The Great Filter Hypothesis

Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
<Gold Donor>
10,343
18,942
99d 14h 26m
The degree to which everyone whom understands it

A) acknowledges it
B) rolls over with no solution

is fucking disturbing to me and should be to you too. Comments above about monkey politics and then subsequent resignation are just illustrative examples of why we are doomed the way things are. Need to change something.
You are right, but if there is not a solution people can come up with what are the alternatives? Simply grasping this shit makes you nihilistic and cynical, because its all so pervasively ingrained into the human mind that there is literally no solution where you are left with humans after enacting it, at least as we see ourselves. And even suggesting things that might stop it (Eugenics, social reordering, educational realignment, genetics bases solutions) gets you tossed in the rubber room with the Lumis of the world. Seeing a thing and being able to do something about it are two very different things. And worrying about something you cannot change is a stress filled path to madness at best, a Jerle style tap out at worst. So we do what our ape brains always do and make the best of a bad situation while consoling ourselves with little white lies.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer

Cukernaut

Sharpie Markers Aren't Pens
<Gold Donor>
1,091
1,822
21d 5h 0m
You are right, but if there is not a solution people can come up with what are the alternatives? Simply grasping this shit makes you nihilistic and cynical, because its all so pervasively ingrained into the human mind that there is literally no solution where you are left with humans after enacting it, at least as we see ourselves. And even suggesting things that might stop it (Eugenics, social reordering, educational realignment, genetics bases solutions) gets you tossed in the rubber room with the Lumis of the world. Seeing a thing and being able to do something about it are two very different things. And worrying about something you cannot change is a stress filled path to madness at best, a Jerle style tap out at worst. So we do what our ape brains always do and make the best of a bad situation while consoling ourselves with little white lies.


So this post comes at an interesting time in my life, I have been contemplating the great filter for about the last year and pondering what I can do about it. At the very least I think a society of people should be formed around this specifically and could form directed investment funds, PAC's, etc. at the very least. At least start pointing things in the right direction.

Those solutions you mentioned are "easy idealogical" solutions just as flawed as socialism itself. There are better solutions than academic ones.
 

Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
<Gold Donor>
10,343
18,942
99d 14h 26m
Those solutions you mentioned are "easy idealogical" solutions just as flawed as socialism itself. There are better solutions than academic ones.
Maybe, but other avenues run the risk of having emotion creep in. That invites a solution where someone gets to play god and the person who gets that privilege is likely a strong personality and not an objective thinker. Of course our "academics" are largely completely corrupted with the socialists injecting emotion into what should be a dispassionate objective system, so we are fucked on that angle too. The fundamental problem we are dealing with in all of this is that at our core we are all still animals and any solution to this self destructiveness is going up against eons of accumulated instinct and human evolution.

Maybe your PAC idea has the best shot, with some rich guy with vision like Musk running their own game, but then you are back to a social struggle to get the race as a whole to accept the solution and also a solution that is based on one man's ideology. Or worse, you simply are giving rise to a new superculture, which will stomp out or absorb the rest in prolonged conflict, and we end up right back where we are now once it takes over as the dominant ideology. Unlike socialism, at least it has the virtue of not having been tried before I guess.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer

Cukernaut

Sharpie Markers Aren't Pens
<Gold Donor>
1,091
1,822
21d 5h 0m
Maybe, but other avenues run the risk of having emotion creep in. That invites a solution where someone gets to play god and the person who gets that privilege is likely a strong personality and not an objective thinker. Of course our "academics" are largely completely corrupted with the socialists injecting emotion into what should be a dispassionate objective system, so we are fucked on that angle too. The fundamental problem we are dealing with in all of this is that at our core we are all still animals and any solution to this self destructiveness is going up against eons of accumulated instinct and human evolution.

Maybe your PAC idea has the best shot, with some rich guy with vision like Musk running their own game, but then you are back to a social struggle to get the race as a whole to accept the solution and also a solution that is based on one man's ideology. Or worse, you simply are giving rise to a new superculture, which will stomp out or absorb the rest in prolonged conflict, and we end up right back where we are now once it takes over as the dominant ideology. Unlike socialism, at least it has the virtue of not having been tried before I guess.

I have not gotten far enough to consider how to wield that beast in terms of governance etc. because I don't feel far enough along in terms of a proposition towards a solution. I dont think its a PAC only, theres more than just that for sure but that would be one arm of that "empire". Maybe it takes an "Ender Hegemony"
 
Last edited:

Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
<Gold Donor>
10,343
18,942
99d 14h 26m
I have not gotten far enough to consider how to wield that beast in terms of governance etc. because I don't feel far enough along in terms of a proposition towards a solution. I dont think its a PAC only, theres more than just that for sure but that would be one arm of that "empire"
Well sure, but now you are adding more complexity and we are back to Titan_Atlas's original post point and have a system becoming ever more vulnerable to selfish bias and corruption. The whole thing is a giant mess, like quicksand really, where most of the seemingly sensible solutions get you deeper in the muck. Thats why I am convinced any possible solution that broke this pattern would ultimately involve some really horrible stuff and a major departure from what it currently means to be human.

BTW this is a really great discussion, even though I am going to get more drunk and less sleep over having it LOL.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer

Cukernaut

Sharpie Markers Aren't Pens
<Gold Donor>
1,091
1,822
21d 5h 0m
Well sure, but now you are adding more complexity and we are back to Titan_Atlas's original post point and have a system becoming ever more vulnerable to selfish bias and corruption. The whole thing is a giant mess, like quicksand really, where most of the seemingly sensible solutions get you deeper in the muck. Thats why I am convinced any possible solution that broke this pattern would ultimately involve some really horrible stuff and a major departure from what it currently means to be human.

BTW this is a really great discussion, even though I am going to get more drunk and less sleep over having it LOL.
I don't have all the answers immediately. I'll report back after I have spelled it out more. I am seriously considering spending time on it as well as writing about "New Warfare".
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Phazael

Guurn

<Bronze Donator>
2,229
10,066
98d 12h 44m
I have found most of the latter of your post anecdotally true, for sure. Part of it is echo chambers. As a young white kid growing up in rural whitey Wisconsin, my mind just assumed everyone was literate because everyone I had ever interacted with or been exposed to was literate. Conversely, a poor kid growing up in an urban jungle (or worse) environment is going to believe that far fewer people are literate because a significantly lesser percentage of people they are interacting with are literate. And both will carry that assumption into adulthood at least, believing it to be undeniably true. Which it is, but only in their little bubble. The broadness you are talking about is looking and, ideally, interacting beyond that bubble to learn more data then incorporating it into your personal world view.

Very few people do this and, ironically perhaps, the internet has actually made these bubbles more insular. People are less receptive to new ideas and information now than they were as recently as two decades ago. This is because the internet, combined with those little mental shortcuts that keep us from going insane, strengthens affirmed belief and creates larger networks of shared views instead of people mingling and expanding their views, at least in general. And worse than that, as you pointed out, people are replacing actual world applicable knowledge learned through practice and study with the google search box. I do not think this was how the internet was intended, but it is how it has ended up and people are rolling with it.

My hypothesis on this: The typical person, even very smart ones, are still so governed by tribal instincts that their minds avoid exposure to alien ideas in favor of seeking out self affirmation. This is probably a result of our brains fairly limited ability to parse large social groups in detail and a coping mechanism for information overload so we don't go nuts. So we are left with a situation where the only way views change is through force, be it forced assimilation or wiping out the opposing view. And once a particular prevailing view is dominant enough that it has no competition, no one questions it anymore and we start destroying ourselves from within. Fucking depressing and I agree with the whole "we are not getting into space" opinion based on this. I frankly do not see a solution that is not arrived at very horrifically, from a moral viewpoint.
Your post reminds me of a book a buddy of mine made me read 30 years ago. 'The shock of the new" or something like that. It basically made your argument. It's disingenuous and sophomoric although I agree with this part of your argument "And worse than that, as you pointed out, people are replacing actual world applicable knowledge learned through practice and study with the google search box. I do not think this was how the internet was intended, but it is how it has ended up and people are rolling with it."

We have to start from a position that what we are doing is working if it is working. Let's say something simple and easy to agree on. Capitalism is the greatest system we have found so far for lifting people out of poverty. Along comes some rocket surgeon that says something like.. I've invented a better system! We had better be damn resistant to change because the cost of being wrong is extremely high. With something like construction, ok. You make houses out of concrete, great... Whatever. Yeah it looks a little shocking at first, who cares. You are gay, shocking... So was my friend in high school 40 years ago. Now it's boring and no one cares, also it isn't important and if you think it is there is something wrong with you.

I'm classifying things into important for society and progress and unimportant. Ultimately we are asking what is progress. Societal progress looks different from individual, but only a little. When anyone looks at change they automatically look at it that way. Yeah, technology isn't always great but it isn't breaking society. Misunderstanding what progress is breaks it more. Switching from a successful system to a likely failure breaks it more. Echo chambers only drag it down when reason is shouted down.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer

Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
<Gold Donor>
10,343
18,942
99d 14h 26m
I agree with your general sentiment, but I think you are reading me saying incorporate things into your worldview as somehow replacing. Ideally, you want existing beliefs revised and updated as new reliable repeatable data becomes available. In other words, the scientific method applied to the real world. Even demonstrably obsolete old knowledge and views are useful, because you want to know how you got from point A to B to C when updating your worldview.

However, I do think the Internet (as much as I personally love it) has had a more destructive effect on society than benevolent. All one needs to do to arrive at that opinion is examine the host of social and mental health issues (and their numbers) that existed prior to widespread internet use vs the present. People simply cannot handle the additional information available to them responsibly. But we are also now so numerous and in need of sound capitalism mechanisms that we cannot sustain what we have become without it either. It is a massive catch 22.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer

Cukernaut

Sharpie Markers Aren't Pens
<Gold Donor>
1,091
1,822
21d 5h 0m
Make no mistake that tech and peoples mental energy is one of if not the largest front in the new warfare. I am not sure that tech even knows what to do with it. Its a pandoras box mentally what we are doing to our brains as people and a society.

Going back to planning -- one could speculate China is actually performing long term hegemony planning for passing the great filter. Perhaps multiple countries allows for these experiments to occur. Titan Atlas's conclusion about the fed etc. are just inefficiencies created within this system but certainly better than alternatives. Global hegemony is almost certainly a bad idea -- that much is clear to me. You have to expand your view of the world to understand the local inefficiencies created as an alternative to a single corruption center are not necessarily a bad thing.

Emergent innovation is a really interesting animal. Take climate change for example. My position on climate change is that humans will innovate and make the necessary changes to prevent species wide destruction at the last possible moment when it is actually necessary. So all the libs complaining about climate change might actually be right, but what they dont realize is that it doesnt actually matter because A) we arent wired to speculatively react ahead of time and B) we will be able to be fine when the time comes ergo climate change is not a filter. So this example of climate change is a great example though of why we presently won't be passing the great filter -- our species lacks the foresight presently to commit and have the wherewithal to invest in major infrastructure projects to become a multi-planet species.

We need to struggle across that finish line to survive mid term.

Going back to simplicity -- we need to find that elegant way to accomplish the above conditions, no more and no less, and push whatever we need to towards that as quickly as possible which I suppose is what Musk is attempting to do through business. The cross section of engineering and economics is powerful.
 
Last edited:

Chris

Silver Baronet of the Realm
9,126
1,284
52d 15h 30m
The other interesting sci fi idea though is that we are still at the early, early, early stages of the universe. We're at 13.7 billion years. What if the universe lasts for 100,000,000 trillion years? Literally we are still in the infancy stages of the universe, and long after we're dead and gone the "true" universe will begin to emerge and will take shape in ways we cannot fathom or understand, due to dark energy, dark matter, etc.

The Sun is 1/3rd of the age of the universe. Yet the Earth is made out of the debris of one larger star (or more) which predated The Sun, which didn't have enough fuel to sustain itself, wasn't big enough to be a black hole but had enough to fuel to create The Sun.

The fossil record shows life becoming more complex over time, with mass extinctions/natural disasters accelerating that progression but destroying civilisations. So both a volatile period then and a calm period are necessary for intelligent life to develop.

At minimum it takes 1.5 star life spans for intelligent life to arise, not even thinking about galaxy fornation time. Maybe we are just the first. At the very least 13.7 Billion years is too large a timespan to consider.
 

Cukernaut

Sharpie Markers Aren't Pens
<Gold Donor>
1,091
1,822
21d 5h 0m
The "being first" theory is valid as a theory. It bodes better for our chances than the alternative but it may not matter anyways.

How can you get society to gain the will to invest in large infrastructure projects.
 

Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
<Gold Donor>
10,343
18,942
99d 14h 26m
Communalism exists in many animals, not just us. It requires a common goal for all the group members to work together towards, each according to their abilities. At the simplest level, this can be the basic instinct of raising young or defending against a common enemy/predator. At its most complex, as in civilizations, its building monuments or achieving new things. Realistically, the last great work of our society was the space race, culminating in landing a man on the moon. We have not had any sort of uniting goal since the Berlin Wall fell.

So I guess the sad reality is that you need an "enemy" or rival to strive against to motivate people. As much as I wish it were the other way, the evidence suggests it is much easier to get people to fall in line with fear rather than hope. Without an external threat, we seem to devolve into our own petty agendas and fuck the other guy. Even the super zealous left (and right) eat their own regularly to score social standing. We are our own worst enemy.
 

Sadre Spinegnawer

<Bronze Donator>
3,419
2,791
21d 20h 16m
The degree to which everyone whom understands it

A) acknowledges it
B) rolls over with no solution

is fucking disturbing to me and should be to you too. Comments above about monkey politics and then subsequent resignation are just illustrative examples of why we are doomed the way things are. Need to change something.

That's a very concise throwdown. But it is maybe too concise. A bit of a dry hump against an old log kind of feel. I can luxuriate it for you.

The degree to which everyone who grasps the whole
1) sees the 10,000 ways we rise and fall, and collapse in folly, and make tragic mistakes, and waste centuries, the greatest story ever told
2) sees the essential paradox that the cycle of collapse and growth is just how it works, and life is an adaptive necker cube that, as one looks at it, can suddenly shift perspective from one to the other. Like so:
unnamednecker.jpg

is just another fact to me, and should be to you too. Detailed luxurious observations of monkey fucking and then rest and reflection about the endless comedy of it all are one way to weather the time. One could ask, though, if monkey fucking is really all that.

edit: by the end comment I was thinking about the idea of post-humanism. The human species might have a filter. But it might be, we are a species that can escape our own filter. By becoming post-human. I do not know much about the idea I just know that is the basic gist I think.
 
Last edited:

Cukernaut

Sharpie Markers Aren't Pens
<Gold Donor>
1,091
1,822
21d 5h 0m
Brevity is the soul of whit and all that, but I think we are generally on the same page.

Uploading ourselves somewhere else works insofar as the location of that server continues to operate which is nowhere near guarunteed at our present level of technology.
 
  • 1Solidarity
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer

Phazael

Confirmed Beta Shitlord, Fat Bastard
<Gold Donor>
10,343
18,942
99d 14h 26m
Ignoring the technological limitations, the idea of uploading our minds into hardware in any scenario is pretty much the same as ending the human race. We would not be human anymore in any practical sense. Thats also not considering how much of our mental state is driven by chemical activity in the body, from hormones to adrenaline. It may be how we survive in some form, but we would not really be human anymore and its highly unlikely we would think like humans, either. This might be the way forward, ultimately.
 

Tuco

I got Tuco'd!
<Gold Donor>
41,676
66,985
92d 2h 54m
My take: No great filter. Universe has intelligent life on millions of planets, they're all just too far away from each other to ever find each other since FTL is impossible.
FTL being impossible and life between spread apart too far to contact each other before destruction is the most common explanation for a great filter.
 

Sadre Spinegnawer

<Bronze Donator>
3,419
2,791
21d 20h 16m
Ignoring the technological limitations, the idea of uploading our minds into hardware in any scenario is pretty much the same as ending the human race. We would not be human anymore in any practical sense. Thats also not considering how much of our mental state is driven by chemical activity in the body, from hormones to adrenaline. It may be how we survive in some form, but we would not really be human anymore and its highly unlikely we would think like humans, either. This might be the way forward, ultimately.

I would want to stipulate that until technological limitations can be conquered -- maybe a century, maybe 500 years, maybe 1000 -- you are correct, which why we should not fool ourselves, or else the "cybernative blunder" will be our great filter lol!

FTL being impossible and life between spread apart too far to contact each other before destruction is the most common explanation for a great filter.

This is where I end up. The expanse of both space and time are just real hard limits -- for beings such as ourselves. And then I add to that, that any species evolved enough to conquer those hard limits are so beyond my comprehension that I cannot assume they would want to "contact" us. The result is: no wonder we are sitting out here in the coldness of space.

But we are working with a few diff ideas of filter now.

1) OP's original filter problem: will we "begins rewarding behavior that existencially destroys the host." A species filter of species self-annihilation

2) external filters, like an asteroid, or the dreaded corona virus which shall surely kill us all, or Angry Jesus.

3) filters which explain "where is everyone?" -- i.e., why it is to be expected we have not and likely will not contact life from distant (in time and space) "advanced civilizations."

4) filters which simply "cull" the system either up or down. Like maybe we will return to retardation for hundreds of thousands of years. From stone age to the moon and back, in 30,000 years, not bad. Call these "systemic" filters, because they represent significant evolutionary turns. Like the invention of fire. I guarantee you there were tribes that could not deal with it. They died out or were taken as slaves or eaten as prey. Or modern tech. There is a reason silicon valley executives do not allow their own children to own the devices they make. They fear they are creating evolutionary downcullers.

So 4 kinds of filters. existential, external, cosmic, evolutionary. Or make up other words. The cosmic one is silly.
 

Tuco

I got Tuco'd!
<Gold Donor>
41,676
66,985
92d 2h 54m
BTW: I just finished the latest book in a series that explores the great filter. This is the first book:
The main character is a self-replicating spacecraft built from the consciousness of human.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Sadre Spinegnawer