Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Nyctohylophobia
When humanity finally learned that the universe was a dark forest in which everyone hunted everyone else, the child who had once cried out for contact by the bright campfire put out the fire and shivered in the darkness. Even a spark terrified him.
During the first few days, even mobile phone use was forbidden, and antennas around the world were forcibly shut down. Such a move, which would have once caused riots in the streets, was widely supported by the populace.
Gradually, as reason was restored, so were the mobile networks, but severe restrictions regarding electromagnetic radiation were put in place. All radio communications had to operate at minimum power, and any violators risked being tried for crimes against humanity.
Most people surely understood that these reactions were excessive and meaningless. The peak of the Earth’s projection of electromagnetic signals into space had occurred during the age of analog signals, when television and radio transmission towers operated at high power levels. But as digital communication became prevalent, most information was transmitted via wires and optical cables, and even radio transmissions for digital signals required far less power than analog signals. The amount of electromagnetic radiation spilling into space from the Earth had fallen so much that some pre-Crisis scholars had fretted that the Earth would become impossible to discover by friendly aliens.
Electromagnetic waves are, moreover, the most primitive and least power-efficient method of transmitting information in the universe. Radio waves attenuate and degrade rapidly in the vastness of space, and most electromagnetic signals spilling from the Earth could not be received beyond two light-years. Only something like the transmission by Ye Wenjie, which relied on the power of the sun as an antenna, could be intercepted by listeners among the stars.
As humanity’s technology advanced, two far more efficient methods of signaling became available: neutrinos and gravitational waves. The latter was the main method of deterrence that humanity later deployed against Trisolaris.
The dark forest theory had a profound impact on human civilization. That child sitting by the ashes of the campfire turned from optimism to isolation and paranoia, a loner in the universe.
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