RE: Infinite computing

From: Ben Houston (
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 19:14:20 MDT

Hi Eliezer,

May I ask what the reason we need infinite computing is? This is not
meant to be a troll type of question but I actually am curious. Of
course, I am assuming that finite computing (ie. classical and quantum)
on earth or nearby is adequate for super human AI.

Kind regards,
-ben houston

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Of Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 8:14 PM
> To: SL4
> Subject: Infinite computing
> By request, I'm posting a summary of the known proposals for achieving
> infinite computing power. Since it's easy to demonstrate that
> law permits computing elements that operate millions of times faster
> neurons, and this quite suffices for superintelligent, far-transhuman
> I no longer have a need to speculate about Moore's Law literally going
> *forever*, with transhuman smartness finding loopholes in any and all
> "physical limits". Which doesn't mean that I think infinite computing
> power is implausible; just that I got sick of hearing catcalls about
> --
> The most famous way of achieving infinite computing power is, of
> the Omega Point proposed by Tipler; as temperatures rise ever faster
> during the Big Crunch, the asympotically increasing energy densities
> permit the performance of an asymptotically increasing number of
> computational operations, such that an infinite number of computations
> performed before the Universe ends. Unfortunately, this requires
> until the end of our Universe, which now appears to be open rather
> closed anyway.
> If you can perform infinite computation during a Big Crunch, you can
> probably also perform infinite computations during a Big Bang. Thus,
> proposal for infinite computing power involves pinching off a section
> spacetime from our own Universe and creating a new Universe, with an
> accompanying Big Bang. When this new Universe began to cool off,
> after 1e-43 seconds (post-Planck-time), another Universe could be
> and so on ("Alpha Line" computing).
> Less ambitiously, the "Linde Scenario" would involve opening up a
> of basement Universes connected to our own via wormholes. "Each new
> universe could be the parent of many new universes, so that the whole
> population would grow exponentially, the gradual entropic degradation
> old universes playing only a negligible role in slowing down the
> process." (Nick Bostrom.) This does not achieve actual infinite
> computing speeds at any given point, but it does permit life and
growth to
> continue indefinitely, and the performance of an unboundedly large
> of computations as time goes on. Which is all we really care about,
> right?
> Linde Scenario:
> Our Solar System contains a limited amount of mass, and Conservation
> Mass and Energy says that we can't just make more. However, the laws
> physics contain no statement asserting Conservation of Material. If
> negative energy can be manufactured, then positive matter and negative
> matter could be produced in paired amounts - in theory, in indefinite
> quantities. Furthermore, because the total mass would be zero,
> interlacing negative and positive matter would permit the construction
> arbitrarily large dense megastructures without those megastructures
> collapsing into black holes. Thus, rather than life running into hard
> limits when all the matter in our Solar System is consumed, growth
> continue indefinitely. Since negative energy would also permit FTL,
> travel, wormholes, and the violation of the second law of
> many people postulate that Cosmic Censorship prevents the manufacture
> negative energy. (Frankly, I think this is a rather warped way of
> reasoning about the laws of physics; the only way to find out whether
> negative energy can be manufactured is to try it. When did it start
> becoming permissible to reason from a-priori philosophical constraints
> instead of experiment? Oh, never mind.)
> As long as you're constructing arbitrarily large computers, why
> them from mere molecules, which have a maximum theoretical switching
> of 1e15 hertz before the energies used tear them apart? Neutronium,
> far denser, permits much faster computing speeds from a given amount
> mass, with a maximum switching speed of 1e21 hertz. An even denser
> material is Higgsium, produced using the negative Higgsino at the
> of the nucleus, and orbiting protons serving the function now served
> electrons. Higgsium is 1e18 times denser than water; a thimbleful
> as much as a mountain. Monopolium uses a light monopole of one
> (North) bound to a heavy monopole of the opposite polarity (South);
> density is 1e25 times that of water, and a thimbleful weighs as much
> the Moon. (Hence the need to use interlaced positive and negative
> monopolium structures, to prevent the collapse into a black hole of
> reasonably-sized structures.)
> Neutronium, Higgsium, and monopolium:
> Of course, if you keep on manufacturing more and more zero-mass
> "interlaced matter", you eventually run out of *space* in your Solar
> System. I believe that I was the first one to propose solving this
> problem using Van Den Broeck's "micro-warp" adaptation to Alcubierre's
> warp drive - also known as the "tardis warp" or "warp bubble". Van
> Broeck found a solution to the General Relativity equations which
> a large space, say 100 meters in diameter, to be connected to the rest
> our Universe through a tiny bottleneck, much smaller than an atomic
> diameter. Thus, you can pack a very large number of Van Den Broeck
> bubbles into a volume the size of our Solar System. Furthermore, as
> as I know, there's no theoretical reason why you can't open up one Van
> Broeck bubble inside another one, which would permit total living
space to
> keep growing exponentially forever. You'd probably want to use a
> network to keep all the bubbles in communication.
> In short, this is a design for a galaxy-sized computer built of pure
> monopolium that fits inside your pocket and weighs as much as a
> As far as I know, I was the first to propose "fractal tardis
computing" as
> a means of achieving indefinite exponential growth.
> Alcubierre warp drive:
> Van Den Broeck tardis pocket ("micro-warp"):
> (Googling will uncover plenty of less technical explanations.)
> Finally, of course, there's the idea of using a closed timelike curve
> send the result of a computation back to before the computation
> permitting an infinite number of iterations to be performed in what
> to the outside Universe like a finite amount of time. Of course, this
> only works if you can construct a closed timelike curve, which IIRC
> proved to require negative energy. Cool stuff, negative energy. (Ha
> ha! Sorry.)
> I think someone also claimed infinite computing power using black
> but I haven't heard any specifics on that one.
> -- -- -- -- --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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