Re: HUMOR: A billion years later...

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 21:37:55 MST

Silly me. No sooner did I post then I realized that I'd gotten a
description of one of the Artifacts all wrong.

So, in the spirit of
I present to you:


The Banach-Tarski Gyroscope is an intricate mechanism believed to have
been constructed using the Axiom of Choice. On each complete rotation
counterclockwise, the Banach-Tarski Gyroscope doubles in volume while
maintaining its shape and density; on rotating clockwise, the volume is
halved. When first discovered, fortunately in the midst of interstellar
space, the Banach-Tarski Gyroscope was tragically mistaken for an ordinary
desk ornament. Subsequently it required a significant portion of the
available energy of the contemporary galactic civilization to reverse the
rotation before nearby star systems were endangered; fortunately, the
Banach-Tarski Gyroscope still obeys lightspeed limitations on rotation
rates, and cannot grow rapidly once expanding past planetary size. After
the subsequent investigation, the Banach-Tarski Gyroscope was spun
clockwise and left spinning.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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