[ExI] Ethics and Emotions are not axioms

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Jun 5 20:47:46 UTC 2007

Spike writes

> [Lee wrote]
>> ---is that as soon as we are capable, we ought to reformat the solar
>> system to run everything in an uploaded state.  Earth's matter alone could
>> support about 10^33 human beings...
> Six micrograms per person, hmmm.  
> For estimation purposes, the earth's atoms can be modeled as half oxygen,
> one sixth iron, one sixth silicon and one sixth magnesium, with everything
> else negligible for one digit BOTECs.  (Is that cool or what?  Did you know
> it already?  This isn't mass fraction, but atomic fraction which I used for
> a reason.)
> So six micrograms isn't much, but it still works out to about 700 trillion
> atoms of oxygen, 200 trillion atoms of iron, magnesium and aluminum each,
> with a few trillion atoms of debris thrown in for free.  So I guess I will
> buy Lee's conjecture of earth being good for 10^33 uploaded humans.  

and later

> Double doh!  I still missed it by a factor of ten.  }8-[
> 70 quadrillion atoms of oxygen, about 20 quadrillion each of iron, magnesium
> and aluminum. I'm giving up math until the party season is over.

I based the 10^33 uploaded humans eventually running on/in the Earth
(just for the sake wanting to know a good upper limit) on Drexler's
conservative rod-logic. An account can be found on pages 134-135
of Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near". 

"Neuroscientist Anders Sandbert estimates the potential storage capacity
of a hydrogen atom at about four million bits (!).  These densities have
not yet been demonstrated, so we'll use a more conservative estimate..."

and then later on p. 135

"An [even] more conservative but compelling design for a massively
parallel, *reversible* computer is Eric Drexler's patented nano-
computer design, which is entirely mechanical. Computations are
performed by manipulating nanoscale rods, which are effectively
spring-loaded.... The device has a trillion (10^12) processors 
and provides an overall rate of 10^21 cps, enough to simulate
one hundred thousand human brains in a cubic centimeter."

So then I took the volume of the Earth (6.33x10^6 meters) ^ 3
times 4pi/3  =  10^21 cu. meters  x  10^9 cubic millimeters/
meter^3 x 100 (human brains)  =  10^33 humans.

(Since this was the second time I did the math, it's probably right.)

> But I don't see that as a limit.  Since a nearly arbitrarily small computer
> could run a human process (assuming we knew how to do it, until which even
> Jeff Davis and Ray Charles would agree it is hard) then we could run a human
> process (not in real time of course) with much less than six micrograms of
> stuff.  

Yes, the rod-logic is very conservative, to begin with.


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