Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Civilization Filter

The Great Filter is an explanation for the Fermi paradox. One argument says the filter was far in the past. We live on a Privileged Planet. The Earth is in the right place in the Solar System and galaxy. The timing of cosmic events such as extinction level comet or asteroid strikes gave life enough time to develop. The odds of life even starting are so small, that existence of single-cell organisms is itself an extremely rare event in the universe. Some go so far as to argue the planet is also positioned for faster scientific discovery. God gave Man some cheat codes.

Most arguments say the filter is in the future. Comet bombardment, self-destruction via war or accident, take your pick.

While sci-fi writers, ELon Musk and Stephen Hawking focus on the future, in the present is the Civilization Filter.

New Generation of Bombs Undetectable by Airport Scanners: What’s the Solution?
RTD1: Rather, this will result in a massive push towards video conferencing/telepresence in lieu of business travel. I’ve been a management/technology consultant flying weekly for 20 years now, and if this ban were extended to all domestic and international flights, I’d likely either find an alternative to in-person meetings or switch careers if it were not feasible. I haven’t checked a bag (save for gate checking carry-ons on puddle jumpers) in years. I keep my timelines from landing to meeting starts pretty tight, and I count on flying time for working. I’m not unique, such a rule would be devastating for business travel.

Pax Britanica: There is always an element of business travel that is not really necessary but its hard line to draw between beneficial and essential. There are also events like conferences where most of the attendees don’t’ actually attend but meet with peers from other companies and do business just because a lot of people from one industry are in the same place. Ie the conference itself isn’t really ‘necessary’ but it’s a good opportunity to meet clients and suppliers without doing separate trips. Video links are usually fine for inside the company work and some external stuff but many cultures like the physical presence bit.

Mickjoebill: What about camera crews and photographers who carry kilos of lumpy electronic gear onboard? It is trivial to provide enough power to activate a camera to make the battery appear unadulterated when the cells have been repacked with something deadly. Unless every item is sniffed, a laptop ban seems half arsed.
The Pareto-optimal policy in a rational world is Israel's profiling of potential terrorists. They look for the men, not the devices. In the Anarcho-Tyranny of the West, technology is destroyed to allow for more Muslim migration. The Cathedral does not pass the Civilization Filter test.

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