Fwd: Post Singularity Earth

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Date: Fri May 17 2002 - 07:10:44 MDT

Good terminology.

attached mail follows:

It seems likely that the situation following the Singularity will fall
into one of the following categories. But I haven't really seen any
convincing arguments that one of these scenarios is more likely than

1) singleton: single SI, non-breeding (cannot ensure offspring will stay
2) happy family: multiple SI's all perfectly friendly with each other
(perhaps they all converged on the same goals, or descend from the one
ancestor who built in kinship altriusm)
3) violent competition: super-intelligent, possibly breeding, entities
violently competing with each other for resources
4) non-violent competition: same as 3, but violence is not attractive
for whatever reason (e.g., defense is much easier than offense)

(These scenarios refer to the "top-level" physical reality. If an SI, like
Eliezer's Sysop, decides to enforce another scenario within a simulation
that it runs, that's a different matter.)

Eugen Leitl recently argued for scenario 3 (I think):

> Singleton scenarios are unphysical. Those of them who're not catatonic
> failures (the default for man-made seed designs) explode in Blight.

The Blight (at least Vinge's) is either a singleton or a happy family. Why
must a singleton reproduce and why must its offsprings compete with each

> I think what you would see is a succession of colonizing beings (control
> of the hardware layer is too important to be given away), wave after wave
> after the pioneers passed. Similiar to what you see after volcanic
> eruptions.

Why should that be? By the time a later wave arrives, the earlier wave
could have independently developed to the same technological level, and it
would have a defensive advantage.

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