Re: Goo prophylaxis:consensus

Anders Sandberg (
05 Sep 1997 19:40:26 +0200

Hal Finney <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg writes:
> >
> > Art? The tendency to never throw away anything that could someday become
> > useful?
> Well, that's my question. When would it be useful? How would it be useful?
> Give me some ideas of what you're thinking of, here.

Most intelligent beings are aware of the possibility that resources
which at present are useless can become vital, even if they can't foresee
any use for them right now. So if the cost of retaining the resources
is fairly low, they will be inclined to retain them if they think
the potential future use (which is by definition unknown) is high.

A typical example is academics, who copy and print papers and then
carefully pile them in their offices for "future reference" (and nesting?).

Note that the evaluation of potential future use is highly individual,
and can be motivated by more or less random heuristics left from the
"childhood" of the intelligent agent. So it is hard to tell if they
are always present, but if the cost of keeping the biosphere is K,
the cost of removing it is R and the cost of recreating it is C
then the biosphere will be preserved if K < R + C.

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