A billion years later...

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (sentience@pobox.com)
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 20:45:20 MST


JB: So our model of physics was right, then?
S: Mostly. It's fair to say it was substantially correct.
JB: And the second law of thermodynamics?
S: Still standing strong.
JB: Okay, so how does this geegaw work then? I saw you spin it up back
in 2016 and it's still spinning now.
S: Oh, that doesn't violate the second law of thermodynamics. It's a
Banach-Tarski gyroscope.
JB: Huh?
S: It's increasing in entropy. It'll go on increasing in entropy
forever. We just don't see the entropy, that's all. You see, this
gyroscope is partitioned into a countable set of uncountable sets of real
points. Each time it spins, a new set of real points rotates into place,
and that's where we dump the entropy. Then we do the same thing on the
next rotation. It's like the way you can convert a circle missing a
single real point into a closed circle with a single rotation of...
JB: Nevermind. Okay, what about this thing? I'm sure I saw that on the
other side of the lab a femtosecond ago. That has to violate the
lightspeed limit. Did the lightspeed limit get disproven?
S: No, of course not! The lightspeed limit is still standing solid.
That's a Calvin-Hobbes transmogrifier unit.
JB: So how does it get from point A to point B in less then C?
S: It doesn't. It was already there to begin with.
JB: Where?
S: Both places.
JB: I see. And this palace you manufactured out of nothing... doesn't
that violate conservation of mass and energy?
S: Rest assured that the total mass of this palace is zero.

(You get the idea.)

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://intelligence.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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