Re: Thinking about the future...

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 14:24:25 +0200 (MET DST)

On Mon, 26 Aug 1996, Stephen de Vries wrote:

> Yes, it seems that the universal law is a digital one: exist or don`t
> exist. I can definitely see ourselves creating our evolutionary
> successors.

It can be much more subtle than that. The important question is "What kind
of existence?". I think it would be unlikely that we create successors
that out-compete us, most likely they will inhabit a somewhat different
ecological/memetic niche that will overlap with ours; competition and
cooperation will most likely lead to adaption.

For example, humans thrive on the Earth, which from the perspective of a
dry nano superbeing is the Sixth Circle of Hell - air which oxidizes and
prevents easy landing, a complex environment and a deep gravity well.
Materials can be gathered much more easy in the Belt. And we can't survive
well in space. So the nanobeings might evolve out there, while trading
nanoproducts for interesting biological experiences from Earth. A bit
like the zones in AFUtD.

Another possibility would be symbiosis: humans might become parts of
extended organisms involving biological, artificial and natural elements,
providing things like optimism, human values, irrational behavior, pattern
recognition and the ability to scratch well - we might be very surprised
of what posthuman beings may need. And in the long run these extended
organisms evolve, until we become parts of them just as procaryotes became
cruicial organelles in eucaryote cells (to borrow from the Filter thread).

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