[ExI] breakout culture (Was: ambition)

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Fri Feb 1 11:17:13 UTC 2013

On 31/01/2013 21:58, Tomasz Rola wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Jan 2013, Anders Sandberg wrote:
>> I am running minimum viable population models right now, and around 2000 is
>> probably necessary for indefinite survival. It all depends on
>> mortality/fertility of course, and that is hard to estimate historically
>> (which is how I have managed to rope in my archeologist - we are investigating
>> the osteological paradox of how fluctuating demographics affects the
>> archaeological finds).
> I'm not sure if this helps, but there are (still!) a number of so called
> "uncontacted" peoples. Of course, there must have been some kind of
> unidirectional contact to know about them. The average number of such
> group is about 200+ people. Sometimes much less.

Yes, the typical village or band size is around 100-150 people, limited 
by the Dunbar number. This is likely too small to survive indefinitely: 
one interesting result of my simulations is that stable populations 
probably need several such groups linked together into a tribe to be 
demographically long-term stable.

However, isolated non-viable groups can survive surprisingly long. The 
population lingers for centuries, despite being too small to survive 

Most "uncontacted" groups are of course just uncontacted by mainstream 
civilization. They have dealings with their neighbors. The Sentinelese 
are a bit extreme.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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