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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive

I think it’s a little selfish, this idea of a ‘Great Filter‘ and not just a little egotistical. The article is a very interesting and fun read, and I can’t argue against any of it (as much as I may want to).

The author’s desire for the filter to exist in the very early stages of a planet’s existence is what bothers me but I can’t quite put my finger on why. If we’re still approaching it –a ominous prospect, to say the least– it doesn’t really change anything. We still haven’t found any other intelligent life in the universe. There are hundreds of possible reasons for why we have not found anything. The least amusing being that we are alone.

One should also consider that we are, as widely speculated, approaching the singularity: the point at which the exponential speed of technological advance has gone vertical. That would seem to be a suitable filter, in my opinion. Humans have always been mad, and most technology has been developed to better conduct acts of violence.

And if we do not breach the great hymen of the universe, what of what we leave behind? Depending on how we are erased, much could be left behind. This does not include the probes we have shot into the depths, which may only be found long after our demise. If we do find some evidence of life out there, what are the chances of it being little more than the remnants of a civilization? If the filter exists later in the timeline, then this would be a likely situation (short of absolute destruction or similar situations).

As a final note, if we are past the filter it makes us special or, worse yet, chosen. The ramification of this idea alone leads to nothing less than dubious proof of god. The existence of such a filter intones that there is some sort of order to the universe, some sort of control. The so-called Intelligent Design theory begins to hold water –a thought that makes me cringe.

I will have to ponder this more and possibly sleep on it a bit.

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