From: Eugen Leitl (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Apr 24 2002 - 13:14:51 MDT
On Wed, 24 Apr 2002, Mitch Howe wrote:
> No, which is why I am saying that humans may be very atypical as far
> as minds are concerned. And my comment about Egan was partly in jest,
We might, but we're the perfectly biased sample of one -- the essence of
antropic effect. As such we can't extrapolate anything from our properties
save the trivial fact of our existance, unless we can observe a second
instance, or (better) several. The other outcome (there are no others) is
by far preferrable, since requiring less assumptions about properties of
those others. Nonexistance is a very simple property in contrast to many
special requirements which would also make to fit the data (indicating
> since I also think it sounds a little to good to be true.
My personal impression of Egan's work is profound emotional coldness. I
suspected him of Asperberger's, but a reliable source indicated he has a
normal social life. His physics is breezy, but considerable less breezy
than Neal Stephenson's, but his extrapolations of basic technologies look
like pure personal sentiment.
> I'm not claiming to have solved the paradox. I am mereley suggesting
> that certain interpretations of it may interest cognitive scientists
> -- not neccessarily the simplest ones.
If we will have evidence of nonexpansive spacefaring others, we'll know
that Darwin-driven expansion is avoidable (the only mechanism I can think
of is singleton control, and singleton scenarios have very large
problems). In absence of hard data, we must assume expansion.
> > You just stated that all beings must be nice all the time (because a
> > single one going exponential will own the place).
> Not so. I just stated that any or all preexisting intelligent entities
> within our lightcone either do not explore or do not explore in ways that
> leave a highly noticible mark. If this were not so, there would be no
Yes, I thought that's what I said. With the exception that exploration and
expansion are the same things, and metabolism of an advanced culture has
signatures detectable over mega light years (large patches of colonized
substrate, giga light years, but you can't observe these because deep
field is equivalent to young universe). Stealthy exploration=being nice.
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