wildly different. It is furthermore not obvious that intelligence equals power to change its environment.

Extraterrestrial intelligence might have achieved equilibrium, and might be uninterested in expansion, and discovery.

On the other hand, extraterrestrial intelligence might also be a sci-fi nightmare, and it wants to keep us in the dark before it strikes
Here's an argument for, over sufficient time scales of evolution in sufficiently intelligent species, a conversion of values on at least one axis:

https://www.overcomingbias.com/2021/...ed-values.html
Quote:
Which leads to one of the most disturbing theoretical predictions I know: with sufficient further evolution, our descendants are likely to directly and abstractly know that they simply value more descendants. In diverse and varying environments, such a simpler more abstract representation seems likely to be more effective at helping them figure out which actions would best achieve that value.
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Old 26th January 2023, 06:49 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I dont disagree with you, but I will again point out that this assumes that extraterrestrial life, and intelligent extraterrestrial life, has a food chain, i.e. life eats other life, like we know from Earth. But it does not have to be like that. Most plant life on Earth, for instance, does not eat other life.
Yeah. And biological life is actually pretty inefficient at the things we use it for. If you want to convert solar energy to a fuel that you can use to power your body, farming plants and eating them is a pretty inefficient way of doing that. There's a reason that electric cars make more sense than biofuels.
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Old 26th January 2023, 06:54 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
A problem I've suspected with the Fermi paradox since reading "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond is that the step from a civilization to a technological civilization may be rated far higher than may be the case. Would we have developed a technological civilization without the reservoirs of fossil fuels and before that suitably domesticable animals to provide power to free up people with leisure time to pursue inventions, improvements etc?
Yeah, I've wondered along similar lines.

Some wild speculations of mine:

Even things like the size of the continents could change things: If a continent is too small you just may not have the size for an economy to form in which an industrial revolution becomes possible. On the other hand if it's too large you may get such a large breeding population for disease that plagues ravage any civilization that forms before an industrial revolution is possible.

But over long enough time scales artificial selection of domesticated species might be a different avenue toward something like post industrial society.
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Old 26th January 2023, 07:00 PM   #85
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"Technological"

Renaissance gunpowder was technological. Roman roads were technological. Greek hoplites were technological. Babylonian ziggurats were technological. Flint-knapped stones were technological.

Y'all need to stop beclowning yourselves.
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Old 26th January 2023, 08:01 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I dont disagree with you, but I will again point out that this assumes that extraterrestrial life, and intelligent extraterrestrial life, has a food chain, i.e. life eats other life, like we know from Earth. But it does not have to be like that. Most plant life on Earth, for instance, does not eat other life.

That's a great point.

I've always assumed that Darwin's "Nature red in tooth and claw" (or however he'd phrased it exactly) is how evolution has to be. But that's not true, it's merely how evolution happened to be.

There's no reason to imagine this was inevitable here, or necessary elsewhere. A plant-like intelligence would probably be neither inherently violent nor compulsively expansionist.

Except : Would intelligence evolve without those pressures?

(I'm not sure we know enough about sentience and intelligence, and I personally don't know enough about evolution, to answer that question with any degree of certitude.)
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Old 26th January 2023, 11:11 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Technological"

Renaissance gunpowder was technological. Roman roads were technological. Greek hoplites were technological. Babylonian ziggurats were technological. Flint-knapped stones were technological.
Sure, but there's a difference between a civilization capable of colonizing the galaxy and one capable running a sub-continental empire. I think you know what he meant in context. Once you've got civilization of some sort is an industrial revolution inevitable, or might it be contingent on environmental constraints like the availability of large fossil fuel reserves? Seems like an interesting question.
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Old 27th January 2023, 07:05 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Except : Would intelligence evolve without those pressures?
I that predatory pressures are not the only possible pressures that could facilitate intelligence. Natural disasters, or changing climate could conceivably have the same function. Species that can adapt, will survive. One way to adapt could be to predict and prepare. But of course, intelligence is only a possible answer to such pressures, not the only ones.

Another thing to consider is that where we on Earth have different species competing with another, under other conditions it is possible that there is only a single species, or even a single individual, like the mycelium of a huge fungus. We ourselves consist of different cells working together to form an individual, and some regard ant hills as being an individual with moving cells, i.e. ants forming that individual.

Conditions can simply be wildly different from what we know on Earth.

I fear that if we encounter alien life, we will not recognise it as life, and we might not recognise if it is intelligent.
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Old 27th January 2023, 07:18 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I fear that if we encounter alien life, we will not recognise it as life, and we might not recognise if it is intelligent.
That's actually quite good outcome out of possible outcomes.
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Old 27th January 2023, 07:18 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
That's actually quite good outcome out of possible outcomes.
Quite true
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Old 27th January 2023, 07:59 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I that predatory pressures are not the only possible pressures that could facilitate intelligence. Natural disasters, or changing climate could conceivably have the same function. Species that can adapt, will survive. One way to adapt could be to predict and prepare. But of course, intelligence is only a possible answer to such pressures, not the only ones.

True. I suppose without some "pressure", intelligence is unlikely to come about; but as you say, that pressure could be from the environment itself, for instance.

Sure, intelligence isn't the only possible answer. But that would apply equally to these "predatory pressures" of ours as well.

Yep, agreed, a world populated by plants might, through having to adapt to changes to their climate, end up evolving to intelligence. And yet, lacking the dog-eat-dog food chain of earth, it might remain completely non-violent, non-aggressive, and non-expansionist.

(Although I don't know about the last, when I think of it. Are plants non-expansionist? Given the opportunity, wouldn't they proliferate wherever they could? Unless their intelligence led them to stem that instinct, but then that last applies to us as well, our more violent nature notwithstanding. In that last trait, the expansion thing, plants may not really differ from us.)


Quote:
Another thing to consider is that where we on Earth have different species competing with another, under other conditions it is possible that there is only a single species, or even a single individual, like the mycelium of a huge fungus. We ourselves consist of different cells working together to form an individual, and some regard ant hills as being an individual with moving cells, i.e. ants forming that individual.

Possible, I suppose. Sure, that might explain the astonishingly close, and apparently selfless, coordination we see in creatures like bees and ants. But still, wouldn't that sort of "hypothesis" be more sci-fi type speculation than actual fact (even though, like I said, I suppose it isn't totally impossible, much like many other things aren't totally impossible but we don't seriously think of them as likely)?


Quote:
Conditions can simply be wildly different from what we know on Earth.

I fear that if we encounter alien life, we will not recognise it as life, and we might not recognise if it is intelligent.

Entirely possible, agreed. Heh, lots of sci-fi along those lines. One I can think of right now, can't remember the title or the author, was where it turns out in the end that the actual alpha intelligence isn't the intelligent and murderous horses, or "hippae", that stomp about that planet, but the grass that the planet is carpeted with. [eta]Just went down and looked it up, the book, it's called Grass, by Sheri Tepper.[/eta]

Again, sci fi territory, rather than reality. But then that applies to the very existence of extra-terrestial life itself, at this point; so I suppose when speaking of life outside of earth, such "hypotheses" are far more likely and believable (than when speaking of ants and bees here on earth, I mean).

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Old 27th January 2023, 12:25 PM   #92
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I hope there's life on Europa, or maybe even on Titan. I feel like the discovery of even the simplest lifeform in a completely different environment would lead to an eureka moment where we understand just how different or similar alien lifeforms can be.
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Old 28th January 2023, 08:03 AM   #93
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Old 29th January 2023, 04:47 PM   #94
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It's a topic that I find interesting.

Once enough people get together, you can form specialisations.

Unfortunately, those specialisations may include things like: a politician class, a priest class, an actor class and a professional athlete class.

In my darker moments, I wonder if these things can become such a dead-weight that they cause civilisations to fail.

I work on the assumption that something has caused every civilisation 'out there' to fail, which is why we have no evidence of any other civilisation going through the 'splatter huge amounts of information to the stars' phase that we went through.

Sadly, that 'something' may include things like gamma ray bursts that simply totally destroy all life.

I'm not fussed about the lack of visitors from other places. Pretty much all 'galactic' style science fiction relies on magic fuel that never runs out, and magic methods for getting from A to B without having to spend the time required to travel from A to B.

The absence of those things happily explains the lack of visitors.
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Old 29th January 2023, 05:10 PM   #95
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I think once you start lumping in actors and athletes with priests and politicians, you're well into Ark B territory, and probably deserve the civilizational outcome that ensues.
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Old 29th January 2023, 06:14 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
even just planet is enough: getting stuff out of and back into gravity wells is incredibly inefficient in the absence of Space Elevators - which might or might not be actually possible.

If we start mining the Solar System, we would assemble the materials in space, not send them back groundside.
If we get to that stage, where in relation to The Great Filter would we be?
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Old 29th January 2023, 06:19 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
"Self-reproducing" in alien environments might not be possible without intelligence.
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"Self-reproducing" in alien environments might not be possible without intelligence.
SR AI should suffice...robots that can reproduce themselves and most AI can create their own algorithms so could improve on their design while they are at it.

Send the machine out as a Mine-craft with instructions to transform itself into a better machine than how it started out as, through the physical data of Science and Engineering.
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Old 29th January 2023, 06:29 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
That's a great point.

I've always assumed that Darwin's "Nature red in tooth and claw" (or however he'd phrased it exactly) is how evolution has to be. But that's not true, it's merely how evolution happened to be.

There's no reason to imagine this was inevitable here, or necessary elsewhere. A plant-like intelligence would probably be neither inherently violent nor compulsively expansionist.

Except : Would intelligence evolve without those pressures?

(I'm not sure we know enough about sentience and intelligence, and I personally don't know enough about evolution, to answer that question with any degree of certitude.)
Mycelian - while not a plant - appears to have some type of sentience and I think that it and humans might even be related?

So we cannot easily measure intelligence but re seeding life into the galaxy, humans have far better forms for enabling such a task to be attempted. Mycelian, not so much...and while plants don't eat other life, they do eat the death of other life, so there is no real wriggle-room difference, as it is all coming from eating/suckling on that which the planet provides.
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Old 29th January 2023, 10:09 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
If we get to that stage, where in relation to The Great Filter would we be?
There is no great filter.
There is only time and space
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Old 29th January 2023, 10:25 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I don't think it works. We are still reproducing, and there are still some selection pressures going on. The fact that the old selection pressures are gone doesn't mean that there are none.
Sure, I grant that it is possible, but I'm not sure what kind of pressures they might be.

As far as I can tell, as soon as humans encounter some kind of hardship, they engineer the situation so that it's not a hardship any more. Hence there is no pressure to adapt to it.
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Old 30th January 2023, 12:41 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
It's a topic that I find interesting.

Once enough people get together, you can form specialisations.

Unfortunately, those specialisations may include things like: a politician class, a priest class, an actor class and a professional athlete class.

In my darker moments, I wonder if these things can become such a dead-weight that they cause civilisations to fail.

I work on the assumption that something has caused every civilisation 'out there' to fail, which is why we have no evidence of any other civilisation going through the 'splatter huge amounts of information to the stars' phase that we went through.

Sadly, that 'something' may include things like gamma ray bursts that simply totally destroy all life.

I'm not fussed about the lack of visitors from other places. Pretty much all 'galactic' style science fiction relies on magic fuel that never runs out, and magic methods for getting from A to B without having to spend the time required to travel from A to B.

The absence of those things happily explains the lack of visitors.
I think the reasons why civilizations fail would be a good topic. How about if you start a thread on the topic?
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Old 30th January 2023, 08:20 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
There is no great filter.
There is only time and space
The Great Filter
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Old 30th January 2023, 08:22 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Sure, I grant that it is possible, but I'm not sure what kind of pressures they might be.

As far as I can tell, as soon as humans encounter some kind of hardship, they engineer the situation so that it's not a hardship any more. Hence there is no pressure to adapt to it.
Do you have an example of this type of process?
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Old 30th January 2023, 08:26 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
I know what it is supposed to be.

i don't think it's anything but a thought experiment.


There are plenty of reasons why at this stage of our technology we wouldn't be aware of other space-travel capable civilizations.

Matrioshka brains is my favourite explanation.
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Old 30th January 2023, 08:43 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I know what it is supposed to be.

I don't think it's anything but a thought experiment.
Thought experiments have their uses.

My question had to do with your stating "If we start mining the Solar System, we would assemble the materials in space, not send them back groundside."


Quote:
There are plenty of reasons why at this stage of our technology we wouldn't be aware of other space-travel capable civilizations.
Even if they did exist and even if they assisted with our own advancement into technology, behind the scenes?



Quote:
Matrioshka brains is my favourite explanation.
It is a similar concept to the idea of Sentient Planets and Stars, which share in the overall computational development of the galaxy and everything within the galaxy.
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Old 30th January 2023, 08:52 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
Thought experiments have their uses.

My question had to do with your stating "If we start mining the Solar System, we would assemble the materials in space, not send them back groundside."




Even if they did exist and even if they assisted with our own advancement into technology, behind the scenes?





It is a similar concept to the idea of Sentient Planets and Stars, which share in the overall computational development of the galaxy and everything within the galaxy.
there is a key difference - lag because of distance. A computronium-based society would never leave its home system.
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Old 30th January 2023, 10:09 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Sure, I grant that it is possible, but I'm not sure what kind of pressures they might be.

As far as I can tell, as soon as humans encounter some kind of hardship, they engineer the situation so that it's not a hardship any more. Hence there is no pressure to adapt to it.
Engineering is form of adaptation.
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Old 30th January 2023, 12:22 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
there is a key difference - lag because of distance. A computronium-based society would never leave its home system.
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there is a key difference - lag because of distance. A computronium-based society would never leave its home system.
Nor would it have to, given the physics re Superposition.

The physical lag may not be an issue for the planetary minds re the concept of Sentient Planets and Stars, which share in the overall computational development of the galaxy and everything within the galaxy.

These may act as the Total Sensory System of a Sentient Galaxy and the data might be accessibly in real time, no matter where abouts in the Galaxy the data is coming from.
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Old 30th January 2023, 01:01 PM   #109
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Nothing in current physics suggests that that is possible
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Old 30th January 2023, 04:30 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
SR AI should suffice...robots that can reproduce themselves and most AI can create their own algorithms so could improve on their design while they are at it.

Send the machine out as a Mine-craft with instructions to transform itself into a better machine than how it started out as, through the physical data of Science and Engineering.

Show me a self-reproducing machine that can go into a forest or desert or ocean (or even, say, a fully stocked hardware store) and replicate itself with materials it finds there. No one has built or designed anything close, on any size scale.

But let's pretend otherwise. We know of two ways living things have successfully adapted to challenging novel environments: human intelligence applied by social groups of humans, and biological evolution.

For the sake of argument, let's say we can build robots with human physical capabilities and human-equivalent AI. Being robots they wouldn't be able to reproduce sexually, but having all other equivalent human capabilities they would be able to build more of their own kind the same way we built them, and with whatever modifications they might design. However, they would require tools to do this. A group of them dropped into a wilderness with basic survival equipment would struggle to build up the necessary tools to reproduce, just as a group of humans dropped into a wilderness would struggle to build the infrastructure needed to support themselves and raise children. But they could succeed.

Also for the sake of argument, let's say we figure out how to build robots that can reproduce themselves with variations when in an environment with the right raw materials available. Those would be robots with the capabilities of protozoa, but by reproducing with variations they could eventually evolve to spread to different environments, exploit new resources, evolve new capabilities. That might even eventually include intelligence, but there's no predicting when, or what level of intelligence might be adaptive for them.

Here's where it breaks down. What neither scheme (or, I'm reasonably certain, any other) gives you is any opportunity to "hardwire" or otherwise program in any permanent directives or rules, apart from surviving and reproducing. Expecting your robot colonies to go start colonies of their own? Sorry, alpha colony is trying their best to make good lives for themselves on the world you sent them to and have no interest in launching more colonies. In fact, they've developed a religion that rejects that notion as sinful. And beta colony has adapted to life in their planet's sea like happy dolphins; they've become much more intelligent than humans ever were and think the idea of sending out more colonies is [a word whose meaning we can't understand but means roughly, mathematically both correct and absurd].

A species can't have adaptive intelligence and immutable single-minded purpose. That's practically an oxymoron.
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Old 30th January 2023, 04:37 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Show me a self-reproducing machine that can go into a forest or desert or ocean (or even, say, a fully stocked hardware store) and replicate itself with materials it finds there. No one has built or designed anything close, on any size scale.
I mean...

And...

And even...

Really, human civilization hasn't even begun to scratch the surface of what self-reproducing machines are capable of.
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Old 30th January 2023, 06:28 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Show me a self-reproducing machine that can go into a forest or desert or ocean (or even, say, a fully stocked hardware store) and replicate itself with materials it finds there. No one has built or designed anything close, on any size scale.
I am only pointing out that if seeding the galaxy with life is an agenda, biological instruments are not as well equipped for space faring as intelligent machines would be... I wasn't making any claim that these intelligent machines exist now.


Quote:
But let's pretend otherwise. We know of two ways living things have successfully adapted to challenging novel environments: human intelligence applied by social groups of humans, and biological evolution.

For the sake of argument, let's say we can build robots with human physical capabilities and human-equivalent AI. Being robots they wouldn't be able to reproduce sexually, but having all other equivalent human capabilities they would be able to build more of their own kind the same way we built them, and with whatever modifications they might design. However, they would require tools to do this. A group of them dropped into a wilderness with basic survival equipment would struggle to build up the necessary tools to reproduce, just as a group of humans dropped into a wilderness would struggle to build the infrastructure needed to support themselves and raise children. But they could succeed.
That is one scenario. It wasn't the one I was speaking to. Send the machine out as a Mine-craft with instructions to transform itself into a better machine than how it started out as, through the physical data of Science and Engineering.

Quote:
Also for the sake of argument, let's say we figure out how to build robots that can reproduce themselves with variations when in an environment with the right raw materials available. Those would be robots with the capabilities of protozoa, but by reproducing with variations they could eventually evolve to spread to different environments, exploit new resources, evolve new capabilities. That might even eventually include intelligence, but there's no predicting when, or what level of intelligence might be adaptive for them.
Time is not really the issue, as has already been pointed out. Indeed, the whole process could crash and burn, but it is still better than the idea of sending humans out there.

Eventually the instruction to recreate oneself to include scientific and engineering facilities, means that eventually if the right type of planet is discovered by the machine, it can incubate the seed and planet it. [ I will leave the typo as it is.]

Quote:
Here's where it breaks down. What neither scheme (or, I'm reasonably certain, any other) gives you is any opportunity to "hardwire" or otherwise program in any permanent directives or rules, apart from surviving and reproducing. Expecting your robot colonies to go start colonies of their own? Sorry, alpha colony is trying their best to make good lives for themselves on the world you sent them to and have no interest in launching more colonies. In fact, they've developed a religion that rejects that notion as sinful. And beta colony has adapted to life in their planet's sea like happy dolphins; they've become much more intelligent than humans ever were and think the idea of sending out more colonies is [a word whose meaning we can't understand but means roughly, mathematically both correct and absurd].
These things happen and would happen even if humans could get out and find planets themselves. The focus of my argument is getting life into the rest of the Galaxy, not whether it would be morally correct to want to do so....or not want to do so.

Life is here already, and humans are making machines, possibly even with that idea in mind.


Quote:
A species can't have adaptive intelligence and immutable single-minded purpose. That's practically an oxymoron.
It is not a specie. The machine is not sentient. It is intelligent and has abilities in which to intelligently sort out data, but is absent of self awareness.

And humans can continue to program while the machinery is moving through the solar system - at least to a point where distance becomes an issue.

It may or may not be possible that given enough time and processing, sentience couldn't emerge from those systems...but sentience does not have to happen before AI can achieve those things which don't require self awareness, but do require moving parts...and something of intelligence in working out from incoming data, the best possible outgoing response.
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Old 30th January 2023, 06:36 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Nothing in current physics suggests that that is possible
Current physics haven't reached the point of including consciousness into the equations, because it does not easily deal with minds re those equations, so - no surprises there.

It has reached the point where the math speaks plainly enough that physical reality is not fundamental to itself. Something else which cannot be explained by physics, is fundamental to the physical universe.

What that is, is unable to be observed in any way that Quantum Physics can explain using quantum mathematics or any form of measurement.
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Old 30th January 2023, 06:48 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
Do you have an example of this type of process?
Uh, yeah. Buildings.
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Old 30th January 2023, 10:46 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Sure, I grant that it is possible, but I'm not sure what kind of pressures they might be.

As far as I can tell, as soon as humans encounter some kind of hardship, they engineer the situation so that it's not a hardship any more. Hence there is no pressure to adapt to it.
Here's a simple example. Humans were looking for sources of food, and when they domesticated cows and goats found their milk to be a convenient source of food. But most people were lactose intolerant (at least after childhood), and so there arose a new selection pressure for the ability to digest lactose even into adulthood. We entered a new environment in which lactose consumption was common into adulthood, and that provided new selection pressures.

A speculative modern example: birthrates are falling worldwide as people choose to have children later in life, and choose to have fewer children on average. In the past sexual desire was enough to ensure the people had children but now we have many effective methods of birth control and so sex and reproduction have been partially decoupled. If there are any genetic differences that (within the current environment) lead to a greater likelihood of wanting to have children* (rather than just wanting to have sex) those would be selected for.

*note that I'm not talking about a deterministic one to one causation between gene and phenotype here, only something that increases the likelihood of that phenotype. Note also that it only need have this effect in this particular environment.
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Old 31st January 2023, 06:44 AM   #116
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P1: Sure, I grant that it is possible, but I'm not sure what kind of pressures they might be.
P2: As far as I can tell, as soon as humans encounter some kind of hardship, they engineer the situation so that it's not a hardship any more. Hence there is no pressure to adapt to it.
P3: Do you have an example of this type of process?


Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Uh, yeah. Buildings.
Yeah - I know that much. I thought you might be able to give an example re the overall nature of human intelligence and what we might build which would counter the hardship we are being warned are on the way, re climate change, so that intelligence can be shown not to be a 'dead end'?

I make mention of some of the things currently being built, in this post.

Specifically that type of building involves protecting the seed despite the majority of humans appearing to have little to no interest in saving it.
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Old 31st January 2023, 07:59 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
It may or may not be possible that given enough time and processing, sentience couldn't emerge from those systems...but sentience does not have to happen before AI can achieve those things which don't require self awareness, but do require moving parts...and something of intelligence in working out from incoming data, the best possible outgoing response.

This is commonly assumed but I question it, with regard to human-level problem-solving intelligence. Why think self-awareness is some separate function that can be separated, like turning off one app in a running OS, instead of intrinsic, like trying to "turn off" the generation of heat in the processor? Humans evolved such intelligence after self-awareness (which some animals appear to have) or at least along with it. Not separately, which surely would have been an evolutionary advantage given how metabolically costly our fully conscious brains are. Why is the p-zombie, a hypothetical fully intelligent fully functional fully responsive individual without self-awareness, a philosophical concept instead of something we know all about from our own observations and experiences? I think the reason is, because it's simply not possible. People under "blackout" sedation (preventing any narrative experiential memories from forming) suck at problem solving. Unconscious people suck at problem solving.

That said, I do agree that lesser degrees of intelligence, such as exhibited by insects or fish, is sufficiently adaptive for particular environments (i.e. the environments they evolve in), and it will usually evolve sooner/faster. Whether the starting point is biological (e.g. bacteria) or mechanical (e.g. the often hypothesized but not close to realized) self-reproducing robots). That level of intelligence is not going to build any starships, or colonize any alien planets, though. And the way evolution actually works, there's no way to build in a "distant star systems must be colonized so make sure your distant descendants, no matter how evolved from you, still also want to do that" imperative. It's of no benefit for eons of evolution, so evolution would eliminate it.
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Old 31st January 2023, 09:34 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
P1: Sure, I grant that it is possible, but I'm not sure what kind of pressures they might be.
P2: As far as I can tell, as soon as humans encounter some kind of hardship, they engineer the situation so that it's not a hardship any more. Hence there is no pressure to adapt to it via selection.
P3: Do you have an example of this type of process?

Please note the highlighted qualifier I inserted, which I'm certain was part of the original intended meanings. Adapting by selection would basically consist of "it's cold but the ones physiologically most vulnerable to cold will die from it so future generations will be more fit for it." Which is how it works for other species in nature, and how it worked largely for humans with regard to disease until recent centuries. But today, when we see a large number of people vulnerable to something (like, say, a newly emerged virus), we don't accept them dying and being eventually replaced by hardier successors as a desirable solution. We prefer to adapt by other means (such as, vaccinations and treatments).

Quote:
Yeah - I know that much. I thought you might be able to give an example re the overall nature of human intelligence and what we might build which would counter the hardship we are being warned are on the way, re climate change, so that intelligence can be shown not to be a 'dead end'?

There are different ways to use intelligence to prepare for and counter coming hardships.

- Move out of regions likely to become uninhabitable desert in the long run, such as the southwestern U.S.
- Avoid debt, and prioritize getting out of debt over other life goals.
- Learn skills of value in a collapsed economy, such as making things of intrinsic value, maintaining vital systems, or providing essential services.
- Learn and practice basic self-reliance skills, such as cooking, home maintenance, and gardening. Acquire the necessary tools while they're still cheap, but opting for durability where possible. Consider including physical books.
- Work close to home, even if that means a decrease in income or social prestige.
- Maintain supplies sufficient to ride out significant interruptions of services. (But don't stockpile precious metals, weapons, or large amounts of food; they just make you the dragon with the treasure hoard, and how does that usually work out?)
- Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. (Can't mentally resist corporate blandishments to do the opposite; wear the new fashions, get the latest device, drive a new electric car, eat the cheesy melty $7 sandwich and drink the $2 fizzy sugar water? Turn off the TV.)
- Talk to your neighbors. Participate in, and help build, your local community.

If you prefer collective action, you might try checking Resilience.org.
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Old 31st January 2023, 09:45 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
This is commonly assumed but I question it, with regard to human-level problem-solving intelligence. Why think self-awareness is some separate function that can be separated, like turning off one app in a running OS, instead of intrinsic, like trying to "turn off" the generation of heat in the processor? Humans evolved such intelligence after self-awareness (which some animals appear to have) or at least along with it. Not separately, which surely would have been an evolutionary advantage given how metabolically costly our fully conscious brains are. Why is the p-zombie, a hypothetical fully intelligent fully functional fully responsive individual without self-awareness, a philosophical concept instead of something we know all about from our own observations and experiences? I think the reason is, because it's simply not possible. People under "blackout" sedation (preventing any narrative experiential memories from forming) suck at problem solving. Unconscious people suck at problem solving.

That said, I do agree that lesser degrees of intelligence, such as exhibited by insects or fish, is sufficiently adaptive for particular environments (i.e. the environments they evolve in), and it will usually evolve sooner/faster. Whether the starting point is biological (e.g. bacteria) or mechanical (e.g. the often hypothesized but not close to realized) self-reproducing robots). That level of intelligence is not going to build any starships, or colonize any alien planets, though. And the way evolution actually works, there's no way to build in a "distant star systems must be colonized so make sure your distant descendants, no matter how evolved from you, still also want to do that" imperative. It's of no benefit for eons of evolution, so evolution would eliminate it.
I appreciate your perspective on the relationship between intelligence and self-awareness. However, I do not see your argument as necessarily contradicting mine. Our discussion adds additional complexity to the issue, but does not change the possibility that AI systems can achieve things without self-awareness.
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Old 31st January 2023, 09:53 AM   #120
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Quote:
Please note the highlighted qualifier I inserted, which I'm certain was part of the original intended meanings. Adapting by selection would basically consist of "it's cold but the ones physiologically most vulnerable to cold will die from it so future generations will be more fit for it." Which is how it works for other species in nature, and how it worked largely for humans with regard to disease until recent centuries. But today, when we see a large number of people vulnerable to something (like, say, a newly emerged virus), we don't accept them dying and being eventually replaced by hardier successors as a desirable solution. We prefer to adapt by other means (such as, vaccinations and treatments).
The preference has intelligence as well as compassion and empathy and in that, appears to be trying to preserve what it can from things that it cannot directly control, but can intelligently counter.

Quote:
There are different ways to use intelligence to prepare for and counter coming hardships.

- Move out of regions likely to become uninhabitable desert in the long run, such as the southwestern U.S.
- Avoid debt, and prioritize getting out of debt over other life goals.
- Learn skills of value in a collapsed economy, such as making things of intrinsic value, maintaining vital systems, or providing essential services.
- Learn and practice basic self-reliance skills, such as cooking, home maintenance, and gardening. Acquire the necessary tools while they're still cheap, but opting for durability where possible. Consider including physical books.
- Work close to home, even if that means a decrease in income or social prestige.
- Maintain supplies sufficient to ride out significant interruptions of services. (But don't stockpile precious metals, weapons, or large amounts of food; they just make you the dragon with the treasure hoard, and how does that usually work out?)
- Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. (Can't mentally resist corporate blandishments to do the opposite; wear the new fashions, get the latest device, drive a new electric car, eat the cheesy melty $7 sandwich and drink the $2 fizzy sugar water? Turn off the TV.)
- Talk to your neighbors. Participate in, and help build, your local community.

If you prefer collective action, you might try checking Resilience.org.
Those are interesting intelligent responses applicable to the folk in those social positions.

The list would be different for those in positions where money power and influence allows for significant alternatives.

The goals of both are to survive as best one is able under the circumstances.
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