In a message dated 7/17/00 10:32:36 AM Central Daylight Time,
> I'm pretty sure it gets explained by the costs exceeding the benefits.
> You have to sacrifice a huge amount (imagine the rate of change
> post-singularity) to go off and colonize another star system.
> It probably effectively exiles you from the original stellar
> economy (whatever that looks like). Sure, you can be a hermit,
> go off and live quietly in the forrest, but you don't run around
> building megacities in the forrest because you know that has
> already been done and the people who have done it are way
> ahead of you on the curve. Robin might disagree with this however.
Robert, this has always been one of the things in your otherwise impressive
"theory of SIs" that I can't buy. I think you're missing an essential
element of WHO does the colonizing (and also, how much it costs).
Let's say that the solar-system-scale SI you've designed gets built. Now,
just how much investment DOES it take to colonize another star system? While
I've become convinced that it's more than a pea-sized probe that has to be
spit out at the next star system, it doesn't take THAT much mass or energy,
compared to what your mega-super-duper SI has at its disposal. What if it's
something with the mass of an asteroid? So what? Big deal, when you've got
everything out to the Oort cloud to play with.
But more important, the factor you talk about here doesn't work the way you
seem to assume. Let's say I'm the mega-super-duper SI. I build my
comparatively cheapo colony-seed ship. I put some subminds into it.
Inactive. They won't wake up until they get to Epsilon Eridani or wherever I
decide to spew them. What have *I* lost in the process? Essentially
nothing. What do the "colonists" have to say about it? Absolutely nothing.
Maybe they won't be happy when they wake up 100 light years from Daddy. But
maybe they will - because I make them that way. Either way, the motivations
you posit for not wanting to be cut off don't apply.
If I'd do this as an SI, so would at least some other SIs. And it only takes
a spark to start a prairie fire and we're back with the logic of Robin's
"Burning the Cosmic Commons" and the basic problem of the Fermi Paradox.
> One way to look at it would be -- would the colonists have left
> England if they *knew* all they would ever be able to achieve
> would be a pale reflection of whatever England would come to be?
Some would have. Certainly the Quakers. And probably others who felt
stifled by the class structure that made their immediate social surroundings
less attractive than life in "the wilderness".
Greg Burch <GBurch1@aol.com>----<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide
http://users.aol.com/gburch1 -or- http://members.aol.com/gburch1
ICQ # 61112550
"We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
-- Desmond Morris
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