Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 14:55:59 MDT

Samantha Atkins writes:

> Outcomes, especially ones that claim we wouldn't get to hatch if a more
> intelligent species had come through this sector, very much are a
> question of intelligence, foresight, morality and so on along with the
> things you name. There is no a priori reason why we should assume that

No, not at all. I never claimed the pioneers would be intelligent. It
doesn't require to be that to be able to overrun a solar system
occupied by a pre-Singularity civilization. Post-Singularity
civilisations are immune, because they themselves form the explosion
focus or don't enter the visible picture. Pioneer expansion waves
running into each other are indistinguishable due to convergent
evolution, and hence cancel themselves out. Domain boundaries might
get fuzzied out due to fitness jitter, but they should be stable.

> more advanced species than ourselves are at all covered by an analogy of
> competing firms or any other analogy from current earthside economics.
> I won't go into where your analogy isn't necessarily so clear cut even
> in earthside economics.
Who talks about economics? Not me. Just self selection of the fastest
autoreplicators. Same thing which lets a certain autocatalytic RNA
species emerge at the other end of a long capillary filled with
metabolizable substrate.

> Assuming the policing agency, assuming one was needed, and was only
> technological equal to the sooners rather than enough superior to set up
> barriers that would stop sooners from encroaching. Suppose, for

Huh? Policing agency? Relativistic latency prevents you from synching
action, and you need massive presence to enforce decisions, whether
global or local.

> instance, that there is a sort of Vingean relative slowness bubble
> around us until we seem mature enough to venture out into the broader
> universe. The bubble would make operations unprofitable for those who

We're talking about real physics, not science fiction physics. If
inner areas of galaxies are sterile, it is due to other mechanisms.

> might be tempted to not respect the local nursery space. But I would
> actually suggest that any forces that may be have a mutual agreement to
> abide by certain rules and do not let new races out and about until they
> make the same agreement and can be trusted to keep it. I would expect
> much more advanced species to have much more advanced ways of sealing
> such a mutual agreement than simple brute force and hauling one another
> before magistrates.

You anthromorphize a lot. Lots of hidden assumptions guarantee a bogus

> > The key technology that would make a difference would be an ability
> > to project force out farther and faster than reproducing colonists
> > could move. But it is hard to imagine such a technology.
> Well, if the colonies are moving at less than c and there is a means of
> communication at c or better and policing mechanisms have been deployed
> throughout the protected spaces (at least), then it is not that terribly

You can't protect the space other than being there with sufficient
infrastructure to intercept and outgun intruders. Assuming how much
infrastructure you need, it is hard to miss such presence, and it is
not obvious that more advanced (and nonexpansive?!) species can cast
their invisible protective veil faster than the fast dumb brutes.

> difficult. Forget the communication. Just have local intelligence
> mechanisms on guard duty that are sufficiently powerful to deter any
> foolish enough to break the agreements.

If you're that powerful to brush off pioneers, you don't have
to. Because you're sitting at the center of a rapidly expanding
bubble. You're then the enemy.

If you can expand, you will. If you can't or won't, you're irrelevant,
because no one is ever going to interact with you. Hence either Rare
Earth, or the Zoo.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:17 MDT