Re: Kardeshev is pre-Spike thinking

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 13:04:58 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > The conclusion that much more advanced creatures would be visible
> > to us is based on the idea that
> > A) they would be subject to physical resource constraints that we
> > perceive (e.g., visible mass and entropy), and that
> > B) their preferences would be such as to make such constraints
> > frequently binding.
> >
> > It seems that people trained primarily in the physical sciences
> > appreciate how strong the arguments are for the first of these
> > conditions, but do not appreciate that the social sciences offer
> > similarly strong arguments for the second condition.
>This seems to imply that the social sciences support the strong
>convergence hypothesis (that all civilisations converge in some
>respects over time), which is a very general statement given the
>variety of possible cultures and motivations. Exactly what arguments
>do the social sciences offer?

I don't see why you need such a convergence hypothesis. You don't
need to argue that every culture or every individual in every culture
or every cell in every individual is aggressively using such resources.
You only need enough cultures which allow enough of their individuals to
pursue goals which can be aided by making use of these resources. And
since such resources seem to be of use in competition between
individuals and cultures, it is hard to imagine them remaining almost
completely untouched.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:12:35 MDT