Re: {Semi-Fluff} Anti-Singularitarianism

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Fri Dec 17 2004 - 20:10:54 MST

Randall Randall wrote:
> On Dec 17, 2004, at 5:59 PM, Simon Gordon wrote:
>> --- Robin Lee Powell <>
>> wrote:
>>> 3. Bring about the singularity will suddenly, and
>>> drastically,
>>> increase the amount of computational power used by
>>> Earth (due to
>>> super-intelligences, sudden proliferation of upload
>>> copies, etc).
>> But the overall amount of computations is not
>> increasing, all we are doing is organising them. We
>> are simply converting natural computations into useful
>> computations.
> No, you're exchanging computation which may not be
> performed (if no one observes it closely enough to
> notice a discrepancy) into computation which must
> be performed. Right now, most of the solar system
> can use non-quantum models, if this is a human-centric
> simulation, since there are no tools available to
> study the matter away from the vicinity of the surface
> of the Earth.

Of course this assumes (with no basis I can see) that the
hardware/software running the sim needs to take such shortcuts.

If instead it is a system that "naturally" performs all computation down
to the quantum level, whether it was being observed or not (perhaps some
kind of cellular automata system), then this argument won't work.

I think this was in some Greg Egan novel, perhaps Permutation City.
Can't recall for sure.

Brian Atkins
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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