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My point is that potential parents often care about non-existing people: their potential kids. And once they bring these potential kids into existence, those kids might start caring about a next generation. Simularly, some people/minds will want to expand because that is what their company does, or they would like the experience of exploring a new planet/solar system/galaxy or would like the status of being the first to settle there.

Which non-existing person are you refering to?

Beyond a certain point, I doubt that the content of the additional minds will be interestingly novel.

Somehow people keep finding meaning in failling in love and starting a family, even when billions of people have already done that before. We also find meaning in doing careers that are very similar to what million of people have done before or traveling to destination that has been visited by millions of turist. The more similar an activity is to something our ancestors did, the more meaningful it seems.

From the outside, all this looks grabby, but from the inside it feels meaningful.

There has been enough discussion about timelines that it doesn’t make sense to provide evidence about it in a post like this. Most people on this site has already formed views about timelines, and for many, these are much shorter than 30 years. Hopefully, readers of this site are ready to change their views if strong evidence in either direction appears, but I dont think it is fair to expect a post like this to also include evidence about timelines.

There is a huge amount of computation going on in this story and as far as I can tell not even a single experiment. The end hints that there might be some learning from the protagonists experince, at least it is telling it story many times. But I would expect a lot more experimenting, for example with different probe designs and with how much posthumans like different possible negotiated results.

I can see in the story that it make sense not to experiment with posthumans reactions to scenarios, since it might take a long time to send them to the fronter and since it might be possible to simulate them well (its not clear to me if the posthumans are biological). I just wonder if this extreme focus on computation over experiments is a delibrate choice by the author or if it was a blind spot of the author.

An alternative reason for building telescopes would be to recieve updates and more efficient strategies for expanding found after the probe was send out.

How did this happen?! I guess not by rationalists directly trying to influence the pope? But I’m curious to know the process leading up to this.

What does respect mean in this case? That is a word I don’t really understand and seems to be a combination of many different concepts being mixed together.

This is also just another way of saying “willing to be vulnerable” (from my answer below) or maybe “decision to be vulnerable”. Many of these answers are just saying the same thing in different words.

My favourite definition of trust is “willingness to be vulnerable” and I think this answers most of the questions in the post. For example it explains why trust is a decision that can exist independently from your beliefs: if you think someone is genuinely on your side with probability 95%, you can choose to trust them, by doing something that benefit you in 95% of cases and hurt you on the 5% of cases, or you can decide not to, by taking actions that are better in the 5% of cases. Similar for trusting a statement about the world.

I think this definition comes from psychology, but I also found it useful when talking about trusted third parties in cryptography. Also in this case, we don’t care about the probability that the third part is malicious, what matters is that you are vulnerable if and only if they are malicious.

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