[ExI] The Actual Visionary of the Future

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri Oct 25 17:48:25 UTC 2013

On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 02:21:35PM +0200, Tomaz Kristan wrote:
> > Me, too! I know LAR is in a disagreement with the light speed principle.
> > Eventually they'll meet in a duel.
> LAR is not just limited in time, but also in scope. Exponential
> processes are the exception, rather than the rule. And that
> exception never lasts long.

Even Ray doesn't expect Moore's Law to run indefinitely. In his book TSIN,
he talks about the ultimate physical limitations of computing with matter.
If we stay on the current track, as Ray predicts, we will hit limitations
of physics in a dozen decades or so. The interesting point for humanity is
that point puts computers at many billions of times smarter than us in a
relatively short time frame compared to the ultimate limits.

I know you MUST believe that computers will continue to get faster, even if
they don't quite keep up the doubling pace. Right?

> The trouble with cornucopians like Kurzweil is that they
> cheerfully and cherrypickingly apply LAR to anything under
> the sun, and never admit it when reality disproves them.

I'd be happy to admit when reality disproves anything. Ray has never
applied LAR to oil seeking technology, for example, as it just doesn't
apply. However, in a sense it does apply. We do get some percent better at
extracting what's left each year. That doesn't mean we get an exponential
amount of oil, since there's a limited amount of the stuff. But it does
mean that we get exponentially better at finding what's left (note that
this curve is likely much more gentle than computing, with a doubling of
reserves we can get at maybe every 20 or 50 years. I don't know.)

> This is the opposite of science.

It is a part of science, the hypothesis part. LAR applied to computing
available per dollar in particular is a hypothesis formed in the mid 1960s.
As far as I know, we are still more or less on that track, though they have
had to cheat with multiple cores, which does make writing software that
takes advantage of it much more difficult. For the next few years, we can
safely believe that computers will continue to get cheaper. Maybe for the
next fifty years, but who knows. For sure for the next 5 though. Intel has
it all mapped out.

> We've had a number of such people, which turned out a liability
> to transhumanism in the end. Our handicap is already sufficiently
> high, we don't need such monkeys on our back.

How is being pessimistic about the future more helpful?

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