Re: Future Technologies of Death

Anders Sandberg (
28 Dec 1997 18:43:00 +0100

"Lee Daniel Crocker" < (none)> writes:

> In the new phase of memetic evolution, where "we" are teleological
> threads of execution, represented by patterns of mass-energy, and
> acting upon resources of mass-energy, how can progress be achieved
> without risking the creation of errant threads and killing them
> off when necessary?

A good question. Evolution is based on three things: reproduction,
variation and selection. It is the selection step that kills, at least
so far. But if resources are unlimited, there is no need to kill off
unfit units, they will be out-bred by their fitter relatives. So one
way of having progress without killing anybody is to get unlimited
resources to grow in. Too bad about Malthusian reality, even in a
technosphere growing with lightspeed...

However, the creation of new threads could of course be done with more
finesse than the current "shake the dice" method - instead of relying
on luck and some skill at upbringing we could use what we know to
increase the likeliehood that the new thread will be fit and happy and
make it less probable that it will be terminated for some
reason. Quality over quantity. Of course, evolution and selection
still occurs, but now we weed out a lot of unfit *potential*
phenotypes instead of real phenotypes.

Hmm, I feel quite at home with talking about child rearing (for this
is what it really is) in terms of process forking, evolutionary
strategies and selection. I wonder if this is rare? :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y