[FoRK] Physical limit on total amount of computation vs. Bostrom...

Lucas Gonze lgonze at panix.com
Wed Apr 28 10:45:26 PDT 2004

On Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004, at 13:38 America/New_York, Gordon Mohr 
(PERSONAL) wrote:

> Russell Turpin wrote:
>> Slashdot references this recent paper on
>> tighter physical limits to the total amount
>> of computation:
>> http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0404510
>> This kind of result has an impact on
>> Bostrom's argument that we likely live
>> in a simulation by our descendants.
>> Given a finite amount of future
>> computation, computation remains a
>> scarce resource, and its use for this
>> purpose might be limited. Maybe only
>> those of us whom our descendants
>> view as especially interesting get
>> reborn this way. ;-)
> If I were to run conscious ancestors (or lab
> rats or recreational avatars or whatever) inside
> a simulation, and I wanted them to take their
> "universe" at face value, I might very well make
> its computational-capacity ceiling appear pretty
> low, to keep them in the dark as long as I'd
> like.

Eventually they'd discover the discrepancies you had to allow to plant 
that deception.  That would prevent you from simulating a 
non-simulation beyond a certain point in simulated time, so there would 
be a time limit on the age of a simulated universe.

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