[ExI] Feasibility of solid Dyson Sphere WAS mbrains again: request

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Sep 29 14:06:41 UTC 2011

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 05:35:04PM -0700, Dennis May wrote:

> My primary issue is the question of the stability and
> safety of centralized versus distributed systems.

The circumstellar node cloud is pretty much the definition of
a distributed, decentralized system.
> I have argued at length elsewhere the vulnerability
> of centralized systems to WoMD attacks.  Those
> critical of my view assured me that the resources
> available to mbrains makes them invulnerable.
> The problem is there are always more resources
> outside of the influence of an mbrain than there are
> within.  No matter how large and how fortified - if
> it can't run and it can't hide - it is a target.

A phased array with 4 MT/s power budget can do some funky things.
> The example of the Maginot Line illustrates the issue
> in non-WoMD terms.  Static defenses can be worked
> around.  With WoMD you just hit them and hit them
> until they give way - no matter how fortified.
> The replacement concept I support is called Superstealth
> [Dan Ust's name] or as I call it SND - 
> Stealth-Nomadic-Dispersed.
> It is the idea that WoMD are rendered impotent when
> you take your civilization on the road - stealth means 
> you can't be seen, nomadic means you're on the move, 
> and dispersed means your resources aren't all in one
> basket.

This is why we never left Africa. Wait, we did. Something
doesn't add up.
> I am not convinced that magnificent computing power
> requires the kind of size or power implied in the mbrain 
> concept.  As the size of the brain increases there is more

I'm not convinced that bipedal primates need the resources
of an entire planet. Oh wait, we do. Something doesn't add up.

> and more need for internal controls over resources and
> computational time expenditure.  At some point internal

You could call it just living. Not much control with that,

> deliberations on how to proceed could take on a form
> of internal competition.  The mbrain could well conclude

Of course there's competition. Nobody abolished Darwin.

> that for its own safety it needs to disperse - thus a partially

It's a postbiosphere. By dispersing it you destroy the
utility as a computational substrate. It's like all the
cells in your body suddenly decide to disperse while you
take a swim.

> constructed mbrain evolves into a distributed SND brain
> system before it gets very far into the process.
> Parallel and competing smaller brain systems can
> still form a superbrain when and if they see advantage
> in doing so.
> It is my view that long term survival and ability to
> adapt and improve will depend upon developing in
> something like the SND system.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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