Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Tue Oct 17 2000 - 07:32:46 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:
>Prediction if wave passed here: not observable, since no
>survivors. The universe looks dead because we're alive. Or, rather,
>the other way round.
>Seriously, ...

To be clear to all listening, one of my main points as this is *not* the
prediction of the model I developed. Of course my model could be wrong.

>with our current level of technology the fastest
>colonization mechanism would be by launching a very small seed (<<100
>kg, ... sail powered by a phased array of microwave generators made from
>a disassembled asteroid on a circumstellar orbit. You do the math, but
>I reckon the resources of a cubic mile boulder would be more than
>sufficient. ...
>Such seeds will travel very close to c (braking will probably take
>most time), and take negligeable amounts of time to replicate. Days,
>maybe weeks.

I would be very interested if any engineering-calculation minded person
would work out first cut estimates of the abstract functions I need for
my model. Specifically they are how fast resources available can grow
at an "oasis", how much seeds cost as function of their speed and hardness,
and what the seed mortality rate is as a function of their speed, hardness
and distance traveled.

>These are the pioneers, and they will not consume a lot
>of resources. But pioneers stay. And they will adapt. Plus being
>followed by waves of successor species. ...

My model says that a selection effect at the leading edge selects for
pioneers who do not stay. So the big question is how strong this
selection effect can be in moulding the preferences and strategies of

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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