Transcension as a Solution to the Fermi Paradox? [Smart’s 2011 Transcension Hypothesis]

The Transcension Hypothesis, as presented here by John Smart, proposes a model of the universe in which an all-encompassing process of evolutionary development guides any sufficiently advanced civilization into what may be called “inner-space”: a computationally optimal domain of increasingly dense, productive, miniaturized, and efficient scales of Space, Time, Energy, and Matter (STEM).

This process, estimated by Smart to complete ~600 years after technological singularity, is an extension of the idea that virtual minds existing at the nano and femto scales will continue compressing their STEM until approximating a black hole-like optimal computational environment.

Based upon a set of varied assumptions, Smart estimates that the costs (both evolutionarily and developmentally) after entering such an environment will outweigh the benefits of reaching out to other non-transcendent species, hence our lack of any contact with any other highly advanced civilizations. His assumptions have their root in evolutionary biology, and imply that there exists a natural goal of fostering a maximally diverse set of transcendent species.

Smart’s assumptions are broad, however, he proposes a method of testing his hypothesis based in the trending prevalence of electromagnetic frequencies. See additional thoughts by Smart here via blog post.


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