[ExI] Lethal future was Watson on NOVA

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 07:10:41 UTC 2011

On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 4:50 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 06:59:53AM -0400, Darren Greer wrote:
>> >Another possibility is that advanced civilizations naturally trend
>> towards virtual reality, and thus end up leaving a very small
>> externally detectable footprint. Exploring the endless possibilities
> Look, what is your energetical footprint? 1 kW, more or less?
> Negligible.

In a super efficient system, my footprint might be nanowatts. I
believe there are theoretical computing models that use zero net

> Now multiply that by 7 gigamonkeys. Problem?</trollface>
> Infinitesimally small energy budgets multiplied by very large
> numbers are turning stars into FIR blackbodies. And whole galaxies,
> and clusters, and superclusters.
> You think that would be easy to miss?

Yes. Seeing the LACK of something is very difficult astronomy. Heck
how long did it take astronomers to figure out that the majority of
the universe is dark matter? I agree with you that an advanced
civilization would eventually create a ring world, and finally a
sphere that collected all available solar energy. But that could
support an enourmous computational structuree, capable of simulating
every mind in a 10,000 year civilization might take only a few watts
and a few seconds.


>> of virtual reality seems potentially a lot more interesting than
>> crossing tens of thousands of light years of space to try and visit
>> some lower life form...<
>> I had never considered this scenario until I came to Exi and it was
>> postulated for me. It is the most hopeful compared to the other polar
> When something is postulated to you it's usually bunk. Novelty
> and too small group for peer review pretty much see to that.

When I look at teenagers lost in iPods, it doesn't seem like bunk to
think that they could positively be swallowed alive by an interesting
virtual reality. I have relatives who have addiction to WoW that makes
a heroin addict look like a weekend social drinker.

>> opposite scenarios--self-destruction or mature Zen state (with a no poaching
>> policy) of technological superiority. Alas, self-destruction seems to me to
>> be the most likely, given the bloody and tragic arc of our history at least.
> It's less bloody and tragic than bloody stupid. Our collective
> intelligence seems to approach that of an overnight culture.
> http://www.fungionline.org.uk/5kinetics/2batch.html

Competition for limited resources and a recognition that exponential
growth cannot continue forever indicates that there will be Darwinian
processes for choosing which AGIs get the eventually limited power,
and which do not. This leads one inevitably to the conclusion that the
surviving AGIs will be the "fittest" in a survival and reproduction
sense. It will be a very competitive world for unenhanced human beings
to compete in, to say the least.


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