Re: SI: Singleton and programming

Peter C. McCluskey (
Sun, 29 Nov 1998 09:58:40 -0800 ("Nick Bostrom") writes:
>I'm still looking for a really good definition of what a singleton
>is (maybe I will finally have time to finish that paper this
>Christman holiday?). However, I can say this about the concept I had
>in mind:
>1. It does not imply a unity of mind. The singleton could have one
>unitary mind, or it could contain lots of independent minds (e.g.
>human minds).
>2. It has more to do with global efficiency. Robin Hanson's paper
>about burning the cosmic commons in a Darwinian race to colonize
>space depicts a scenario that is not compatible with the singleton
>hypothesis since it would be globally wasteful.
>3. You may ask, efficient for what? On this the singleton hypothesis
>is silent. One can imagine any of a large number of global goals
>either of which could be adopted by a singleton (e.g. the goal to
>allow humans and posthumans to freely persue their goals without
>being coerced.)

"Noncoercive world government" is an appropriate name for what you have described, and the fact that noncoercive and government sound odd together probably reflects the difficulty of satisfying all your desires.

Peter McCluskey          | Critmail ( | Accept nothing less to archive your mailing list