Re: My attempt at a general technical definition of 'Friendliness'

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Fri Jan 21 2005 - 18:19:34 MST

I agree with just about everything Harvey
Newstrom says, and am especially impressed with
the definition scheme he presents; but I do have
some disagreement as follows:
--- Harvey Newstrom <>

> > The 'Omega Point' condition requires that the
> rate of
> > information processing (computation) within
> the
> > universe approaches infinity as time
> approaches the
> > end. The idea is that a concept is no
> different to
> > the computational function existing in the
> mind of a
> > super-intelligence which generates a list of
> all
> > things possessing the attribute, in the limit
> that the
> > Omega Point condition is approached.
> Besides requiring the universe to be a mind,
> your definitions seem to
> require a Tipler-type omega point to occur for
> your definition. Since
> this is unknown and unproven at this point, it
> sounds like your
> definition must be unknown or unproven for now
> as well.

I learned a great number of useful things from
Tipler's book The Physics of Immortality, however
his Omega Point depends on a subjectively
infinite energy source derived from controlling
the collapse of a closed-geometry universe. Since
this book was published we have learned that our
universe is flat, open and inflationary. No shear
energy, just a heat death, unless some of the
escape ('leakage') schemes Michio Kaku has
recently written about can be made to work. In
the end, any FAI or UFAI for that matter will
take a deep interest in such schemes.

Harvey continues:
> (On an unrelated tangent, I reject the notion
that infinity = everything. A number-line of
intergers from 1, 2, 3....infinity is infinite,
but it does not encode any information besides
sequential numbers. Even though it is an
infinite string of digits, there are no binary
pictures, words, messages, concepts or
information encoded in there. This infinite
sequence if relatively empty. Infinite
processing may or may not contain much of
anything. I have a similar
objection to Many Worlds. Even if their are
infinite dimensions, it does not mean that all
conceivable possibilities must exist.) End quote.

I find Nick Bostrom's assertion that either we
are in a simulation or else we have no right to
expect our descendants to do past sims
convincing. Infinite processing of something as
simple as the integer sequence creates no
complexity, but what about, say, a running
calculation of a number such as pi or phi? There
may exist in some such numbers an infinite number
of unique sequences mathematically equivalent to
a complete description of our Hubble volume (and
everybody in it) and every other possible
universe on all Tegmark levels. From there one
only needs some rules which define how each
unique number sequence is used to represent a
given universe at a given moment in a simulation,
rules controlling how one configuration becomes
another (i.e. the rules of physics) and so on.
Many Worlds satisfies Occam's Razor, IMHO, by
proposing that our universe is inevitably spat
out by some such all-possibilites machine. It's
actually less bizarre than having to explain why
there would be only one universe, just right for
Max Tegmark's website explains this so much
better than I could.

Tom Buckner

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