Re: What Do Advanced Aliens Want? (was: Dyson shells are

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 09:49:10 -0400

Robert B. wrote:
> What is maximally survivable -- the largest distributed
> intelligence -- or the densest local intelligence.
>I would argue that (b) the densest local intelligence has
>the greatest surivival potential provided it can predict
>and track events based on physical laws in its local universe.

I don't really see the need for much of a tradeoff.

Assume that it takes <.1% of the resources at a mature system to launch a probe to colonize stars, and that there are > a billion systems around one can colonize before one runs into competitors. If each colonized system were made as "dense" as possible, missing only the .1% needed to launch that next probe, would you still argue that the single initial system survives better than the system of a billion slightly smaller systems?

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323