[extropy-chat] Uses to which Space Could Be Put (was Space: The Final Constraint)

Lee Corbin lcorbin at tsoft.com
Wed Jun 14 03:25:23 UTC 2006

Eliezer wrote

> Space is much less of a constraint than our universe's supply of 
> negentropy, which by Liouville's Theorem is irreplaceable.
> No more irreversible computing except where absolutely necessary!
> Turn off the Sun, it's wasting electricity.

I don't know if you're joking. I used to discuss the possibility of
entire "reversible civilizations" with Ralph Merkle; I believe that
he agreed that that was a fine idea in principle. 

Of course, we have a ways to go before the U.N. can budget that.

As for *space* not being the final constraint, well, if you want
to add entropy as a prior constraint, don't forget to list these:

    supply of raw materials in the Solar System
    supply of human vigor and enthusiasm
    supply of federal dollars, Euros, yen, etc.
    supply of willing voters & politicians

I say that Space is final because it leads to this ultimate question:

Given *one* cubic meter in your dwelling that the Oracle says you
can do anything whatsoever with---provided that no effect may escape
this cube---what would you do with it?  (If this isn't a test of 
some of one's *ultimate* values, then I don't know what is.)

Possible answers (miniaturization == computronium, in some sense)
start with:

1. a miniaturized Amazon rain forest
2. a miniaturized Earth before the baleful impact of man
3. computronium running a vast number of yous
4. computronium running a vast number of super intelligent
   creatures including you, who each have tremendous resources,
   who can't assault each other, etc.

All suggestions most welcome!


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