RE: the end of fermi's paradox?

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2007 - 09:59:57 MST

[Resending due to one critical error in wording.]

Mike Dougherty wrote:

> Why wouldn't infinite recursion be a valid computational model for the
Let me paraphrase that comment and then add a few of my own.

"Why wouldn't indefinite recursion be a valid computational model for
growth in the universe?"

Add the aspect of reflexivity and I think you've got something there.

The question seems to be about the expected extent of growth of an
intentional system.

Considering that the surface of a sphere increases as the square of the
radius, while the volume increases as the cube, there seems to be an
inherent physical constraint on the expansion of any system that defines
intentions in terms of itself.

With increasing growth of "self", and proportionally diminishing surface
area with which to interact with the "adjacent possible", it would seem
that expansion would reach a limit such that growth would necessarily
become fractal.

Of course the "self" could launch independent copies, but those are no
longer "self" due to increasing divergence from the values of the
original and thus would provide no long term advantage to an intentional
organism that rationally values growth over an ultimately incoherent
concept of survival.

Combine the preceding with the idea that increasing intelligence would
be expected to correlate with increasingly subtle behavior (maximizing
promotion of its own values while minimizing unintended consequences)
and one might expect increasing intelligence to be increasingly
stealthy--up to a certain point.

It might also be interesting to consider the radiation and reflection
signature of a highly fractal body in space.

- Jef

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