Re: Darwinian Extropy

Robin Hanson (
Thu, 12 Sep 96 16:19:35 PDT

Dan Clemmensen writes:
>> >... There may not be a lot of diverse SIs
>> >in the universe. There may be only one per system, and they may all
>> >have reached the same super-logical conclusion that star travel is
>> >uneconomical in terms of the resources that SIs use.
>> ... to make your scenario plausible, you need a plausible process which
>> creates this massive convergence to a preference with almost no weight
>> on long-time-scale returns.
>... An SI is likely to have conscious control of its internal
>archecture, so the postulated subconscious human group-think may not
>be relevant.
>Please note: I'm still not arguing that my model of an SI is the
>correct one, only that it's plausible.

It seems to me that in the absence of a process pushing conformity,
one should expect diversity, at least when we're talking about
motivations across the entire visible universe. Yes, it's possible
there is such a process we don't know anything about, but this simple
statement does not make the conclusion "plausible", only "posibble".
Otherwise any not-logically-impossible conclusion would be

>Your [Anders'] scenario may be plausible, but I feel that my scenario
>is more likely: the Initial SI (for example an experimenter together
>with a workstation and a bunch of software) is capable of rapid
>self-augmentation. Since the experimenter and the experiment are
>likely to be oriented toward developing an SI, the self-augmentation
>is likely to result in rapid intelligence gain.

Most complex systems we know of are capable of rapid
self-augmentation. People can change, companies can change, and
nations can change. *Useful* rapid change is a lot harder, however,
and you have offered no plausible argument why such useful rapid
change is any more likely here than for other complex systems. Again,
yes, it is logically possible. But that is hardly a plausibility

Robin Hanson