fermi   280

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New model predicts that we’re probably the only advanced civilization in the observable universe
The Fermi Paradox remains a stumbling block when it comes to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI).
june 2018 by josephaleo
Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata - John von Neumann

Comparisons between computing machines and the nervous systems. Estimates of size for computing machines, present and near future.

Estimates for size for the human central nervous system. Excursus about the “mixed” character of living organisms. Analog and digital elements. Observations about the “mixed” character of all componentry, artificial as well as natural. Interpretation of the position to be taken with respect to these.

Evaluation of the discrepancy in size between artificial and natural automata. Interpretation of this discrepancy in terms of physical factors. Nature of the materials used.

The probability of the presence of other intellectual factors. The role of complication and the theoretical penetration that it requires.

Questions of reliability and errors reconsidered. Probability of individual errors and length of procedure. Typical lengths of procedure for computing machines and for living organisms--that is, for artificial and for natural automata. Upper limits on acceptable probability of error in individual operations. Compensation by checking and self-correcting features.

Differences of principle in the way in which errors are dealt with in artificial and in natural automata. The “single error” principle in artificial automata. Crudeness of our approach in this case, due to the lack of adequate theory. More sophisticated treatment of this problem in natural automata: The role of the autonomy of parts. Connections between this autonomy and evolution.

- 10^10 neurons in brain, 10^4 vacuum tubes in largest computer at time
- machines faster: 5 ms from neuron potential to neuron potential, 10^-3 ms for vacuum tubes

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april 2018 by nhaliday
Eternity in six hours: intergalactic spreading of intelligent life and sharpening the Fermi paradox
We do this by demonstrating that traveling between galaxies – indeed even launching a colonisation project for the entire reachable universe – is a relatively simple task for a star-spanning civilization, requiring modest amounts of energy and resources. We start by demonstrating that humanity itself could likely accomplish such a colonisation project in the foreseeable future, should we want to, and then demonstrate that there are millions of galaxies that could have reached us by now, using similar methods. This results in a considerable sharpening of the Fermi paradox.
pdf  study  article  essay  anthropic  fermi  space  expansionism  bostrom  ratty  philosophy  xenobio  ideas  threat-modeling  intricacy  time  civilization  🔬  futurism  questions  paradox  risk  physics  engineering  interdisciplinary  frontier  technology  volo-avolo  dirty-hands  ai  automation  robotics  duplication  iteration-recursion  von-neumann  data  scale  magnitude  skunkworks  the-world-is-just-atoms  hard-tech  ems  bio  bits  speedometer  nature  model-organism  mechanics  phys-energy  relativity  electromag  analysis  spock  nitty-gritty  spreading  hanson  street-fighting  speed  gedanken  nibble 
march 2018 by nhaliday
A National Plan for EMP Protection | Interference Technology (interferencetechnology.com)
Solar rooftop costs are projected to achieve parity with the electric grid in kWhr cost before the end of the present decade. This encourages rapid EMP protection expansion, hopefully, before the first EMP event strikes. In addition, the existence of widespread EMP protection dramatically reduces the chances of experiencing an EMP attack in the first place.

See also Part 2 of the same article:

EMP History:
"This article is concerned with a particular type of electromagnetic pulse (EMP), specifically high-altitude nuclear EMP. Although much of the history of high-altitude nuclear EMP remains classified, the unique characteristics of high-altitude nuclear EMP were apparently not foreseen by anyone in the scientific and engineering community.

"The effects of low-altitude nuclear EMP, however, were foreseen by Enrico Fermi prior to the very first nuclear test in 1945. As a result of Fermi’s foresight, all of the lines leading to electronic recording instruments were carefully shielded. Nevertheless, much information was lost because of the intensity of the EMP close to a nuclear explosion.

"By the time of the first high-altitude nuclear explosions, Fermi had died and the other great physicists of the time expected the EMP from a high-altitude detonation to operate under the same basic mechanism as a low-altitude detonation.

"The first openly available account of a high-altitude nuclear EMP is from the helium balloon lofted Hardtack-Yucca test of a 1.7 kiloton nuclear device over the Pacific Ocean on April 28, 1958.

"The EMP from that test was a pulse that was five times the oscilloscope limits at most locations. The electric field was initially a positive-going pulse rather than the expected negative pulse. The EMP was principally horizontally polarized rather than the expected vertical polarization. Since the facts did not agree with the accepted theory of the time, the results were dismissed as possibly a wave propagation anomaly.

"In July of 1962, a higher yield detonation at a much higher altitude made its effects known in a much more dramatic fashion that proved conclusively that previous theories of high-altitude nuclear EMP generation were wrong. That test was the Starfish Prime test over Johnston Island in the Pacific.

"Because of its proximity to Hawaii (about 900 miles away) it was necessary to announce the time and location of the Starfish Prime test to the public. Many were watching the detonation under cloudy skies over the Pacific as 300 streetlights in Honolulu were abruptly extinguished, many burglar alarms went off and a microwave telephone link to the Hawaiian island of Kauai suddenly went dead.

"Although the intensity of the EMP from Starfish Prime caught scientists completely by surprise, and resulted in very little in the way of useful EMP measurements, they were more prepared for the subsequent high-altitude tests of 1962.

"Finally, in the Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish high altitude nuclear tests of October and November 1962, the scientists were ready for this previously unexpected phenomenon, and accurate EMP records were obtained."
EMP  solar  energy  infrastructure  protection  shield  nuclear  Starfish  Fermi  Hawaii  Bluegill  Kingfish  high-altitude 
march 2018 by Tonti

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