The Dark Forest

Updated: March 15, 2022

In The Dark Forest, Earth is shaken by the revelation of an alien invasion - expected to happen four centuries in the future.

However, the presence of sophons (subatomic particles), which give aliens instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are exposed to the enemy.

Only the human mind remains a secret. So long humans do not communicate with the outside world, every individual keeps things secret forever from the sophons.

Favorite quotes from the book:

"It's a wonder to be alive. If you don't understand that, how can you search for anything deeper?"

"What sort of a society is it when thought is completely transparent? What sort of culture does it produce? What sort of politics? No scheming, no pretending."

The outcome of natural biological evolution requires at least twenty thousand years to manifest itself, but human civilization has just five thousand years of history, and modern technological civilization just two hundred. That means that the study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man.

Perhaps the outside world really was something akin to a quantum state, and did not exist unless he observed it.

Technology is now capable of modifying thoughts just like modifying a computer program. After the modifications, are people still people, or are they automatons?

The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him.