Re: ETHICS: reprogramming others, trials, justice (was Re: remorse, w

Dan Hook (
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 20:30:07 -0400

> From:
> Date: Tuesday, July 08, 1997 10:10 PM
> In a message dated 97-07-08 11:06:36 EDT, you write:
> << I think reproduction would expand to fill all available areas as soon
> possible. >>
> Whence the Fermi Paradox?
> Doesn't (mumble mumble)'s Law indicate that there has already been time
> enough for the entire galaxy to have been colonized?

Of course. I'm just using the rules of natural selection, and our current
understanding of physics, to describe what would happen if such entities
evolved. I cannot completely explain the Fermi Paradox, obviously. My
only guess is that there are more efficient ways to get energy and matter
to convert to mind than paving the universe. I do not have suggestions as
to what those are. It's just that after a billion years, it would seem
intelligence would discover some physics we do not have an inkling of now.

> I would point out two possibly pertinent points.
> As the level of affluence goes up....the birthrate goes down....
> The only reason that the U.S.'s population is going up is
> "natives" are below ZPG. As is true in other industrialized nations.

Irrelevant. We have to take care of our young. Human beings are a bad
model for the far future of intelligence. The ecosystem is a better model.
Memetic evolution is useful as well. The effect of wealth on human minds
is likely to tell us nothing. Postbiological minds could colonize the
universe with small seeds that started converting matter into mind as soon
as it got near a star.

> REALLY HIGH Tech. (Nanotechnology, Uploading and consequently Very
> Reality)
> Suppose that when a society reaches a certain level it IMPLODES.
> into Cyberspace at many hundred multiples of lightspeed....but that that
> cyberspace is expanding only at the speed that the society's nanotech is
> converting all ambiet matter into computational machinery...

Virtual reality maybe fun but it does not get much accomplished. You
cannot explore new physics without a connection to the outside world. You
also cannot avoid dangers. Those entities that concentrated their efforts
on avoiding real threats would be more successful than those that divided
their time between the real world and artificial worlds. Survival (of
replicators) is the name of the game. If it doesn't help survival, it's
useless (evolutionarily speaking).
You might also want to chose a better metaphor. I find "Expanding into
Cyberspace at many hundred multiples of lightspeed..." to be so vague
(using c to measure distance through ideaspace, where there is no light) as
to be meaningless.

Dan Hook