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BOK Globs - "Could They be Habitats of Advanced Machine-Based Civilizations?

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to an interesting speculation from The Daily Galaxy http://tinyurl.com/7zkoztu This reminds me of Fred Hoyle s Black Cloud Couple of paragraphs If
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 13, 2012
      URL to an interesting speculation from The Daily Galaxy
      http://tinyurl.com/7zkoztu

      This reminds me of Fred Hoyle's Black Cloud

      Couple of paragraphs
      If AI-powered machines evolved, we would be more likely to spot signals
      from them than from the "biological" life that invented them.
      "But having now looked for signals for 50 years, we are going through a
      process of realizing the way our technology is advancing is probably a good
      indicator of how other civilizations - if they're out there - would've
      progressed. Certainly what we're looking at out there is an evolutionary moving
      target," according to SETI Chief Astroniomer, Seth Shostak.




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      Shostak believes that artificially intelligent alien life would be likely
      to migrate to places where both matter and energy - the only things he says
      would be of interest to the machines - would be in plentiful supply. That
      means the Seti hunt may need to focus its attentions near hot, young stars
      or even near the centers of galaxies.
      "I think we could spend at least a few percent of our time... looking in
      the directions that are maybe not the most attractive in terms of biological
      intelligence but maybe where sentient machines are hanging out." Shostak
      thinks SETI ought to consider expanding its search to the energy- and
      matter-rich neighborhoods of hot stars, black holes and neutron stars.
      Data centers like this generate a lot of heat, and keeping them cool is a
      major challenge for modern computing. Intelligent computers would likely
      seek out a low-temperature habitat. Bok globules (image at top of page) are
      another search target for sentient machines. These dense regions of dust and
      gas are notorious for producing multiple-star systems. At around negative
      441 degrees Fahrenheit, they are about 160 degrees F colder than most of
      interstellar space.
      This climate could be a major draw because thermodynamics implies that
      machinery will be more efficient in cool regions that can function as a large “
      heat sink”. A Bok globule’s super-cooled environment might represent the
      Goldilocks Zone for the AI powered machines, says Shostak. But because black
      holes and Bok globules are not hospitable to life as we know it, they are
      not on SETI's prime target list.
      “Machines have different needs,” he says. “They have no obvious limits to
      the length of their existence, and consequently could easily dominate the
      intelligence of the cosmos. In particular, since they can evolve on
      timescales far, far shorter than biological evolution, it could very well be that
      the first machines on the scene thoroughly dominate the intelligence in the
      galaxy. It’s a “winner take all” scenario.”
      According to the British physicist Stephen Wolfram, intelligent life is
      inevitable. But there is a hitch. Although intelligent life is inevitable, we
      will never find it -at least not by looking out in the Milky Way. As
      evidence Wolfram points out In order to compress more and more information into
      our communication signals - be they mobile phone conversations or computer-
      we remove all redundancy or pattern. If anything in a signal repeats, then
      clearly it can be excised. But this process of removing any pattern from a
      signal make it look more and more random - in fact, pretty much like the
      random radio "noise" that rains down on Earth coming from stars and
      interstellar gas clouds.
      According to Wolfram, if someone beamed our own 21st-century communication
      signals at us from space we would be hard pressed determining whether they
      were artificial or natural. So what chance do we have of distinguishing an
      ET communication from the general background radio static of the cosmos?
      ET artifacts coordinated by computers would look far more like a natural
      artifact. It is easy to distinguish a technological artifact such as a car
      from a natural object such as a tree. The tree is far more complicated.
      But, says Wolfram,"this is simply because our technological artifacts are
      primitive. As they become more complex - with computer processors enabling
      them to make a moment-by-moment decisions - they will begin to look just as
      complex as trees and people and stars." We have slim chance, he suggests,
      of distinguishing an ET artifact from a natural celestial object.
      If Wolfram is right and ETs are out there but we will not be able to
      recognize them - either in their communications or their artifacts - then of
      course they could be here in the Solar System and we would not have noticed. "

      Chris

      (Madness takes it toll. Please have exact change)


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