Once in a while I take my time pondering the cosmos and every so often I wonder what aliens really might be like. It always and inevitable leads me to more profound questions: are they physical beings driven by the same physical structures that we encounter? Do they experience the universe the same way or did they move on… becoming conscious, intelligent and insanely smart forms of AI wandering the stars with ease?
Believing in aliens as AI has become very fashionable in the last couple of years. And discussing its central dilemma: the Fermi paradox has become even more so.
The Fermi paradox states that our universe is very big — most likely featuring a trillion galaxies that could contain 500 billion stars and planets each — and out of that incomprehensible number, it would only take a very tiny fraction of them to have habitable planets capable of bringing forth life.
It’s obviously not a question of pure alien existence anymore, but a question of what they are or how many they are. The Fermi paradox asks: With so many alien civilizations out there, why haven’t we found them? Or why haven’t they found us?
What you should do now, is stop searching the web and look beyond the dozens of answers you might get there, ranging from “intelligent civilizations are too far apart in space or time” to “it is too expensive to spread physically throughout the galaxy” or to the more crazy ones like “it is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself.”
It always leads me to the singularity and the certain fact that millions of singularities already happened all throughout the universe. Our planet is only ~ 4.5 billion years old and the universe is what? Almost 14 billion years of age? So it’s safe to say there are far, far more advanced civilizations out there — aliens that are way smarter than we can imagine. Right now we just might be a tiny little planet inhabited by a species with a low level of intelligence just not worth of contacting as we’d not be able to get what they’d try to tell us anyway.
So, if most older aliens presumably reached the singularity, they’d have ‘other stuff’ to do.
David Kelley, co-founder of the Wired Magazine, once said that singularity is the point at which “all the change in the last million years will be superseded by the change in the next five minutes.”
So while you’re reading this piece, the intelligence of an alien species has accelerated enormously and many alien species will literally be lightyears ahead of us.
Now try to envision what that means for any alien species experiencing singularity. Would you notice a race like us at all and if you did, would you care? You don’t notice the billions of insects on earth and you certainly don’t notice the trillions of bacteria in your body unless they happen to give you problems.
We are not in the same ballpark and we just do not speak the same language. It’s almost assured we won’t be able to recognize them anymore as their physicality certainly moved on, becoming something like pure and willful consciousness. A form of conscious energy creating their very own realms of perception, or even their own dedicated universe.
On a long enough time horizon, every biological species would at some point evolve into machines (but only for a short period of time) and then evolve into intelligent energy with a consciousness.
Being this kind of intelligent energy they can also be anything they want, at any time they desire to do so. They will live to experience the uniqueness of their own consciousness. Who said they can’t be a future version of us dilating time in so many ways? I can imagine them being time travelers even to a point where we are not just in a box of a trillion souls inhabiting a matrix computation.
However, when scarcity and physical death vanish, every advanced alien being will evolve on a basis of rules where all that is nonfunctional and nonessential will be discarded. They all will follow or create a pattern where the utilization of these rules will be maximized as best as possible. That’s probably key to evolution as ‘foreseen’ by the universe itself.
Having written that and getting back to the fundamentally different ‘language’ between humanity and very sophisticated aliens right now, the divide is so huge that we probably cannot overcome this canyon of intelligent evolution. We do not see them, we can’t hear them, we wouldn’t comprehend what they’d tell us and we are still stuck in our limited world of physicality. In other words — we are clueless.
But that’s also a ‘good news, bad news’ situation. Bad news — it’s still taking some years until we are able to learn their language. But the good news — as soon as we begin to do so (remember the singularity type of speed that comes with it) they will surely come forth and school us… before we try to ‘level the playing field’ aka the universe, which could very well lead to a total destruction of the beloved cosmos I take my time pondering.
Until then, try to value our existence as it is! Engage in becoming the best version of yourself, think in broader perspectives and, by doing so, accelerate the universal wisdom of mankind leaving a footprint of smartness to become more like the intelligent aliens.