[ExI] Meat v. Machine

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Fri Dec 31 13:03:12 UTC 2010

On Dec 31, 2010, at 2:41 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 11:26:50PM -0800, Samantha Atkins wrote:
>>> Because they're legion. And collectively, they have
>>> no choice at all.
>> So you say.  I don't see an airtight argument here.
> What common plan can a diverse ecosystem set up and
> follow?

Not that terribly diverse when they are are all thinking six or more orders of magnitude faster than you or I.  I doubt very much they will have as much room for irrationality or as many inbred and architectural limits on clearly seeing alternatives and consequences.  Given that if there is a way to think and act outside the harsh darwinian box I believe they will find it.

> Even for a single species, like us, you're dealing
> with 7 gigamonkeys. There will be never complete 
> agreement, and never complete execution. This is not
> a coincidence.

They are not like us.  They do not need complete agreement to go beyond strict darwinism of acting like cosmic yeast mold.

>>> Why are you not a billionaire, and not funding your
>>> own space ventures? In theory, that option is open
>>> to anyone. In practice, the dice fall decides.
>>>> darwinian?   Such a civ may have things to do that 
>>>> it considers more interesting than endlessly expanding 
>>> Those, who chose to do that, remain at home. They'll
>>> never get out, and change the face of the universe.
>>> Only the other ones matter. 
>> Raw matter and energy acquisition may not be the 
>> highest value for such a civ.  
> A diverse culture consists of not just inviduals
> (like us) but of multiple species. Those who don't
> put a high value into self-reproduction (the main
> driver for transforming inanimate well-insolated
> atoms into self) self-select into invisibility.

Self reproduction beyond any rational need or increase in value should not happen and doesn't so much even among beings like us.   I think you are reading too much into evolution and assuming it will apply to all possible beings forever.

> The other kind become a fat blip on your instrument
> screen.

>> I don't know and I don't think you do either. 
> I don't assume anything else than the ecosystems 
> being darwinian.

What ecosystem?  The natural ecosystem will largely be converted to something else.  Why assume the same exact darwinian patterns will apply in all variants of 'something else'?

>>>> species in full expansionist mode would have better 
>>> The expansionists are only a "problem" if you're not
>>> yet there (so you never come into being) or you're
>>> not yet expansive. The latter is unlikely, and is
>>> just tough luck. The pioneers don't know you're there, 
>>> and they're likely too dumb to do much about it,
>>> even if they knew.
>> So I (an advanced civilization) send probes is all 
> Do you speak for 7 gigamonkeys? Can you be blamed for
> every shenanigan they do? Are you responsible for what
> the Earth ecosystem does? What about invasive species?
> Parasites? Diseases?

Irrelevant question.  

>> direction that are too dumb to even notice much less 
> They're not probes. They're animals. Results of a long
> series of selection steps, with the fitness function
> only selecting for one thing: expandability.

Any intelligent species that came across such would destroy them as the stupid cosmic cancer they are.   I don't plan on being that stupid. 

>> not wipe out any intelligence species that does not 
>> have defenses against them?  Why wouldn't an existing 
> They're not wiping out anything. Not deliberately.
> They just eat and self-reproduce. 

Then they are not worthy of surviving.

>> more powerful civilization wipe out or seriously 
> The most powerful civilization can't travel faster
> than c. The question is of logistics, not elegance
> or logic.
> The only chance you have is when you detect that
> you've produced a contamination wavefront that will
> eat the universe is to build extremely lightweight
> extremely relativistic craft that overtakes your
> pioneers in flight, colonizes every stellar system
> they can (so they're at least as expansive, only not
> visible) with immune systems powerful enough to
> detect pioneers, and keep their population under
> control (ideally, at zero).

And go find the idiots that created them and wipe them off the galactic map or sue them into oblivion.

> Can this be done? No idea.
>> seek to stop such irresponsible and potentially 
>> criminal behavior?   Is that kind of behavior 
>> what we expire too?  I find such a view quite repulsive.
> The humanity has done some pretty repulsive things.

This means that we should continue to do so? Indeed that we must do so to survive at all?   If I believed this fully I would go into a very unfortunate depressive spiral.  

>>>> enough technology to be a serious threat.  
>>> When the pioneer wavefronts clash, they're no danger
>>> to each other. Even in the successor waves the variation
>>> is high enough that there's no difference between the
>>> native and the alien. It's pretty much the same thing.
>> I am not parsing that.  How can dumb probes designed 
> Not designed. Evolved.

The thing they evolved from was designed.  The process was started on purpose. 

- samantha

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