POSTULATE: A sentient is his brain, and his brain only. When the sentient’s brain dies, the sentient dies too. The sentient stops perceiving the Universe, and the Universe stops perceiving the sentient. The sentient’s feelings, thoughts, and personality all go to zero, and the sentient vanishes from the Universe forever.
RESULT: All reality is for a sentient is the electric currents flowing through his brain. Period.
RESULT: For a sentient, a reality generated in a sentients’s brain by a computer is absolutely and precisely just as real as the Universe itself.
FACT: A reality generated in a sentient’s brain by a computer can be anything a sentient wants. The sentient will always be in total control, and so the sentient can program the computer so that the sentient will always win, will always be happy, 100% of the time, all the time, forever. The reality generated in a sentient’s brain by the Universe, on the other hand, is decidedly NOT in the sentient’s control and can literally be Hell.
RESULT: A reality generated by a computer is therefore the SMARTER choice. By a factor of about a million. The smartest thing to do is go into a computer-generated reality–– and NEVER come back out. There is no reason to.
FACT: The above argument applies to every single sentient of every single sentient species in the entire Universe.
In the summer of 1950, during an informal luncheon, Enrico Fermi asked the famous question: “Where is everybody?” in reference to the existence of aliens. He asked the question because calculation had demonstrated, with high probability, that the Universe had to be filled with advanced civilizations, so many the Earth should have been visited by aliens, not once but many times. And yet, it had not happened even once. This problem was dubbed the “Fermi Paradox.”
Recent advances in human technology, specifically video-game technology, have revealed the solution to Fermi’s Paradox. What happened to those aliens has now started to happen to the human race. We are now going down the same exact path as every single alien civilizations before us. The aliens are there, beyond doubt.
But they are not interacting with the rest of the Universe and certainly not trying to communicate with other alien races. By the logic that started this article, their brains have to all be in computer-generated “artificial” realities (hereby dubbed “Happiness Boxes”), and the odds are they have been in those Happiness Boxes for millions of years.
By the way, there is a Russian billionaire, Yuri Milner, who is pouring one hundred million dollars into SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. SETI has absolutely ZERO chance of success. Somebody needs to show this article to Yuri and gently inform him he is pouring one hundred million (One! Hundred! MILLION!) dollars down a rathole.
Yuri, man, as soon as a sentient species reaches a certain level of technological capability–– the entire species disappears into computer-generated realities, Happiness Boxes, just poof, and gone. Strictly speaking, a sentient species’ intelligence has driven it to extinction.
So there are no Kardashev type I, type II, type III, or type whatever civilizations. There are no interstellar civilizations of any sort. Or interstellar communication, not even computers.
I repeat: SETI has absolutely ZERO chance of success. The scientists involved with the project are engaged in something foolish beyond all belief. They haven’t thought it through.
I realize most people won’t like to hear this, but the logic is crystal-clear and simple. Closing your eyes to it won’t change it.
And again I repeat: This process of collapse has begun here on Earth. The human race has recently realized it has the capability to build its own Happiness Boxes and has begun developing the necessary technology. I cite the increasing sophistication of video-game technology, with literally billions and billions of dollars being spent on developing ever-more-convincing “virtual” worlds. It won’t stop until you can no longer tell the difference between a “virtual” world and the “real” world.
And here’s the latest, completely inevitable and predictable development: The second half of Happiness Box technology, brain-in-a-box technology, is already being developed. It is being funded by another Russian billionaire, Dmitry Itskov, who wants to live forever. Merging his brain-in-a-box technology with video-game technology hasn’t occurred to him yet, but it will. By the time he has a functioning Box, he’ll have an “artificial” Paradise ready and waiting.
It won’t take two seconds for the rest of the human race to decide they want to live forever in Happiness Boxes, too, just like that Russian billionaire is doing. (The first Happiness Box will cost a billion dollars. The second one will cost a nickel. All the problems will have been solved.)
By the way, you won’t even know you’re in a Happiness Box. Science is working on suppressing memories and has already made tremendous strides. It’ll be absolutely REAL. You won’t question it.
Where would you, personally, like to live? You won’t be limited by physics, by the so-called “real” world. Middle Earth? Narnia? Star Trek? Oz? Westeros? Who would you like to be? Superman? Batman? James Bond? All three at once? In a Happiness Box, you can have all of that. And more.
And poof, just like that, the human race will be gone.
Just like every other sentient race that has come before us.