I know that the simplest explanation for the Fermi paradox is that we’re the first intelligent technological life form in the universe. But thinking about Paul Bloom’s thesis that a sense of “authenticity” is necessary for pleasure made me wonder a bit more about the possibility that once intelligent life forms get to the point where they can “re-wire” themselves they see no need to interface with the real universe. Instead they would retreat into their own virtual reality domains where they could create their own cosmos, and also successively re-program themselves in terms of their goals to such an extent that their probability of ever wanting to extract themselves from the imagined world is zero. In other words, any sufficiently advanced life form will lack curiosity about the authentic world as we understand it.
July 5, 2010
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