In 1983, astrophysicist Brandon Carter proposed the "Doomsday argument" that supposes we are "likely" living near the end of humankind just before the species dies out. He reasoned that since most species tend to die out suddenly after a period of exponential increase, therefore if humans will also follow this pattern, then if you randomly select a single human lifespan from the pool of all human lives, it is most likely to occur during the final peak before the doomsday.

Cirkovic and Milosevic-Zdjelar pointed out in 2003 that Carter's argument did not seem to consider it likely for human beings to colonize other worlds successfully. Indeed, as any Elon Musk would say, we can increase the odds of surviving a doomsday event on Earth by becoming spacefaring race.

Now in the wake of Oumouamoua and the recent serious attention to the question of spacefaring species generated by the US DoD's press releases about certain UFO videos, it got me to realize a disturbing implication of humankind succeeding in spreading beyond Earth.

Now assume:

  • we send out 10 colony ships with 10,000 SoB (souls on board) in cryo-sleep to form 10 new colonies
  • each of these colonies in turn does the same as soon as they can
  • this progresses forward with each new colony sending out 10 ships at the same time as the others
  • each colony averages out at 10 billion humans before each colony ships reaches its destinations
  • this continues until we colonize all the earth-like worlds in this galaxy, totaling 1 billion

Through this we'd reach a moment where the 10th round of colony ships must all be sent out of the Milky Way to some distant galaxies, requiring millions of years of travel, during which it seems feasible for all the existing human colonies to meet doom or evolve away from being human long before the 10th round of colony ships reaches their destinations.

Now if the cryo-sleep system allows for lucid dreaming that seems like waking reality, and especially if it allows for something like an interconnected VR reality shared by all the SoB, then seems that to follow the same logic as Carter, given the length of time humans would live on these colony ships and how many of us there would be, then it's likely not that we are living just before doomsday but rather that we are all in cryo-sleep, living in a simulation as we travel between galaxies.

If that's the case then it begs the question, "Why would we design a fake reality for the SoB where they don't even know that it's a simulation?" Certainly we could imagine the simulation weeding out anyone who would harm the colony by stealing, murdering, etc,

However it also seems like there's a sort of basilisk here. How should an AI controlling the cryo-VR treat those who realize they're likely in a cryo-sleep designed to determine how good a colonist they'd be, but who don't take any additional actions to maximize the future survival rate of the colonists?

I haven't done any research into whether or not this territory has been covered by other posts here or by other papers, so I would welcome any feedback or criticism.


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