Re: Is SETI dangerous?

From: Aleksei Riikonen (
Date: Wed Sep 26 2007 - 12:16:44 MDT

On 9/26/07, Vladimir Nesov <> wrote:
> I can't see why 'observe the natural phenomenon' choice should be
> interesting for post-AGI civilization. From its POV, natural phenomena are
> just computational processes that happen to be running on the same physical
> substrate. If they are capable of simulating similar processes is more
> time/energy-efficient manner, expected utility of ordinary matter should be
> less than that of whatever virtual substrate they can explore. So priority
> of exploring virtual worlds of their own design should be higher; the only
> interest they can take in natural world is information they can obtain
> within relatively low cost, like stumbling upon something interesting by
> casual observation of their surroundings. And what they can find is just
> that - information - and as it's arbitrary, they don't have any reason to
> want to perceive it precisely, so they can just take a snapshot of whatever
> natural life they find and explore it further within a virtual simulation.
> On the other hand, existence of life in real-world-neighborhood has
> potentially lethal consequences, as physical world isn't designed to have
> impenetrable firewalls in it, and minimally intelligent AGI should be able
> to harvest enough mass to break whatever it likes, with its power in the
> universe growing exponentially. This process can only be opposed by
> preemptive seizure of power, that is expansion of replicators throughout the
> universe. And as explained in previous paragraph, this force has no
> incentive to leave anything alive.

The post-AGI civilization very well might have a value system such
that it doesn't wish to kill living things (or even upload them
without telling them, though that might be ok with me personally),
when it costs so very little -- relatively speaking -- to leave them
alive, and only harvest the non-living matter found elsewhere.

Aleksei Riikonen -

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