Re: Evolved Preferences

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 16 Apr 1997 16:45:38 +0200 (MET DST)

> Robin Hanson wrote:
> > As we become better at exchanging information in ways other than via
> > sexual reproduction, it seems the longer time-horizon of asexual
> > reproduction should win out. This suggests a future of very patient
> > risk-averse asexual Bayesians, in contrast to the impatient optimistic
> > risk-taking young males who dominate science fiction.

Hmm, this might be relevant to my thoughts about the growth and
differentiation of technospheres. Once a species starts spreading across
space, it would tend to differentiate as different evolutionary
pressures have different strengths in different parts of the growing
technosphere. Near the edges, rapid growth and colonization would be
preferable, perhaps creating a grey goo-ish form of the species bent on
expanding quickly (why? because their ancestors were the most expansive).

At the core matter is under control, resources limited but the amount of
information (and presumably processing) maximal. This might be the land
of the careful Bayesians. They grow mainly memetically rather than
physically (although I would suspect they were very interested in
technological growth to keep an edge against the "smart barbarians"
at the fringes), and in the face of resource limitations are likely to
favor megaengineering to ensure their long term future (Dyson spheres,
stellar lifting and whatnot).

On Tue, 15 Apr 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> So you are saying that the future portends being boringly stable, with
> high social pressures for conformity (if you reproduce asexually, you
> are producing identical clones) with low growth, low interest, long term
> investments being the norm. I predict that such a society will not
> survive long in the face of possible world ecological disasters, threats
> from within or without. Its stability and conformity will not make it
> suitable to adapt to radical changes. The machine will stop. Get me off
> this rock ASAP.

I think you are interpreting Robin's idea in a slightly extreme way.
Social conformity isn't likely to be enforced if you assume clone/xox
reproduction, it would just be a natural consequence of the form of
reproduction (although there would be a drift). Remember that there is
likely also competition, and these rational beings would act to ensure
their long-term results which means that they would be much more likely
to do something about future ecological disasters or other dangers than
less risk-aversive beings (like the sf males? "Yeah, I know the black
hole in the reactor is unshielded, but I trust my ship, and besides,
real men don't get radiation sickness...").

But I agree, we need to get off this rock.

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