Re: poly: Malign Probes

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Mon Jan 19 1998 - 13:02:45 PST

I wrote:
>>It seems to me that the standard malign probe scenario has life being
>>sparse. If life is very dense, then there is no point in trying to hide.
>>Everyone knows that your system probably harbors life.

Peter McCluskey responded:
>The knowledge that system probably contains (non-spreading) life
>doesn't need to trigger any reaction by the malign probes. I'm
>hypothesizing that probes detect and destroy lifeforms that show
>signs of expanding beyond their current system, and ignore lifeforms
>that appear static. As long as the density of probes exceeds some
>minimum needed for the detection to work reliably, it appears to
>be stable.

If life could drasically rework its own system without appearing to
threaten to expand, then this scenario doesn't account for the
observed appearance of the universe. One of the main points of the
malign probes scenario, as I understood it, was to account for the
observed apparently lifeless universe by saying life is there but hiding.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Mon Jan 19 21:08:24 1998

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