In an interesting video I recently watched about quantum noise and mathematics, a mathematician jovially commented in passing that maybe the reason we don’t notice information transmissions from other advanced civilizations is because their communications are encrypted. He said it as a playful joke, but I don’t think he realized how profound this was. What would encrypted radio (or light) transmissions look like in that case? They would look precisely random. Exactly like background radiation.
WOW. This is far more profound than (I believe) this mathematician realized. After some more thought, I believe this is the solution to the Fermi Paradox. (The Fermi Paradox questions why we cannot see intelligent radio transmissions from other advanced life if they are so common in the universe.)
Surely, others have come up with this explanation, yet there is no mention of this solution on sites like Wikipedia. The solution makes perfect sense and is magnitudes more probable than most other proposed solutions. Why would that be?
I don’t believe it is a mistake that this solution isn’t present in mainstream narratives or education. The reason may be much darker – those in power would very much like to hide this solution because individual understanding of the reasons for it would certainly cause the end of the free-riding the elite have been enjoying.
Grab some popcorn – I’ll explain. But seriously, don’t ever eat anything made with corn – here’s why. I haven’t eaten anything made with corn in years.
As I’ve stated before, 12,000 years ago humans were hunter-gatherers roaming around in groups of, at most, perhaps a few hundred. Think of the North American Indian tribes and you’ll get the idea. In such groups, widespread corruption cannot take root for many reasons. What gives rise to widespread corruption is the increase in population – our brains aren’t evolved to handle it with a balanced existence. And yet, agriculture followed by animal husbandry gave rise to our new sedentary lifestyle and enormous groups of people.
The key to all of this is communication. The reason widespread corruption has worked so well over the last thousands of years is because the number of potential victims per bad actor has risen enormously and the circumstances around a potential con have gotten vastly easier than they would be in smaller groups. In large groups, no individual can personally know more than a very small percentage of the population. This means that most people a bad actor interacts with are essentially strangers. There is little care for strangers because of evolutionary in-group behavior built-in to our brains. Our instincts for trust don’t work well in that situation – you have to trust each other to get along, but that trust betrays your defense against being conned. The result? Most people are constantly being conned.
Technology Is Solving This
As larger and larger groups formed and the shiftier types’ wealth increased compared to honest folk, the stakes for ensuring information security increased. This led to the development of various cypher methodologies and one-time-pad encryption. This allowed sneaky groups to send messages to each other without other sneaky groups in the middle who would spy (surveil) that communication to understand the messages. This is modern encryption.
In the early days of the technological explosion of the 1700’s, 1800’s, and 1900’s, those who had most wealth controlled most technology, so those were the factions that benefited the most from encryption. But then something strange happened…
The Poisson Distribution of Commodity Technology
Trends start, they accelerate, they decelerate and finally settle as the norm (or disappear completely if they’re stupid, like the Pet Rock.) Technological advancements have a similar behavior which can be graphed as an S-curve. A new idea is birthed, adoption accelerates, and then decelerates when the new idea is an old idea and everyone has access to it. When the telegraph was invented, it was first used by the rich as a way to have faster access to the trading markets (so they could cheat) and later was slowly doled out to the rest of the population in the form of telegrams, etc. Along came radio – same thing – rich get it first (so they can cheat), then it works its way down the food chain until everyone has a radio. Television – same thing. Computing – same thing. Communications (Internet) – same thing. Handheld wireless communications – same thing.
With the advance of technology, the earlier ideas (fire, the wheel, the cotton gin, water driven automation, the printing press, etc.) were extremely powerful in their ability to change the standard of living across humanity. As the species learned more and more about how the Universe actually operates, even advances in physics and automation (the steam engine, electricity, the internal combustion engine, jet engines, nuclear power, etc.) were incredibly disruptive and explosively increased the standard of living. Now technological advancements have slowed and we’re seeing huge amounts of wealth being thrown at smaller and smaller incremental gains – things that really won’t change much at all. (Like this piece of shit that attracted $120M in venture funding – it is basically a box that squeezes a proprietary bag of juice for you and only has a price tag of $400, not including the overpriced juice bags. What in the actual fuck?)
At the same time, it becomes clearer and clearer each day that there are many things that could be done technically to increase the standard of living, but the rich aren’t allowing them to happen. Why? Because they’d lose their standing in society and their ability to cheat would be reduced.
There are two very interesting factors here: a) The rich have always gotten the new technology first and the poor end up with it much later and usually in controlled ways so as to maximize profit and minimize damage to the rich. b) Technological advancement is slowly becoming less and less able to change the standard of living, at least under the control of the rich.
Do-It-Yourself is the Future
Technology has advanced to the point where there really aren’t advancements that make sense for the rich to release to the public without removing themselves from power. It is amazing what almost anyone can buy for a few dollars on eBay or Amazon had have delivered from the other side of the planet in a few days. I can buy parts to make things now that 30 years ago would have required a huge corporation even to find. I know this from personal experience.
A talented individual can now build their own machines to automate the fabrication of most of what is disruptive about technology in a practical sense. If you’re not aware of this, go see for yourself. Don’t know what EDM machining is and why you need it to make your own jet pack turbines? Do a search for “EDM turbine DIY” on YouTube and see people making their own EDM machines in their garages.
Better yet, check out this high school student who is making his own MOSFETs on silicon. You think the rich guys who own Intel like this? How long until Joe down the street can whip up a new WiFi phone for you that can’t be hacked and you don’t have to see advertisements or lose any personal privacy in the process? People are already starting to build these devices.
There is nothing special about huge companies coming up with amazing products. Yes, they’ve had the big expensive machines and technologies for 100 years, but the Internet has now allowed the population to catch up with all that knowledge. There’s no way to put this cat back in the bag.
This brings us back to encryption. Doing your own quantum encryption takes a cursory knowledge of electronics (I learned now to do it in a couple of weeks.) Note: It cannot be hacked – not by governments; not by ANYONE. How long will it be before the population just starts encrypting their communications to such an extent that those in power can no longer see what they’re thinking? This is, after all, the closely guarded trick of the elite – if you know what everyone is doing, you can always be on the winning side of any trade. (This is how they cheat. What did you think the NSA and GCHQ were for again? Saving us from terrorism? You’ve got to be kidding me. LOL.)
Back to Fermi
So how does the above solve the Fermi Paradox? Here’s the progression:
- An intelligent species discovers agriculture, animal husbandry, starts sedentary lifestyle.
- Specialization occurs due to knowledge build-up in the new circumstances of the sedentary lifestyle.
- Technology advances, the rich use this to cheat the rest of the population. At this point, individual privacy drops like a rock but the populations isn’t yet aware of it (they’re being conned.)
- The rich get VERY far ahead of the rest of the population because of natural imbalances involving larger populations, corruption and the biology of the specie’s brains.
- Technology accelerates and the rich are drunk on how smart they are. They become convinced they’re the best shit ever. Spoiler: They’re not – they’re just dicks.
- The wealthy, being stifled by diminishing returns from new technology, push their cheating to the point where they screw up and allow the population the capability to not need them anymore. (YOU ARE HERE.)
- The populations start creating their own technological solutions to the problems they face, unrestricted by the wealthy’s desire to keep their unfair advantages. As this progresses, the population increasingly finds they no longer need the large organizations that created the wealth gap in the first place. The wealthy are now wholly and unceremoniously fucked.
- The populations encrypt all remote communications to solve the problem caused by the rich stealing everything from everyone else through the use of surveillance technology.
- Encryption for all remote communication becomes something that is a given and it is commoditized to the point where no remote communication is ever sent in a non-encrypted way. All communications is now encrypted, even for things that don’t need to be. Encryption is essentially free and the species returns to having about as much privacy as they did when they lived in hunter-gather tribes. I believe this solves many of the problems with widespread corruption.
- And finally: Any 3rd party observer (another intelligent species in the Universe) will not be able to recognize this communication because…
…IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE BACKGROUND NOISE.
“Et Voila.” Fermi Paradox solved?