Robin Hanson wrote:
> Adrian Tymes wrote:
> > > >What about parasitical launchers which can only survive where others
> > > >have gone before, but which can take advantage of the already-processed
> > > >resources to go faster (up to the frontier)? They would spread faster
> > > >than that which expands the frontier...
> > >
> > > This just can't happen in my model. If the original owner of the launcher
> > > could have benefited by staying a little longer they would have. The
> > > reason they left is that they thought staying longer would make them
> > > go slower in net.
> >Err...I don't get it. Just because the original owner *thought* that X
> >was the optimal time, doesn't mean the original owner was correct.
> >Some unforseen advance or discovery, unknown and unknowable at time X,
> >might in fact make X+Y the optimal time...or, at least, a better time
> >(judged by speed of colonization) than X.
> Well yes of course anyone might get lucky. But by definition you can't be
> consistently lucky. On average what I said holds.
Where does luck play into it? One would, in fact, be "lucky" to be
correct in one's assumption that all future progress will give less
benefit WRT speed of colonization than to launch now.
That is, in fact, the issue with current space launches. We can
construct ships now that would catch up to and pass the Voyager probes,
despite their being launched decades ago. Most expectations are that,
in the next several decades, we will acquire technology to let us
construct ships that would pass any such probe built and launched today.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:17 MDT