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View Diary: Who can own the future? (262 comments)

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  •  Maybe interstellar travel is too hard for (11+ / 0-)

    biologicals but this is unlikely to be true of machines. I remember reading that the descendants of a single Von Neumann self-replicating probe could visit every star in the galaxy in a few million years even at speeds far below that of light. We are not that far off from being able to build such a machine.

    The mystery remains. Even terribly conservative assumptions for the Drake equation point to several civilizations extant. In the billions of years available, not one has built a self-replicating interstellar probe?

    Cheers

    I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.

    by Athenian on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 06:41:33 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone else know is this is true? Interesting. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul
      •  Technical paper here (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrTerwilliker, caul, Odysseus

        Here

        Wiki discussion here

        It has been theorized that a self-replicating starship utilizing relatively conventional theoretical methods of interstellar travel (i.e., no exotic faster-than-light propulsion such as "warp drive", and speeds limited to an "average cruising speed" of 0.1c.) could spread throughout a galaxy the size of the Milky Way in as little as half a million years.[2]
        The figure I remembered was six million, this says as little as 500,000 years.

        Cheers

        I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one.

        by Athenian on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:04:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There was but it was too small to see (3+ / 0-)

          Life on other planets may be so small we didn't notice the probe.  Remember the old story of the man who noticed a tiny flying saucer the size of a hummingbird land in his back yard.  Tiny small men got out and was looking under rocks and leaves and such.  The man said - "Hey - what yall looking for?"  And one replied "little bitty women" and then they flew off.

          That's what I heard - might not be true.

    •  indeed we are far more likely to encounter the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VeggiElaine, rodentrancher, llywrch

      space alien's mechanical probes first, just as the space aliens are far more likely to encounter OUR mechanical probes (or our electromagnetic signals) than us.

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