9:32 PM 3/27/2024

The Dark Forest

Idea of the dark forest.

So like, I just finished both The Three Body Problem and The Dark Forest.

This won't be a full review. It's quite difficult to put in quick words my opinion of what took thousands upon thousands to describe to me. Nevertheless, my hat goes off to Cixin Liu, as this is a breathtaking work of science fiction and space opera. The levels of cosmic horror gave me the same feeling of hopelessness and despair that I got while watching Neon Genesis Evengelion: End of Evengelion in theaters a few days ago (but with the added thrill of the hard science fiction... if you'd consider this to be hard sci fi). Without going into spoiler territory, I'll say that my journey thus far has sufficiently stimulated my imagination, and I'll be diving into the next entry into the series - Death's End very shortly.

I also want to discuss the hypothesis of the Dark Forest. Upon looking this up on bing, microsoft copilot interjected, and gave me the explanation that I'm going to give to you:

Essentially, everyone in the universe is a hunter that does not want to be found. If a civilization finds another, it's in it's own best interest to destroy it as soon as possible. If the technology of the discovered civilization is more powerful and more advanced than that of the former, having it be destroyed means you have one less enemy in the universe. Resources are incredibly scarce, and communications between civilizations can be neigh impossible. Thus, attacking to avoid the threat of total destruction is preferable.

I understand this mentality, but I feel like it's such a simplistic way of thinking about civilizations. There may be such civilizations that exist that have no concept of war, but in tern have never encountered a situation where war is needed. Such civilizations may be so bizarre, it would be like trying to tell an ant to conceptualize something as distant as an octopus. I am not in disagreement with the logic presented in this hypothesis, however, even on earth, the vastness of life that exists in so many modes here in my view proves this line of thinking to be a bit premature. I am not at all of the camp that we will be able to identify intelligent life, though I am in the camp that if life exists, we would probably not be able to recognize each other. Who knows? Bacterium who live in my body don't know about me. Why would we know the true nature of where we are too? Looking for facts about the universe is not fruitless, but extrapolating our own line of logical reasoning into the infinite expanse is somewhat irresponsible in my opinion. I recognize that I'm essentially doing the same thing by giving my input - and yeah that's fair - but I still think it's a bit unsophisticated as a world view.

Also if you read the novel (not gonna spoil you this time bucko), you'll see that the dark forest hypothesis is proven both right and wrong! Some people abide by it and carry out its apocalyptic will, and others flat out reject it to other ends! It's quite interesting to see it all play out... but you gotta read it yourself to get it. I'll lay it all on the table after I finish the last book in the trilogy.

Anyway read three body problem.