Yet another weird SF fan


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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Distributed Denial of Sanity

In Blindsight by Peter Watts, extraterrestrials intercept transmissions from Earth, are unable to figure out what they mean, and come to the conclusion the transmissions are a deliberate attempt to waste their time:

There are no meaningful translations for these terms. They are needlessly recursive. They contain no usable intelligence, yet they are structured intelligently; there is no chance they could have arisen by chance.

The only explanation is that something has coded nonsense in a way that poses as a useful message; only after wasting time and effort does the deception becomes apparent. The signal functions to consume the resources of a recipient for zero payoff and reduced fitness. The signal is a virus.

Viruses do not arise from kin, symbionts, or other allies.

The signal is an attack.

And it's coming from right about there.

I was somehow reminded of this by the way Donald Trump debates have taken over large parts of the dextrosphere. Is the Trump run an attempt to keep conservatives occupied? Is it a distributed denial of sanity?

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