Re: How hard a Singularity?

From: James Higgins (
Date: Mon Jun 24 2002 - 16:03:38 MDT

At 05:40 AM 6/24/2002 -0400, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>Samantha Atkins wrote:
>>Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>>>I can imagine that an SI has to crawl to the galactic core at C in order
>>>to travel back in time, thus taking a great deal *more* than 100 years,
>>>but 100 years of physical time to do anything that can be done in this
>>>solar system - I can't buy it. That's ten billion years!
>>>What on heaven or Earth could possibly take that long?
>>That the SI thinks some things are more interesting to do than simply
>>endlessly maximizing its own efficiency to your theoretical limits? It
>>is only 10 billion years if that full optimization is seen as desirable
>>at breakneck speed. I don't yet believe that is a given.
>Someone has to do it. A world in which time travel exists but your
>species doesn't possess time travel is not a world in which you or anyone
>else can be safe. Someone has to race ahead as fast as possible, to the
>limits of technology, even if it means sacrificing some of the fun, so
>that everyone else can relax. The mooks in _Diaspora_ ignored this simple
>principle, and look what happened to them.
>Besides, if people are stopping to smell the roses, I want to be in on the
>fun too, even if I'm dead. I bet Socrates feels the same way, and I know
>Ben Franklin does. So if time travel to a time before the construction of
>the time machine is possible and non-reality-destroying, that's a strong
>reason to build a time machine sooner rather than later.

Actually, if you can invent a time machine and travel back to any point in
history without destroying reality, does it really matter WHEN you invent
time travel?

Here's an interesting idea I just thought of. Once time travel is possible
go back and record the minds of everyone that has ever lived. Then kick
off a bunch of simulations for every period in time (there would probably
need to be some degree of overlap). Load the recorded minds into the
simulations at the exact point they were recorded (thus maintaining their
reality). Then devise a plausible time line by which each era creates
their own Singularity as a means to bring all of these minds into the
"present" (real) reality gradually. Maybe our reality is one of these and
the only reason the Singularity is likely to occur during our lifetime is
because the simulation is designed as such. Unfortunately, such musings
are not very useful as we won't know such things until after a Singularity
occurs (if ever)...

James Higgins

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