Re: A vision

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Mon Jul 14 2003 - 06:17:48 MDT

  • Next message: Natasha Vita-More: "Re: A vision"

    On Sun, Jul 13, 2003 at 10:56:47PM -0400, Robin Hanson wrote

    > The universe that follows from now on need not be filled with
    > humans, but it will look rather human to us, since many
    > innovations pioneered by humans will soon spread until most
    > all life uses it or goes extinct. One of the most important
    > is that of law; predator/prey relations will mostly disappear
    > and be replaced by farmer/farmed or other much more
    > cooperative relationships. A related innovation is that
    > specialization in production; rather than have each organism
    > produce most everything it needs for itself, they will share
    > an economy where they specialize.

    This also suggests that there is room for many more organisms
    since the available resources will be more efficiently utilized
    by the specialized ones (or that there will exist fewer but
    wealthier organisms).

    One factor which is important when looking at this kind of
    economized ecology is how complexity grows within an economy.
    How does new economical niches develop, and how stable are they?

    > Anders continued:

    > >complexity needs growth. But it is not enough. I'm planning
    > >to write a more full analysis of the cancer cell/orchid
    > >issue, because it is really at the heart of the problem. The
    > >burning of the cosmic commons in Robin's paper is great
    > >growth, but it does not seem to lead to much complexity, just
    > >more and more efficiency at expanding. Here growth and
    > >evolution seems to reduce complexity instead of enhance them.
    > >Under what circumstances do we see an evolutionary radiation
    > >and the creation of new niches, and under what circumstances
    > >do we get goo?
    > Actually a richer cosmic commons model might well give a
    > radiation. What I did is more akin to modeling life in an
    > ocean, where the main variable of interest is how close each
    > organism is to the surface. In such a simple model, you'd get
    > just a one-dimensional variation in strategies.

    True. But there still seems to be a rather strong force towards
    maximizing efficiency at the cost of everything else. But this
    could just be the initial growth phase; in alife simulations
    like Tierra we first see a fierce competition for maximizing
    reproductory ability, and later the development of "ecological
    niches" like parasites and hyperparasites. It seems likely that
    it is this second order evolution that would produce an
    interesting environment. Unfortunately it is not well understood
    at present, since most alife simulations only seem to be able to
    sustain fairly simple "ecosystems" (likely because of their
    size). Maybe we need more interaction between colonies in the
    commons scenario for the emergence of complexity.

    (Maybe it would be worth adding even more Tierra-like
    "programmability" to the civilisations of the simulation I'm
    writing so that they could actually develop open-ended
    strategies. Worth thinking about...)

    Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
    GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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