[ExI] The Great Silence again

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Apr 26 09:06:40 UTC 2011

On Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 09:00:48PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> I postulate that the longer the split, the more difficult the
> rejoining will be. I can see splitting for a day, or a few weeks, but

With speedups of 10^6 to 10^9 you're looking at very small domains
where things make sense. However, even for relatively small (to us)
separation like lightminutes you cannot keep a consistent ecosystem.
Local fluctuations diverge into entirely different ecosystem patches. 
This is like surface of planet Earth scaled to a Dyson sphere (gedanken,
this does't work).

Over sufficient distances the originating signature will be erased 
(because you're operating very close at the physical limits of the 
universe, let's call this the omega ceiling), so likely there is no 
detectable difference between "aliens" or regular resident species, 
apart from some extremely long-lived individuals remembering different 
points of origin.

This is nothing what we are familiar with. The world is stranger
than we can imagine.

> after years, the divergence would be so large that it would seem very
> tricky to reintegrate the networks (assuming they work like the
> brain).

Invididuals can cross over across invididual postecosystem cells. 
Their fates will depend on whether things make sense or not make sense.
There will be invasive species, until a new equilibrium is reached.
There will be extinctions.
> What about the matrix on the rocket?

Let's avoid hollywoodisms. They're rarely helpful.
> > Heh!  :)  People today start to have a nervous breakdown if they lose
> > the web connection for a day.
> Sure, and it will get worse. I had a day mostly without Internet, it
> was slightly uncomfortable. But if you're going out into space with a
> group, wouldn't you have a net, just a smaller one?

You don't have "a net". It's a chunk of reality. It might be suspended
into stasis, so that subjective time passage is zero. Or you could be
a set of seeds, which are not invididuals but develop into them on
arrival in a suitable system.
> > Consider a posthuman civ where they live in the Matrix. You'd die if
> > you lost connection.
> If you lost connection to half of the matrix, you would not die. If
> you lost connection to 90% of the matrix, you would not die, but it
> might get inconvenient. If you lost connection to the entire matrix,
> then you would probably die.

You cannot lose connection to the entire matrix, no more than you
can lose your connection to your brain. You *are* a pattern in a chunk
of molecular circuitry, interacting with other patterns in the same
chunk or linked via a high-bandwidth connection to a (not too) remote 

Presumably the core issue people seem to have is that of isolation. 
We people are social (soon eusocial?) animals, so typically do not 
tolerate isolation well. Even so, there is considerable variation 
between individuals. And of course people have founded whole new 
cultures starting with just a band of travelers, and ecosystems 
have bootstrapped by species immune to ennui. Coconut palms rarely 
get bored. It took a while until U.S. become palatable enough for
European decadents to cross over. Species successions happen.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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