Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 18:27:06 MDT

David Blenkinsop wrote:

> >... 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. ...
> 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?

We are talking about a period well after economic growth and
technologicalprogress has stopped getting faster and is getting slower and
slower. Nearing
the limits of what is physically possible.

We are also talking about adaptation to a very stable and dumb environment.
Selection for adaptability makes sense when your environment changes often
and when it consists largely of other adapted creatures (e.g., red queen
The leading edge of a colonization wave just has to deal with variations in the
density of dead stuff in its way. Other than that the environment is very

If seeds are large enough, then they may contain lots of extra genome for
adaptability with little extra cost. But if seeds are small, then expensive
adaptability features like sexual reproduction and a memory of human desires
may be selected out.

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