Re: predictions if wave passed here

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Wed Oct 25 2000 - 14:37:35 MDT

Samantha Adkins wrote:
>Expansion does not equate to mindless
> expansion that destroys and consumes everything else other than itself
> regardless. In all the vastness of space other life might be rare

And gene responded:
>I know, you've said that often enough, but you never falsified the
>reasons of why the wavefront critters will be nasty.

Let me take a shot at this.

First, some assumptions: two expansion conditions: (1) Into an empty
universe and (2) into a universe occupied by beings of various levels
of intelligence. Second, the agents of expansion aren't 'wet' biological
(ie they are 'machine' intelligence), and they can and do evolve. Third,
the agents start out competitive, but not maximally nasty.

Let us then adopt the premise that some of the spectrum of types that evolve
become both fast and nasty.

I hope you will accept that survival is the single most powerful
of a Darwinian regime.

Since nastiness is a threat to survival--if you're on the receiving end
of it--then speed to run away from nastiness--faster than nastiness can
catch you--is definitely going to be selected for. Thus the leading wave
will be strongly selected for faster than the nastiness on its heels.
Also, since any strain of nastiness will first evolve in a specific location,
and then disperse in a forward fan, light speed messages will provide
advanced warning beyond the spread of the threat, allowing the threatened
to alter course, acquire allies, and develop defenses. Thus nastiness will
always be hemmed in by a greater number of unsympathetic if not hostile
forces. Nastiness will always have to devote resources to overcoming
opposition--nasty can't be nasty without someone to be nasty to--and will
therefor always be back in the pack. And while one might argue that, in
order to overcome nastiness, its victims must inevitably become nastier,
is clearly another way: force of numbers. Force of numbers increases with
cooperation and the inclination to refrain from nastiness.

Inevitably the nasty get squelched , the wave slows down, and becomes nice.

In an already populated universe, the situation is even more unforgiving of
nastiness. Ahead of the wave are folks with substantially greater resources,
possibly higher tech, motivations to employ them in defense--turf they call
home and may be disinclined to give up; perhaps neighbors who, themselves
threatened, will be even more inclined (than they were without the threat) to
band together, and all of whom will be warned ahead of time, by messages
broadcast at light speed. In a populated universe therefor, the expansion
will be slower, because unless it is friendly, it will be an invasion wave,
to have any degree of success it will have to bring substantial offensive
resources along with it. Those fleeing it will be way faster.

It seems unrealistic that such an invasion force would be composed of
replicators--the seeds of its own destruction, fleeing before it, and
a warning. More likely, it would be monocultural and minimally-evolving, a
slow wavefront acquiring and securing territory, giving time for those
ahead to
create a defensible boundary. This is a more conventional scenario in
which the
invaders slow down and then stop and either get nice or get conquered.

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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