That Is Not Dead Which Eternal Lie: The Aestivation Hypothesis for Resolving Fermi's Paradox

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A. Sandberg et al. (2016), JBIS, 69, pp.406-415

Refcode: 2016.69.406
Keywords: Fermi paradox, information physics, physical eschatology, extraterrestrial intelligence

Abstract:
If a civilization wants to maximize computation it appears rational to aestivate until the far future in order to exploit the low temperature environment: this can produce a 1030 multiplier of achievable computation. We hence suggest the "aestivation hypothesis": the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that they are currently (mostly) inactive, patiently waiting for future cosmic eras. This paper analyses the assumptions going into the hypothesis and how physical law and observational evidence constrain the motivations of aliens compatible with the hypothesis.

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