Re: overpopulation - more

Robin Hanson (
Wed, 08 Jul 1998 14:16:33 -0700

I wrote:
>>I disagree that upload copying is so drastic that any outcome is plausible.
>>A virtue of the Malthusian analysis is exactly that as long as the physically
>>possible population growth rates are high enough, the outcome is insensitive
>>to just how high. The actual growth rate is determined by other things.

Damien Broderick responded:
>By `outcome' I had in mind the impact on the world of the new technologies
>of self-replication. I can easily imagine a range of methods which differ
>excruciatingly in their impact. You might need an expensive supercomputer
>to upload into. Or maybe a classy 2025 PC will do, and say 10 percent of
>the literate population run off a xox to keep on their belt. Or maybe
>Drextech is needed, but that allows a thousand matchbox sized xoxes to be
>produced as cheaply as one. Or maybe *major* Drextech allows it all to be
>done into brains the size of grains of sand, and costing no more than sand
>(but also no more conspicuous or energy hungry - until they start *doing
>stuff* to the world).
>Or am I missing your point?

All these variations determine is that size of the hardware supporting each upload, and the initial size of the upload population. And maybe (or maybe not) the speed each runs at. But the primary Malthusian prediction, of subsistence wages, remains unchanged.

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-2627