Re: poly: The singleton hypothesis

From: Nick Bostrom <>
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 16:23:27 PDT

Robin Hanson wrote:

> Nick writes:
> >What if, at each battle scene, the power with the most units of
> >resources (matter or energy) wins? The power with the bigger volume
> >would seem to be able to have more and bigger chunks of resources,
> >and would therefore win, or at least would not lose.
> Why would bigger volume imply bigger chuncks?

(1) In a larger volume, the biggest naturally occuring chunk will
probably be larger than in a smaller volume; (2) By transporting
matter, it should be possible to make chunks larger. But there is
persumably a considerable resource cost involved in this. Maybe some
matter need to be fired off into outer space in order to give
momentum to the inward movement. The cost is presumably considerable
if one wants to achieve great speeds. A bigger volume would be more
capable and willing to spend a certain amount W of energy to make
some chunks bigger. (3) An indirect argument: the power with the
bigger volume has probably been around longer and should therefore
have had more time to assemble big chunks.

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics
Received on Tue May 5 22:31:52 1998

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