Re: Lilliputian Posthumians

den Otter (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 20:57:47 +0100

> From: Robin Hanson <>

> den Otter writes:
> >Bigger is better. Tiny microbe-like posthumans don't
> >stand a chance against a jupiter brain, neither
> >physically nor intellectually.
> But the better question is how that jupiter brain
> competes against a group of tiny posthumans that
> cost the same total amount. Since jupiter is 10^30gms,
> the jupiter brain might compete against 10^30 gram sized
> posthumans.

The nano-posthumans would all need to co-operate flawlessly (be like-minded to a high degree) to be effective against an entity that has the same computing power and mass, but a centralized decision-making system (i.e. it only has to make up its own mind). Furthermore, blunt methods like nuclear attack are much more likely to harm a microscopic creature than a planet-sized one; you could theoretically blow away half the JB's mass and it could still survive with its personality intact due to ample room for redundancy.

Of course, the small posthumans could all integrate into a great ball, but then they'd have become a sort of jupiter brain themselves, certainly if thoughts, traits and experiences are shared freely.