General Patton: I don’t want any messages saying ‘I’m holding my position.’ We’re not holding a goddamned thing.
What is the best strategy for a hyper-advanced space civilization to guarantee its survival?
A hyper-advanced space civilization will need to have mastered nuclear fusion, molecular nanotechnology, AI and genetic biotechnology and all physically possible science, technology and space propulsion.
If the speed of light is an actual physics limitation that cannot be surpassed regardless of technology that this could set up a MAX technology situation. A civilization would exponentially advance until technological limits are reached. However, there are hard limits and there are things that can be circumvented. We are exploring ways to go beyond the diffraction limit for telescopes.
Build up Dyson Swarms Around Every Star
With mature molecular nanotechnology, AI, space and energy technology then it would easy to create self-replicating robots and capture all the energy of a star. Space colonization waves could be sent out to seed other solar systems and deposit self-replicating systems there.
IF hyper-advanced civilizations determine that once a solar system is fortified that it is impractical for even an opposing galactic civilization to mount an effort to dislodge a fortified solar system. The strategy would then be to fortify as many solar systems as possible.
This would also mean maximizing production of self-replicating ships and fleets to send them out in colonization waves.
Our Sun is an average sized star. There are bigger stars, and there are smaller stars. We have found stars that are 100 times bigger in diameter than our sun. A blue giant star can put out 10,000 times as much energy as the Sun. Hypergiants can shine millions of times brighter than the Sun, and they often have a diameter several hundred times greater. HR 8752 is a quarter million times more luminous than the Sun. There are 12 known hypergiants in the galaxy.
Fortifying solar systems with blue giants or other giant or hypergiant stars would increase the power of certain solar systems beyond the average stars.
Avoiding Unwanted Attention and Fights
A hyper-advanced civilization could determine that blocking light or shifting gravity beyond a detectable threshold is a bad idea. The determination could be made that there could be other bigger and badder civilizations.
The strategy could be to expand as close to the speed of light as is practical but do not alter solar systems in a distantly detectable way. This would be an expansion wave in all directions like a sphere expanding at near the speed of light. Expanding alien civilizations encountering each other would be the intersections of these spheres. However, would the spheres be very solid or would they be sparse shells. The sparser the colonization wave then the easier it would be for the spheres to overlap without conflict. If they are sparse enough then they expansion could pass over without any interaction.
If molecular nanotechnology and nuclear fusion and other technology is good enough then there would be no disadvantage to living in artificial spaceships at all times. There might never be any need to colonize planets. Resources could still be gathered but they could take interstellar comet clouds instead of planets. Planet and stars could be skipped over entirely. Development of planets and stars would be the most detectable activity. This could be deemed to be reckless. This would also explain the Fermi Paradox. Why have we not encountered aliens. Aliens could have determined that doing things in the bright sunlight zone of stars is unnecessary and reckless.
Even if only 10% of alien to alien encounter ends in conflict and the result of the conflict is a loss 10% of the time, they could determine that conflicts are never worth the hassle.
If there is no distance limit to travel where resources for refueling are readily available, then a strategy could be just expand out. If a hyper-aggressive and destructive civilization was encountered, then only the nearby part of the expansion wave would be lost.
If expansion is only or mainly in spaceships, then the spaceship fleet in the area can rapidly leave in all directions if there are stronger opponents. Planets could be viewed like cruise ships on Earth. They could be developed but always with enough spaceships (life-rafts) to evacuate completely and rapidly.
If the colonization wave was at 95% or more than the speed of light and in all directions, then after a few hundred years or thousand years it would be virtually impossible for any opponent to hunt down the expanding waves.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.