Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 08:50:44 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote:
>... There is no a priori reason why we should assume that
>more advanced species than ourselves are at all covered by an analogy of
>competing firms or any other analogy from current earthside economics.

If we're going to do any sort of analysis, instead of throwing our hands
up and saying God's mysteries are unknowable, we're going to have to assume
something. And where else will we pick our assumptions except by analogy
to things we know? I'd be fascinated to consider whatever analyses you
make based on whatever assumptions you prefer.

> > 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
>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.

Yes, if fixed-preference "blue goo" can be spread across the universe well
before anything else gets a chance out there, it may be able to enforce
some rules. But it is far from obvious that colonizing the universe will
be so centrally organized.

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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