An existence conundrum...

(Sydney, looking at the CBD and bridge, with some effects added to the image).

I've been using Google+ more recently - e.g. see my profile here; which may explain why the already-slow output of posts has gotten even slower. Then I was looking through various sections of our Blog UI and realised that (a) I'm getting enough views of the posts here to make it worth posting stuff, and (b) There are enough readers / followers that might not read G+ that I feel I should add things here too. So I've added the followers widget to my blog ( check over on the right there >> ) and decided to cross-post interesting G+ posts, starting with this:

Here's a thought puzzle....where's the error?
1) There are many many species in the universe, some much more advanced than us, some less.
2) It's possible for an advanced enough species to make a technology that destroys all species in the universe.
3) Any technology will eventually be used for a malicious purpose.

If they're all true, we'd no longer be around, so there's a flaw guess is #2: that species would destroy themselves (and those around them) first. Apologies, not very cheery I know, but an interesting thought experiment still. What do you think?

Some discussion is already available on the original post, but some things to consider are the speed at which the destruction will reach us, the theory that the Universe is accelerating away, the concepts that have arisen around theoretic technologies like Grey goo, and a cover-all explanation of existance, the Anthropic principle.

Stay tuned, I have a few updates planned soon too :)


  1. I think there can be doubts raised about 1, 2 and 3. I read about the Anthropic Principle when we were in London 23 years ago - very interesting. Also, there is the Law of Fecundity i.e. 'anything that can happen, will', as you allude to. But the law says nothing about WHEN it will occur.

  2. I'll start just with #1:
    I am skeptical of the usefulness of a concept of how "advanced" a species is. We all have an evolutionary history of the same length of time. Some animals can do things that we can't (e.g. fly) and the equilibrium of a biological system tends to be an ecosystem of species rather than just one "advanced" species

    1. What if it's defined as the distance from being able to do #2?
      You're right that there's a whole lot of evolutionary 'choices' that are made while developing, some take you closer to #2 and some further away, but on it feels like there'd be some sort distribution of time-until-blowing-up-the-universe, and most likely we're nowhere near the front.
      (though, someone has to be...)


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