In reference to this.
Well, planets that allow for complex tool using, abstract symbol communicative social-programmable neurology (yadda yadda, caveat caveat) “species” occur almost certainly in very tight windows of existential contrivance. I am not at all certain the tides-water-oxygenation-carbon sequestration mechanism we have on Earth is the only one, but energy-dynamically it’s a pretty quick one, evolutionarily. You need to progress to higher organic life in a few odd hundred million years, and that’s fast in terms of statistics versus random risks. Resets have the plausible outcome of dumping the planet to venuses or marses (or water worlds, or halogen saturated world, whatever) and life is generally super constrained to single cellular from then on (i.e. boring).
So we have a chess game of opportunity windows to get to a point where we super-technologically are able to consolidate reality, i.e. what you call the nanotech age. I think I have always intuitively grasped this since well in to the 1980s and I was not surprised by what’s been said and happened since teh Gore.
So, here we are – reality gave us a planet with a little too much carbon. Nature got lucky once and used the vicious mechanism of anoxic events (siberian traps et.al.) to syphon away carbon in geological strata. Good luck for mammals generally, bad luck that we as mammals have a political decissionmaking capability of about months to a few years. We aren’t organized and smart enough to plan longer and a a result we fucked ourselves in to a runaway industrial-carbon saturation paradigm. And arguably, that shit can kill biospheres.
We have about 100 million years for this planet to come up with another critter with eyes, hands, vocal cords and brains in the right place, and I do not see that happen in time. The right technology prerequisites are a bit hit or miss. So I am all in favor of somehow using the clumsy anthropic substrate to shoehorn ourselves towards a super-transitional phase (singularity, nanotech age, rapture of the nerds, baby jebus, whatever) to perpetuate all this jolly goodness we have for at least a few centuries longer – hopefully with you and me around to enjoy it.
It will be on a hair’s edge. This can actually fail, and I am willing to put up with a lot, conceptually (privately I am extremely fragile, so this is just big words) to force feed survival on humanity. I am thinking horrible UN planetary dictatorships, that sort of thing. Stuff a lot of freeminded rednecks won’t be all too savvy about but still several orders of magnitude better than the alternative.
Simulations are really good at driving home this message but even at the 1.7% (i.e. precious few) of humans that fully get it at this stage our chances look slim. We are in a world where Trumps can rise to power because of racist, entitled voters throwing a “fuck it all” tantrum. So essentially there’s a good chance we are going to be fucked, even with the ‘shush shush’ abundance abundance words of people like Peter Diamandis.
A somewhat drab pessimism on my end.