From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 22:01:37 MST
Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> Oh, but it doesn't. Consider what would happen to the human race if
> everyone had only one idea of beauty rather than a continuum. Mating
> would become a difficult problem indeed. We'd all want to live in
> exactly the same place, making real estate there impossibly expensive
> and plenty of good land unused. One can go on from there.
> Put another way, many would never consider removing garbage for a
> living, so the man who does not mind makes a good living doing it for
> those others who will not.
> Being different from a large population in and of itself has survival
> value. It provides you with a niche.
> One of the things that then happens, of course, is that you end up
> with this giant system of non-linear equations, so things constantly
> alter rather than stabilizing. It is rather neat, actually.
The cost of commonness is when, for a type X, dX/dt is sub-linear in X,
meaning that growth is sub-exponential, and that new types can invade from
rarity even if they cannot become predominant. If dX/dt is more than
linear in X, growth is superexponential and you have a first mover
advantage - new types cannot invade from rarity even if they would have a
better carrying capacity when predominant. I've heard these situations
respectively called "survival of anybody" and "survival of the first", in
contrast to "survival of the fittest" when dX/dt is linear in X.
Please note that these cases both depend on particular evolutionary
dynamics. Where would a cost of commonness arise in SIs competing to, I
don't know, take over each other's stars or something? If indeed there
was any war at all, which seems to me doubtful (see next post).
-- Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://intelligence.org/ Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
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