How would aliens describe human civilization? | Daniel Schmachtenberger and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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June 15, 2021
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How would aliens describe human civilization? | Daniel Schmachtenberger and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

Alien observers would likely summarize human civilization as a planet with potential for intergalactic existence, but at risk of self-destruction due to lack of progress in social technologies.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How would alien observers summarize human civilization?

Alien observers would likely see the potential in human civilization for intergalactic existence but note the risks of self-destruction due to limited progress in social technologies and the persistence of rivalry and game theory behavior.

Q: What historical events would alien observers take note of?

Alien observers would mention the burning of Alexandria and technological advancements like the Antikythera mechanism, as well as the cyclical nature of destruction caused by internal conflicts.

Q: What is the current state of human civilization according to the scenario?

Human civilization is described as moving into the exponential tech age but still making decisions similar to the Stone Age, with rivalries and game theory governing behavior. Progress in social technologies is seen as crucial for survival.

Q: What is the estimation in "Hitchhiker's Guide" regarding the survival of human civilization?

According to "Hitchhiker's Guide," human civilization is estimated to pose a medium to low risk to the rest of the galaxy. This suggests that the aliens' estimation would be that humans are unlikely to survive long.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Alien observers would note historical events like the burning of Alexandria and technological advancements such as the Antikythera mechanism, as well as periods of regression caused by destruction and conflict.

  • Despite entering the technological adolescence of the anthropocene era, humans continue to make decisions based on rivalry and game theory, hindering progress.

  • The alien observers would conclude that human civilization may not survive long unless major progress is made in social technologies and effective mechanism design.

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