July 11, 2013

Festina Lente

Squirrel moving relative to an inertial frameStuart Armstrong has a post at Less Wrong about one conclusion from our joint paper about long-range colonization: if your goal is to reach as much resources as possible, it is more important to get fast spacecraft for big scale colonization than to start early.

A million year delay that gives you a few percent more of lightspeed is really worthwhile. This works well together with Nick Bostrom's argument in his Astronomical Waste paper where he points out that reducing the risk of going extinct before collecting all the resources and whatever value they embody also is a good motivation for slowing down, if it reduces risk.

Of course, given that existential risk currently is increased because we are all on the same planet, this is not an argument to slow space colonization. Just to slow the big grab of the universe until we can do it really well.

Posted by Anders3 at July 11, 2013 05:57 PM