[ExI] Global quantum suicide paradise engineering
asa at nada.kth.se
Fri Oct 16 10:47:37 UTC 2009
Tomaz Kristan wrote:
> For preventing us to create a Higgs boson, the Universe might use an
> asteroid or accidental nuclear war. The Paradise machine could become
> something less pleasant.
Of course. This kind of fate-manipulation, whether due to retrocausation
or anthropic selection, requires devices that are absurdly (i.e.
unbuildably) reliable. And they must also indeed prevent existential
risks. At most I suspect that we could do an experiment to demonstrate
the existence of the effect, but I doubt it can be practically harnessed.
Still, it gives a hint of just how *strange* the technology of a
posthuman civilization or superintelligence might be. Apparently random
things that benefit it might just happen. There is no overt plan, just
amazing serendipity. What is actually going on behind the scenes may be
so conceptually different from the effects we see that it does indeed
look like magic - and not just in the Clarke's law sense. A paleolithic
hunter-gatherer would likely say something similar about modern finance.
It is also interesting to consider what happens when two groups using
this kind of tech are in conflict. If my device prevents me from losing
and yours also does, that means that we will always make the same choice
in rock-paper-scissors. And we will for some reason not be able to play
games where one side must lose. Similarly, if we have signals from the
future we can play the non-iterated prisoner's dilemma perfectly
cooperatively in the one shot case.
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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