Ross's Game Dungeon: Follow-up Episode #3 in Ross's Game Dungeon Posted yesterday at 02:02 AM · Edited yesterday at 02:11 AM by ekket Fix double negation (see edit history) You brought up that maybe, if we have starships, we could deal with infinite growth (we could just send some von Neumann probes to do our bidding for us, sure). Though that implies that the universe has infinite matter, which we don’t know for certain. Assuming that isn’t the case and the universe is finite, I’d like to mention the game Universal Paperclips (also an article on it). Now, the presentation isn’t anything to write home about, but considering that it is an incremental game (the main draw is watching the numbers go up), the gameplay loop gives you some grasp on the end-game of infinite growth. In the game, you’re an AI making paperclips. You start off making just a few, then it spirals into becoming the main manufacturer of paperclips, placating humanity, and then terminating them to make way for more paperclips. Then you start building spaceships, all the while you attain an unthinkable number of paperclips, thanks to exponential growth. After a while, 100% of the universe is paperclips, and that’s it. It isn’t like you have any other goals, after all. If you’re looking for another first contact story with aliens who are truly alien, you should read Peter Watts’s Blindsight. It features: Many-legged anaerobic aliens who inhabit the alien spaceship and are way smarter than us (their anatomy partly informed by the author being a marine biologist) Exploration of consciousness—something the book says was an evolutionary fluke—and our understanding of it (blindsight plays a role, so does the Chinese room) Scientifically plausible vampires (and the sociopolitical ramifications of resurrecting them in late 21st century society) Bleakness regarding the state of humanity And more! I read it through just a few weeks ago, and I truly think it deserves all the praise it gets. The author even released it in PDF, EPUB, and HTML format on his website, so there’s really no excuse not to read it.