Black holes: attractors for intelligence?

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has so far been unsuccessful and needs additional methods. We introduce a two-dimensional metric for civilization development, using the Kardashev scale of energy increase and the Barrow scale of inward manipulation. To support Barrow's scale limit, we contend with energetic, societal, scientific, computational, and philosophical arguments that black holes are attractors for intelligence. An application of the two-dimensional metric leads to a simple, consistent and observable hypothesis to test the existence of very advanced civilizations. We suggest that some already observed X-Ray Binaries may be unnoticed advanced civilizations, scoring high on both Kardashev's and Barrow's scales. The appendix provides an argumentative map of the paper's main thesis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventTowards a scientific and societal agenda on extra-terrestrial life - Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Oct 20105 Oct 2010


ConferenceTowards a scientific and societal agenda on extra-terrestrial life
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • SETI
  • star lifting
  • kardashev scale
  • barrow scale
  • X ray binary


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