Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: David Blenkinsop (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 16:34:48 MDT

Earlier, Robin Hanson wrote:

> . . .
> to produce lots of colonization, you also need enough variation in those
> colonists to then produce ones who choose to stop moving and settle down.
> My guess would be that the main variation of this sort would come from
> slower waves moving out from the same central source of variation, instead
> of changes in the "genome" of leading edge colonists. To estimate how
> much slower the next wave would be, I need better estimates of the
> functional forms for my model.

At this point I'm getting a hunch that you are really talking about
artificially intelligent settlers or "uploaded" minds who would
reproduce strictly by copying themselves (possibly some extra speed and
efficiency there, compared to regular sexual reproduction)? Could it be
that you are thinking of these ET settlers as getting locked into an
asexual "copy-me" style of reproducing themselves, so that practically
all the most successful space travelers would be literally cookie-cut
from the same psychological mold, and unable to imagine that settling
down permanently would represent any sort of success? If so, what a
strange thought that would be! For instance, a leading edge "asexual
wave" could have passed us by, say, half a billion years ago, with a
considerably slower wave of permanent settlers not due to reach us for
many millions of years yet?

In mentioning this, perhaps I'm not onto Robin Hanson's exact
"wavelength" even yet. It just seems really difficult to justify extreme
inflexibility of motives when describing supposedly intelligent beings,
regardless of questions of copying for "reproductive" success. However,
given that regular individuals *are* sometimes inflexible, if you then
imagine some especially successful kind of person--copying, well, you
know, like Keith Henson's famous "explore the Galaxy to the Far Edge"
scenario, maybe *then* you'd have the sort of madcap exploration wave
that we seem to be talking about here? In an ET version of this, perhaps
the explorer copies branched off into two types. Firstly, there would be
the ones who stopped in their own galaxy, then, *those* explorers would
in turn have been bypassed by the copies who decided not to stop at all
(or something like that)?

David Blenkinsop <>

"The number Three,
 So close to Pi,
 Suggests the greatest Trinity,
 . . . Me, Myself, and I."

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