Re: Our rocky solar system may be rare

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 09:32:32 -0400

Forrest Bishop responded to me:
><But we *are* nature. At first maybe only rocks were around, then cells,
>then animals, now us, later space-faring progeny. ....
>The creation and preservation of such institutions is in the individual
>interests of many competing entities. But I can see no similar change
>in the pressures toward expansionism; it seems in no particular
>individual's interest to prevent it. >
>A counter example: Commercial expansion into space was
>actively quashed during the Cold War. Competing groups
>may find (either logically or irrationally) it in their interest to
>prevent each other from expanding.

I can see the general concept. You predict that if you let a bunch of kids in a room with a chocolate cake, the cake will quickly be gone. But then you see the kids actually spend an hour fighting over who will get it. Of course this to me confirms the general idea that within a year the cake will most probably be gone. The puzzle of the stars given aliens is why we see all these cakes after years of "kids in the room."

I'm not sure I understand your specific example though; the Soviets prevented US companies from commercializing space during the cold war?

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