Holden Karnofsky argues that it’s “wild” to think we’re assured of never spreading throughout the galaxy, but also that it’s “wild” to think that we have a decent chance of spreading throughout the galaxy.
In this series, I’m going to argue that there’s a good chance of a productivity explosion by 2100, which could quickly lead to what one might call a “technologically mature” civilization. That would mean that:
We’d be able to start sending spacecraft throughout the galaxy and beyond.
These spacecraft could mine materials, build robots and computers, and construct very robust, long-lasting settlements on other planets, harnessing solar power from stars and supporting huge numbers of people (and/or our “digital descendants”).
See Eternity in Six Hours for a fascinating and short, though technical, discussion of what this might require.
I’ll also argue in a future piece that there is a chance of “value lock-in” here: whoever is running the process of space expansion might be able to determine what sorts of people are in charge of the settlements and what sorts of societal values they have, in a way that is stable for many billions of years.
If that ends up happening, you might think of the story of our galaxy3 like this. I’ve marked major milestones along the way from “no life” to “intelligent life that builds its own computers and travels through space.”
Read More at Cold Takes
Read the rest at Cold Takes