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Quantum Immortality Solution to the Fermi Paradox

Intelligent Aliens Realize They're Immortal, Then Die
  [vote for,

First, an explanation of Quantum Immortality and the Fermi Paradox:

Quantum Immortality is...well, if the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics is correct, and you can only observe things when you're alive, you'll never observe your own death. You'll only observe yourself being incredibly lucky, because you don't observe all of the other (more likely) cases where you died. Look at yourself-- you're alive, against all odds, and have survived many near-misses that could have killed you. Good job! This is because if you did die, you wouldn't be here to see the result, therefore you cannot die. This means you're free to do really risky stuff, because fate/luck will always, always seem to save you.

The Fermi Paradox is that there are uncountable billions of planets capable of supporting life, but no intelligent aliens as far as we can tell.

My Idea: use Quantum Immortality to solve the Fermi Paradox. Every intelligent alien race discovered the Quantum Immortality interpretation of quantum mechanics at around the same time they discovered space travel. Then, they proceeded to kill themselves off by doing fun but dangerous things, because quantum immortality only works for the observer.

Additionally, the most-probable existences to experience are ones where you live forever naturally, without massive and ongoing sequences of improbable events.

In short, you are the least-unlikely immortal consciousness, and when you inevitably make it to the stars you will find dead alien planets full of alien extreme sports equipment and long-dead risk-loving aliens who are all still alive in a parallel universe.

[it's not a let's-all because it's true. you cannot escape. don't panic...that would be an unpleasant way to spend eternity.]

sninctown, Dec 13 2011


       I think, therefore you are dead.
Alterother, Dec 13 2011

       not in the branch of all possible realities that I'll experience.
sninctown, Dec 13 2011

       [sninctown] Read "Permutation City"; it explores a closely related concept in great depth (and is a good read).   

       OK, not that close, but your idea reminded me of one of my favourite books.
spidermother, Dec 13 2011

       And also, "How we pass the time in Hell." (In gyrum imus nocte, et consumimur igni.)
mouseposture, Dec 13 2011

       I've had this notion before (without the sports equipment part), and thinking about it again after reading your excellent writeup, I finally realize why I'm lucky to be alive yet not lucky enough to win the lottery.
ldischler, Dec 13 2011

       Lemony Snicket would take great interest in my life.
RayfordSteele, Dec 14 2011

       I finally read "Permutation City". Entertaining and thought-provoking book.
sninctown, May 29 2014

       So, pardon me but I need to get this straight... since I am the only being which I am certain exists... I can't die?   

       ...but since realities are infinite, I get to die in all of your realities the way others do in mine?   

       I'd best pack a lunch.   

       // since I am the only being which I am certain exists... I can't die? //   

       Extreme solipsism is logically irrefutable.   


       "Bomb, return to the bomb bay !"   

8th of 7, May 30 2014

       You have not passed the individual lifetime barrier, such would take an entity with perception of the other universes. Always cherish what you have but imagine there is something more after the final event horizon.
wjt, Jun 09 2014

       " I'd best pack a lunch. "   

       Well, that's an axiom to live by.
normzone, Jun 10 2014

       Lunch is for wimps.
pocmloc, Jun 10 2014

       Meh, the Fermi paradox seems like less and less of one as time goes on. How long did the human race generate high power, omni-directional signals that are likely to be detectable from a large distance? Maybe a century. Modern communications are typically much lower power, more directed, and over a much broader spectrum from many different sources. We started making much less noise at the same time we made it much harder to pick individual signals out of the background noise.
MechE, Jun 10 2014

       Quantum immortality seems unlikely because all the people around me are between 0 and 100 years old.
Voice, Jun 10 2014

       " Roomba yard, my lord, roomba yard..."
normzone, Jun 10 2014

       I missed breakfast though.   

       //Extreme solipsism is logically irrefutable.// Says you!
spidermother, Jun 12 2014

       The Fermi paradox is fairly straightforward to comprehend why it is – there is no paradox, not even a single one.   

       The assumption at the heart of the question being if there’s all that intelligent civilised social life out there, so why haven’t we seen any, is too simplistic, hence a flawed, er, assumption.   

       Consider why we haven’t made our presents apparent to other planets. Even assuming we had the technology and the understanding and the means to do so, I don’t think we’d go out there straight away. We’d have to have a fairly good reason to go. Just going out there to say hi isn’t a good enough reason, although it certainly merits some merit.   

       A good reason is one which involves some sort of payoff or profit for our actions. It’d be a whole- world project, so there’s no advantage in having nations and such. The investment across shareholders would be immense but the reward would be too, manifold morely.   

       Would we be in a social position to do this, even when we’re in a technological position? It might explain why none of the other planetary populations have turned up either – the raw cost versus return on investment over risk multidividedply by social maturity.
Ian Tindale, Mar 30 2018

       //Consider why we haven’t made our presents apparent to other planets. // You may be the only Halfbaker who could write that and not have it corrected.   

       I think the Fermi paradox is more easily solved by assuming that the interval between being able to travel in space, and discovering that there are many more places you can go *outside* space, is quite short.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 30 2018

       I think the Fermi paradox is probably even more easily solved by simply realizing how mind wobblingly humongously big, which is really big, space actually is, & the implications of that (in combination with an absolute limit of the speed of light) for your potential extra solar holiday plans.
Skewed, Mar 30 2018

       Space is deep, according to Hawkwind.
Ian Tindale, Mar 30 2018

       //humongously// Space isn't actually that big. They do a lot of it with clever lighting and mirrors.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 30 2018

       Hawkwind, or Hawking ?   

       The statement could equally well come from either of them.
8th of 7, Mar 30 2018

       That's the assumption that consciousness is limited to one universe, or at least one at a time.
FlyingToaster, Mar 30 2018

       Bunned for interesting combination, even though quantum immortality is known to be complete bunk.
notexactly, Apr 01 2018


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