Re: Great Filter, Low Profile, Cryptocosmology

Crosby_M (
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 18:42:00 -0400

On Friday, October 18, 1996 3:03PM, I wrote:
<I assume that by "Mechanism Design" and "signaling games" you're
referring to approaches for controling these chaotic, natural systems.>

On Monday, October 21, 1996 1:37PM, Robin Hanson replied:
<No. that is not what I was referring to.>

Then are you referring to mechanisms like Vickery's auction and your own
Idea Futures? What would economists call the type of mechanisms (for
trying to modulate chaotic systems, rather than eliminate them) that I
was referring to?

Robin also wrote:
<I think you have assumed that such a huge nanofog must be homogeneous.
Instead, it could support far more diversity and creativity and
exploration of new tech than could vastly smaller civilizations.
And why need the actions of such a civilization be "pre-programmed"?>

True, such an expanding nanofog wouldn't be homogeneous *if* it allowed
diversity and creativity. But the discussion with Forrest Bishop gave
me the impression that such a civilization would need an almost
totalitarian control of its members in order to "hit and run" and avoid
detection (low profile scenario), OR just to maintain its momentum and
keep everyone committed to the 'pave it over', bigger-is-better strategy
even if some might prefer to drop out and become independent agrarian
planet huggers. As you wrote (Friday, October 11, 1996):
<Within any system, keeping the quiet is a public good, so a strong
central policing might be required to enforce it.>

By "pre-programmed" I was thinking that such a civilization would
require a strict constitution and would use only approved designs in
order to be 'optimal', rather than let market mechanisms, technology and
cultural modes continue to evolve spontaneously. Would such an
optimized and designed civilization have any use for evolutionary
algorithms (like random mutation and cross-over) or would these be
considered too inefficient for the public good once optimized mechanisms
have been established?

Mark Crosby