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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Intelligent life and civilizations (Improved procedurally generated descriptions for planets)
Intelligent life and civilizations
LevArrisDate: Saturday, 01.09.2012, 15:43 | Message # 1
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I think one big and interesting improvement for SE would be introducing a new property for Terras with life:
"Cognitive life". This could be achieved, depending on the intents of further development of SE, either by introducing an entirely new class of planet, or (better) by extending the properties of "Terra with life" planet types.

When we talk about current "Terra with life" in SE, we actually address a very broad description of the term "life". We all know that primitive life like bacteria evolves easily, even under most hostile environments, while complex life forms like higher animals require a lot of evolutionary "luck" and a specific and stable environment of their home system. Therefore, the ratio between them could be given by a variable in the configuration file: "CognitiveLifeRatio", which should be set pretty low (around 0.2).

But wait, we don't want to make anything depending only on this variable without taking into consideration some important rules which should be part of the procedural generation of this property.

The probability for "Cognitive Life" should programmatically increase by factor if:

- The system's star is stable (should be main sequence, having stable energy emission) (x 1.5)
- The system's age is higher than 1.5 billion years (factor can be the Age in billion years).
- We have presence of at least one moon (yepp, I've done my scientific research homework;-)) (x 2)
- The planet is tidally locked to a gas giant (x 1.5)
- The rotation period is lower than 2 earth days (x 2). This usually leads to a more stable weather and ecosystem. For moon Terras around gas giants we need to calculate the orbital period instead.

It should decrease if:
- The system has more than one star and the given planet doesn't orbit their barycenter (means it doesn't orbit all of them) (x 0.05). Scientifically explanation behind is that such a planet orbiting only one of the stars in a multiple star system will be exposed to high radiation fluctuations, thus being too hostile for evolution of higher life forms.
- The planet is tidally locked to its star (x 0.05)
- The planet has no moons (x 0.5)
- The age of the star system is lower than 1.5 billion years (x 0.05 x Age in billion years )
- The star system is located in a dense cluster. (x 0.2)
- The star system is too near to the center of the galaxy. x ( 0.5 x (Distance to center in parsec / (Galaxy radius in parsec / 2 ) ) )

The factors above can be results of respective functions, for simplyfying the final equation in this post let's multiply them together and call them fPpositive() and fPnegative().

Currently we have following probability for a Terra with life to develop Cognitive life:
Config::CognitiveLifeRatio * fPpositive() * fPnegative()

Now, let's say we hit the very low probability of a planet with higher, cognitive life, we should display the type of intelligence (as cognition doesn't necessarely mean intelligence in the sense of our understanding). For that I'd suggest a property with a 5 steps value describing the level of intelligence:
Cognitivity level:
1 - Animal (spacial cognition, simple perception of environment)
2 - Primitive (forming groups, having hunting strategies, primitive social rules)
3 - Evolved (develops evolved communication like speech, ability to plan in the future)
4 - Intelligent (abstract thinking, extended ability to form the environment according to ideas, develops planet-wide civilization, capable of interplanetary travel in own star system)
5 - Highly intelligent (very profound understanding of the universe, develops super-dimmensional perception (through science or naturally evolved), respects integrity of life, high ethical values on universal level, capable of interstellar travel)

We need to take into consideration the age of the planet again (adding 1 extra billion years to the minimum age for development of complex animals. Additionally, to simulate evolutionary failures, global wipe events or other types of extincts, we add a random factor between 0.1 and 1.0 calculated from the procedural hash of the planet. Let's call it "SurvivingProbability".
We end up with:

CognitiveLifeLevel = Config::CognitiveLifeRatio * fPpositive() * fPnegative() * (AgeOfPlanet in Billion years / 2.5) * SurvivingProbability

In the very rare case the result is higher or equal 4, we could even display the development stage of the intelligent civilization. I'd suggest following scale:

(if CognitiveLifeLevel >= 4)

1. Paleolithic
2. Neolithic
3. Metal age
4. Scientific age
5. Industrial age
6. Atomic age
7. Information age
8. Nano and energy age

(if CognitiveLifeLevel >= 5)

9. Space exploration age
10. Transcendental age


As the time of a civilization to develop throughout this scale is geologically pretty short (maybe a couple of ten thousand years), the calculation of the development stage can be proceduraly random.

Now imagine how exciting the search for such rare planets would be in SE and how happy we'd be to see the following additional lines in the planet's information pane:

Terra with life
Cognitive life level: 4
Development stage: Information age


Guess which one this example is? Yes, you got it! ;-)

Here is how we calculated our own Cognitive life level for Earth, presumed SurvivingProbability was 0.3:
0.2 pConfigRatio * 1.5 pStableStar * 4.6 pAge * 2 pHasMoon * 2 pHighRotationPeriod * 2.66 pGalacticPosition * 0.3 pSurvivingProbability = 4.40

Many regards,

Lev Arris

Edit:

- I realized I miscalculated a little bit the radius of the Milky Way in the last calculation for Earth's Cognitive Life level. I worked with distance of Earth from Galaxy's centre being 8kPc and Milky Way radius being around 12kPc, but maybe the last value is bigger. I didn't search enough for this information. Also I don't know if simple linear distance calculation is a good idea. Therefore, the formula for pGalacticPosition might need fine-tuning, I'll leave that to the experts smile .


Edited by LevArris - Sunday, 02.09.2012, 08:48
 
anonymousgamerDate: Saturday, 01.09.2012, 15:56 | Message # 2
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Intelligent life has been suggested many, many times before... although this post seems to be the most in depth about how to implement it.




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AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 01.09.2012, 21:59 | Message # 3
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That system kinda reminds me of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation
By the way, how about something related to Kardashev scale? It's more descriptive, I think. That parameter of "intelligence" isn't very reliable for something other than human civilization.
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Saturday, 01.09.2012, 22:30 | Message # 4
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
how about something related to Kardashev scale


The issue i have with that is then you have to have entire systems that are terraformed and filled with technologies or even entire galaxies because out of hundreds of billions there would most likely be at least 1 galactic civilization.

And if you expand the idea of space engine to the multi-dimensional/multi universal realms then you run into things like the Q from Star Trek who are so advanced they don't even need technology and can affect entire universes on a whim.

I think the best method is always the simplest, just leave it at intelligence and then under intelligence list the level, like those listed in the first post. The whole Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, etc are still up for debate.





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AerospacefagDate: Sunday, 02.09.2012, 01:59 | Message # 5
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Quote (DoctorOfSpace)
The issue i have with that is then you have to have entire systems that are terraformed and filled with technologies or even entire galaxies because out of hundreds of billions there would most likely be at least 1 galactic civilization.

I don't see a problem with that. The existence of civilization on a galactic scale is not be that important for much less powerful one (humanity) - it has its own interest, not even remotely connected to ours, so we don't have to bother each other, except some rare cases. Well, some of these cases may have a great importance, but it only depends on our imagination now, in this game.

Quote (DoctorOfSpace)
And if you expand the idea of space engine to the multi-dimensional/multi universal realms then you run into things like the Q from Star Trek who are so advanced they don't even need technology and can affect entire universes on a whim.

And then, at this level, how can we distinguish the action of that scale, and, for example, a natural phenomena? I believe, in this project (as well as in our observable future) when we speaking about "cognitive level" or "intelligence", it concerns only tens of thousands of years of history of humanity, between the taming of fire and stepping into some post-technology era.


Edited by Aerospacefag - Sunday, 02.09.2012, 02:00
 
LevArrisDate: Sunday, 02.09.2012, 08:20 | Message # 6
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
By the way, how about something related to Kardashev scale? It's more descriptive, I think. That parameter of "intelligence" isn't very reliable for something other than human civilization.


Well, the Kardashev scale says more about the relation between a civilization's advance level and the way it deals with energy. It could be applied as an additional layer of information to my suggested Cognitivity Level 4 and 5. But my intent was to offer some idea on how to implement a simple calculation of life intelligence and civilization level in a procedural generator like SE is. The Kardashev scale would indeed bring some inconsistencies in the logic of the game, as DoctorOfSpace mentioned already in his reply.

BTW, personally I am not a friend of Kardashev scale or Fermi Paradox. I will tell you why: the issue I see in such theories is their ground idea that advanced civilizations always want to spread all over the galaxy and colonize and terraform everything as soon as they are capable of it. But in my opinion this is a typical human assumption based on our current conception of advanced intelligence behaviour. Don't forget that, unfortunately, our civilization is technically much more advanced that is on a morale level, so there is a high chance that all this "go and conquer!" thinking is just a childish idea real advanced civilizations could only smile about. The "non-interference" doctrine might be a normal ethical rule for interstellar civilizations similar to our laws for environmental protection.

Since how many years did we realize how that is important to cope with the natural environment and protect it? 50 years? Maybe 100? We started accepting the (currently unconfortable) idea that there are way too many of us on Earth and this is one of the root problems of humanity. Now imagine a civilization which is so advanced that it remembers any suffering and wars on its own planet only from thousands of years old digital archives. They can create massive ammounts of energy from nearly everything and developed FTL travel technologies way before we discovered fire. Do you really think such a civilization would try to contact us or even think of conquering Earth because of its "natural ressources"? I believe they see us as a pre-school kid playing in his house' backyard and still learning. Logically there is really NO reason for them to enter the backyard and give the kid a real weapon or the car's key. Would you do that? So don't worry, they'll wait for us to grow up first.
And if they really need resources or a new place to live, well - we know how many "Terras with life" are out there wink . They can settle down on any of them without superior intelligence species.

That's where Fermi fails in my opinion, and that's why my description of "5 - Highly intelligent" contains the ethical values stuff.

Regards,

Lev


Edited by LevArris - Sunday, 02.09.2012, 09:15
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 02.09.2012, 08:23 | Message # 7
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LevArris, this is wonderful. You have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into this concept and it looks like something that could really work beautifully in SpaceEngine. I would love to see something like this implemented in a future release (especially after planet light maps are implemented).




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AerospacefagDate: Sunday, 02.09.2012, 13:45 | Message # 8
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LevArris, good point, however, lets see something: our concept of intelligence is closely related to concept of energy, however, they are different entirely. The "intelligence" may transform or disappear, but "energy" remains. That doesn't mater that I suggest it as key parameter of civilization, but rather a key indicator.
I don't know actually about all this "ethical" stuff - it's difficult to grasp the basic idea of it.



Quote (LevArris)
We started accepting the (currently unconfortable) idea that there are way too many of us on Earth and this is one of the root problems of humanity.

I disagree with that point of vision, it's been calculated that Earth can provide good living conditions for at least 10 times more people, however, it isn't happening because of our weak economy and low technology distribution level. Although it's entirely different topic to discuss.

Quote (LevArris)
I believe they see us as a pre-school kid playing in his house' backyard and still learning. Logically there is really NO reason for them to enter the backyard and give the kid a real weapon or the car's key. Would you do that? So don't worry, they'll wait for us to grow up first.

Exactly. Or maybe, they won't wait us that long - who knows.

Attachments: 3477196.png(39Kb)


Edited by Aerospacefag - Sunday, 02.09.2012, 13:48
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Sunday, 02.09.2012, 14:23 | Message # 9
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I agree with LevArris, there are more important criteria on which to judge a civilization than energy usage. How much energy they use does not tell you very much about the fundamental nature of the civilization, since many very different civilizations could have similar energy usage quantities. But judging their level of technology and what they do with it as well as their understanding of and views on the universe says very much about them. It may be harder to measure, but it is far more useful and insightful.

Quote (Aerospacefag)
I haven't displayed it earlier and it needs translation

If you could send me the text maybe I could help translate it.





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SalvoDate: Sunday, 02.09.2012, 14:44 | Message # 10
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
I haven't displayed it earlier and it needs translation

I can read only "PROFIT!" and that's enough for me biggrin





The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

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(still don't know why everyone is doing this...)


Edited by Salvo - Sunday, 02.09.2012, 14:44
 
AerospacefagDate: Wednesday, 05.09.2012, 22:50 | Message # 11
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Today I spent about 30 minutes, so that raw translation of the text is complete.

P.S. Note: some parts were rewritten to be more clear.


Attachments: 2305671.png(126Kb)


Edited by Aerospacefag - Saturday, 08.09.2012, 14:54
 
AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 14:56 | Message # 12
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If you got any thoughts on this system, you can comment it here so I might know that my work wasn't useless at all.

Edited by Aerospacefag - Saturday, 08.09.2012, 14:57
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 15:16 | Message # 13
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
If you got any thoughts on this system, you can comment it here so I might know that my work wasn't useless at all.

Not a bad system, and a good look at how the broad categories of technological developments and human progress might happen. Are the large number classes supposed to represent the approximate civilization type on the Kardashev scale, and/or was your system based on the Kardashev scale at all?





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LevArrisDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 17:33 | Message # 14
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Quote (Aerospacefag)
If you got any thoughts on this system, you can comment it here so I might know that my work wasn't useless at all.


Your table is an informative scale of a possible development for human-like civilizations. I personally still see it as a description of the stages 5 - 10 from my suggested Civilization Level Scale on a higher level of detail. It could be very useful in a possible future implementation of civilizations / space travel logic in SE.

I want to emphasize again that the ideas in my initial post only describe things which can be achieved by extending the existing procedural generation of terra planets descriptions, not more. That's why both scales used there need to be kept on a very low detail level but also need to entirely cover:

a) the full spectrum of what we call "cognition", while intelligence is just a type of evolved cognition.
b) all main key stages in the development of a human-like civilization, acting and changing their environment in a way we refer to as "intelligent".

While a) refers to the cognition level of a life form, the scale described by b) shows the development level of a civilization of beings with higher cognition levels - the ones we currently consider to be signs of intelligence. This scale was chosen depending on the level of improvement in one or both of the two fundamental areas: matter (= energy) and information.
The "transcendental age" for example, basically describes the capability of unifying those areas.

Many regards,

Lev


Edited by LevArris - Saturday, 08.09.2012, 17:36
 
AerospacefagDate: Saturday, 08.09.2012, 18:38 | Message # 15
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Well, about last two stages of this scale (3.0 and 4.0), I invented them by myself, they originate from my thoughts from several years ago, when I imagined other worlds and some ways to travel there fast and safely. They are not directly related to the game. happy

Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Are the large number classes supposed to represent the approximate civilization type on the Kardashev scale, and/or was your system based on the Kardashev scale at all?

I believe, energy usage, especially in space flight, is deeply connected to amount of space we can discover. You see, despite the fact that almost 50 years ago people traveled to the Earth orbit, and then, to the Moon, we still have no chance to visit other worlds. We need more energy and resources to achieve new heights, new speed of travel to reach new frontier in space. As electric engineer, I know that the energy is most important for existence of humanity today and in or future.
And so, by projecting these tendencies in the future, we can imagine how it will go.

LevArris, deliberately, I have cheated a bit - when we are talking about the future of humanity, about history of space civilizations, we are talking about things we know well (see above). And when we speak about "intelligence", "information" or "cognitive level" it is not clear how exactly they affect reality - these are newer conceptions which are still in development in our "information age", so I tried to avoid them somehow. This position is very strong by itself. You see, the pt. 9 of cognitive development includes all of about 30 stages (in three groups) on my scheme - does that mean that it's the end of scale? I imagine we can expand it just a bit, as it's only a dawn of new age.

And at last, I thought, it is very simple to take in account this system - if civilization already reached Level 1, we can encounter it beyond the planet they inhabit. And if it's Level 2, we can find them on the planet beyond their solar system, they can occupy many planets simultaneously. Level 3 civilization may build giant astroengineering structures, and it may affect gameplay too. They don't have to be human-like to preform that, but the volume, the energy, the information they use - are necessary.


Edited by Aerospacefag - Saturday, 08.09.2012, 18:40
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Intelligent life and civilizations (Improved procedurally generated descriptions for planets)
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