Re: Evolved Preferences

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 10:52:39 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 16 Apr 1997, Robin Hanson wrote:

> Anders Sandberg <> writes:
> >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, ... 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
> If these regions could effectively contract with each other, then both
> should grow at the same rate in terms of wealth. Central memetic
> investments would compete with edge physical investments, and if there
> were more good ones of the later type, then edges would be funded by
> central investors, with payoffs flowing from the outside in.

This would depend on the speed of spread and the distances. Setting up
contracts can be hard over lightyear distances, especially since the
growers would have spread a few lightyears while the messages were sent
back and forth. This suggests to me that unless the core beings were
quite patient and accepted that their trading partners would be nearly
core too once the contract was finished, the different regions are
effectively cut off from one another.

> If these regions were cut off from one another, then the evolutionary
> arguments would apply to each one seperately. The arguments I cited
> did not depend on the actual local growth rate available, so they
> imply that both places would have careful Bayesians. And evolution
> should also select for agents which choose to be on the inside or
> outside based on expected growth rates in each place. In a population
> dominated by such creatures, it wouldn't be obvious whether to head on
> out against great odds and competition, or to be one of the few who
> stay home.

Note that I never said the growers would not be careful; wild and daring
explorers seldom become old explorers. The difference would likely be
between the growers, who colonize new space to create hardware, and the
stay homes, who might move in into the new hardware, paying with memes
and knowledge.

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