Re: Kardeshev is pre-Spike thinking

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 20:01:10 MDT wrote:

> What if there is a convention adopted by the entities involved that
> unconstrained replication is not allowed. Any unconstrained replication
> is viewed as a threat and is prevented. Some entities would like to
> replicate, but they cannot. Most do not want to replicate, and attempt
> to prevent others from doing so.
> This is a common theme explored in science fiction, where in an
> overpopulated world there are laws regulating the number of children.
> A moderate form of this is supposedly already being practiced in China.
> It seems to me that this would be a stable situtation, and one which
> might be adopted because it produces a better outcome for the participants
> than they would get in a world of unconstrained replication.

It is not obvious to me that constrained replication produces a betteroutcome,
but even if it did, and even if creatures could coordinate to
produce it, that still does not explain the existence of vast unused resources.

The key feature of that standard SF scenario is "overpopulated", which
seems to imply real resource constraints, which also seems to imply
the desire to use available resources. Restraining reproduction because
of limited resources is one thing, restraining reproduction given abundant
available resources seems quite another.

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