Re: MEDIA: NOVA on Gamma Ray Bursters

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 13:10:14 MST

Brian -- this is offlist since you likely haven't rcvd
my ranting response to Eugene -- complementing that comment
with your comments...

> All well and good, but it doesn't explain why one superintelligence
> in their civilization wouldn't, out of the goodness of its non-heart,
> take half a second of realtime to design and construct a small,
> replicating (as it encounters new solar systems), fast nanoprobe
> that should by this point in time completely spread itself through
> our galaxy

I have no problem with what you are discussing up to the word
"replicating". If you want "trust" you want brothers & sisters,
not "children". (There would be some interesting sociology
here to look at statistics of relationship "symbiosis" between
siblings vs. parent-child (or more specifically child->parent)

> helping out and uploading (or whatever is "best") the species
> it runs across.

Certainly. Absorbing foreign technologies and experience
makes for more survivable entities (look at mitochondria
and chloroplasts). But it is questionable whether such
mergings would grant some subset of the mergents replication
rights. The Borg assimilate -- but they don't grant the
assimilated "free will".

It seems to me that for an ATC to produce an expansionary
perspective it must give up a survival perspective. If
it gives up a survival perspective (embracing an Extropic
evolve as fast as you can perspective?) then they may
tip off the edge of the cliff as fast as they come into

One has to create a balance between evolving and surviving.

I don't yet currently see how individuals (or civilizations)
can make those choices in a non-destructive fashion (without
imposing some rather draconian solutions).


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:33 MST