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From: owner-extropians@extropy.com
Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 12:26:00 MST

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Subject: Re: *Bzzzt* Fermi Paradox (was Re: >H Re: transhuman-digest
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From: Anders Sandberg <eaurell@nada.kth.se>
Date: 14 Jan 2000 14:30:29 +0100
In-Reply-To: Jeff Davis's message of "Wed, 12 Jan 2000 11:20:15 -0800"
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Jeff Davis <jdavis@socketscience.com> writes:

> An additional factor to be taken into consideration is the age of the
> universe. The older the universe the more capable and community-minded the
> "residents" are likely to be.

Why? Capable may be likely, but community mindedness does not have to
be greater. After all, see the complex behavior of cooperation in the
iterated prisoners' dilemma when run as a genetic algorithm - long
periods of calm and cooperations, followed by breakdowns and
restorations. In a sufficiently large universe there will be
disturbances going on here and there at any time, and if a
civilisation within one of them sent out replicating probes it would
be noticeable.

> But even in a brand-spanking-new
> universe, the first civilization out of the starting blocks is unlikely to
> know that they are the first, and therefore likely to exercise caution.

Just look around on this list, and ask yourself: would anybody here
(given enough resources) start a replicator scenario without being
cautious? I think the answer is yes, there are a few of us who might
take the chance regardless of risks or due to a philosophical
position. Even if the vast majority of members of a civlisation thinks
that probes are a Bad Thing, it may not deter some members from
launching them anyway. Unless probes remain tremendously expensive
compared to the average wealth of the civilisation, the probability of
launching is nonzero.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!
asa@nada.kth.se                            http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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