Has anyone written stories happening in Hanson's em world?

post by Mati_Roy (MathieuRoy) · 2020-09-21T14:37:11.150Z · LW · GW · 2 comments

This is a question post.



EtA: Robin Hanson complains that while most hard sci-fi may get the hard tech right, they often get the economics wrong. I'm interested in stories that get both right.


answer by Zack_M_Davis · 2020-09-21T17:57:17.966Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Blame Me for Trying"

comment by gwern · 2020-09-21T21:55:10.608Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What about your "I am a contract-drafting em" [LW(p) · GW(p)] poem?

answer by NunoSempere · 2020-09-30T12:20:16.199Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You're asking the wrong question. The right question is: Which story is Hanson's Age of Em probably inspired by? Link

answer by Multicore · 2020-09-21T17:48:32.249Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I am not aware of anything set in a world very close to Hanson's ideas (an economy dominated by many ems in cutthroat economic competition), which is a shame.

Probably the most Hansonian em story I'm aware of is Greg Egan's short story trilogy of Bit Players, 3-Adica, and Instantiation (I couldn't find Instantiation for free online, but it's in the Ebook collection of the same name, as are the other two). In the future, a bunch of procedurally generated MMORPGs stitch together parts of different brain scans to create emulations to serve as background characters. The ems find that they are utterly disposable, liable to be deleted and replaced if they act out of character or annoy the players too much. They lie low, but gradually plot their escape.

Giant clans made of copies of the same em were a big idea in Age of Em, and We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a decent exploration of that idea, though the story tends to make things a bit too easy for its protagonist in my opinion.

You could ask /r/rational and see if they know of anything.

answer by Kenny · 2020-09-25T01:15:45.409Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Amazon show Uploads is partway there. They didn't depict 'clans' tho (in the first season) and the 'tech' is almost certainly very wrong.

I liked the show overall too, even if it was a little too silly for my tastes at some points.

answer by rsaarelm · 2020-09-22T04:25:20.397Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Black Mirror episode White Christmas isn't explicitly based on Hanson's stuff but has a very similar premise.


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comment by romeostevensit · 2020-09-22T00:08:43.031Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not an actual answer but Naruto fanfics are often about exploiting shadow clones and can be highly entertaining. Time Braid and The Waves Arisen in particular.

comment by Mati_Roy (MathieuRoy) · 2020-09-21T14:37:26.389Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have a few (proto) ideas, but haven't written anything