Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 06:49:13 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> > ... Specifically they are how fast resources available can grow
> > at an "oasis", how much seeds cost as function of their speed and
> hardness,
>Resources growing at an oasis? The matterenergy concentration in a
>given solar system is constant.

I mean resources that can be directly converted either into seeds, or
devoted to collecting more such resources. "Capital" in economic terms.

> > and what the seed mortality rate is as a function of their speed, hardness
> > and distance traveled.
>What is the probability of a penny-crossection meeting something
>larger than a micron dust grain in transit? Interactions of
>relativistic matter is nasty, it doesn't matter much whether this is
>0.1, 0.5 or 0.9 c. ...

This I know - what I want is a specific functional form.

>Staying is default. The launchers can't launch themselves, so they
>stay. Sustainable barrage of stellar neighbours with seeds is a waste
>of resources after they're infected, so they'll cease. ...
>I think one half of your assumptions is faulty: yes, the selection
>effect is very strong, resulting in convergent evolution of expansion
>wave front organisms and no, they do not leave sterile substrate in
>their wake.

I don't think you're taking the concept of "modeling" seriously. Because
people have so many different intuitions about what might happen, it can
help to build an explicit math model embodying some assumptions, and see
what they imply. That is what I have done. You can then declare that
the conclusions don't fit your intuitions, but that doesn't get us very
far. Much better to identify the specific assumptions you think faulty,
or find fault in the logic connecting assumptions and conclusions.

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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