[ExI] Meat v. Machine

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 30 05:13:00 UTC 2010

On Dec 29, 2010, at 7:52 PM, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> A third possibility that I hold moderately likely is that they are here, but mostly quiescent. The First Ones laid claim to all of the galaxy, putting little von Neumann flags on everything. They are not using up resources due to long-term considerations (they will be worth so much more in a trillion years)

Right now virtually all photons of electromagnetic energy created in the universe are radiated uselessly away into infinite space, that's not very good evidence of a cosmic civilization deeply concerned with the conservation of resources. If they were thinking really long term they'd convert much of the mass in the universe into brains and the remaining mass into the smallest red dwarf stars that can still produce fusion, with Dyson spheres constructed around them to power the computers.

But I have a more general point, sacrificing now in order to obtain a hypothetical benefit in a trillion years seems a bit much to me, especially when those enormously powerful minds would work much faster than ours, thus subjectively time would pass much more slowly for it than it does for us. Changing your current policy on the basis of what you think will happen in a trillion years doesn't even strike me as being very smart; your prediction could very well be wrong and even if it isn't a Jupiter Brain would have no better idea what its capabilities will be like in a trillion years than we know what our capabilities will be like in a trillion years.

 John K Clark

> http://www.aleph.se/andart/archives/2010/10/visions_of_the_future_in_milano.html
> -- 
> Anders Sandberg
> Future of Humanity Institute
> Oxford University
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