[ExI] Wrath of the Old Ones

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Apr 28 08:54:46 UTC 2015

Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> , 28/4/2015 8:09 AM:

Keeping tabs on the world over eons will be a tall order. The Old Ones would need unfailing will, an unwavering commitment through the long night, absolute unity, since factionalism would almost certainly devolve into ever shorter term fights over resources. The would need to stay lean, so as not to use up negentropy too quickly but not too lean to swat emerging bipeds pronto. Any parasite capable of boosting its von Neumann spores to high sublight speeds could spread appallingly fast, and promptly convert the stored matter into yet more parasites.

von Neumann probes also show how you can maintain the "unfailing will" - just outsource it to your machinery while you sleep. They can implement your policy, and wake up the nightguard when something unexpected happens. 

Analysing the aestivation scenario, I have become mildly sceptical of it as a good Fermi answer. There is a lot of waste going on (just consider the recent news about the 11 orphan galaxies - *entire galaxies* are being lost!) and we are *so* close to launching the probes.

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