RE: Encouraging a Positive Transcension

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Feb 12 2004 - 08:57:11 MST

> >
> >1) I have little faith in any of our current physics theories...
> Could you elaborate a bit here? Or point me to a FAQ? I have no
> idea what
> the ground rules are for this discussion. I happen to be
> agnostic on this
> subject. However, the order of AI you get with and without FTL
> communications is very different. (One vs many)

Modern physics of course is logically inconsistent -- no one has unified
quantum theory with gravity. So it's hard to trust a logically inconsistent
theory, if you're a rationalist anyway...

I've studied a lot of whacky attempts at unified physics theories, such as
Matti Pitkanen's theory based on p-adic fields, and Tony Smith's "Vodou
Physics" theory (Google will lead you to either of these). I don't quite
believe any of them but I suspect they have insights not contained in the
more standard attempts at unified theory (e.g. string theory). My thoughts
on string theory are given in a chapter in my online book draft "The Path to

I think that building an AGI system and giving it direct sensorimotor links
to the submicroscopic world is going to finally give us some REAL insight
into fundamental physics... and at that point, all our current physics ideas
may seem highly naive and limiting...

What this means about the conditions under which FTL communication is
possible, I'm not sure. I have a suspicion that if you twist spacetime in
the right way, you can create a domain in which it's possible. This is
related to Kip Thorne's work on the physics of time travel.

I spent a lot of time studying and thinking about this stuff in the
mid-1990's, and some of my half-assed, 1/5-finished speculations from that
period are linked to from the bottom of the page

But I basically stopped that line of research when I decided to focus more
fully on AI in 1997.

-- Ben G

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