Re: Friendliness SOLVED!

From: Mark Waser (
Date: Sat Mar 15 2008 - 14:04:04 MDT

> If I understand Mark's proposal (which he claims I don't), it is that a
> group of agents that cooperate with each other have greater fitness
> than a group of agents that fight among themselves. On this point I
> agree, but it defines Friendliness very broadly. Humans have no
> special status. I described on the AGI list a possible outcome where
> the Earth is transformed into a Dyson sphere of gray goo devoid of
> DNA based life. According to Mark's definition, this outcome is
> Friendly because the nanobots are cooperating. He at least did
> not post any objection.

I'm sorry. I didn't see this before and I'm posting an objection now. The
nanobots *are* cooperating with each other but they are stomping all over
humanity. That is UnFriendly in exactly the same sense that humans
terraforming another world with a native sentient species would be extremely
unFriendly on the part of the humans. Humans have no special status. They
should not be stomped on. They should also be not be stomping on others.

> This is not my objection either. (The nanobots are achieving their goals,
> and since nothing else is alive, their opinions are the only ones that
> matter).

If the humans were dead or have moved before they started, then I agree with
you. If not, I violently disagree with you unless the humans voluntarily
agree to move or be destroyed.

> My objection is that evolution is not a stable process. It lies on the
> border between stability and chaos. It is punctuated by mass
> extinctions, plagues, and other catastrophes. A state where there
> is no competition is the worst kind of catastrophe.

I can agree with that but only because I don't believe that there is *ever*
a state where there is no competition at some level.

> Without competition between groups (e.g. wars), there is
> no evolutionary pressure to maintain goals that promote group survival.

And this is where we currently have a fundamental disagreement, I am
contending that the competition at lower levels or the competition against
the environment (and, as long as your goals aren't fulfilled, you *ARE*
competing against your environment to fulfilll them) *IS* sufficient
pressure to maintain the goal of survival for the competing lower-level
entity which then trickles up to group survival. Also, if the group is
self-improving and has any goals, it will then the Omohundro drive for

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